Yamaha YH-E700B Wireless Headphones Review

Posted on 5th June, 2023

Yamaha YH-E700B Wireless Headphones Review

Matthew Jens auditions this feature-packed, attractively priced wireless over-ear headphone offering…


E700B Wireless Headphones

€399 RRP

Yamaha YH-E700B Review

Ever heard that old classic Yamaha joke? A person walks into a Yamaha store and says, “I would like to buy a piano”. The Yamaha rep replies, “Of course”. The person then quips, “Ah - actually, I also need to buy a motorcycle. Do you happen to know where I can find one?” Grinning, the rep replies, “Okay, well, you're not going to believe this but….”

Your favourite local motorcycle and piano vendor, Yamaha, has come bursting out of the gate with a full-blown revision of its flagship Bluetooth noise-cancelling headphones, with a spec sheet impressive enough to make the big brands nervous. The thing is, it has positioned these at a price point that undercuts the competition just enough to make it sting. 

If you wanted the equivalent Bose, Sennheiser or Sony model, the price increase is borderline negligible; however, if you were looking to compare this pricing to the equivalent Bowers & Wilkins or Apple products, forget about it! It's a crowded race, and the usual suspect flagships have all taken their spots on the grid. So has the Yamaha E700B done enough to deserve a spot on the podium?

Yamaha YH-E700B Review


When diving into the Yamaha website, the E700B is positioned under the umbrella of being a product specifically for portable music listening; the alternatives are 'personal theatre' or 'audiophile'. With this in mind, it's worth considering two main elements that make an excellent product for portable music - battery life and weight. Thankfully the E700B delivers here in spades…

Having a Goldilocks moment at 335 grams, the Yamaha is 40 grams heavier than the Sennheiser Momentum 4 but 50 grams lighter than the Apple AirPods Max. The weight is nicely distributed along the top of the head, and the clamping force is sufficiently firm. When worn on the head, the pads sit half on and half off my ears, which is not unusual for noise-cancelling headphones, but they seem exceptionally plush. Yamaha describes the pads as “elliptical”, but I would describe them as oval-shaped pleather, which reminds me of the old Fischer FA003 pads.

The build isn't as luxurious as the current Bowers or Bose offerings but is very easy on the eye (especially in white). The headband contains a soft faux leather pad, the pads are firm, and the buttons don't have much travel. All of this adds up to a lightweight experience that folds up neatly to eat up only a small amount of bag space but is less luxurious in hand.

Yamaha YH-E700B Review

But who needs luxurious experiences when we have such technical prowess under the hood? Great to see Bluetooth 5.2 included here; I had no issues with connection or range as a result. The aptX Adaptive codec is also very welcome, with the bonus of a low-latency gaming mode. I was pleased with the results when testing this out with some games on my Steam Deck; near-imperceptible latency is a rarity over Bluetooth.

Not just flexing in the codec department, the E700B also offers Advanced Adaptive Noise Cancelling, some crazy “tune the sound depending on the fit of your ear” technology, and a monstrous 32 hours of advertised battery life. Considering I only charged the headset once during the review period, I believe those figures. 

The drivers have been specifically matched, and the baffle has been overhauled to create a perfect mirror image between them. Yamaha says: “Both sides of the stereo image are perfectly balanced, with sound localisation fixed at the intended point – ensuring that the perceived position of each instrument and each sound, as well as the overall ambience of the music, can be flawlessly experienced.”

It's always nice to see a new proprietary listening setup when a new version of a headphone is released; usually, this department gets carried over from model to model, while the gadgets and back-end get all of the jazzing up. I'll also offer my kudos to Yamaha for allowing good old-fashioned 3.5mm headphone jack listening. Sadly, this feature is becoming less commonplace, making in-flight entertainment with headphones much more awkward.

Yamaha YH-E700B Review

When the time came to fire up the app, I again ran into what I call 'the Yamaha Conundrum'. There are two apps in the app store for Yamaha headphones; one is called 'Headphones Controller', and the other is 'Headphone Control'. If you're confused, watch out for the other Yamaha listening-related apps, 'AV Controller' and 'MusicCast Controller'…

Once I took a long sip of coffee and read the manual, I determined which app was correct and dove in. There I found some interesting nuggets – a five-band EQ, a gaming mode toggle, and something called 'listening care', which gives full-range sound at lower listening volumes. It works well enough, and this is likely some DSP magic inherited from Yamaha's home theatre lineup.

Controls on the headphone are delightfully intuitive – just hardware buttons for volume up and down, an ANC toggle and power, with no fiddly touch panels and no customisation. What you see is what you get, and I appreciate how direct, and to the point these are. This concept also carries through to connectivity; while the Bluetooth 5.2 connection is as strong as an ox with plenty of range, the E700B doesn't allow more than one connection at once. I would love to see multi-point options to keep pace with competitors in the next iteration.

Yamaha YH-E700B Review


It's hard not to remember the classic NS-10 studio monitors when listening to Yamaha products. There is a distinct sound signature target that many Yamaha transducers try to hit, which feels somewhat derivative of these original legendary small speakers.

With that in mind, firing up Better Days Will Come by Leaving Lauren seemed appropriate. The pairing was immaculate; the 40mm drivers of the E700B leaned into the soft, weepy piano notes, portraying them with a lean, neutral accuracy that did the piece justice without too much colouration or distortion. When the bass kicked in, the extension didn't quite reach down low as much as I was expecting, leaving me with a crisp, analytical presentation instead.

The E700B gives a solid, neat showing when presenting vocals, but the 40mm drivers don't provide an excellent rumble to make bass-heavy music shine, such as when listening to La Luh by Choomba. No matter, as thanks to the 5-band EQ in the app, I could dial this preference into the headphone and rumble away to my heart's content.

Yamaha YH-E700B Review

The 40mm drivers capture plenty of detail and dynamics, rendering an outstandingly lifelike quality to Sonatine by Chilla and Sofiane Pamart. It became apparent that acoustic and heavy vocal music makes this design shine. Not quite gentle but falling short of being anything close to piercing, this track plays to the E700 B's strength by combining pitch-perfect piano and vocals to create a wonderful harmony.

Active noise cancelling is an improvement over the E700 B's predecessor, and paired with the solid passive attenuation of the body of the headphone itself, it makes this a decent noise-cancelling experience overall. If you compare it directly to the more expensive competitors, it could be better, but it's an adequate offering that gets the job done.

It's a similar story with transparency mode; it works. It allows through a lot of the vocal range, arguably the most critical component of a pass-through option, but it won't be a full-frequency “I forgot I was wearing headphones” experience. However, it's perfect for letting in-flight announcements, listening out for the kids, or eavesdropping on the table next to you (if that's your thing).

Phone call quality is hard to pick fault with; from my testing, listeners on both ends of the calls had zero issues, even when out and about in a busy street. The microphone pickup pattern isn't perfectly centred on the listener, and some outside noise will still be let in. However, the E700B would be a perfect office companion with its excellent battery life and quick connection.

Yamaha YH-E700B Review


A super showing from Yamaha then, and a marked improvement on its E700A predecessor. The E700 B's Bluetooth 5.2, crazy-good battery life, handy low-latency gaming mode, Adaptive Noise Cancelling, and ear-fit tech make this an attractive choice at this price point.

It's refreshing to see physical hardware buttons and a 3.5mm jack, but disappointing to miss out on multi-point connectivity and any control customisation. The Adaptive Noise Cancelling is good but falls short of its competitors. However, the pricing makes up for these shortfalls. 

It's a crowded race, and the usual suspect flagships have all taken their spots on the grid. Yamaha's new E700B may fall shy of a podium finish but has left its predecessor in the rearview mirror. Make no mistake, Yamaha is racing in the grand prix and not the sprint race - proving it has the potential to, one day, take home the trophy.

For more information visit Yamaha

      Matthew Jens's avatar

      Matthew Jens

      Constantly keeping himself busy, Matthew is a production manager, Brazilian jiu-jitsu blue belt, Head-Fi fanatic, coffee enthusiast and all-round cool Dad.

      Posted in:Headphones Headphones Over / On Ear Noise Cancelling Bluetooth / Wireless
      Tags: yamaha 


      Want to share your opinion or get advice from other enthusiasts? Then head into the Message Forums where thousands of other enthusiasts are communicating on a daily basis.