REVIEW – For many years, I have used and purchased several models of the same noise canceling over-the-ear headphones from a famous brand/manufacturer. I have compared several brands of a similar product within the same price range and always ended up purchasing that brand. Now I have the opportunity to review the recently released AKG N700NC Over-Ear Foldable Wireless, Active Noise Cancelling Headphones. I wonder if these headphones will suffer the same fate as the others or can they finally give me a reason to switch brands. Let’s see!!
What is it?
The AKG N700NC Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Wireless Headphones feature wireless Bluetooth connectivity as well as wired connectivity which comes in handy especially if using the flight adapter to listen to in-flight programming, or if using a legacy device that does not have Bluetooth capability. In addition, it has built-in active noise-canceling technology that tunes out ambient noise so that you get a fully engaged listening experience. This technology includes the ability to let in ambient noise with the push of a button which activates the TalkThru capability. This is great for listening to announcements or if you have the need for a short conversation.
What’s in the box
1 x AKG N700NC Adaptive Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Wireless Headphones
1 x Carrying Case
1 x Flight Adaptor
1 x Micro USB Charging Cable
1 x Straight Cable
1 x User Manual
Design and features
Impedance: 16 ohm
Sensitivity: 98dBSPL/1mW @1kHz
Max Input Power: 30mW
Bluetooth type: 4.2
Frequency Range: 10-20 kHz
The AKG N700NC headphones feature Bluetooth connectivity to work wirelessly with most Bluetooth enabled mobile devices and it also offers the ability to connect via hard wire to legacy devices or devices without the Bluetooth capability. According to AKG, the built-in battery can provide up to 20 hours of listening with noise canceling engaged when being used via a Bluetooth connection. In addition, if you decide to connect to an audio device via the included straight cable, the battery life goes up to 36 hours per charge with noise canceling active.
On the right side earpiece of the headphone, there is the power/Bluetooth button, the Smart Ambient button and the Micro USB charging port. The correct side for wearing is also indicated on the hinge of each earpiece.
Bluetooth LED Indication:
Smart Ambient LED Indication:
On the left earpiece, there is the 3.5mm port for the wired connection, the + and – buttons for track forward and backward and in between the track buttons, there is the play/pause/call answer/hangup/reject/voice assistant button. For the track selection, you press and hold the – or+ button for 2 seconds, for the call functions and play/pause you press the button once and for the voice assistant (Siri/Google Now) you press the button once.
The headphones are built with memory foam earpads and a padded headband that makes them very comfortable to wear for long periods of time. They also include hinges right above each earpad that allow each side to be folded. The headband is also adjustable.
AKG includes a cable for wired listening. The cable has 3.5mm male plugs on each end and a button remote in the middle that controls phone call and audio functions. To control using the button remote you press once to answer/hang up on calls and to play or pause music, press twice to move to the next track and 3 times for the previous track. The picture below on the right shows the included flight adapter.
AKG also provide a very nice braided and branded micro USB cable for charging the headphones.
The headphones fold to become very easy to carry either in the case or otherwise. They are adjustable to create the perfect and very comfortable fit over my head, and the earcups make a nice seal over my ears.
These AKG headphones perform amazingly well in every area. I love listening to Contemporary Jazz with them because it is a nice audiophile experience and they do not cost the $1000s that many of the audiophile headphones that I have tried retail for. I love the Smart Ambient feature that allows you to adjust the Automatic Noise Cancelation (ANC) so that there is a really nice balance between the noise cancelation and the ambient environmental sounds. What is even more impressive, is that you can change the assignment of the Smart Ambient button from the default ambient feature to the Talkthru feature that allows you to have a conversation with others without removing the headphones.
While I prefer listening to music wirelessly, I love that I have the ability to use these headphones as wired as well. I actually do like the wired sound a bit more, since from my perception it has a bit more of an audiophile quality to it.
I have also used these headphones when editing video and they also work great as a studio option and especially when I am working and I don’t want to be distracted by the noise that the kids are making in the background.
Phone call quality is great including clarity and solid connectivity when using Bluetooth.
Below are some screenshots from the app that allows you to manage a few features like performing firmware updates, customizing equalization settings and reassigning the Smart Ambient button function.
If you would like even more information and operational details on these headphones, you can click here to download the user manual.
What I like
- The build quality
- The fit and finish
- The sound
- The balanced noise canceling
- The weight and size
- The features
What can be improved
- Compared to other headphones in this price range and how the ones that I have tested measure up, I have no complaints
After many years of using one specific brand of over-the-ear noise canceling headphones, I am happy to have found a new brand that does an amazing job at not only accomplishing the same goal but in my opinion, does it better. Sound and fit are all individually subjective features, and different people can and do have different opinions, However, I believe that those that try these headphones will not only be very pleased but will also agree with most of if not all of my experience with them and review of them. I love the Smart Ambient feature that creates the right balance between noise canceling and the common sense application of it to be able to hear in an emergency. I have experienced using other noise canceling headphones when I was on a train that got canceled, and because my eyes were closed, I did not see everyone leaving their seats. Another passenger had to nudge me to tell me what had occurred. The design, features, and sound of these headphones offer true performance and versatility and they get two thumbs way up from me. Well done!!!