Bose NC Headphones 700 vs Sennheiser Momentum 3: Which should you get?
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 vs Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3: We’re pitting two heavy hitters in the noise cancellation world to see which comes out on top. Who is the best out of Bose and Sennheiser?
The NC Headphones 700 are the latest over-ears from Bose, taking over from the Quiet-Comfort 35 II. But how do Bose’s latest pair match up to similarly skilled rivals? In this case, they’re up against the third version of the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless over-ears.
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Bose NC Headphones 700 vs Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 – Price
Bose RRP for the NC Headphones 700 is £349.95, while Sennheiser has the Momentum Wireless 3 at £315, discounted from a similar £349.
Luckily, both pairs of headphones can be found for less online. Currently, the Bose pair can be had for £299 on Amazon, while the Sennheiser can be procured for £289 at a number of stores, including Currys PC World.
While there isn’t a huge difference in price, the Sennheiser win by generally being cheaper than the Bose.
Bose NC Headphones 700 vs Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 – Design
The Bose NC Headphones 700 have a sleek design and are available in three colours – Black, Luxe Silver and Soapstone, the last of which is a striking combination of bronze and white colours.
The headphones are light and comfortable to wear, though the biggest downside is that they can’t be folded due to the way the stainless steel headband integrates with the earcups. Instead, the earcups can be turned flat to fit into the hard carry case.
The right ear cup houses touch controls for playback, volume and track skipping, while there’s physical buttons that can power the headphones on and off, activate Bluetooth pairing or wake the voice assistant. A third button on the left ear cup is for cycling between noise cancellation levels.
The Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 sport a much bulkier design, and those with smaller heads may find them a bit big. The ear cups are sufficiently padded with memory foam for comfort, with the headband using ethically sourced sheepskin leather. The Wireless 3 come in two colour variations – Black and Sandy White – both of which look quite handsome.
Sennheiser opted for physical buttons unlike the Bose’s touch controls. They perform all the same functions including playback: volume adjustment, Bluetooth pairing, voice assistant and ANC activation.
It’s tough choice out of the two, but we’d go for the Bose due to the combination of their compact size and comfort levels. We can see the Momentums being a bit too large on some people’s heads.
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Bose NC Headphones 700 vs Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 – Features
The Bose pair feature 11 levels of noise cancellation in the Bose app (and you can cycle through a choice of three on the headphone’s physical controls). The default levels are 0, 5 and 10 – 0 is virtually ANC off, 5 provides medium noise cancellation while 10 is the strongest on offer. With ANC on the NC Headphones 700 scrub away plenty of noise to isolate the wearer from the outside world.
Battery life is an acceptable 20 hours and the headphones are USB-C compatible – it takes about 2.5 hours to charge them back up to full. Quick charge offers 3.5 hours of playtime from just 15 minutes plugged into a power source. The NC Headphones 700 support Bluetooth 5 and cover SBC and AAC codecs, but there’s no sign of aptX.
The Sennheisers offer a number noise cancellation levels, too, including anti-pressure, anti-wind and max ANC options, the latter of which is the most powerful. While the ANC on these headphones is effective, it isn’t the strongest we’ve experienced on a premium pair.
The battery is rather disappointing given the headphones’ calibre. The cans only offer 17 hours of battery (top up possible via the USB-C connection), but you can glean more by disabling the noise cancellation.
The Sennheisers also support Bluetooth 5 and cover SBC, AAC, aptX and aptX Low Latency, the latter of which improves audio synchronisation when streaming video.
In this sense the Bose come out on top, beating the Sennheiser with a longer battery life and more capable ANC performance.
Bose NC Headphones 700 vs Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 – Sound
The Headphones 700 possess an audio signature that’s reminiscent of the QC 35 II. They offer a mostly satisfying and neutral performance. The midrange can feel harsh at times and lacks the detail we’d expect, while bass is more reserved in how it’s applied. That said treble reproduction is very good, as are dynamics and timing. The soundstage is nice and wide too, with the headphones able to paint an immersive soundscape.
The Momentum Wireless 3 produce a show-stopping sound with drive, clarity and deep, well-controlled bass. Every instrument has its own space to exist, while headphones integrate all the various elements smoothly. The midrange is also packed with nuance, allowing insight and character to sneak into the vocals. These are an expressive pair of headphones, with little to pick at in terms of audio quality.
The Momentum Wireless 3 are the clear winners here. That isn’t to say the Bose pair don’t produce good sound, but the Sennheisers knock it out of the park.
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Bose NC Headphones 700 vs Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 – Verdict
There isn’t a whole lot to choose between the Bose NC Headphones 700 and the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 in terms of design. If you prefer a sleeker, more futuristic look and touch controls, the Bose are for you. The Sennheisers are bigger than the Bose, but at least they’re foldable.
Unless the additional three hours of battery life and more effective noise cancellation make a difference (which they might if you travel often), you may also prefer the Bose.
However, when it comes to price, sound and overall performance, we side with the Sennheisers. For a little less than the Bose (at least at current prices), the Momentum Wireless 3 put in a fantastic performance.