Yamaha unveiled the YH-L700A, a pair of over-ear, noise-canceling headphones with spatial audio support. This feature uses head tracking to provide a more immersive listening experience.
The headphones have 40 mm drivers with a frequency response spanning the 8 Hz to 40 kHz range. These have a closed-back design and when connected through the 3.5 mm jack they support Hi-Res audio.
If you want to use them wire-free, they offer Bluetooth 5.0 with AAC and aptX Adaptive support. Dolby Atmos (or an alternative multi-channel format) doesn’t seem to be supported, however.
Instead the YH-L700A have the 3D Sound Field feature, which takes common stereo audio and simulates multi-channel content. There are several sound modes you can set using the companion app (available for Android and iOS).
Listening Optimizer uses a microphone on the inside of each ear cup to constantly monitor the sound you hear and customize the sound for optimal listening. Things like headphone fit and getting a good seal can affect the perceived sound, these are just the conditions that the Optimizer is listening for.
Yamaha claims that its Advanced Active Noise Cancellation is better than your run of the mill ANC, which can alter the sound while suppressing noise. Advanced ANC uses both an external and the internal microphones to remove just the noise without affecting the music. There is an Ambient Sound mode as well with a dedicated button to toggle it on and off.
Some frequencies are harder to hear at lower volume levels. Listening Care can boost just those frequencies to make them more audible without increasing the overall volume. It also monitors background noise and makes similar adjustments to ensure the right balance.
Battery life with ANC enabled is really good, 34 hours on a single charge. Recharging (using the supplied USB A-to-C cable) takes around 3 and a half hours. The 3D Sound Field feature is a huge battery drain, however, dropping total listening time (with ANC enabled) to just 11 hours.
The headphones weigh 330g and have a swivel/folding design, plus you get a hard carrying case to keep them safe. And you’ll want to, because these aren’t cheap.
The Yamaha YH-L700A will be available in August and will cost €520/£450. We also spotted them in Australia at AUD 700.
PS. in case you missed it, check out our write-up on lossless, Hi-Res and spatial audio.