Bose is famous as perhaps the world’s preeminent consumer producer of audio technology, be it headphones, speakers, home theater systems, or anything that makes sound. After popularizing wireless headphones over the years, Bose has recently released the brand new QC35 wireless headphones. This review will help you assess whether these headphones are right for you.
The Bose Quietcomfort 35 headphones are Bose’s most advanced headphones. Not only are they Bose’s best sounding headphones, they are also wireless and noise canceling. All these features contribute to their $350 list price. The QC35 has a built-in battery that charges through micro-USB, with a life of around 20 hours. Helpfully, each time you turn on the headphones, a voice tells you your battery percentage. The headphones come in a nice case which helps you protect your investment. For those who do not want to carry a backpack or purse, you’re stuck putting them around your neck–or simply carrying the case.
First things first, the noise canceling feature is top-notch. However, if you’re new to noise canceling, know that it will not block out all sounds. Noise cancellation technology works by detecting ambient noise and then playing the exact opposite noise. These two sounds cancel each other out, and it sounds like silence. Thus, this technology will really only work with repeating sounds. Think the hum of distant traffic, an air conditioner, or the classic example: airplane noise.
At this job, the QC 35 truly excels. They really do result in a much quieter experience, no matter where you are. I tried these at home, and was certain I was already in silence. Then, I put on the QC35. Wow. The AC, the hum of the refrigerator, all of these slightly imperceptible sounds were silenced.
I tried them walking around the city, and I was also pleasantly surprised. Large noises like car horns were audible, but the general hum of the city was reduced. It was actually a great balance. I could hear enough to be safe, but not enough to be annoyed by everyone around me.
For all of you worried whether wireless was going to be annoying, or a problem, fear not. I shared these worries, but now that I have gone wireless I am never, ever going back to wires. Apple was totally justified in axing the iPhone 7 headphone jack. Wireless is simply a better solution. Sure, you have to charge the headphones, but aside from this minor inconvenience, the benefits of wireless are clear. Better mobility, no annoying wire sounds, and no untangling wires. Plus, you don’t even have to charge if you don’t want to–the headphones come included with a detachable wire that you can attach to them if you have forgotten to charge the headphones. It truly is the best of both worlds.
These headphones come with a one year worldwide warranty. I’ve owned multiple pairs of Bose headphones in the past, and I have often used them every single day. Occasionally I’ve had problems with the units, but I’ve never had problems with the Bose warranty department. If an issue arose, I simply called them up, and they would often hook me up with a free replacement unit. While these are not cheap headphones–as we discuss below–I think you need to factor in the fact that Bose customer service is generally fantastic.
The only problem with these headphones is cost. At $350, these are not cheap. If that’s not a problem for your budget, I enthusiastically recommend these. If you’re on the fence, as I was before I purchased them, I have a couple tips that might help you make a decision. If you see yourself using these headphones every day, or if you are a heavy traveler, I think it is worth it to shell out the cash. These headphones work great, feel great, and have great sound regardless of whether you are actually using the noise canceling feature or not. If you’re a very casual user on a budget, these are probably not the right choice for you.
If you’re the type of person who likes to listen to music, or even simply block out the world while working, these headphones may be a great choice. I often find myself walking around with them on, simply to enjoy a slightly quieter experience. They are also valuable for work, although as noted earlier, they will only partially block out noise. I’ve gotten great value out of these headphones and I do think they have made my working and writing experience more enjoyable. If you are an artist or someone who frequently moves while working, these headphones have the added benefit of being wireless.
The one area these headphones are not ideal for is working out. While it is possible to use these while doing limited activity like light weightlifting or slowly using the elliptical, these headphones are prone to falling off if you find yourself horizontal. (It doesn’t present a problem while sleeping/resting, just while moving around as you are likely to do while working out.) They’re also a bit too bulky for running, and wont fit under your bike helmet (of course).
Where to Buy
Decided to take the plunge? Your ears will thank you. The QC 35’s are available from Bose, on Amazon, or at your favorite electronics retailer. If you’re thinking of buying a bluetooth speaker, you should check out our UE Megaboom review.