Yamaha YH-L700A Wireless Headphones Bring Spatial Audio, Head Tracking, And Other High-End Tech

Some people choose headphones based on their sound profile and audio quality. Others look for cans with cutting-edge tech to enjoy every modern convenience they can provide. And then there are folks who prefer headphones that deliver on both fronts. The Yamaha YH-L700A is designed for that latter group.

If you like your headphones with fancy tech onboard, there’s no shortage of that here. Active noise cancellation? Check. Tracking your head’s position in the 3D space and adjusting the audio to deliver precise directional sound? Check. Automated fine tuning of sound settings to compensate for seal, air leakage, and your immediate surroundings on the fly? Yes, it has that, too.

The Yamaha YH-L700A is a pair of wireless over-the-ear headphones housing 40mm dynamic drivers that produce a frequency response of 8Hz to 40kHz, with closed swiveling ear cups for a flush fit and a folding swivel to more efficiently use space when it’s not in use. It communicates wirelessly via a Bluetooth 5 connection, while the onboard battery allows it to provide up to 34 hours of playback even with ANC running full time. While that makes it sound like plenty of wireless headphones out there, it’s all the other onboard features that really sets it apart.

Chief among them is 3D Sound Field, Yamaha’s version of directional audio, which can be activated by the single push of a button on the outer housing. According to the outfit, activating the feature will immerse the listener in 360-degree audio, with the system using 3D head tracking via an onboard gyroscope to make specific sounds feel like they’re coming from very precise directions, as opposed to simply throwing sound straight down a user’s ear canal like any standard two-channel setup. That makes it ideal for watching movies, listening to live shows, and watching outdoor concert videos, with the headphones offering seven individual 3D sound settings for the optimal listening experience.

The Yamaha YH-L700A also has an auto-optimizing feature that utilizes microphones to make measurements every 20 seconds, which it uses to analyze various factors that affect the sound, such as ear pad seal, air leakage, and ambient noise. From there, it fine-tunes the sound to correct any difference between the source and the existing listening condition, creating a customized sound that’s tailored to each individual listener at any given moment.

There’s also noise cancelling, of course, with the headphones using a unique new algorithm that separates the signal processing for background noise and the actual audio, allowing it to suppress environmental noise without the need to apply any actual processing to the audio signal, with the option to allow ambient sounds for those times you want to listen to something in your environment without removing the headphones.  Other features include an intelligent equalization that delivers full-range sound at lower volumes to protect the listener’s hearing, voice assistant compatibility (Siri and Google Assistant), a 3.5mm line input (for wired listening), physical button controls instead of touch, and a companion app (iOS and Android).

The Yamaha YH-L700A is available now, priced at $499.95.

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