Yamaha’s Asia/Pacific division just announced a brand-new set of headphones, the YH-L700A
. This high-powered set of true wireless headphones is packed with the latest audio tech from Yamaha and is positioned to be a true competitor to Apple’s AirPods Max.
The YH-L700A hasn’t had a formal US announcement yet. That means pricing and release date are still to be determined. What’s more, no one in the tech press has actually listened to these headphones yet. While there’s a lot that remains to be seen, early impressions are positive.
Here’s what you need to know about Yamaha’s new YH-L700A headphones, plus how they stack up against Apple’s AirPods Max
— on paper, at least.
In the market for premium headphones? Make sure to protect them with an Upsie extended warranty
. More on this later on.
Two Pairs of Premium True Wireless Headphones
The Yamaha YH-L700A and AirPods Max are definitely in the same category. These are both beefy, powerful true wireless headphones with hefty price tags to match. They both deliver sound via dual 40mm drivers and Apple advertises dual-neodymium ring magnet motors in addition. Both offer latest-gen connectivity (albeit only Apple has the H1 chip for better connection with Apple devices). In addition, both support Hi-Res audio over a wired connection.
The comparisons don’t stop there. Both pairs of headphones boast premium design and materials. Whichever one you choose, you’ll stand out from the pack.
Lastly, and most importantly, both sets feature active noise cancellation (ANC) and spatial audio. Here’s where the differences start to grow in importance as well.
Differing Approaches to Active Noise Cancellation
Apple’s AirPods Max does a great job at ANC, with Sound Guys
giving them a “best in class” rating for this important area, beating out impressive sets from Bose and Sony. The on-device button toggles between ANC and Transparency mode. The latter lets in more outside sound than you’d get just wearing the headphones without ANC. If you’re using AirPods Max with an iOS device, you can also toggle the setting to “off.”
Yamaha offers something it calls Advanced Active Noise Cancellation. The trick here is using two microphones, one inside the ear cup and one outside, for even more ANC capability. There’s also an Ambient Sound mode which more or less matches Apple’s Transparency mode.
Will Yamaha’s approach unseat Apple as the current best in class? Time will tell.
Spatial Audio and 3D Sound Field
The other big difference between the two sets is how they handle spatial audio. Apple was first to market with this feature, keeping certain audio elements in the same “location” even when you turn your head. Just about everyone who uses this feature declares it amazing. However, it’s far from universal at this point.
Apple’s spatial audio relies on Dolby Atmos data, which isn’t present in many audio sources. Additionally, your ability to use spatial audio depends on pairing with another Apple device, which is a big drawback.
On the other hand, Yamaha has taken a very different approach
. Their 3D sound feature uses head tracking just like Apple’s, but it doesn’t rely on Dolby Atmos (in fact, it seems like the YH-L700A headphones don’t even support Dolby Atmos). Instead, the headphones use Yamaha’s custom Cinema DSP processing to convert stereo sound into spatially aware multi-channel audio — directly on the device.
The takeaway? Yamaha has brought 3D or spatial audio to any device or audio source, including Android. They’re the first to do it, and it’s an impressive achievement.
Here again, it’s still too early to judge real-world performance. But if Yamaha’s new tech lives up to the hype, it will be a true game-changer for non-Apple users.
Which Should You Buy: YH-L700A Headphones or AirPods Max
If you’re a committed Apple user, AirPods Max probably makes sense. The better connectivity and Apple integration is worth the premium cost. But for anyone else? Yamaha’s YH-L700A headphones are a seriously compelling alternative.
Premium YH-L700A Headphones Deserve Top-Notch Protection
If you’re picking up some premium true wireless headphones soon, congratulations on the awesome purchase! With an investment like this, the last thing you want is for your $500+ headphones to turn into a $500 paperweight after one bad drop or accident.
That’s why you need an extended headphone warranty
from Upsie. Upsie understands that stuff happens. Even high-end headphones can fail (or get dropped in the lake, or run over by a car, and so on). You don’t want to be on the hook for buying a new one if that happens.
With Upsie’s extended headphone warranties, you get quality coverage at a reasonable price. If your headphones are repairable, you can choose to send them in or take them to your favorite shop — even Apple itself if you’re rocking AirPods! If they aren’t repairable, Upsie will replace them, free of charge, on your first claim. If you have already made a claim, Upsie will cut you a check for the remaining value on your plan. Upsie covers unlimited repairs up to the cost of your headphones, too.
Enjoy the peace of mind that comes from being protected. Get Upsie now!
Learn More About Wireless Headphones: