Bose QC35 II review: The best noise-canceling headphones money can buy
Despite the high price, Bose’s QC35 II justifies its cost in every way imaginable.
Active noise canceling headphones seem to be everywhere you look these days. Everyone and their cousin is trying to take their own stab at them, resulting in an overload of various models across a number of different price ranges.
Bose is one of the biggest names when it comes to audio products, so it shouldn’t be any surprise that it too wants a slice of the noise canceling headphone market. This is a niche the company’s excelled at for years, and with the QuietComfort 35 Series II, we’ve got one of the best options money can buy.
Without further ado, here’s the AC review of the Bose QC35 II.
Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones
Bottom line: The QC35 II are truly premium headphones in regards to sound quality, comfort, and price.
- The best active noise canceling around
- Fantastic sound quality
- Lightweight and comfortable to wear
- Excellent battery life
- Google Assistant integration is great
- Comes w/ a sturdy carrying case
- Micro-USB 🤢
- Expensive as h*ck
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It’s like being transported to another world
Bose QC35 II Wireless Headphones What I like
What do I like about the QC35 II? To be perfectly honest, just about everything.
First off, the design is excellent. The earcups are easily adjustable to get the perfect fit, and once you find it, you’ll never want to take the headphones off. The soft leather cushioning surrounding each cup grips onto your ear without being too tight and the padding for the headband is a very welcome touch.
Add that together with easily accessible buttons and a lightweight build, and you can wear the QC35 II for hours on end without ever becoming uncomfortable.
Speaking of listening for hours on end, that’s something you can do quite often thanks to the 20 hours of estimated playback time on a single charge. Depending on how heavy I use the QC35 II, I can usually get 1-2 weeks of use before having to look for the charger.
As great as the design and battery life are, the areas where the QC35 II stick out the most go to sound quality and noise cancelation.
Starting first with sound quality, the best way I can describe it is that everything sounds full. Bass is powerful without being too muddy, higher notes are crystal clear, and no matter what song I put on, I always end up hearing more elements than what’s detectable when listening through a cheaper medium.
These are the best-sounding headphones I’ve ever tried. Hands-down.
I’m not an audiophile by any stretch of the imagination and listen to all of my music through Spotify, but at least in my experience with the gadgets I’ve tried, the QC35 II is my absolute favorite way for experiencing new songs and re-listening to old ones.
The speaker quality on its own is fantastic, but this immersive listening experience wouldn’t be the same without Bose’s phenomenal active noise canceling.
Whether I’m working at a noisy Starbucks or going for a walk around town, the QC35 II constantly manage to block out all of the unwanted sounds happening around me. The background whir of the AC unit in my apartment fades away, the chatter of people working around me at coffee shops disappear from thin air, and even the roaring of an airplane engine during a flight to New York earlier this year proved to be no match for the QC35 II.
The noise canceling here really is that good.
Rounding out the things I like about these headphones:
- There’s a dedicated button for talking to the Google Assistant. I don’t use it all the time, but I’m glad it’s there.
- When connected to your phone, the Assistant will alert you of any notifications you receive through the headphones. If you get a text, you can respond by holding down the Action Button and talking.
- The included carrying case is sturdy and compact.
- You can share your music with another pair of Bose headphones using Music Share.
Does Bose know that USB-C is a thing?
Bose QC35 II Wireless Headphones What I don’t like
Even though the Bose QC35 II are easily my favorite pair of headphones I’ve ever owned, I’ll be the first to admit that they aren’t perfect.
Without a doubt, my biggest gripe is that Bose decided to use Micro-USB as the port for charging even though the QC35 II were released in late-2017. USB Type-C is quickly becoming the norm for most all gadgets, and if you purchased a smartphone or laptop within the last couple years, chances are it uses USB-C.
This might seem like a silly thing to complain about, but when the QC35 II is the only thing I have that still uses Micro-USB, it means I’ve got to carry around another cable that none of my other gadgets use anymore.
Perhaps even more infuriating is that this outdated port is used on a pair of headphones that cost as much as the QC35 II do. At $349, these aren’t cheap no matter how you look at it.
Even if the QC35 II are in a league of their own, it can be hard to justify spending that much money when $70 alternatives offer 80% of the same experience for a great deal less.
Bose QC35 II Wireless Headphones
If $349 is more than you’re looking to spend on a pair of headphones right now, pick up something that’s cheaper. This is the most I’ve ever spent on any audio product before, and my wallet was feeling the sting of that purchase for quite a while after it.
However, if you do have the cash to spare, the Bose QC35 II are well, well worth it.
out of 5
I’ve always enjoyed listening to music, but with these headphones, I find myself wanting to just sit on the couch, throw them on, and close my eyes while listening to some of my favorite tunes.
That’s something I’ve never felt with any other pair of headphones I’ve owned, and when you combine that with the design, noise canceling, and everything else I talked about, you end up with something special. I’ve been using these headphones on a daily basis since I got them in October of last year, and I don’t plan on giving them up anytime soon.
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