Hey everyone, Jimmy with Jim’s Review Room. Noise cancelling headphones have been really big on my website, and for the first time, I’m giving a pair of active noise cancelling earphones a try. Bose released their new QC30’s, a follow up to their very popular QC20’s which have done very well in the past. I personally paid for these at the retail price of $299, making these on the very upper end of earphones in regards to pricing – but the active noise cancelling performance might be well worth it for you. What I’ll do, I’ll leave my affiliate links above, click on my links and they’ll give you the most updated prices in real time – you never know when they might go on sale.
This will be subjective, the QC30’s use the NeckBand style. The build quality is well made. The entire neckband itself is coated and rubberized, so when you pick them up, it feels quite premium rather than touching a smooth or textured plastic. This also helps keep the neckband in place and for it not to slide around your shirt when you’re in movement. On the inside of the QC30’s, your on/off button is located here with battery and Bluetooth indicator lights. The QC30 has the ability to pair with up to 3 devices at the same time, and this is very convenient, you can cycle through those 3 devices if you tap the power button. You’ll hear through your earphones on which devices it’s selected for use.
The most frequent controls are inline with the right earphone. Volume up and down, pause and play, and an inline microphone is included for phone calls, though the microphones picks up everything in the background.
Getting back to the controller, I absolutely loved this feature. On the side, you can adjust the amount of Active Noise Cancelling being introduced. Like a volume rocker button, pressing up and down will fine tune the amount of ANC you want – it’s not only on or off. Although you can adjust this in the app, having a physical button makes for an easier, more streamlined experience – more about how well the ANC performed later in this review.
EARTIPS & COMFORT
Moving to the eartips, they’re practically identical to the Bose Sound Sport wireless – not sure if they’re interchangeable, but the way they sit in your ear are the same, and they’re technically an in-ear design, though the eartips barely goes into the ear canal itself. Folks are usually concerned if they’re in-ear, they might not feel comfortable. I have small ear canals myself and I don’t feel any pressure when the eartips are in place.
The other concern that some may have is if the inline controller would tug on the right earphone, and after testing these, they don’t at all. The only issue physically I would say I had with these, I wished the eartips or earbuds had some sort of magnetic feature allowing the earbuds to stick together rather than dangle when you don’t have them in-ear. The other thing to keep in mind for those who are not familiar with the neckband style, Bose doesn’t market these as sport earphones, so I didn’t see any water resistance on their spec sheet, but if you intend on doing any vigorous activities, even a light jog, you can hear the neck band bounce on your upper chest or clavicle bone area through the wires, like a constant tap, and over time, the QC30’s will start to shift out of place as well. If you’re using this while walking through the city, working in the office, more casual movements, they’re perfectly fine in that aspect.
BLUETOOTH, BATTERY LIFE, AND EXTRAS
Some last things I wanted to touch base on – doing my standard test, the wireless signal is perfect. I stood on one side of the house with the phone down stairs sitting on the opposite side having the Bluetooth signal go through several walls and never lost the connection. Second, even at maximum volume, sound leaking is very minimal and at 50 to 75% volume where most people would use these earphones, sound leaking was practically non-existent, if anything, very, very faint. Third, battery life is rated at up to 10 hours of use, which is decent considering these are one of the few earphones on the market offering noise cancelling as an additional feature. I personally left these on at 50% to 60% volume like all of my tests to get a standard result here on the website. After 10 hours of continuous use, the QC30’s still had 50% battery life remaining. That’s very impressive.
ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLING
Now getting into Active Noise Cancelling performance, they performed well! Bose in general with their QC25 and QC35 headphones have done a phenomenal job and these are no exception, they blocked out.
On the flip side, I, unfortunately, hear a low to moderate amount of hissing in the earphones at low volume – almost like white static at times. With music playing, I don’t hear it unless I have the volume at medium and I pay attention, but most of the time, I don’t notice it at all.
Last, moving onto audio performance, Bose returns with it’s neutral and accurate sound signature. The frequencies across the board are equal to each other without one overpowering the other. Bass is there that’s refined and clean, a flat response allowing the mid-range and highs to be relevant and apparent. The mid-range is clear and offers a sound stage that is quite surprising in distinguishing where sound is coming from. Left and right audio channels are very much identifiable with audio in front of you and behind being moderately apparent as well. The high’s are kept very much intact without being tinging and ear ringing…. For some, the sound signature is great and very easy to listen to, and there will be others who would prefer a bit more color in their sound signature to be enjoyable.
I attempted to use my equalizer and it does help a bit, but not by much without becoming distorted on my end. Bose does provide an app letting you adjust ANC and volume levels. There’s a battery-level indicator which does help and options to change when the QC30’s will shut-down when not in use. Using the app to switch between devices is also a bonus, but one major desire which would have greatly helped was a built in equalizer or some sort of sound portfolio.
In the end, the shortcomings on the QC30’s, I believe, are minor and I still highly recommend these for the Active Noise Cancelling, which does work well and the audio performance, which is very good for those looking for an accurate sound signature. If you’re okay with shelling out the $300, these are for sure worth looking into. So I hope this review helped you in some way. Be sure to add my social media accounts for tech and also my motivational account where you can follow my journey towards my goals. I’m Jimmy with JimsReviewRoom, you guys take care, and I’ll see you on the next one.
[table id=8 hide_columns=”all” show_columns=”a,b,d,f,h” /] Stats from manufacturer. If incorrect, please contact us.