Yamaha YH-E700 and YH-L700A headphones: two outstanding Bluetooth models?

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Released a few weeks apart and priced at €255 and €499 respectively, the Yamaha YH-E700A and Yamaha YH-L700A are two wireless headphone models with diametrically opposed designs. Do their noise cancelling systems and 3D surround mode (YH-L700A) provide an effective reproduction and ensure ideal immersion for TV, video games and music? Read our double review to find out.

Yamaha YH-L700 and YH-E700
Although they are very different visually, the Yamaha YH-E700 (right) and Yamaha YH-L700A (left) have many similarities when it comes to sound.

Yamaha YH-E700 and YH-L700A: packaging & accessories

Each nestled in an elegant box that is sealed with a magnetic cover, the Yamaha YH-E700 and YH-L700A headphones come with a rigid and rather compact carry case. A USB-A to USB-C charging cable (50cm), an audio cable (107cm with straight and angled mini-jack connectors) and a double mono airplane adapter are also included, along with a warranty card and quick start guide.

Yamaha YH-E700 and accessories
The Yamaha YH-E700 wireless headphones are elegant with their pure white finish and touch of copper at the base of the headband.
Yamaha YH-L700A and accessories
A carry case, USB charging cable (A to C), mini-jack audio cable and airplane adapter are included with the Yamaha YH-L700A headphones.

Yamaha YH-E700 and YH-L700A: presentation

The Yamaha YH-E700 headphones have very large, evelopping ear cups with a very attractive round shape, rather than the usual oval design. The thick leatherette earpads, delicate matte plastic frame and discreet buttons promise strength and durability. The Yamaha YH-E700 can be folded for easy transport. They come in two colors: black and white.

YH-E700 round design
The Yamaha YH-E700 headphones have an elegant, rounded design and appealing finish.
YH-L700A angular design
Angular, partially covered with fabric… The Yamaha YH-L700A headphones have a retro-modern design that mixes straight angles and curves. A bold design that stands out.

Only available in black, the Yamaha YH-L700A headphones have an original vintage-inspired design. The matte plastic is combined with beautiful gray fabric (headband and ear cups) and leatherette (bottom part of the ear cups and side buttons). The elegant Yamaha YH-L700As have a neat finish and excellent build quality. They’re also foldable, making them ideal for use on the go.

Compatible with aptX Adaptive, AAC and SBC Bluetooth, the Yamaha YH-E700 and YH-L700A headphones feature the Hi-Res Audio certification. They offer up to 35 hours of battery life in Bluetooth mode. Conveniently, they can be used with a cable when the battery runs out.

YH-E700 buttons
aptX and AAC Bluetooth, ambient sound mode, noise cancelling… The Yamaha YH-E700 wireless headphones incorporate the best wireless technologies for perfect playback on the go.

Their ergonomic control interface (buttons) provides great ease of use. However, the YH-L700A take some getting used to, for example to recognize the volume control buttons on the right earpiece by touch, which are not always intuitive at first.

The soft, perfectly proportioned leatherette earpads of the Yamaha YH-E700 and YH-L700A headphones are very comfortable. The E700’s round pads are wider than those of the L700. Their high-density foam padding distributes pressure perfectly. Whether you wear glasses or not, the adjustment is very easy. The earpieces naturally encompass the ears without causing any discomfort. However, the YH-L700A headphones are rather large.

Their very comprehensive noise cancelling system uses two internal (inside the ear cups) and external microphones. A feature that allows the Yamaha YH-E700 and YH-L700A headphones to eliminate surrounding noise without altering the audio signal processing. An intermediate “ambient sound” mode captures surrounding noises and places them in the background. A useful feature for those who want to continue to enjoy music while remaining attentive to the outside environment, for example when walking through cities. A button on the left earpiece makes it easy to activate or deactivate the active noise reduction and ambient sound features.

YH-E700 control buttons
Volume control, phone calls, noise cancelling… The Yamaha YH-E700 wireless headphones feature simple and effective controls.
Yamaha YH-L700A control buttons
Stylish and minimalist, the buttons to control the sound and switch tracks (< I > symbols, bottom right of the image) of the YH-L700A Bluetooth headphones are not always easy to reach or recognize by touch.

Another advantage of the Yamaha YH-E700 and YH-L700A headphones’ internal microphones is the Listening Optimizer system. Its role is to measure air leakage and the fit around the listener’s ears every 20 seconds in order to offer a customized sound optimization according to the characteristics of their ears.

Yamaha YH-E700: key specifications

  • Coupling: over-ear
  • Frequency response: 8Hz – 40kHz
  • Certified Hi-Res Audio (wired)
  • AAC, SBC, aptX Adaptive compatibility
  • Optimized Active Noise Cancelling system
  • Voice assistants: Siri and Google Assistant
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 35h battery life
  • Rigid carrying case
  • Weight: 365g

Yamaha YH-L700A: key specifications

Identical to the Yamaha YH-E700 +

  • 3D Surround fonction (7 modes)
  • Weight: 330g

Yamaha YH-E700 and YH-L700A: listening conditions

We tried the Yamaha YH-E700 and YH-L700A wireless headphones in Bluetooth mode with an Apple smartphone and listened to music via Tidal and Qobuz. We also connected the headphones to a Samsung UE55NU8005 television using standard Bluetooth to watch a few movies and series. After, we tested their wired connection with the iPhone and an Audioquest DragonFly audio DAC.

Yamaha YH-E700 and YH-L700A: listening impressions

Isolation and noise cancelling

Thanks to their highly insulating ear pads, the Yamaha YH-E700 and YH-L700A headphones offered excellent passive isolation. Their active noise cancelling system was also very good, despite the very slight hiss that could be heard in a quiet room. In public transport or on a busy street, the ANC was quite consistent and only slightly distorted the sound. Although attenuated, the high frequencies remained pleasant. Also very satisfactory, the ambient sound mode reproduced external noises without impacting the music too much. As a result, we didn’t have to remove the headphones to clearly perceive the surrounding noises.

Audio playback

Transmitted via Bluetooth AAC, the sound was clear and harmonious, with very vigorous and ample bass. The power of the latter was even more obvious when the noise cancelling system was activated, despite the fact that the midrange/highs were slightly attenuated. Without ANC, the various frequency ranges were very balanced and full of nuance. With the track No Small Things by Tears for Fears (Qobuz – 24/44), the harmonics of the acoustic guitar were crystalline and undulating, while the vocals and percussions stood out with clarity. 

The generosity of the Yamaha YH-E700 and YH-L700A headphones was also evident with symphonic music. This was the case with Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No.1 (Qobuz – 24/96), where every instrument was perfectly materialized. However, it is better to avoid activating the 3D surround feature of the YH-L700A as the effects do not work well with classical music. This function is much better suited to a live rock recording, such as Deep Purple’s Made in Japan. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the Yamaha YH-E700 and YH-L700A are swift and quite remarkable with a Bluetooth connection and will offer a great listening experience during daily trips in the city.

In wired mode (Apple smartphone), music was slightly more dynamic and rich. The improvements were all the more evident with the AudioQuest DragonFly DAC when listening to New Kid in Town by the Eagles (Qobuz – 24/96), for example. The sound gained in amplitude, with a wider soundstage and an abundance of details.

More precise and tangible, the singers’ voices and the guitars highlighted the versatile nature of these headphones. The only drawback with bass-heavy tracks (Root Down by the Beastie Boys, and Six Foot, Seven Foot by Lil Wayne in particular) was that the lows were somewhat bloated, to the detriment of the low midrange.

Larges oreillettes YH-E700
Massive and very insulating, the large earpieces of the YH-E700, equipped with 1.5” dynamic transducers, seemed to be tailor-made to deliver deep and supercharged bass.

However, this impulsive character, combining fullness and impetuousness, also yielded impressive results. With an electro track or during a fast-paced movie scene (Mad Max: Fury Road, for example), the Yamaha YH-E700 and YH-L700A headphones provided incredible sensations, the bass playing an important part.

Mode 3D surround YH-L700A
Thanks to their 7 3D surround modes, the Yamaha YH-L700A wireless headphones provided an enriched listening experience. The cinema and outdoor live modes were particularly effective.

This phenomenon was confirmed and accentuated by activating one of the seven 3D surround  modes offered by the Yamaha YH-L700A headphones (Audio Room, Background Music, Drama, Music Video, Concert Hall, Outdoor Live and Cinema). These modes aren’t available with the YH-E700s. Even at low volume, the sound space became deeper and wider. It also gained more verticality with very impressive immersive effects. A characteristic that made all the difference when watching blockbusters and concerts.

Yamaha YH-E700 and YH-L700A: compared to…

Shure Aonic 50 (€229)

Very elegant with a high quality finish, equipped with an excellent noise cancelling system and compatible with aptX HD and LDAC codecs, the Shure Aonic 50 headphones have many assets. However, neither their battery life (20h) nor their frequency response (20Hz to 22kHz) allows them to compete with the Yamaha YH-E700.

Shure Aonic
The Shure Aonic 50 Bluetooth headphones feature active noise cancelling to ensure a consistently immersive listening experience.

Sony WH-1000XM3 (€279)

Identical frequency response, Hi-Res Audio, touch sensitive interface… these excellent wireless noise-cancelling headphones (their ANC system is one of the best out there) offer a lot of advantages. Their ambient sound mode and lower weight than the Yamaha YH-E700s make them a formidable opponent. Especially since the very round and deep bass they deliver are quite similar to those of the Yamaha model. However, the YH-E700 headphones incorporate Siri and Google Assistant, a functionality absent in the Sony model.

Sony WH-1000XM3
Certified Hi-Res Audio, the Sony WH-1000XM3 Bluetooth headphones are also suited to listening to high definition audio.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal (€499)

The B&O Beoplay Portal headphones are more conventional aesthetically and have a less extensive frequency response. They include Dolby Atmos technology and are therefore compatible with Xbox and Windows 10. The Yamaha YH-L700A headphones are just as good when it comes to spatialized sound, with a very comprehensive and immersive 3D surround mode. The epic bass and the autonomy of the Yamaha model allow it to outclass its competitor.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal
Very versatile, the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal Bluetooth headphones can be used with a games console and during your daily commute.

Dali IO-6 (€399)

Admittedly, the Dali IO-6 headphones have a more attractive design. 100 euros cheaper than the Yamaha YH-L700A, equipped with a longer battery life (60h) and larger transducers (2”), they appear to be an interesting alternative. However, their frequency range is narrower and their ANC system less powerful. Lacking foldable ear cups and a 3D surround mode, they can’t match the Yamaha YH-L700A headphones’ practicality or features.

Dali IO-6
The Dali IO-6 headphones provide 30 hours of autonomy with noise cancelling and 60 hours without.

Yamaha YH-E700 and YH-L700A: who are they for?

The Yamaha YH-E700 and YH-L700A are sure to please the most discerning users looking for comfortable and powerful Bluetooth headphones. They’ll also appeal to those looking for powerful noise cancelling in all kinds of environments, as well as to listeners who use a DAC or headphone amplifier at home or at work. In wired mode, the Yamaha YH-E700 and YH-L700A provide excellent musicality and great versatility. Moreover, the Yamaha YH-L700As are ideal for those who use Bluetooth headphones with their TV to enjoy optimal spatialization with video games and movies.

Yamaha YH-E700 and YH-L700A: conclusion

Well designed, featuring elegant finishes and equipped with large padded ear cups, the Yamaha YH-E700 and YH-L700A headphones are remarkably comfortable. While the Yamaha YH-E700s suit all head shapes, the headband of the YH-L700As seemed a bit big. Both wireless headphones provide a rather balanced and natural sound reproduction. There is some concern that their very powerful and deep bass may spill over into other frequency ranges. However, their midrange remains textured and their highs are often rich in detail.

Another strength of the Yamaha YH-E700 and YH-L700A is their effective noise cancelling in all circumstances. It even guarantees an increased spatialization. The use of a sedentary hi-fi source such as a headphone amplifier is also possible with both headsets. Worth mentioning are the excellent 3D surround modes, exclusive to the Yamaha YH-L700A, which justify the price difference between the two models.

We liked

  • The designs
  • Their versatility 
  • The depth of the bass
  • The comfort
  • The spatialization (in particular with the 3D surround modes of the YH-L700A)

We would have liked

  • For there to have been no hiss with the ANC
  • Easier to use buttons (Yamaha YH-L7000A)
  • A smaller headband (Yamaha YH-L700A)

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Après quelques années dans la presse ciné (La Septième Obsession, L’E.F.…), j’ai rejoint l’équipe de Son-Vidéo.com en 2021. Mordu de musique (rock, soul, jazz…) et de septième art (Herzog, Kubrick, P.T. Anderson…), je découvre l’univers de la hi-fi et du home-cinéma entre curiosité et fascination. En attendant de trouver la place pour profiter de mes vinyles (Zappa, Talking Heads…), je peux compter sur mes enceintes Sonos One. L’occasion d’explorer les plateformes de musique dématérialisée, à la croisée souvent de PJ Harvey et Coltrane.

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