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Yamaha has announced the imminent release of its high-end Bluetooth headset. In addition to active noise reduction, the YH-L700A features the integration of a number of technologies including a 3D soundfield system, all for €499.

While 3D sound music has been on everyone’s mind since the integration of Dolby Atmos into Apple Music, Yamaha is joining the party by introducing its new high-end mobile headphones, the YH-L700A, featuring a built-in 3D surround virtualization system.

This 3D audio compatibility is based on Yamaha’s proprietaryupmix technologies, originally developed for the brand’s audio/video amplifiers and soundbars, allowing a stereo signal to be “transformed” into a spatialized signal. In this, Yamaha’s headphone strategy differs from that employed by Apple’s AirPods Pro and Max: the latter don’t risk any stereo to spatial audio conversion and only apply their immersive processing to sources already mixed in 5.1, 7.1 or Dolby Atmos. Conversely, the YH-L700A can’t receive any other format than simple 2.0 stereo on its various connectors, and therefore relies solely on its built-in upmix for spatialization. On the quality of this upmix will thus very largely depend that of the final result.

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Yamaha has also filled its headphones with features mainly focused on optimizing the sound rendering and the efficiency of the noise reduction. The Japanese brand says it has fine-tuned the latter so that only external noise is cancelled out and the music rendition is not degraded as can be the case with some headphones – a problem we rarely see in our tests, but let’s move on. The YH-L700A has the same sound optimisation features as all the brand’s recent headphones: the Listening Optimizer aims to adjust the sound in real time according to the user’s morphology, while the Listening Care applies an automatic equaliser according to the volume of listening to preserve the dynamics of the music.

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Beyond these numerous features, the YH-L700A has an atypical look with its plastic and fabric casing, its earpieces abandoning the classic oval shape for a rectangular design quite rare on the market. The earpieces are adjustable and swivel for greater comfort and a more comfortable fit.easy to use. The headphones are particularly heavy, weighing in at 330g, while the WH-1000XM4 weighs just 255g. The YH-L700A features Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity and is compatible with SBC, AAC and aptX Adaptive codecs. It also features a mini-jack input.

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The headset is controllable via touch surfaces on the ear cups that manage calls, control music and trigger the connected phone’s assistant. Yamaha claims a battery life of 34 h with noise reduction enabled and a recharge time of 3 h 30 min through a USB-C port.

The YH-L700A will go on sale during August 2021 for €499.