With all the hullabaloo about Apple’s iPhone 7 losing the headphone jack, it’s a perfect time to take a closer look at the new Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones.
While, yes, you can still plug the QC35s in via a headphone jack, they’re designed to go cordless, relying on Bluetooth wireless technology and a rechargeable battery.
You can pair the headphones with Bluetooth devices including computers and smartphones quickly and easily with the Bose Connect app, and there’s also NFC support for one-tap pairing with compatible phones.
The best thing about the QC35s is they’re very similar to the non-wireless Bose QC25s, which are excellent in their own right, offering a great mix of comfort, sound insulation and noise cancelling ability.
The QC35s provide the same high-quality sound reproduction using ActiveEQ and TriPort technologies for balancing sounds at low and high volumes. There’s good left and right soundstage definition, crisp high tones and chunky low end kick when you need it. You can improve the sound quality by switching from wireless to wired, which does clear up some bass distortion at higher volumes. While audiophiles and purists may be able to notice a few subtle shortcomings, the QC35s really are very good when it comes to wireless sound reproduction.
As with the QC25s, the 35s have an over-ear design which provides excellent sound insulation from the outside world. This, coupled with Bose’s active noise cancelling creates a suburb blank canvas, free of city hum, wind, aircraft or motor vehicle noise for you to enjoy your music.
This is possible through a set of microphones on each ear that constantly measure ambient sound and nullify it by creating equally opposing sound signals inside each ear cup. The net result is excellent, which is probably why you’ll see rows of heads with Bose headsets on them in business class.
When you put the QC35s on, a simulated female voice tells you the current battery charge as well as the devices that are paired – so in my case, the headset reminded me that I’m connected to my iPhone 6S Plus and Apple Watch. There is a limit to only two simultaneously connected devices, however, but this does mean you can share your music with a friend.
The Bose Connect app is available for iOS and Android smartphones, which helps you connect to your headphones for the first time along with power-saving settings and an online manual.
The QC35s are very comfortable to wear, and have a widened headband compared to the QC25s, and are slightly lighter too. There are controls on the right-ear cup for on-off and Bluetooth pairing mode, as well as two volume buttons and a multi-purpose button that pauses music, skips or rewinds tracks, ignores or answers an incomming call.
When synched with your phone, you can route calls to your headphones, and there is a mic on the unit for picking up your voice. Holding down the middle button activates Siri on an iPhone so you can make calls by telling her who you want to dial. The system works surprisingly well and your voice is routed into the headphones so you can hear what you’re saying.
In terms of the battery life, you’ll probably see around 20 hours of charge, and in case you get stuck you can still use your cans without power when connected via the headphone jack. You won’t get any noise cancelling or the EQ, however, as these require power, but it’s better than nothing.
Charging is through a mini-USB connector, so you will need to remember to charge your cans before a long flight or big day out. It would be nice to have a user removable battery, however, so you could swap it out with a replacement if there’s ever an issue but in this case you’ll need to send the QC35s in for repairs.
Colour choices are silver or black, both of which look subtle and premium.
Overall, the QC35s offer a high-quality option for music lovers who value music quality and wireless freedom. They’re great for travelling as well and are well worth their premium price tag.
Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Impressive audio quality, noise cancelling and sound isolation. Wireless freedom and comfortable to wear.
It could use a removable rechargeable battery option.