Review: Yamaha YH-E700B

Basic headphones at a premium price

We liked the powerful sound of its predecessor. But with the YH-E700B, Yamaha has made some unnecessary changes. And not for the better.

Published 28 March 2024 - 8:00 am
Yamaha YH-E700B
Geir Nordby

We were very pleasantly surprised by the Yamaha YH-E700A when it won our group test against several major competitors. The successor YH-E700B has a new look and is said to have improved noise cancellation and voice quality, among other things.

The latest version has an oval fit where its predecessor was circular. The bars that hold the devices to the headband look like inbuilt microphones. This gives the YH-E700A a slightly special look.

The weight is almost 100 grams more than the Bose Ultra Headphones and Sony WH-1000XM5, both of which are among the competitors Yamaha has to compete with in the price range.

Yamaha YH_E700B_black lying
(Photo: Yamaha)

Better speech sound

The YH-E700B features Qualcomm’s Clear Voice Capture technology, which cancels echo and suppresses background noise through the microphone during calls. In other words – better call audio.

The YH-E700B also has a more advanced form of what they call Listening Care, which provides fuller sound when playing quietly. The Audio EQ is now more intelligent, so it reproduces more nuances in the soundstage, regardless of the sound level.

Yamaha YH_E700B_beige
Beige, for those who don’t want black. (Photo: Yamaha)


Noise cancellation

Noise cancellation has improved over its predecessor, with more effective suppression of low-frequency noise. But where many competitors now use microphones on both the outside and inside, Yamaha only uses microphones on the outside of each ear cup.

Also check out The best sound

Are you looking for a pair of extremely well-sounding headphones? Here they are! Then the noise cancellation will be a bonus.

Instead, Yamaha handles noise reduction and ambient sound with a better algorithm in the signal processor (DSP) so that noise can be cancelled without affecting the music.

Yamaha YH-E700B Geir
(Photo: Geir Gråbein Nordby)

The fit

While the predecessor fitted snugly and comfortably around my ears, this is unfortunately not the case with these. Instead of wrapping around the ears, this time both ear cups are shrunken and have such thick cushions that they stay on the outside of the ears. In this particular case, thicker cushions are therefore not an advantage.

Yamaha has marvellously managed to combine a fit that squeezes quite hard against the ears – especially when wearing glasses – with a very loose fit when moving your head. In fact, they are so wobbly that they fall off easily with a slight shake of the head. It doesn’t take many minutes before my ears start to hurt.

Yamaha YH-E700B badfit
Oops – they fell off. (Video: Geir Gråbein Nordby)

The sound of the Yamaha YH-E700B

The music sounds energetic enough. But where its predecessor was juicy and rich in bass, Yamaha has now boosted the upper bass range too much in these headphones. Fortunately, they have a good EQ in the app. None of the presets work well for my ears, so I go straight to User1 and set it there, on a 5-band equaliser.

I lower the upper bass range slightly while boosting the lower bass accordingly. By moving the energy down in frequency, I get the fullness I was missing while avoiding the ugly discolouration in the upper range. At the same time, by pulling the centre of the midrange up a little, voices and instruments come out clearer. I also raise the treble a little, which is otherwise too restrained.

The sound is now perfectly fine, with Kacey Musgraves’ guitar on the new song Deeper Well going from sounding locked in to sounding just fine. However, I can never quite get it to sound the way I want it to. It’s not very crisp either. Sia and Kylie Minogue’s duet Dance Alone is a typical electronic dance pop song, but it doesn’t quite get the dance muscles moving.

Yamaha YH_E700B lifestyle - 2 colors
(Photo: Yamaha)

Noise handling and call quality

I didn’t quite fall in love with the noise cancellation in the YH-E700A. This has improved somewhat in the YH-E700B. Especially in the low frequencies. But it’s still in the middle of the pack compared to its competitors and is beaten by the best from Bose, Sony and Sennheiser.

The ambient mode, on the other hand, works really well. Sounds from outside come through very clearly, and it’s especially nice to be out in the woods listening to birds chirping, which can be heard clearly – even through the music if you don’t play it too loud.

I would also highlight the call quality as a plus. When I use the Yamaha headphones, the receiver can hear me more clearly than through many other headphones. Including the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones, I would say. In addition to sounding clear, the voice is natural. Something you can’t say about the Bose model.

(Photo: Yamaha)


The Yamaha YH-E700B is a pair of headphones that does some things well, but also some things not so well.

The call sound is very good, as is the ambient sound when using them. The noise cancellation works well enough and the sound doesn’t change significantly when you activate noise control.

What drags it down is the sound of music, which is both coloured and unengaging until you go into the app and adjust the EQ. Then it can be made much better, but it’s still never quite where the journalist wants it to be.

Another annoyance is the fit. For such a rickety fit, I have to say that the ear cups are pushing hard. Spectacle wearers, be warned.

Yamaha YH-E700B

We think

Good speech quality. Sound quality is preserved even when noise cancelling is activated. Good ambient sound. Can play quite loud. Coloured bass, insufficient treble. Squeezes hard on the ears, especially when wearing glasses. Yet they are very wobbly and fall off easily. Only decent noise cancellation.

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