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Bose 700 vs AirPods Pro (2021): Which Noise-Canceling Headphones Should You Get?

Torn between two of the most popular wireless noise-canceling headphones today? The over-ear Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 and Apple AirPods Pro wireless earbuds have significantly different designs and price points, with the Bose being 150 USD more expensive at the time of writing. With these obvious differences aside, how do they stack up against each other when it comes to sound quality and other features? Keep reading to find out.

Bose 700 vs AirPods Pro Comparison Chart

ModelBose Noise Canceling Headphones 700Apple AirPods Pro
 Bose NC 700AirPods Pro
PriceCheck Price

at Walmart

Check Price

at Amazon

Dimensions2″ x 6.5″ x 8″0.94″ x 0.86″ x 1.22″
Active Noise CancellationYesYes
ANC Levels113
RuntimeUp to 20 hoursListening:
Up to 5 Hours
ANC:
Up to 4.5 Hours
Talktime:
Up to 3.5 Hours
Quick Charging15 minutes for up to 3.5 hours5 minutes for up to 1 hour
Charging CaseN/AUp to 19 hours, Wireless
Wireless ChargingNoYes
Bluetooth5.05.0
Audio CodecsSBC, AACSBC, AAC
Microphones84
Touch ControlsYesYes
Voice ControlsYesYes
Sweat and Water Resistant (IPX4)NoYes
Color OptionsBlack, Luxe Silver, SoapstoneWhite

Design

The AirPods Pro are more portable, but the over-ear Bose Headphones 700 provide better external sound isolation

The Bose Headphones 700 wireless headphones in Soapstone (left) and the AirPods Pro wireless earbuds (right)

While the Bose are over-ear headphones and the AirPods Pro are earbuds, both are thoughtfully-built using high-quality materials and beautifully-designed. Since the Bose are over-ear headphones, the physical isolation that their earcups provide is hard to beat by the AirPods Pro’s tiny earbuds.

However, it’s incredible how Apple packed Active Noise Canceling (ANC) capabilities in those tiny earbuds, a feature that used to be generally available with over-ear headphones. When it comes to comfort and ease of use, the Bose 700’s ear cups are soft and comfortable. However, the headphones can accumulate sweat, leave marks on your face, or mess up your hair unlike with earbuds. If you are traveling for long hours, it’s easier to sleep with the AirPods Pro’s wireless earbuds than with headphones.

If you intend on using your wireless noise-canceling headphones while working out, the AirPods Pro will stay more securely in your ears than the Bose 700 on your head. The Bose Headphones 700 are not sweat and water-resistant so it’s not a good idea to use them if you do rigorous workouts.

Noise Cancellation

The Bose 700 have superior active noise-cancellation

Bose-700
The Bose 700 let you adjust the ANC levels depending on your surroundings and listening needs

Its eleven ANC levels and the physical isolation that the earcups provide make the Bose Headphones 700 superior to the AirPods Pro. You can adjust the different levels depending on your desire and need to hear your surroundings. The highest levels work perfectly when you’re on the plane and want to block off the hum of the engines. When you still need to hear your surroundings, you can easily adjust the ANC levels to the necessary setting.

While the AirPods Pro only has three ANC levels (ANC, Transparency, Off), that is not to say that they do not get the job done. These light, tiny earbuds still deliver superb noise-cancellation, thanks to the outward-facing and inward-facing microphones found in each earpiece. Apple’s Adaptive EQ technology adjusts the active noise cancellation for a more immersive listening experience. If you turn the ANC on while listening to music, you won’t hear the external noise unless you focus on listening to your surroundings.

Whichever noise-canceling headphones you pick though, err on the side of caution and turn off the ANC function when crossing the streets or walking in congested areas.

Sound Quality

Both have excellent sound quality, but Bose will be Bose

Bose Headphones 700
Calling while on a crowded place won’t be a problem with the Bose’s mic system

The Bose Headphones 700 boasts premium sound quality through its active EQ and top-notch bass response, but you might notice that they let mid frequencies through. Another win for Bose is its adaptive mic system. Even in a crowded, noisy place, the microphone noise-canceling capabilities of these headphones will let the person on the other line clearly hear you. If you are a frequent flyer who makes tons of calls while on the go, the Bose 700s’ won’t disappoint.

Although the Bose provides extraordinary sound quality that’s hard to beat, the AirPods Pro still fare well in this category. They still get the job done and work well better than most wireless headphones when it comes to calls.

Set up and Controls

The AirPods Pro are easier to pair and control

Both the Bose 700 (left) and the AirPods Pro (right) have touch and voice controls

Pairing your AirPods Pro to your Apple device is a breeze. Simply open the charging case close to your device and that’s it. If you’re an Android user, connecting through Bluetooth is also quick and effortless.

Both the Bose 700 and AirPods Pro have Bluetooth 5.0 and pair pretty quickly. However, the Apple wireless earbuds are more user-friendly and intuitive than the Bose. Using voice control with your Bose can be a hit and miss when accessing your smart assistant. The same thing can happen when using the button found on the earcup for accessing Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

The right earcup of the Bose 700 has touch controls for making calls, playing tracks, or adjusting volume. On the left earcup is a button you can press to adjust ANC levels or turn the Conversation Mode on. In contrast, the AirPods Pro do not have any physical controls. Instead, all controls can be done through tapping or holding the force sensors located on their stems.

Another thing to note when setting up your AirPods Pro is the Ear Tip Fit Test. You can use it on your phone to identify which among the three included ear tips fit your ears perfectly.

Additional Features

The AirPods Pro are sweat and water-resistant and have a wireless charging case while the Bose boasts longer runtime

AirPods Pro

While the AirPods Pro can only be used for up to five hours, the Bose 700 can be used for up to 20 hours on a full charge. If you travel for long hours, this long battery life will come in handy. Both are equipped with fast charging though so charging them for a couple of minutes allows up to an hour of listening time. An upside to the AirPods Pro is you can conveniently use its charging case for an extra 19 hours of battery life.

Another major difference between the two is the AirPods Pro are IPX4-rated. As they are sweat and water-resistant, you can use these wireless earbuds for non-water exercises and sports.

Verdict

The Bose 700 have better noise-cancellation capabilities, but the AirPods Pro offer more value for your money

You will simply get your money’s worth with the Apple AirPods Pro. These tiny, portable, noise-canceling earbuds pack impressive ANC capabilities and great sound quality when making calls. At a much lower price point, Apple’s water-resistant earbuds offer more versatility and seamless connectivity. You can also use the Pros comfortably while working out. With the Bose, you might need another pair of headphones for doing sports because they are not sweat-resistant.

Perhaps for some, the slight difference in sound quality and noise-cancellation make the price difference worth it. Undeniably, the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 deliver excellent noise-canceling wireless headphones with sound quality that is hard to beat. You’re more likely to maximize this quality if you are a frequent flyer who needs to make calls all the time while traveling (and don’t mind using over-ear headphones).

FAQ

📌 Are the AirPods Pro better than the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700?

The noise-canceling and stunning audio quality of the Bose NC 700 are hard to beat. However, if you’re looking for a cost-effective pair of earbuds that you can use for workouts a well, the AirPods Pro remains a solid choice.

📌 Are the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 waterproof?

No, the Bose NC 700 are not water and sweat-resistant.

📌 Are the AirPods Pro waterproof?

No, the AirPods Pro are sweat and water-resistant, but they’re not recommended for use for swimming or any activities that will submerge them in water.

📌 Which is better for traveling, the Bose NC 700 or the AirPods Pro?

In terms of portability, the AirPods Pro win as they are more compact. However, the Bose 700 and their comfortable earcups and ANC levels make them great for long haul flights as well.

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Rhodaline Escala-Phelps

Managing Editor and Team Leader at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about people, product comparisons, culture, and current events.