Bose QuietComfort 35 II noise-cancelling headphones review
Bose QuietComfort 35 II
• Superbly comfortable
• Wired sound is excellent
• Hard case included
• Industry standard noise cancellation
• Can get better audio for the price
Bose’s noise cancelling technology has been the industry standard for several years now. When a company releases a new set of cans, you know at some point it’ll be compared to the Bose Quiet Comfort range. The QuietComfort 35 II is an update on the hugely successful original QC35. It retains the customisable noise cancellation, comfortable build, 20-hour battery life and the well-known Bose sound. Note: If you’re a gamer and don’t need ‘active’ noise cancellation, look at our V-moda Crossfade 2 review.
The QuietComfort 35 II is a closed-back, over-ear design which can be operated wired and wirelessly. Bose’s new model costs $349 USD, while the original is still available for $329. The only difference between the versions is the new Google Assistant button which allows you to issue voice commands to the assistant.
QuietComfort 35 II lives up to its name
Bose weren’t kidding when they called this the QuietComfort. If you’re travelling by vehicle, the noise cancellation removes pretty much all the low end of the engine. The only sounds that come through are some mids and highs, and even those are reduced in volume. The Bose noise cancellation strength stacks up against the best in the market right now.
Noise cancellation often produces a sensation of pressure on the eardrums which can be unpleasant to some users. Bose have almost removed this effect from the QuietComfort 35 II thankfully. If you need to adjust the noise cancellation, it can be easily adjusted via the left earpiece. There’s three levels: High, low and off.
Bose sound here in spades
If you’ve used Bose headphones you’ll recognise the sound of the QuietComfort 35 II. The wired sound is gorgeous, with an evenly balanced frequency range. The headphones make pretty much any style of music sound good, with a tight bass, detailed midrange and clear treble. It’s not an audiophile sound, as it brings together the layers in a smooth, listenable way, rather than exposing flaws or idiosyncrasies.
The wireless sound is noticeably different, pushing the bass harder and losing some of the tightness and detail. Wirelessly it’s more suited to bass-heavy genres such as hip hop and EDM. As someone who listens to mostly guitar-based music, I definitely prefer the more detailed mids of the wired sound. There’s no frequency response specs listed unfortunately.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is sublimely comfortable. The earcups are nice and roomy, which is important to prevent the drivers rubbing against your ears. The headphones are easy to adjust and there’s really nothing to complain about in the comfort department. The earcups can heat up easily in warmer weather, but that’s an issue common to all closed back, over-ear headphones.
The one thing I expect on headphones over $100 is a hardcase and thankfully Bose have got with the program here. You get a tough case with a side compartment for the cables. The charging cable is 30cm and the headphone cable is 1.2m.
Tough physical controls
The QuietComfort 35 II is operated with physical controls on the earpieces. They are robust and organised in a user-friendly manner. You can tinker with the QC35 further using the free Bose Connect app. The app gives you control over the standby timer, voice prompts and the action button. The button can be set to change the noise cancellation or control Google Assistant.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II verdict
The QuietComfort series has gone from strength to strength. The QuietComfort 35 II is an excellent release that delivers everything you expect from a high-end noise-cancelling headphone. If you have the original QuietComfort 35, I doubt it’s worth spending $350 for the Google Assistant upgrade. But for anyone else, it’s a great contender in the $300+ market. It’s not the best sounding headphone in its price range. However, the combination of strong noise cancellation, comfort and solid audio performance make the QC35 a tempting buy.
- Dimensions/weight without the cable:
- Headphones:18 cm H x 17 cm W x 8.1 cm D (0.31 kg)
- Audio cable:1.2 m
- USB cable:30.5 cm
In the box:
- QC35 wireless headphones II
- USB charging cable
- Audio cable
- Carrying case