The Yamaha YH-L700A is the latest headphone to throw rocks at the throne!
Getting right away into the topic, you guys might wonder, what do I mean with the throw rocks part?
The likes of Bose and Sony have perfected the craft of headphones with their uncanny ANC and sound quality. They have been the dominant players in the headphone industry for a while now.
Everything changed with the new release of YH-L700A.
Yamaha decided to walk through the crowd with a 3D Hi Res audio and head tracking feature for its latest pair of headphones, something we have seen before, but Yamaha is showing no compromise on it.
It is here to tell the competition that the YH-L700A is a serious threat to them.
Headphones that use cutting-edge technology It comes in a bundle that checks all the boxes, including outstanding design, comfort, and feature-richness, as well as a PAINFUL price. If you can bypass the price, no one is stopping you from getting the Yamaha YH-L700A.
Premium Design for Premium Headphones
The justification for the high price is that, on the outside, the Yamaha YH-L700 sure looks, feels, and even smells premium. They have square earcups rather than the typical oval ones, and they are foldable and can tilt and swivel, providing us with great portability and easy storage.
The earpads are exceptionally comfortable; they come with a black leatherette finish and are well cushioned. They sport a clothbound headband that is placed in the front of the earcups rather than at the center, which means it sits further forward on top of your head, which means it adjusts to all head sizes in great comfort.
The grills also come in cloth and with an angular cut. Inside the earpads there’s the letter L, which stands for left ear, and R for right. That gives us nice orientation, and in a way, it looks cool I guess. Or does that make us dumb?
Functionality and Connectivity
There are no touch controls here; Yamaha decided to keep it old-school with physical buttons instead. The front of the right earcup has three buttons that are covered in leather, and at the rear, it has the 3D sound and power/pairing buttons. while on the other side of the rear is the ANC button.
- The middle button that is found in the right earcup leather will operate as play/pause or call and end with 1 press.
- Pressing it twice will bring up the digital assistant.
- While the left and right slits will raise or lower the volume with a single press, or if you hold them, they will rewind or skip the track.
The buttons produce great responsiveness, to ensure that all commands are met with every press. Sadly, there is no on-ear detection for auto pausing when we take the headphones off, something we can find on the Sony wh-1000xm4.
The headphones come with an audio cable for the audio jack port, so we can make them wired for passive listening when we run out of juice. and a USB-C to USB-A charging cable for the USB C port it comes with. They are compatible with Bluetooth 5 and support the AAC, AptX, and SBC codecs.
There’s also the Yamaha controller app that is available both for Android and iOS. It lets you install firmware updates and make adjustments to the features and settings, such as the ANC, ambient modes, and Listening Optimizer. Sadly, the app lacks an EQ, which is a huge oversight for the price it comes with.
What Separates It From The Competition, Feature-Packed
ANC and 3D Sound Technology.
Active Noise Cancelling: Cut the noise, not the music
The YH-L700A employs internal mics that collect ambient sound and calculate what should be removed, so it can keep the sound quality pure. The Active noise cancellation mode did a great job taming rumbly sounds in the streets or laundry room, ambient noise in general, that went unnoticed when I had the chance to test them myself.
Yes, I am well aware they can’t outperform the big dogs, e.g., Bose, Sony, Bowers & Wilkins, but it was enough to be compared with that caliber of noise cancelling.
While active noise cancelling has its benefits, sometimes I think that the noise cancelling feature is more of a double edge knife.
For example, there are times when you don’t want to completely have noise cancelling on your ears, such as in traffic where dangerous hazards can happen. So yeah as good as noise cancellation is, it has its downsides too.
The main attraction is the 3D sound field
The company has developed 7 audio presets that are known as spatial audio, they are meant to help in kinds of music video and movie shows such as audio room, background music, outdoor live, cinema, and more. All of those modes transform stereo sound into a three-dimensional experience.
This spatial audio is referred from Yamaha as 3D Sound Field, and unlike with some other headsets, this feature is pretty much compatible with any stereo sound. So yeah, noise cancellation and ambient sound mode are not the only killing features here.
Another aspect that completes this feature is the dynamic head tracking. It gives you the illusion of the audio, from a stationary point space to wherever you move. An example of the 3D sound would be when you pick the Outdoor Live option. It accurately creates the feeling of being at a live concert with heavy bass that can be felt at the throat and great vocals that you’d experience in real life.
Maybe the ANC didn’t give the Yamaha an edge over the Bose and Sony, but the 3D sound technology sure did.
The YH-L700A features don’t stop here, lol. There are 2 other headline features as well, one being the Listening Optimizer that I mentioned earlier and the other being Listening Care. The Listening Optimizer works to ensure optimal performance based on your fit, as the name implies. Listening care encourages the lower volumes or background music by adjusting the frequencies in an effort to maintain the full sound no matter what the volume level.
Sound Quality & Audio Performance
The YH-L700A is powered by 40MM Dynamic Drivers that deliver a frequency response range of 8Hz up to 40kHz.
Like I mentioned earlier, the sound quality of the Yamahas is very variable depending on the 3D sound feature and its modes. But the default sound signature is spacious and has the presence of a full bass, delivering punchy, strong bass and rich lows. It doesn’t compromise on warm mids or clear, crisp highs either. Overall, out of the box, they sound great.
In a nutshell, call quality was excellent.Even though it was hard for me to tell, I got really nice feedback from my colleagues and friends. Most of the callers were pointing out how clear and loud my voice sounded while there was minimal background noise.
The battery life on the YH-L700A was quite dynamic. With all features turned off, it is capable of lasting around 34 hours. While with the 3D sound mode, it drops to 11 hours of playtime, which is still great. It takes around 3.5 hours to fully charge them.
34 hours of battery life for a pair of headphones with ANC is terrific! It makes the ANC giants shiver in fear since the Bose 700 is capable of lasting only 20 hours and the Sony WH-1000Xm4 around 30 hours.
- Good Looking
- Robust and Comfortable
- Respectable Noise cancellation
- Insane sound quality thanks to the 3D
- Great Battery Life
- A Bit Heavy
- Battery-Life heavy depends on the smart features
- 3D effects need a bit more work on some occasions
- Unarguably high price
Wrap Up, Conclusions
The YH-L700A is a pair of headphones that average people like me should avoid. They are not bad in any way, but the price they come with is quite bank-breaking. Even though it tries to justify the price by being fully loaded, having a great design, and having a fantastic battery life, too much is still too much.
I’d aim those headphones toward the audiophiles who have money to spend, and I can guarantee that you will not be left disappointed. Definitely, a pair of headphones that can compete with the big names and even exceed them in some fields.
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Equipment Tester & Reviewer
I’m an unbiased audio equipment tester & reviewer, dedicated to keeping you up-to-date on the latest and greatest in audio gear.