A few weeks ago, I went to the doctor with an ear infection. It turns out it was probably to do with my AirPods Pro, which fit just a little bit too snugly into my ear canal. (After some Googling, I've learned that this is actually a surprisingly common reaction. Boo, hiss.) I've been banned from wearing earbuds for the foreseeable future. I loved the simplicity of my AirPods, but I've had to figure something else out.
My first thought was to look at AirPods Max, because apparently I'm a sucker for Apple to the point where even causing a biological risk to my hearing isn't that big a deal. But they take over six weeks to deliver. I also spend, on average, four to five hours in video calls every single day (yes, it's everything you think it is, and as productive as you worry it isn't). So I needed to find something fast.
I settled on the Bose NC 700 HPs. They're noise-canceling (check), wireless (check), have a microphone (check), and work pretty well within the Apple ecosystem (check). The price tag is a little bit on the eye-watering side, but given how much use I would get out of them, I figured it would be worth it.
So far: audio quality is beautiful. I want to fall asleep listening to music on them. Noise canceling works really well. But the bluetooth connectivity and the microphone both need a bunch of work. I'm constantly having to re-pair with my devices (I have a work laptop, a home laptop, a phone and a tablet) and people are continually telling me that the microphone is too quiet. So the bottom line is, for my use case, that it needs work. I can use the built-in system microphone, but for an audio device that comes in at just under $400, I really shouldn't have to. I've also had feedback that the ear cushions wear out really fast. I haven't noticed that yet, but I've only had them for a few weeks.
I'd love feedback and advice. What do you use? Do you have anything you really love? Does what I'm looking for even exist? Or am I doomed to follow Apple everywhere? Let me know.