Today we are having a closer look at Bose‘s QuietComfort 35 II wireless headphones. Before we dig deeper let’s have a look at the basics. The QuietComfort 35 II was released in 2017 for the price of $349. It measures 3.1 x 6.7 x 7.1 inches and weighs 10.9 ounces. I ordered the headphones from Amazon and paid £329.95 with free delivery in the UK (have a look here). Bose didn’t send me a free item for this review and I didn’t get paid for my opinion.
What do you get in the box?
In the box, you’ll get a high-quality hard-shell carrying case, the headphones, a 3.5mm audio cable, a micro USB charging cable, airplane adapter, and the instruction booklet. The charging cable is very short and it can be frustrating when you want to charge them and place them on a headphone stand.
Design & Built Quality
If you’re familiar with Bose you already know they don’t mess around with designs, you would recognize a pair of Bose headphones anywhere because of their iconic look. The QuietComfort 35 II are no different than other Bose wireless headphones when it comes to design.
Premium materials like Alcantara on the headband and synthetic protein leather used for the ear cushions make the headphones lightweight and comfortable. They’re durable too. So these headphones are ready to take with you wherever you bring your favorite music.
The QuietComfort 35 II have the same design that we’ve all grown familiar with from the padded oval-ish ear cups to the top of the headband, Bose didn’t make any drastic design changes. That said, the new QuietComfort 35 II aren’t exactly the same as the previous model. They are definitely bigger. At first, it’s kind of hard to tell, but if you hold them next to the QuietComfort 25 you’ll immediately see the difference. Gorgeous design overall and I gave them 9 out of 10.
What’s the difference between QuietComfort 35 and QuietComfort 35 II?
QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones II offer the same unmatched combination of acclaimed noise reduction technology, wireless freedom, audio performance, dual-microphone system and 20-hour battery life as QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones.
However, QuietComfort 35 II also have a new Action button on the left earcup. In countries and languages where Google Assistant is available, that button gives you instant access to Google Assistant. In countries where Google Assistant is not available, it lets you quickly toggle through three different ANR settings for optimal performance wherever you go.
Portability, Functionality & Battery Life
As one would expect, the ANC (Acoustic Noise Cancelling) on these is great. If you haven’t used ANC headphones before you’re in for an experience. Nearly everyone I demonstrated these headphones to was quite freaked out by the effect ANC has on your senses and perceptions.
Because of the ANC, you do feel a slight pressure on your ears. It’s weird, but you quickly get used to it. And with Bose’s new headphones, you have some of the best ANC in the business, most notably when dealing with low-frequency sounds.
Unlike many rivals, the Bose headphones only work when ANC is switched on. You cannot listen to music or any other kind of audio without it being activated.
The ANC uses a couple of mics to asses and counter ambient noise, and a built-in digital equaliser ensures clean, accurate audio representation.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Functionality
The Power/Pairing button is located on the right earcup’s outer panel, and the outer side panel of the ear cup houses a standard three-button control pad with a central multifunction button flanked Volume Up/Down buttons. The central button controls playback, call management and depending on how many times you press it, track navigation. Holding this button down summons Siri or voice commands on your phone. The volume controls work in conjunction with your device’s master volume levels.
On the left earcup, there is now an Action button. If you use the Google Assistant app, pressing this button opens up all sorts of possibilities. You could press the button to simply hear the time. Or hold the button down and ask the app to play you a favorite song or playlist—you’ll need to set a default music app first, and iTunes is not in the picture here (though Apple Music is). You can also set timers, create shopping lists, or do anything that you’d typically be able to do in the app. If you get a new text, the Assistant will chime in and ask whether you’d like to hear it—pressing the button will read your message. The inclusion of the button increases the versatility of the headphones, without a doubt, but at the end of the day, this is only useful if you care about using this app to manage your calendar, messages, shopping lists, and notifications. Double-tapping the assistant button will immediately stop whatever you’re hearing from the Google app.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Battery Life
Since you no longer need triple AAA batteries, you’ll have to rely completely on the built-in battery. Bose says they’ll do around 20 hours of solid-listening. This is about right, though in some cases they’ll go a lot longer. If you remember to turn them off when you’re not using them you can stretch the life even longer.
Battery life is one area where wireless headphones lose a lot of fans. In a world where you have to regularly charge your phone, tablet, laptop, kindle and, in some cases, your watch, adding yet another thing is often off-putting.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Portability
The headband is still very flexible and the headphones can fold down even smaller thanks to the ear cups being able to rotate 90-degrees and the headband folding at the hinges. The left ear cup still has an audio input for those times when the battery dies, but besides a tiny little microphone that’s all you’ll find.
The right ear cup is where the magic happens. On the side, there’s the power/Bluetooth pairing switch and two small grills where the microphones are. On the bottom of the ear cup are small indicator lights and the playback controls. One little thing that I appreciate is that the volume buttons are slightly raised above the multifunction button in the middle which helps to easily locate them while wearing them.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Sound Quality
As for music performance, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II sound good but they’re not the best money can buy. It’s a clear sound, free off the annoying buzz or hiss that accompany lesser wireless ANC headphones. Even though these are closed-back headphones, the soundstage is wide and spacious.
The bass is meaty but never overwhelming, the midrange is detailed and the treble is crisp without getting all scratchy. It’s a smooth presentation that’s easy to listen to for hours without fatigue.
So, is the new QuietComfort 35 II worth the extra money, or is it better to save a little on the previous model? The only thing that Bose has added is the integration with Google Assistant, that can be a major upgrade for people who use GA regularly. If you want the best noise canceling headphones around, this is it. The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are simply the best at shutting out the world and isolating you in your own world.