Looking for the perfect blend of style, sound, and portable audio quality? Then you’ve probably been looking at products from Sennheiser and Bose, two of the best-known headphone brands on the planet.
But how do both companies’ current flagship wireless noise-canceling headphones — the Sennheiser Momentum 3 and Bose Noise Cancelling 700 — compete against one another, and which pair should you buy? Well, that depends. Here’s everything you need to know to decide which pair of headphones is better for you.
Design and fit
We’ve got to hand it to both pairs of headphones in the looks department: Both the Bose 700 and Sennheiser Momentum 3 feature beautiful rounded earcups, classy metal headbands, and sleek lines.
Those after a more vintage, leather-laden look will likely gravitate toward the Momentum 3, while those who are a bit more modern and business-class will probably prefer the looks of the Bose 700. Regardless of which you choose, you will look objectively classier than virtually all headphone wearers around you.
In terms of fit, we’ve got to give a slight edge to Bose here. The Sennheisers have super-plush earpads, just like the Bose 700 do, but they are a bit harder in the headband than the Bose, making them tougher to leave on for all-day (or all-flight) listening sessions.
Winner: Bose Noise Cancelling 700
Features, controls, and battery life
From app-based adjustments of noise-canceling levels and voice assistants to the ability to pair to multiple devices at once, there’s very little that both of these headphones won’t do.
In terms of controls, we prefer the analog buttons on the Momentum to the touch-based pad on the Bose 700, but we prefer the sleek and easy-to-use Bose app to the slightly cumbersome (mostly when it comes to EQ adjustment) Sennheiser model.
In terms of noise cancellation itself, we’ve got to hand it to the Bose 700. They reduce all outside sound to a whisper, regardless of environment. The Sennheisers, while they have solid noise reduction, feel engineered to offer a squeaky-clean soundstage in an office or on public transit, but our review team found them a bit underpowered on loud flights.
Speaking of flights, both headphones offer great battery life for long-haul trips, with Sennheiser boasting 17 hours to Bose’s 20, giving Bose another slight edge. Given that, and the fact that Bose has better noise cancellation, we’ll toss this one to Bose.
Winner: Bose Noise Cancelling 700
After the Bose swept the first two categories, you may think that they’re clearly the best headphones of the bunch. But that’s where you’d be wrong, because the Sennheisers have a big trick up their sleeve: Incredible sound.
The latest Momentum model easily bests the Bose when it comes to how they shape the sound of your favorite music. They are incredibly detailed, vibrant, and fun to listen to, with the noise reduction helping contribute to a pristine and very wide soundstage.
The Bose 700 have great bass response and a warm top end, but they just don’t match the detail of the Sennheiser option.
One thing we like about both headphones is call quality, which is absolutely excellent when using either pair. Bose uses some very fancy technology to limit background noise, so the Bose 700 are a bit better than the Sennheiser on calls, but both are miles better than most headsets.
Winner: Sennheiser Momentum 3
When it comes to picking an overall winner, it’s a tough one indeed. In fact, it may be best to think of these as two different types of headphones entirely; the Bose 700 are perfect for those who want to wear headphones all day, who travel a lot, and who make a lot of calls, where the Sennheiser Momentum 3 are meant for those who want excellent audio quality and features, and who plan to use their headphones to get the absolute most out of their music.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700:
Sennheiser Momentum 3:
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