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Bose vs Beats Noise Cancelling Headphones (2021): Which Is Better?

While Bose has always been at the top of the noise cancelling headphones space, Beats has been making strides with ever-improving models. Its latest attempt, the Beats Solo Pro, is its most impressive so far, and definitely worth considering if you’re in the market for new ANC headphones. Check out how the Solo Pro compares with the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, currently the brand’s best.

Bose vs Beats Noise Cancelling Headphones Comparison Chart

ModelBose Noise Cancelling
Headphones 700
Beats Solo Pro
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Dimensions2″ x 6.5″ x 8″7.1″
Weight0.55 lbs0.59 lbs
Foldable DesignNoYes
AppBose MusicBeats
ANC Levels113
Touch ControlsYesNo
Voice AssistantYesYes
Battery Life20 hours22 hours
Fast Charging15 minutes for 3.5 hours10 minutes for 3 hours
3.5mm CableIncludedSold Separately

Design

Both Bose and Beats noise cancelling headphones are stylish and comfortable.

Bose vs Beats Noise Cancelling Headphones Design
Without question the Bose Noise Cancelling Heaphones 700 (left) and Beats Solo Pro (right) are among the most fashionable headphones you can get today.

The sleek new look of the Bose Headphones 700 is a welcome departure from the traditional design of the company’s previous best-sellers. Its slim stainless steel headband is cushioned extremely well by a soft foam so it sits comfortably. Meanwhile, the Beats Solo Pro sports the brand’s signature look. It’s undeniably modern and hip, with nice new matte finish that sets it apart from the glossy models in their lineup.

Whichever design you prefer, you’re going to get a pair of headphones that look good enough to be fashion accessories. You’re going to want to wear them as often as you can whether you’re out and about or simply lounging around the house. Their comfy earcups enclose your ears wonderfully, and fit can be adjusted by sliding them up or down.

A few important differences need to be mentioned though. First, the Beats Solo Pro has a foldable design that makes it more compact and portable. The included carrying case is smaller and easier to tuck away, and has a nice soft felt texture. In comparison, the Bose 700 has a much larger case since you can’t fold the headphones. Finally, there’s no 3.5mm audio cable included with the Beats Solo Pro. It will cost you extra to add a Lightning-to-3.5mm cable and it isn’t cheap.

Setup and Controls

The Bose Headphones 700 provides better touch and app controls than the Beats Solo Pro.

Bose vs Beats Noise Cancelling Headphones Controls
Beneath the shell of the Bose 700’s right earcup are several touch controls.

To start, the Beats Solo Pro will almost instantly pair with an iPhone once you unfold it, thanks to its Apple H1 chip. Folding and unfolding is how you turn it off and on, by the way, which some might not like but it’s easier. The pairing process with the Bose 700 is done the usual way, by selecting the headphones in the Bluetooth menu of your phone. Downloading their respective companion apps lets you access more settings and will also be used to update their firmware.

Both the Beats app and the Bose Connect app lets you control volume levels, music playback and ANC modes. You can also switch the active voice assistant, which is by default Google Assistant for Bose and Siri for Beats. However, the Bose app gives you even more ANC levels to choose from other than the three favorites you can select on the device. You’ll also be able to set how loud your voice sounds during phone calls.

Touch controls on the Bose 700 headphones are more responsive than the integrated on-ear buttons of the Beats Solo Pro. You can easily swipe in four directions to adjust volume and skip tracks, as well as tap a few times to answer and end calls or play and pause music. There are separate buttons for preset ANC levels and the voice assistant too.

Noise Cancellation

The Bose Headphones 700 have superior active noise cancellation compared to the Beats Solo Pro.

Bose vs Beats Noise Cancelling Headphones ANC Levels
Drown out the noise of the city with the Bose NCH 700.

Beats has definitely made headway in improving the active noise cancellation capabilities of their headphones, and it shows in the Beats Solo Pro. Wearing it will make nearby conversations seem like they’re in another room. Play some music and you won’t hear traces of them at all. It shuts out background noises effectively and muffles loud sounds such as plane engines well.

Still, there are only three modes available on the Beats Solo Pro. It has a Transparency mode that allows more ambient sounds to help you stay aware of your environment. The last mode is more of an off switch for the ANC so you can conserve battery. In contrast, there are 11 levels of ANC available on the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. As such, you get incremental control over how much noise gets filtered out, from none at all to outer space quiet.

To compare, you can get the same level of noise cancellation that the Beats Solo Pro can muster by setting the Bose NCH 700 to 7. Levels 1-5 will allow you to remain aware of important announcements and car horns, while the lowest setting is dubbed Conversation mode, as it lets you hear people as if you weren’t wearing headphones at all.

In addition, the additional microphones on the Bose 700 Headphones further improve your vocal quality during calls. They filter out background noise so you come out clear to whomever you’re talking.

Sound Quality

The Beats Solo Pro has stronger bass, but the Bose NCH 700 has a more balanced sound.

Bose vs Beats Noise Cancelling Headphones Sound Quality
Infamous for their products’ overpowering bass, Beats has turned it quite a way down on the Solo Pro.

As you can expect, the brand that built a loyal following among audiences who can’t get enough bass has the headphones with the boomier low ends. With the help of Apple, Beats has tamed down its sound profile a lot, so you can expect a more refined audioscape from the Beats Solo Pro. There’s still a lot of bass but it’s more defined now, and doesn’t overshadow the midrange and higher frequencies.

Bose has done some work on their seemingly distant audio signature which was the result of their powerful ANC tech. As a result, the Bose NCH 700 now sounds warmer and richer, and the highs and mids are clear and stand out. Its bass is also pretty impressive at low volumes, so you get lots of thump, though the active EQ turns it down when you increase the volume.

Without an equalizer or the ability to create custom sound profiles, you’re pretty much locked in with how each of these headphones sound. Those who enjoy their bass will likely find the stronger lows of the Beats Solo Pro more to their taste, while those who love modern tunes will appreciate the depth available in the Bose 700.

Verdict

The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 is the better ANC headphones, but the Beats Solo Pro presents better value.

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Beats Solo Pro

If your top priority is getting peace and quiet wherever you are, the clearly better choice is the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. Its topnotch ANC features are more flexible and transfer over to calls too. Sound quality is excellent, and your favorite music can really fill your ears even with medium levels of ANC. Even better, the evolved design certainly adds its own weight. You won’t hesitate showing these off whenever you can.

At its lower price point the Beats Solo Pro simply offers lots of value. There’s no denying its premium look and easily recognizable branding. Its active noise cancellation is way ahead of other Beats audio products and its sound profile isn’t just full of overbearing bass anymore. With its Apple H1 chip it will pair better with iOS fans, and you get a lot more color options for your own style preferences too.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Which one has better noise cancelling headphones, Bose or Beats?

The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 is the better choice. Its topnotch ANC features are more flexible and transfer over to calls too. Sound quality is excellent, and your favorite music can really fill your ears even with medium levels of ANC.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which noise cancelling headphones has better value for money, Bose or Beats?

Sold at a lower price point, the Beats Solo Pro offers better value for money. It boasts of a premium design, plus its active noise cancellation is way ahead of other Beats audio products.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which noise cancelling headphones has better design, Bose or Beats?

Both Bose and Beats noise cancelling headphones are stylish and comfortable. The Bose Headphones 700 boasts of a sleek new look while the Beats Solo Pro sports the brand’s signature modern and hip look.

๐Ÿ“Œ How are the Bose and Beats noice cancelling headphones different in terms of sound profile?

The Beats Solo Pro has stronger bass while the Bose NCH 700 has a more balanced sound.

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Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.