I’m quite familiar with Bose’s products, and their history of aggressive patents and lawsuits. Their higher price does cover R and D costs, sure, but you’re also paying for their extreme marketing budget and their expensive lawyers.
I’ve enjoyed several of their headphones in the past, though I personally think that Sony’s 1000X series has slightly better noise canceling, and measurements back that up.
The NC 700 is a disappointment because it brings nothing new to the table outside better phone call performance and a fifty dollar price increase. The SoundSurge 46 comes remarkably close to the Bose/Sony level of noise reduction for substantially less money.
Bose shouldn’t rest on their proverbial laurels any more, as their competitors aren’t just close to catching up; they’re banging down the door. They need to do better than the retro-kitsch design and better call mics of the 700 if they want to retain their position as a market leader, in my personal opinion.