The Bose QC35’s are the companies latest flagship noise cancelling headphones and they don’t disappoint. Bose has been the first name in noise cancelling headphones for a considerable amount of time and the Quiet Comfort QC35’s are an example of years of design refinement and engineering.
The first thing you notice when you pick up the Bose QC35’s is how incredibly lightweight they are, weighing just 234g. The headband is wrapped in Alcantara which according to the Bose website is used in yachts and high end automobiles. The ear cups themselves are made from a faux leather which are incredibly comfortable even after hours of use.
The Quiet Comfort 35’s come in both black and grey options which are both relatively low key in design compared to Sony or even Apple’s Beats headphones. The design maintains Bose’s sleek look which is generally consistent across its product range.
The Bose QC35’s come with a hard travel case which your headphone nicely fold down into to for transportation. Despite being able to fold down, the headphones still feel remarkably solid and have never left me worrying about them falling apart like other popular headphones on the market. The hard case comes with integrated slot for the supplied airplane adapter which is a nice touch. Bose’s noise cancelling headphones have always been a favourite amongst frequent flyers and Bose has paid recognition to this by including the adapter.
The Bose QC35’s provide excellent sound quality with detailed mids and a very strong bass response. Each of the major headphone manufacturers including Bose, Sony, Beats and Sennheiser all provide high audio quality, however ultimately we all have different preference. Bose tend to provide a very detailed crisp sound while maintaining deep base. Sony and Sennheiser provide a more wide dynamic sound and Beats are all about the base. Personally when it comes to headphones, I prefer the Bose’s take as they generally provide or more controlled balance with excellent separation between sounds and instruments and are less likely to give you a headache after long use.
The active noise cancelling on the Bose QC35’s remain one of the industry leaders with tough competition from Sony. Virtually all external sound is cancelled out, leaving you with you with Bose’s trademark crisp sound. I have tested these headphones extensively on the London Tube and they do not disappoint. . Noise cancelling on the Quiet Comfort headphones work by using microphones on the ear cups to record external sound so that they can then send a reserve signal to cancel out the noise. The only instance where the noise cancelling causes an issue is when it is windy the headphones creating a hissing sound however this is an issue for all active noise cancelling headphones and should no way deter anyone from purchasing these headphones.
The Bose Quiet Comfort 35’s have three well designed buttons along with an on and off switch. The on and off switch is place on the middle of the outer right cup and also puts the headphones into pairing mode for when you are trying to connect a new device.
On the QC35’s, you’ll find a protruding volume up and volume down button on the bottom of the right cup so you can quickly adjust the volume of your device. In between the volume buttons are a flat play / pause button which can also be held down to activate Siri when used with an iOS device. Press this button twice and you can skip tracks, press three times and you will go to the previous track.
Paring with Two Devices at Once
One of the features I have really come to appreciate from Bluetooth headphones is the ability to connect to two devices at once. For example you can connect both your iPhone and MacBook to the headphones at the same time and seamlessly switch between the two devices by long pressing the play pause button.
As the QC35’s have built in microphones, the headphones can also be used as a headset to make and receive calls. Cleverly when you go to make a call, the QC35’s use the microphones to let in some external sound so it doesn’t sound too strange when you talk to someone. The sound quality is good on both sides of the call but don’t set your expectations too high.
Bose Connect iOS App
The Bose Connect iOS app is a simple utility that can be used to pair your device to the iPhone, name your Bose device, view your devices battery life and with the last update, a sharing feature that allows you to connect two Bose Bluetooth headphones to the same source to share your music with a friend. The Bose Connect iOS app is a thoughtful addition but in reality you are unlikely to use it.
Bose’s range of Bluetooth enabled devices all allow the firmware to be upgraded through Bluetooth. This process works seamlessly through Bose’s iOS app which is useful as Bose continues to roll out updates to improve the headphones.
The battery life is rated at 20 hours on the Bose QC35’s which ranks among the best for noise cancelling headphones against the competition. When you turn on the headphones the young lady that lives inside of the headphones tells you how much battery is left. 20 hours battery life for noise cancelling headphones is excellent and should be sufficient for most trips as even the longest direct flight is Auckland to Dubai which should take 17 hours and 15 minutes. When your battery is in need of a charge, any USB charger can power them right up. If this wasn’t enough, the headphones can still be used with no battery charge with the included 3.5mm headphone jack. With Apple’s latest iOS 10 update, the battery life for your QC35’s is now shown next to the headphone icon.
The Bose QC 35’s tick every box for fans of over ear noise cancelling headphones. These headphones are called Quiet Comfort for a reason and do well to live up to the name. You can take comfort in knowing you can wear the QC35’s for long periods of time without thinking twice. The build quality and functionality from the buttons on the right ear cup do everything you would expect from headphones nowadays. So what are they missing? Sony’s competing flagship MDR 1000X include one new feature which we are sure will be standard in all headphones in the coming years. On the Sony’s, simply place your hand over the right ear cup and your music pauses and the microphones on the phones let in sound so that you can quickly listen out for that train announcement or order a coffee without taking your headphones off. We live in hope that Bose’s next flagship headphones include this smart feature to take these incredible headphones to the next level.
The main thing to consider when purchasing any headphone or speaker is what your sound preference is. Reviews or specs alone are not enough to make a decision. Head down to your local department store or electrical retailer and try the headphones to see if the sound is for you. However if you are a fan of Bose’s excellent sound separation and crisp detail, then you wont be disappointed.