Yamaha, a brand founded by Torakusu Yamaha in Japan in 1887, has diversified its presence over the past century. Besides its renowned expertise in music and audio-related products, Yamaha has ventured into various fields, including motorcycles, engines, network products, sporting goods, and even construction, demonstrating proficiency in each.
As Yamaha continues to expand in musical instruments and audio, its influence can be seen across a spectrum, from traditional Western instruments to modern digital pianos and electric guitars, as well as professional sound equipment, consumer-grade speakers, and headphones.
So, how has Yamaha achieved such widespread recognition? After experiencing the flagship-level wireless noise-canceling headphones, the YH-L700A, I have finally uncovered Yamaha’s “secret” to its success in various domains.
The Yamaha YH-L700A Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones offer a rich array of consumer features and functions. However, their ultimate goal is to provide users with clean, true-to-life, and exceptional sound quality, unlike other brands where noise cancellation can degrade audio quality, thus prioritizing the right aspects.
The monochrome outer packaging of the YH-L700A features a sliding design, with an inner flip-open box bearing the label “BRINGING YOU CLOSER TO THE ARTIST”.
This packaging not only exudes a trendy vibe but also briefly highlights the headphone’s key characteristics: wireless capability, support for aptX high-definition protocol, impressive battery life of up to 34 hours, and Advanced ANC technology, making it easy to understand at a glance. The back of the package provides a brief overview of other functions.
The headphones include essential accessories such as a USB power cable, a carrying case, a 3.5mm audio cable, and a flight adapter plug. The leather portable case offers a fine, smooth, and sturdy feel. It provides excellent protection for the headphones and features a small pocket on the left side for storing some accessories.
Upon opening the zipper of the portable case, the YAMAHA YH-L700A’s exterior design left me with a “memorable” impression. Besides Apple’s wireless over-ear headphones, which focus on wireless audio and have a minimalist product line, the YH-L700A stands out among traditional audio manufacturers’ wireless over-ear headphones.
Its somewhat oval-shaped ear cup design with fabric ear cushions reminded me of Yamaha’s flagship Soavo speakers, a unique and avant-garde touch.
Unlike some wireless noise-canceling headphones I’ve used before, which opt for a minimalist look by eliminating adjustable connection pivots, the YH-L700A takes a different approach.
It employs an over-ear design and offers an adjustable headband design with multiple settings, a flexible 90° flat-lying ear cup angle adjustment, ergonomic tilt angles, and a comfortable fabric-wrapped headband. These features are more comfortable than similar noise-canceling headphones with moderate pressure on the ears.
Some users who strongly prefer a “minimalist style” may argue that headphones without physical buttons represent the future. However, those who have experienced touch-sensitive controls on the side of ear cups often find them complex and prone to accidental touches. The YH-L700A, on the other hand, incorporates physical buttons, effectively addressing the learning curve and accidental touch issues.
For instance, the ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) button is conveniently placed on the left side for easy access. In contrast, volume adjustment and function switching buttons are covered with raised leather for a natural and ergonomic feel.
While I’ve provided more detail in the brand and design introduction, it’s worth noting that the YH-L700A isn’t just adopting ready-made solutions like some other audio manufacturers. Additionally, I noticed a small but significant detail – although many brands support aptX, only a few can adapt to Adaptive aptX.
While this technology has been around for a while, manufacturers must invest significant time in adaptation and overall tuning, improving their research and development adaptability.
The Yamaha YH-L700A Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones incorporate an intriguing feature known as “3D Sound Field with Head Tracking.” This feature utilizes Yamaha’s CINEMA DSP processing technology, commonly used in home theater products, to transform a 2-channel audio system into a multi-channel experience. After carefully evaluating this feature, it can be summarized in one sentence: it feels like having a home theater inside your headphones.
This function works its magic particularly well with older audio sources. In the standard mode, the soundstage is decent horizontally, but there might be some constraint vertically, giving a somewhat confined feeling with a monitoring vibe. However, when I switched to the “Concert Hall” mode, the soundstage expanded significantly. It added depth and a rich sense of verticality.
For instance, tap dancers’ lively and crisp footsteps could be heard approaching from the bottom and moving closer, with a balanced spatial distance that resembles what you’d hear sitting in the third or fourth row of a concert hall—authentic and natural.
Watching movies also provides a strong sense of immersion. I recommend trying this feature with movies with large-scale scenes, such as scenes with gunfire and explosions, using the “Cinema” mode. For example, I recall a scene from the movie “Saving Private Ryan” where soldiers carry wounded comrades through a war zone.
In this scene, the gunfire and artillery blasts were presented three-dimensionally, surrounding the listener from front to back, left to right, creating a highly immersive experience.
I’ve been immersed in various vocal performances recently, so let me discuss a few tracks I frequently listen to. The first is “Angry And Dead Again,” primarily a guitar-driven track. Apart from its excellent width in soundstage representation, the low, mid, and high frequencies on these wireless noise-canceling headphones sound natural and balanced and extend well in the high-frequency range.
This is particularly evident in the strumming sections towards the end. While it is aggressive, the sounds are still well-arranged, not crossing or overlapping. Moreover, it doesn’t compromise other frequency ranges to make the imaging overly sharp; instead, it enhances the high-frequency texture by adding overtones and some harmonic richness.
Additionally, this sound presentation is accurate and healthy due to the excellent sense of spatial dimension and appropriate soundstage distance in the high frequencies, a substantial sense of volume and elasticity in the bass frequencies, and the right amount of reverb.
These headphones perform effortlessly when playing tracks that demand equipment to handle dynamics and transients well, such as those featuring the violin. In terms of dynamics, the alternating sounds of striking wooden boards and guitar strums create clear and pronounced changes in volume, allowing you to feel the dynamics of the entire setup distinctly.
As for transients, the impact and response speed of the low-frequency section are clean and precise, without any muddiness or delay.
On the track “Hello,” the mid-frequency vocals are placed prominently. Adele’s voice has a substantial density; if the equipment fails to represent that density well, it can make her voice sound younger and less soulful. During my listening sessions, these headphones delivered a high level of vocal density in the mid-frequency range.
Consequently, they effectively conveyed her melodic, soulful, and melancholic vocals. Furthermore, the sibilance that often troubles audiophiles was nearly non-existent, and there was virtually no graininess. Therefore, the mid-frequency performance was remarkably smooth and lively.
This innovative and unique computational method uses signals collected by built-in microphones to analyze and calculate which parts of the noise should be removed from the played music signal, ultimately leaving only the noise-canceled portion.
When listening in real-life situations, I can also feel its distinctive features. When the noise-canceling feature is activated, you can sense that the surrounding noise is effectively eliminated. Meanwhile, the sound within the headphones, including clarity, volume, spatial depth, and more, remains unchanged from the sound quality you experience in a quiet environment with noise-canceling turned off. Furthermore, high and low frequencies are not attenuated, ensuring an authentic sound experience.
Moreover, another exclusive cutting-edge feature is “Intelligent Ear Recognition for Sound Quality Optimization.” I recommend activating this feature directly through the mobile app after enabling noise-canceling. Based on my experience, a moment during my commute when wearing the headphones while walking or catching a bus caused a slight shift in the headphones. I then noticed some audio leakage and a misalignment in sound.
After activating the “LISTENING OPTIMIZER” option and waiting for approximately fifteen seconds, I observed an improvement in noise-canceling effectiveness, and the sound alignment issue was resolved. Later, I learned that this is because the headphones measure the seal and audio leakage of different ear shapes every 20 seconds, optimizing playback quality in real-time. The most crucial aspect is that this process occurs seamlessly, without noticeable disruptions.
I recommend enabling the “Listening Care” feature for those who frequently commute outdoors. This adaptive adjustment utilizes data from the past 5 seconds and calculates the average volume level every 0.7 milliseconds. It then dynamically adjusts the music playback based on the ambient noise levels to protect your ears effectively.
the Yamaha YH-L700A Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones are a true marvel of audio technology. With their cutting-edge Advanced ANC system, they not only silence the world around you but also preserve the purity of your music, delivering an immersive and authentic listening experience. The Intelligent Ear Recognition for Sound Quality Optimization is a game-changer, ensuring seamless, real-time adjustments for optimal audio quality.
Whether on a bustling commute or enjoying a quiet moment at home, these headphones precisely adapt to your environment. The “Listening Care” feature demonstrates Yamaha’s commitment to your hearing health, making them an ideal choice for daily use.
From design to performance, the YH-L700A stands out with its attention to detail, comfort, and a soundstage that rivals a live concert. If you’re searching for premium headphones that excel in noise cancellation and audio quality, the Yamaha YH-L700A should be at the top of your list. Elevate your listening experience – it’s time to indulge in audio excellence.
- 3D Sound Field with head tracking: experience movies and videos on your mobile device with cinema-like sound that immerses you in the action, at home or on the go
- Listening Optimizer: optimizes the sound in real time, adapting to you and your environment
- Advanced ANC: Cut the noise, not the music with this Yamaha-exclusive Active Noise-Cancelling technology that leaves your music pure and untouched