One of the first companies with a pair of noise cancelling headphones is one of the last to ditch the cable, as Bose finally (finally) makes its QuietComfort cordless.
Good news noise-haters, because if you’ve ever experienced the excellence that is Bose’s ambient-noise cutting technology, you will very, very shortly be able to take that experience without a cord.
Stores in Australia are about to receive the next generation of Bose QuietComfort headphones, as the series bumps up to the “QC35” model number and the headphones ditch the AAA battery and gains an in-built battery rechargeable over microUSB.
This battery will be used by the same noise cancellation technology the company used on its previous QC25 headphones, meaning the headphones rely on microphones both in- and outside the ear cups to track sound, comparing and cancelling them out, allowing only the right audio to go to your ears as you listen.
Bose has brought over a few new tricks, such as one that will allow the microphones to pick up on sound levels as people raise their voice around you if you walk nearby someone on their phone, with the headphones raising the level of volume for the headphones so you don’t lose out on your music or phone call.
The battery also allows the headphones to talk to a smartphone or tablet wirelessly, with Bluetooth 4 support in the box, meaning you won’t need to plug the Bose QC35 headphones into a smartphone unless you want to, or you’re on a flight where Bluetooth isn’t allowed or shouldn’t be used.
Without that cable, you’ll find up to 20 hours of battery life are possible, and Bose doubles the battery life to 40 hours if you decide to bring the cable, meaning it should survive an overseas flight without any dramas, though that microUSB recharge point will certainly reduce any severe pain points like no longer needing to carry extra batteries for headphones.
Bluetooth also brings another trick, with a multipoint button built into the side of headphones to let you jump from the phone to another device, say a Bluetooth-loving media player or a tablet.
Testing the cans, we’re already quite excited, as it’s been far too long for Bose to join the wireless club, and the company easily has some of the best noise cancellation technology in the world, so joining that club is crucial, especially as it’s one of the last players to do so.
The QC35 headphones are basically just wireless versions of the QC25, though the padding on the headband has changed to Alcantara which gives it a soft suede-like feeling even if it’s not the same, meaning your head and neck are quite comfortable when the headphone is on and off.
Bose is even keeping the standard wire-only QuietComfort cans in the market, with the QC25 available for $399 in both Android and iOS versions (because the remote is different on the cable), while the wireless QC35 will appear for $499 in one platform agnostic model.
That being said, while the QC35 is platform agnostic, the wired cable and its remote are iOS specific (MFi), meaning the only button that will work is the centre button for pause and play.
The QuietComfort 35 isn’t the only Bose pair of noise cancelling cans coming, though, as Bose cuts the cord and makes something a little different with a pair of wrap-around wireless noise-cancelling in-ears.
This pair confuses us a little, at least in value, with the QuietControl 30 a new range that takes a 10 hour battery and wraps it around your neck in a thick plastic band. Once worn, the ear pieces go in as Bose’s typical earphones with ear-clinging wings, and the cancellation occurs from microphones on both the remote and the earphones.
Essentially, the Bose QuietControl 30 earphones are noise-cancelling cans for people who don’t want to wear headphones, though the price is a little hard to swallow, with $449 fetching these cans versus the $499 for the full-size QuietComfort 30.
Why do we struggle with that price? Quite simply, the extra $50 of the QuietComfort 35 headphones affords you a cable that will let you use them on a flight, while the $449 wireless noise-cancelling QuietControl 30 earphones do not, meaning they’re basically $449 for walk around noise-cancellers, and ones that aren’t water-resistant.
Bose will be offering water-resistant wireless earphones, mind you, but without noise cancelling.
Joining the Bose Bluetooth range will be two more earphones, the SoundSport and the SoundSport Pulse.
Built for the fitness and everyday crowd, these are sweat resistant wireless earphones offering six (6) hours of life for the regular SoundSport and five (5) for the SoundSport Pulse.
The difference between the two models isn’t just a name or price, though, with the Pulse variation offering a heart rate monitor built into the earphones, tracking your heart through the blood in your hears. That technology will require a smartphone, with fitness apps working with the technology on iOS and Android.
Heart-rate tracking isn’t new to earphones, but it is new to Bose, with the SoundSport Pulse grabbing a price of $299 in Australia, while the regular edition of the SoundSport will be found for $249.
As for availability, you’ll find both the QuietComfort 35 and SoundSport models in stores very shortly, though the slightly confusing QuietControl 30 won’t see Australian shores until later this year.