$400 Headphones Reviewed - Bose NC 700 Vs B&W PX7 Vs Sennheiser Momentum 3

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Today we’re going to be looking at some of the most popular $400 ANC headphones out there right now. We’ve got the Bose NC 700’s, the Sennheiser Momentum 3’s, and the Bowers and Wilkins PX7. All three of the headphones are very different from one another, and depending on your needs is one going to be better than the other. So let's see which ones right for you. 

So like I just said, all three of these headphones retail for $400. Which is a lot, but when you’re paying upwards of $400 on a pair of headphones one of their biggest selling points is their use of finer materials. If you want to pick any of these headphones up they’ll be linked down below and if you want to learn more about any of these headphones people watch their full reviews cause we’re only going to be going over the main differences here. 

Now the first thing I want to quickly touch on here are the carrying cases. Plainly said im not a fan of the Momentum 3’s carrying case, it's very big and its also a softshell case instead of a hardshell case. Now the PX7’s come included with a very hard hardshell case which is great. But if you do plan on traveling a lot with your headphones I think you’ll be better off with the Bose cause their case is slightly smaller and slightly slimmer. 

But now lets talk about the headphones themselves. Like I mentioned earlier, one of main selling points of paying $400 for a pair of ANC headphones is cause they generally have better build quality and use finer materials than lets say the super popular Sony 1000XM3’s which retail for $350 and are all plastic. Personally I think the Momentum 3’s have the best build quality here cause the real sheep skin leather used on their ear pads and headband just feels the most luxurious here. Add to the fact that they’ve got this exposed stainless steel arms, these headphones just feel super sturdy but luxurious at the same time. Now a very close second here are the PX7’s. They also have great build quality and feel very sturdy and I absolutely love their carbon fiber arms. But their ear pads and headband just feel very plasticy, so thats why they come in second. And then there’s the Bose NC 700 who’s leatherette ear pads feel almost as good as the ear pads found on the Momentum 3’s. But compared to these other two headphones the NC 700’s just don’t feel as sturdy or over all premium. 

But the Bose NC 700’s are the lightest headphones here weighing in at 263 grams which plays a big role in overall comfort. Cause for comparison the Momentum 3’s weigh in at 305 grams and the PX7’s weighing in at 310 grams. And personally whenever im looking for a pair of headphones to use for long periods of time or to travel with… lighter is always better. And I do think the majority of people will find the NC 700’s to be comfortable enough to wear. Now all three of these headphones have very spacious ear cups and they all should have no problem fitting people who have larger ears or ears that stick out a lot. But if you have a bigger head like I do, than you’ll be better off with the Sennheiser’s cause they have the least amount of clamping force here. Where as the PX7’s are the tightest fitting headphones here and they’re not big head approved. So fit wise, the Sennheiser’s are a good option for people with bigger heads, the Bose should fit most people just fine, and then there’s the PX7’s which are better for people with smaller heads.

Now when it comes to tech specs, all three of these headphones charge via a USB C port. But unfortunately the Momentum 3’s have the worst performing battery life. They have an advertised battery life of 17 hours which is poor to begin with, but I get more like 14 hours out of them. And with my type of usage I usually gotta charge them every 4 days.

Where as the NC 700’s have an advertised battery life of 20 hours and I can go a week in between charges with them and then there’s the PX7 which have an advertised battery life of 30 hours, but their battery lasts just as long as the NC 700’s under the same usage conditions. But basically, if battery is a big deal to you, stay away from the Sennheiser’s. 

Now when it comes to bluetooth connectivity, all three of these headphones are rocking bluetooth 5.0 and they can all be connected to 2 devices at the same time. But when it comes to audio codecs the PX7’s have APTX adaptive support which is the latest and greatest from qulacom. But they also have APTX HD and APTX support. 

Where as the Momentum 3’s have APTX and APTX low latency support. And then there’s the Bose NC 700’s which only have AAC support. If you’re an iPhone user APTX support doesn’t really matter to you, but if you’re an android user you probably want to know what higher quality audio codecs are available to you. 

But also, both the USB C ports on the Momentum 3’s and PX7’s can be used as a wired connection. Where as the USB C port on the Bose can only be used for charging. If you’re an android user that insists on always using a wired connection then these two headphones give you more options especially if your phone doesn’t have an audio jack. 

But now let's talk about listening to music with these headphones cause all three of these headphones have their own unique characteristics. The Bose NC 700’s have the most neutral sounding sound signature here. Vocalist and mids are very front and center and you hear a decent amount of bass. But you don’t actually feel the bass on these headphones, the bass on these headphones don’t actually kick against your head. Thats why some people think Bose headphones don’t have bass at all cause they’re not actually feeling it. All in all the NC 700’s sound good but they’re not all that fun to listen to. Then there the PX7’s which personally are my favorite sounding headphones here mainly because of their super wide sound stage and incredible instrument separation. But like the Bose, you don’t actually feel the bass on these headphones… you just hear it. I know this might sound a little weird but when you’re listening to bass heavy music and the bass really get going you hear that bass and you hear a lot of it but the headphones themselves don’t actually rattle your head or don’t rattle your head that much. But like I said in the full review, if you want to get the best sound quality out of the PX7’s you have to use them with their ANC turned off. And then there’s the Momentum 3’s which put and emphasis on the vocals and mids like the Bose NC 700’s do but they actually have a good amount of bass that resonates nicely and than can actually be felt. I think that out of all three of these headphones the Momentum 3’s are the crowd pleasers here and they’re also the only headphones here that have an adjustable EQ. But personally I think they sound best with their default EQ setting. And besides personally I think Sennheiser’s EQ is a little confusing to use. 

But also something I want to address really quickly here are the media controls on these headphones. The Bose NC 700’s have a touch pad. Besides its being a rather small touch pad… its fairly accurate after you get used to it. But if you’re someone that prefers physical buttons then the PX7 and Momentum’s have your back. But personally I prefer the buttons on the PX7 over the Momentum’s cause they’re located in a more natural spot, they’re easier to tell apart and they have better tactile feedback. 

But now lets talk about the active noise cancellation on these headphones. As you’d expect the Bose NC 700’s have the best over all performing active noise cancelation here. But so that you can see for yourself we’re going to jump into an ANC test.

Like you may have just seen, the momentum 3’s have the worst performing ANC here. They block out a considerable amount of road noise but when it comes to chatter they don’t stand a chance. Now the NC 700’s clearly managed to block out more road noise than the PX7… but surprisingly, the PX7’s managed to block out a little more chatter than the Bose. But all in all the Bose NC 700’s active noise cancellation is over all superior for a few key reasons. First off the Bose have noticeably less cabin pressure than the PX7’s do. The Bose also do a much better job of blocking out wind noise when used out doors. But more importantly, the ANC on the Bose doesn’t really change how these headphones sound. Unlike the PX7 who’s sound stage gets really narrowed when their ANC is turned on. So if active noise cancellation is a big deal to you than your simply better off with the Bose. 

But also, the Bose NC 700 has the best performing ambient mode here. You can actually adjust how much ambient sound want to let in unlike the Sennheiser’s where you can only have ambient mode turned on or off and the PX7’s don’t actually have an ambient mode similar to what the Sennheiser’s and Bose have which is a huge draw back in my opinion. 

And finally there’s the microphone on these headphones for phone calls. I think the PX7’s have the worst sounding microphone here cause it sounds very shallow and muffled.

The microphone on the Sennheiser’s isn’t all that much better cause there’s clearly a lot of amplification going on.
So clearly the Bose NC 700’s have the best sounding microphone here for phone calls. Which shouldn’t come to as a surprise to anyone cause even the older Bose QC35’s have a decent sounding microphone. 

But over all, when it comes to choosing between one of these headphones it all comes down to your needs. The Bose NC 700’s offer the best over all experience for your daily commuter or constant flyer who’s really depends on decent Active Noise Cancellation and then turn on ambient mode so that they can be alert while they’re sitting in an airport terminal or so that they can still hear their name when they’re working at their desk at the office. But personally I think that if you’re looking for the best sounding headphones here then the Bowers And Wilkins PX7’s are the way to go cause of their sound stage and instrument separation. And also if you’re an android user you’ll be one of the first people to try out APTX adaptive. But like I mentioned earlier these headphones do fit pretty tight so they’re  not for everyone. But if you a bigger head than a great sounding alternative are the Sennheiser Momentum 3’s. These headphones also sound great but their Active noise cancellation is pretty weak and so is their battery life. But I just can’t stop raving about the leather on these headphones.