Bose QC35 shines in it’s name, comfort. But the sound quality, it’s out of this world! So clean, clear, wonderfully balanced in our opinion.
Bose is clearly responding to consumers and also the competition. Simply, the market is willing to pay a little extra for wireless headphones, and we’re seeing it for the first time on the their QuietComfort series. Different colors, new build materials, and of course, that legendary noise cancelling performance is all claimed on their newest model. I personally paid for this at the retail price of $350, just $50 more than their wired QC25 model. I’ll place my Amazon Affiliate links above for both, as you never know, the QC25’s might go down in price now that the QC35’s are released. Click on my links and they will give you the most updated prices in real time.
Going over the physical features, for your consideration, the QC35’s are in silver and the QC25’s are in black. Despite both looking nearly identical, there are subtle differences. Looking at the headband, the very top features soft and supple synthetic leather versus fabric on the previous model.
Alcantara which can be found on luxury cars like Audi’s and Lamborghini’s provides a very soft cushion on your head. More on my comfort test a little bit later.
Moving down, stainless-steel retractable arms are used and the clicking mechanism stays firm enough without accidental adjustments while wearing. I know this is a bit extreme, but doesn’t hurt to know how durable these are, performing my stress test with every one of my headphones, the band retains it’s shape, and the seams along the headband stays intact. No creaking, no squeaking of materials, overall a very quality build.
Moving down to the earcups, these are closed-back over ear headphones, with the controls on the right side offering pause, play, and to adjust volume. Two lights indicate Bluetooth connectivity and power levels. A micro-USB port for charging the QC35’ and since we’re touching base on battery life, Bose is claiming up to 20 hours wireless, and if you intend on using the supplied 3.5mm cord, you can get up to 40 hours of use. These numbers claimed are impressive and on par with other high-end headphones, but from my actual testing, leaving these on at about 50% volume, letting music continuously play until the headphones died, I had a whopping 23 hours and 32 minutes of use wirelessly! And for those curious, I also timed the recharging from a dead battery, and it had taken 2 hours and 25 minutes.
And before I forget here, every time you turn on your headphones, the QC35’s graciously prompts you the percentage of battery remaining.
The last few features, the QC35’s have NFC or Near Field Communication. Tap your NFC enabled device and they connect automatically, very convenient. And last, like all other Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, there’s external microphones that help with adjusting the Noise Cancelling performance and/or enables your headphones to work just like a headset for phone calls. With my test, audio was perfect and my voice came across very close to what it sounds like talking into a phone.
COMFORT AND FIT
And right before going into my Audio tests, to finish the physical aspects, comfort wise, these things have been amazing, just like the QC25’s. Bose emphasizes and promotes they’re not using plastic, but Glass Filled Nylon to retain its lightweight build while keeping rigidity. The QC25’s weighs in at 208 grams and despite not listing in on their site, the QC35’s comes in at 234 grams, making these ridiculously light compared to the competition.
Wearing these, they don’t give any wearing fatigue at the crown of the head, the clamping force at the jaw line is very subtle with no discomfort, and wearing these for several hours straight, ideally for those wearing these on the airplane, the QC35’s worked perfectly fine. Highly recommend them for the comfort aspect.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX?
And last, what’s in the package, you do receive a 3.5mm cord for a physical connection. I do admit though, the wire could have been beefier – it feels somewhat cheap, but of course, it still works and its hassle free. There’s no locking mechanism either, just like the QC25’s, but I know some readers prefer it not to stay 100% secure as your headphones could go flying off your head if the wire was ever pulled.
Going back to the contents, you do receive an airplane adapter. Some seats on airlines have two prongs, this adapter solves that issue. A USB Cord comes in the box to charge the QC35’s, and last is the case itself. The headphones do graciously fold in for easy stowing, and the case itself does provide adequate protection when traveling.
ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION
So, that’s everything about the physical aspect and getting to the part you’ve been waiting for, the noise cancelling and the audio performance.
Getting into Active Noise Cancelling performance, I’ve tested Parrot Zik’s, Sony Hear On, Sennheiser Wireless Momentums and several more headphones with ANC. Some more recent headphones come close, specifically the Zik’s and Sony Hear On’s, but Bose still offers the best in canceling out unwanted noise. Just like the wired QC25’s, the QC35’s work’s equivalently the same from my tests. I have worn these in the city with tons of construction going on, I’ve tested these on the metro, in a cafe around many people talking and random other areas around the city.
Most of your environment being muted is simply amazing and once you have music going, nearly everything disappears. You still do hear some nearby voices as with most ANC headphones, but most of the dirty noise, like cars driving by, the wind, construction in the background, etcetera, it’s reduced significantly. I don’t hear any hissing on both the QC25’s or the 35’s, either both wired or wireless on the latter. If you’re looking for the best noise cancelling, I’ve tested others, and these are still the best.
The QC35’s gets loud enough for the average consumer. And to answer the question, “do they sound identical to the QC25’s?” Very close, but not 100%. Let me preface this by saying, the difference is very minute and you could only tell if you have both the wired and wireless models in front of you. Regardless, if I had the QC35’s wireless or connected with the wire, the QC25’s sounded more well rounded.
They were louder, bass hit just a little bit harder, the mid’s were a bit more forward. In the end, the QC25’s – the wired version – sounded a slight bit better than the newer wireless version, and again, it doesn’t matter if I used the 3.5mm cord or not.
Now, does Bluetooth compression impact audio performance? Oddly when I tested this, on my LG V10, Galaxy S7, and Nexus 6P, the audio would be a good bit lower, versus using Bluetooth. With using the wire, I had to pump up the volume to achieve similar results. Odd, but I tested this on three different phones and those were the results.
Comparing these to the Momentum wireless, the Sennheiser’s are bass-boosted, while the Bose provides adequate bass – it’s not flat, but the bass is much more refined and some would say more accurate.
I do personally prefer a slight bass-boosted signature and I’ve loved the Momentum Wireless for the longest time, but revisiting Bose, the Bose provide just a clean and clear bass signature, especially at higher volumes.
With the Momentum’s, at medium volume, they sound great, but pump the volume up a bit, you can hear the bass drone into the midrange a bit when you compare them with the QuietComfort headphones. The bass doesn’t sound as bass boosted, if any or at all, but because so, the midrange where most instruments reside and vocals are apparent, the mid-range are a pleasure to listen to. They’re forward but not too bright, and with details of instruments and voices coming through, the Bose QC35’s, and just like the 25’s… gives a natural listening experience that isn’t dull.
The highs are kept very much intact, no ear ringing and no ear tinging, and listening to these for several hours, no listening fatigue was experienced. If you are on a long flight, these shouldn’t be an issue whatsoever.
The soundstage I’ll admit isn’t as apparent as my B&O H6’s I had reviewed a little while back, but comparing these to other ANC headphones, the Bose performed as similar. Those asking me to give my thoughts about the Sony HearOn, those were great headphones and the sound signature is surprisingly similar, they actually sound more like the QC25’s than the QC35’s, but again, the noise cancelling and comfort on these Bose headphones are better. I would say, if you’re into classic rock music, we’re talking AC/DC, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Beatles to strong vocals and instruments of Adele, Alecia Keys, maybe some John Legend piano work to Sam Smith, these are amazing, it’s immersive, the instruments and vocals stand out. These will still work great for pop and EDM, but at times, I do desire just a bit more bass, same with hip-hop, but if you have an equalizer, that does help a bit.
BLUETOOTH RANGE & THE BOSE CONNECT APP
Regarding wireless range, absolutely no problems with my Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone. Walking downstairs to the other side of the house, having the signal go through several walls, never did I lose audio. The last thing I wanted to show you real quick, Bose does feature their own app, available for both Apple and Android. Really basic but useful info. The main screen indicates your battery levels, volume control, and if you need, you can see the Bluetooth connections for all of your devices. One of the perks, the QC35’s remembers your previously connected devices… that way in the future, you don’t have to repair your devices from scratch each time. And that’s it for the app. No equalizer, no sound profiles, just simple and bare-bones.
Overall with the QC35’s as a wireless option, there’s a lot going for it, yet it doesn’t have all the extra features you come to see with Sony or JBL. The battery life is insane, the comfort is one of the best, and indeed, the Noise Cancelling is the best. The only thing I would say, test these headphones to see if you enjoy Bose’s particular sound signature. Some may say it’s tame while some may say, these are very accurate and hits the sweet spot.
So I hope this review helped you in some way. If you haven’t already, be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram at both JimsReviewRoom and my personal account, at JimmyLuongOfficial. You guys take care and I’ll see you on the next one.
[table id=1 hide_columns=”all” show_columns=”a,b,i,j,k” /] Specs from manufacturers. If incorrect, please contact us.