Yamaha YH-L700A Review

by: Gabby Bloch
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Yamaha YH-L700A Review

The Yamaha YH-L700A is probably one of the more unique Bluetooth headphones on the market today. The original retail price is somewhat expensive (though the price periodically drops) when you compare it to models like the Sennheiser Momentum 4 and Sony WH-1000XM4. What kind of special technology and feature set does it offer? And does it deliver superior sound?

What’s in the Box?

  • Yamaha YH-L700A headphones
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Hard carrying case
  • 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable
  • Flight adapter

Yamaha YH-L700A Review: What's in the box?

Look and Feel

These are some cool and unique looking cans. The have a solid, almost industrial design. Everything from the earpads to the yolk and headband are thick and sturdy. And I would feel comfortable throwing these headphones in my backpack without a case. They not only fold flat, but also pack into a portable little bundle. They have a little weight to them, and feel heavier than some other leading brands, like the Sony WH-1000XM4.

Although the YH-L700A are comfortable to wear, it took me a while to adjust the angles of the cups in order to get a good seal because the ear cups too easily rotate. So you might have to play around with the positioning when you first try them on.

Yamaha YH-L700A Review: Build Quality

Yamaha YH-L700A Review: Folds

YH-L700A Design and Functionality

Controls

Unlike most Bluetooth headphones these days, which use touch sensors, Yamaha has gone with trusty ol’ buttons, which I actually prefer. You’ll get all the usual functionality, including play/pause, track-skipping, call answering, etc. In addition, the YH-L700A offers a 3D mode, which I will discuss below.

Bluetooth

The Yamaha-L700A supports Bluetooth 5.0 and can handle hi-res codecs, including aptX Adaptive. It was also quick and easy to pair the headphones with my iPhone.

Battery

The battery is less than mind-blowing, providing only 34 hours of total playback time. And you’ll get even less than that if you're using ANC on or one of the 3D modes (explained below).

Active Noise Cancellation

The noise cancellation its decent. You’ll hear less hum from your heater or airplane/subway. But don’t expect to be fully isolated from outside noise. I still heard my colleagues typing and eating chips from across the room.

Call Clarity

The call quality is very clean. The caller comes through with a touch of added bass to their tone, but there was little noticeable ambient sound. So full points here.

Extra Features

One fun and unique feature of this headphones is the 3D mode, which allows you to switch through various types of soundstages, including indoor concert hall, outdoor concert events and music videos amongst others.

But unlike other wireless headphones in this price range, you won’t get a dedicated app with an equalizer. This might be a drawback for some, but personally, I think headphones should sound perfect out of the box without you having to fiddle with them.

Yamaha YH-L700A Review: What is the new technology?

YH-L700A Tone and Frequency Response

Soundstage

As mentioned above, there are a few soundstage settings to choose from. But I kept these setting off for the purpose of this review.

The YH-L700A present an impressively multidimensional soundscape for a wireless headphone in this price range. Mainly due to the clean layering of these cans, the imaging is very precise. And although any sense of depth seems mostly limited to the stereo field, you’ll definitely sense some height and nuanced variations across the horizontal axis. The scale of the stage may not feel as big as the Momentum 4 for example, but the colorful placement makes up for the lack of expansiveness. And in general, the soundstage may be the first thing that strikes you about these cleverly executed soundscapes.

Low-End

There’s some serious sub-bass going on here, and the bass has some significant power. At the same time, it feels tastefully balanced and avoids creeping into the higher frequencies. And in general, the bass seems a little more disciplined than it does on competing brands, like the Momentum 4 and Sony WH-1000. It sounds as rich as it does clean and detailed. Acoustic instruments feel relatively natural and not overly saturated. And though the low-end doesn’t present itself as tight as it does in the higher frequencies, it’s still well-controlled and reasonably fast.

Mids

You’ll hear slight emphasis in the upper mids, though the low mids also come out loud clear. So, it’s a full-bodied profile that also gives dynamic push to pop tracks and female vocals in particular. Indeed, these cans have tons of energy and feel quite fast and tight. Simply put, they make you feel like getting off your ass. The upper mids have a comparatively light and slender feel when juxtaposed to the weighty low end. So, it’s a nice contrast, which also adds to the active feel of the sound signature.

The separation within singular instruments is great even in the low mids, where bass heavy headphones can often get a little muddy. And the layering feels clean and well delineated.

Highs

Lots of sparkle and presence in the high frequencies, giving ample crispness to fast, funky tracks. Vocals are a pleasure to listen to, providing an airy and buoyant quality to powerhouses like Rihanna and Whitney Houston. That being said, the highs aren’t for the lighthearted, and trumpets and violins in the treble peaks can sound a bit…Well, peaky.

Summary

The YH-L700A is a really entertaining headphone with skillful sound and a versatile soundstage(s). But it may also be an expensive option, considering that competing brands offer more battery life and accompanying apps for similar style Bluetooth headphones. That being said, its unique design and innovative experimentation with sound makes it an attractive choice for those looking for something different.

You can buy the Yamaha YH-L700A at Audio46 or click the button below to add direct to cart:

 

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