It’s been a while since I’ve used these headphones. So long that I didn’t know if making a review about it was still relevant.
I was actually in the process of looking for a new pair of headphones when I thought maybe it was time to give you my opinion of these and why I think they are still a relevant option today.
The brand Bose
In the Audiophile world, Bose is basically what Apple is to people who love open systems. People think they are overpriced products that are basically using cheap materials and tons of software engineering to compensate for it.
That’s partially true, since Bose is focusing on innovation rather than just upgrading the quality of the material. Their goal is to make money with new, efficient technologies.
Bose is also very well known in the world of noise-cancelling headphones. They are basically the company that invented it through their Airplane Headset division.
The QuietComfort Series
The QuietComfort Series was introduced in 2000, so 23 years have passed already. These headphones were at the time wired, quite revolutionary but expensive at the time.
People thought they sounded bad in their first generations. These were mostly aimed at people who were taking the plane a lot on business trips.
Today, after Beats and now Apple, active noise cancellation is basically a must-have feature.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II
This particular model is an upgrade of the very well-known QuietComfort 35 and was upgraded with the QuietComfort 45. In parallel, they also released a higher-end version, the Bose NC 700, which is made out of metal and seems to be more premium and durable.
They were released in 2017, and since then, Sony and Apple have released tons of newer headphones that have more technology in them.
What makes these headphones special?
The QuietComfort 35 II are basically one of the most comfortable, if not the most comfortable, closed portable headphones, hence their name. They have one of the most comfortable but also durable designs.
The sound signature
The sound signature of these headphones, although they are using a chip to equalize the sound, is one of the most neutral of any pair of headphones in this category.
To this day, there is no other brand that has been able to produce a more balanced sound. This doesn’t mean that they sound the best, but this means that there is close to no coloration in these headphones, which makes it great to have a realistic rendering of your favorite soundtracks.
They are actually the best headphones when it comes to neutrality in this segment, and this is true at any volume thanks to their internal equalizer. I’ve never tried the headphones with the wire and without the battery, but people say they sound almost as good with the EQ on.
A smaller footprint
Compared to other designs, these headphones can fold and fit into a smaller case inside your backpack. It’s an advantage that is not negligible, especially when you are carrying tons of gear when you travel.
What are the cons?
The pads and fake leather
The pads are probably one of the less durable designs I’ve seen in a product. In a country like Vietnam, these won’t even last six months. I think I’ve replaced them at least five times now.
I’ve grown tired of replacing them every six months, so I’ve decided to stitch mine, and since then, no more issues.
Note that the earcups and headbands are made out of fake leather and will peel at some points.
The battery life
This is an older-generation model, and the battery life is poor at 8 hours of usage. This is far from Sony’s latest-generation performance, which can last for 30 hours with ease.
Charging the battery once a day or every two days is a hassle; once a week would be much better.
Some people believe that after the release of the NC 700, Bose released an update to these headphones to reduce the efficacy of the noise-canceling feature.
No more plane adaptors
The first generation of the Bose QC35 had a plane adaptor inside it. For X reasons, they’ve decided to remove it from the pack.
Switching between devices
Switching between devices on the Bose QC 35 II is extremely painful. I am really struggling to switch between my iPhone and my Macbook. Sometimes, even when my MacBook is closed, I still can’t manage to switch to my phone.
The only reliable way to switch is to use the app and disconnect the device you don’t want to use. Unfortunately, sometimes the app can’t even find your phone.
I really feel like there can be tons of improvements on this part.
8.2 out of 10.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is quite old now, but it is still perhaps the only option to get an out-of-the box neutral sound.
This means that these headphones have less coloration than any other headphones in this category. This might seem like neat picking, but it’s actually very important for people who want their experience to sound as natural as possible.
Obviously, there is a price to pay; since it’s old tech now, you won’t have the best ergonomics or features, and the battery life is quite short.
Not mentioning that these pads and fake leather don’t last very long. I like the design of the NC 700 better but can’t really live with the sound coloration.
I wouldn’t recommend anyone to get these pair of headphones in this time and price. It’s very old, perhaps you should just go for Sony and their equalizer or Apple.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Official website : https://www.bose.com/
Headphones comparison on : https://www.rtings.com