Bose is near-synonymous with active noise-cancelling headphones, and the latest iteration of its QuietComfort headphones attests to its lead in that field.
The Bose QuietComfort (QC) 35 is what fans of the American audio maker have been clamouring for - a wireless version of its noise-cancelling headphones, which connects to smartphones or music players via Bluetooth and near-field communication (NFC).
The noise cancellation on these is top-notch. Slapping these cans on while sitting on the back of the bus, where there tends to be a constant rumbling, makes for a peaceful, quiet commute. It easily cuts out almost all ambient noise when turned on, including traffic noise and conversations.
Sound quality is crisp and pleasing, with clear trebles and mid-tones. Its music quality tends towards the warmer and rounder side of the spectrum, which works well for a wide variety of genres.
It shines in tunes with melodic strings - like the opening of Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven - and its bass performance is not too shabby either.
While sound fidelity tends to degrade when compressed and transmitted wirelessly, the QC 35 sounded remarkably good. I enjoyed it despite some skips due to connectivity issues, such as when I moved my iPod from hand into pocket. The wireless audio quality may not be perfect, but it's extremely convenient to be able to slap on the headphones without dealing with tangles or cables. And purists can always use the cable that comes with the headphones to connect it to their music player.
VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5
The active noise-cancellation, which can't be turned off, works only if there's juice in the headphones' rechargeable battery.
The QC 35 can run for up to 20 hours on a single charge if used wirelessly and up to 40 when connected, which is a surprisingly long battery life given how well they function.
You do get what you pay for, as the QC 35 is one of the pricier consumer headphones in the market at $549. However, you do get great sound and a quality build.
Coming in a sleek black or polished silver, the QC 35 boasts a sturdy construction and premium finish that are easily identifiable by audiophiles in the know.
It is relatively light, but nonetheless still heavier than most headphones, like its wired cousin QC 25. It won't break your neck, but, having used other lighter headphones, the weight is definitely noticeable.
The ear cups, with generous leather padding, make the QC 35 very comfortable to wear over long periods. They envelop your ears in a cushy cloud of music and also act as passive noise cancellation.
The headband comes with a soft suede padding that rests nicely on the top of your head.
- Verdict: Bose continues to show the industry how noise-cancelling headphones should be made. Although expensive, the top-notch noise cancellation and quality construction are worth the premium.