The YH-E700A provides adequate comfort, dependable connectivity, and aptX Adaptive technology for the majority of listeners. It is strange that practically every function has the tendency to modify the frequency response. The ANC is underwhelming, especially considering the price.
Yamaha has a long history in the music industry that dates back to the nineteenth century. To claim that the manufacturer of headphones, synthesisers, home theatres, motorcycles, and other products understands music (and noise—I’m looking at you, dirt bikes) would be an understatement would be an understatement of epic proportions.
The active noise cancelling (ANC) and audio of the Yamaha YH-E700A are surrounded by ambiguous terminology such as “Listening Care” and “Listening Optimizer,” but how does it all come together in the end?
At the risk of discrediting myself, I’ll admit that the Yamaha YH-E700A box is a little difficult to open, at least at first. However, the fact that it has a magnetic side rather than a more evident cover reflects one of the reasons why I find this device so amusing: it accomplishes nearly everything in an unconventional manner.
In addition to vinyl cushioning and metal reinforcements in the headband, the Yamaha YH-E700A is constructed primarily of plastic. It is extremely flexible, in a way that is plainly intended, in contrast to the bendable Monolith by Monoprice M1070C, which is not.
Both the ear cups and the headband are articulated vertically and can be swivelled horizontally (from forward-facing to back). It is also foldable, similar to the headsets made by Sony and Bose.
The cushioning around the ears is rather substantial, and the space in which you may insert your ears measures around 58mm by 60mm. The grip is sufficient for strolling around, but it is far too loose for anything that requires physical exertion.
To be honest, I find it to be rather comfy, if a little constricted in one of my ears at times. Because the YH-E700A comes with an aeroplane adaptor, a medium-to-light grip is appropriate for the flight Yamaha predicts you’ll be taking with the instrument.
Everything else, aside from a button on the left headphone that allows you to cycle from active noise cancellation (ANC), ambient sound, and conventional listening, is on the right ear cup.
Volume and track skipping are controlled by the same two buttons on a long plastic strip, while pause/play, answer/end call, and voice assistant are controlled by a separate button on the same strip. Finally, on the right ear cup, towards the very front, you’ll discover a single button that controls both the power and Bluetooth pairing functions.
All of the buttons function as intended, with the exception of the Bluetooth couple button, which needs holding the button down for approximately 5 seconds before the headset is turned off, which happens very frequently. Because of this, there is a very small gap in timing between Bluetooth pairing mode and power down, which is extremely inconvenient.
The case is shaped somewhat like a kidney bean, but it has an unique placement—basically a half fold. Fortunately, Yamaha offers a diagram taped to the inside of the zip case, because it’s a little hard to put everything together, even if it does result in a more compact package overall. It’s well worth the effort to reduce room in your backpack, and you’ll soon become accustomed to the new arrangement.
Interestingly, the handbook, which is accessible through the app and by a QR code on the start-up sheet, is devoid of any useful user recommendations. It doesn’t even go into detail about what the different lights on the headphones mean. I propose that you stick with the paper copy because it is far more instructive.
Yes, you should download the Yamaha Headphone Controller application. Despite the fact that it is limited in scope, you must use it in order to access updates. You must give up some of your personal information in order to gain access to it.
You will be presented with a single screen with buttons to pick from three different modes: ANC, regular mode, and Ambient Mode once you have completed this step. In ANC, there is no way to change the settings.
The “Listening Care” and “Listening Optimizer” features, both of which are activated by default, are the more mysterious features that can only be accessed through the app. Listening Care functions as a form of artificial intelligence-assisted adaptive four-band equalisation.
According to Yamaha’s description, it is intended to prevent aural masking so that you can listen at safe listening volumes. When I see it in action, it reminds me of the loudness button on old stereos from the 1990s. Typically, it just increases the volume of the bass and treble. I’d rather have a more classic equalisation.
The Listening Optimizer is comprised of a combination of hardware and software components. Every 20 seconds, microphones in the ear cups measure your particular fit, and the software makes adjustments to the music in order to “optimise” the experience.
When it comes to the Yamaha YH-E700A, the microphone is adequate. It is capable of reproducing sounds, particularly deeper voices, to a reasonable degree. The fact that the microphone has very little noise filtering is where it falls short. As a result, environmental sounds will continue to be relayed through the headphones.
Although it does pick up reverberation in reverberant rooms, it nevertheless does a good job of conveying the sounds that are spoken in those environments. Everything from keystrokes to background music is picked up by the microphone in the office.
Street noise is a mixed bag: it captures the noise, but your voice is still largely audible in most situations. Some headsets go too far in the direction of noise rejection, and as a result, they cut out your voice as well. You won’t have to be concerned about anything like that here.
The Yamaha YH-sound E700A’s is primarily determined by two frequency responses, which are as follows: If you have ANC turned on, you will receive the response given above; if you have it turned off, you will receive the response shown below. When compared to our ideal, the major differences occur below 1kHz, yet both responses are a little off in terms of timing.
Because the majority of listeners purchase a noise cancelling headset for its ANC capabilities, the ANC frequency response chart is the one that was used to calculate the sound quality scores in this evaluation.
When the ANC is turned off, the sub-bass is lowered, and the volume dip between 100Hz and 400Hz that may be found in the ANC frequency response is eliminated completely. Instead, you will experience a volume increase between 200Hz and 700Hz.
However, when combined with an accentuated low end (as in ANC mode), the YH-E700A produces a slightly quieter high end than we would have liked in the high range of our measurements. The representation at the high end itself is generally pleasing to the ear.
In addition, we see that turning on ANC causes what appears to be ringing in the frequency domain on the right channel between 100Hz and 800Hz, as well as increased distortion on the right channel, on the right channel. Yamaha has told us that our sample is in proper functioning order.
Despite its flaws, the YH-E700A could be a good choice for individuals looking for a decently comfortable headset with some bassy options and an above-average treble frequency response. The inclusion of aptX Adaptive, which is a novel and welcome addition, completes the package in a favourable way for Android users.
Given that it frequently sells for significantly less than its MSRP, it’s a really decent buy when it’s on sale, as long as you keep your expectations realistic. While the ANC is largely ineffective, the seclusion is satisfactory. One noteworthy criticism of the YH-E700A is the difference in frequency response between when ANC is turned on and when it is turned off.
Meanwhile, the Listening Optimizer and Listening Care modes may be replaced with something more useful, such as an equaliser, especially given the lack of control users have over the frequency response that varies as a result of adaptive noise cancellation.
On the other hand, it generally sounds fine in basic mode, and if you’ve mastered the oddities of the headset, such as pairing and understanding how to turn off the majority of its features, it’s a respectable headset. Pretend it doesn’t come with anti-nausea medication.