Yamaha's new high-end over-ear headphones look poised to compete against the AirPods Max

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(Pocket-lint) - Yamaha’s latest over-ear headphones are aimed directly at the high-end sector of the wireless audio market, as the company's newest offering, the Yamaha YH-L700A, bring premium features to the table that position them in a prime placement to take on competing offerings such as Apple’s AirPods Max

One of the most significant features headphone companies can offer nowadays is some version of directional audio, something Apple dubs spatial audio, where audio can genuinely sound as if it were playing directly ahead of you. Meaning, if you turn your head to the right, the sound output changes and causes your right ear to flood with audio at a greater rate than that of your left ear - just as if you were listening to a "real" concert taking place on a small stage in front of you. 

All of this is also sometimes referred to as 3D audio, and Yamaha is hoping to out-do its competitors with their own proprietary method of creating immersive three dimensional soundscapes. 

Whereas Apple's spatial audio exclusively works on iOS devices, Yamaha's 3D Sound Field is able to convert any stereo sound into a multi-channel output, meaning that the headphones can offer 3D audio on both iOS and Android, regardless of whether the track has yet been mastered in Dolby Atmos - a requirement for Apple’s spatial audio to function. 

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Of course, it almost goes without saying the Yamaha YH-L700A's also have active noise cancellation, which this year Yamaha is referring to as "advanced ANC". 

As for battery life, the company says users should expect around 34 hours of total listening time on a single charge, nearly double that of the 20 hours of power touted on the AirPods Max

The Yamaha YH-L700A is now available in both the United States and the United Kingdom for a retail price of $499 / £449, respectively. 

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Writing by Alex Allegro. Originally published on 25 August 2021.

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