Bose QC35 Review: the best noise cancelling headphones?

Disclaimer: I am in no way an audio engineer or even one of those self-proclaimed audiophile guys. All I know is that I love music and I know what sounds good, to me. The tests I use will not be scientific and will be something that anyone will be able to emulate and relate to in their own life. Cheers!

Some of you out there travel a lot, some of you just like wireless headphones, and some of you just like listen to music through a good source. I am solely the latter, but I make sure to test everything out. This next item that arrived at my office is the Bose Quietcomfort 35 (QC35) wireless headphones, the latest and greatest from the company and the sequel to the reigning favorite noise-cancelling headphones, the QC25’s.

I was actually very excited to receive these headphones as their have earned the recent title of “best noise-cancelling” headphone — along with the fact that I’ve never extensively tried a Bose product. So, I’ve put these to the test for the past month and here are my thoughts on the Bose QC35’s.

The first thing you notice out of the box is the design and build of the 35’s, which initially I didn’t like. It LOOKED cheap and felt too light. The headphones are made almost entirely out of plastic and have the soft felt material in the top band which is indeed comfortable. The earcups are soft as well and cover your entire ear, which helps with the noise cancellation and sound leak, but can collect sweat if you’re being active while wearing them. The headphones fold down to ⅔’s their size to fit into the included carrying case, but can actually fold more than that if you want to put them elsewhere.

You begin to appreciate the lightweight design and weight when you’re at the office for hour or on a 5-hour train ride to this year’s Mad Decent Block Party (concert). I felt like I could wear these for hours and forget that I had these on my head — I fell asleep rather easily with the QC35’s on my head while on the train and plane. The only drawback with the weight is that they can shift easily on your head, and you have to adjust them to make sure the music still sounds the best it can.

Before I get to the sound that these produce, all the audiophiles out there can check out the official tech specs on these cans below.

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Yep, that’s ALL Bose provides in terms of specs on their audio products.resize_image

Anyways, let’s get to the sound of these headphones, they are (obviously) closed-back headphones and wireless. I had sworn off wireless headphones a few years ago due to audio quality not being as good as their wired brethren (and me trying to be an elitist audiophile), but I’m impressed with Bose’ sound. I still really like my AKG’s + DAC combo, but these sound really, really good. There is sizeable base, for the EDM lovers, and the mids and highs are noticeable as well. You wouldn’t use these to monitor sound for any audio editing, but that’s not what they’re made for.

I’m sure that there are better sounding headphones out there, and they probably cost a hell of a lot more, but combining the noise-cancellation with the sound quality puts you in this empty zone where it’s just you and the music — a great experience. There’s also very little sound leak so that you don’t disturb those around you when you’re jamming out to Britney Spears’ latest.

Now the focal point to these headphones is the noise cancellation. There is simply little to no competition to Bose when it comes to blocking out sound, as it should be since they have a patent to their magic. Any recurring noise in your environment is immediately taken away when you power the QC35’s on, the annoying reception music, the low hum to the car/train/plain, the atmosphere itself is just removed. When you turn on the headphones (even before you connect it to any device), you experience the soundless vacuum. Mute.

Now there are a few other things that make the Bose QC35’s great besides the impeccable noise cancellation. Namely the 20+ hour battery, that actually lives up to the past its name, especially when you put it to sleep between listening sessions, you can easily get through the week without having to worry about charging it — and the automated voice will let you know when you need to charge it when the headphones are turned on. You also get a hard carrying case, auxiliary cord (using it doesn’t waste your battery, but it does turn off noise cancellation), and a charging cord and airplane adapter.

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Now this whole package doesn’t run especially cheap, specifically speaking to the average consumer. The Bose QuietComfort 35 runs for $350. For a lot of people that’s HUGE to spend on headphones, but you really will appreciate what they provide. They also come in two colors: Silver (which is pictured above) and Black, which I feel looks much sleeker.

Overall, the Bose QC35’s are the best wireless, noise-cancelling headphones that you can get in that price range or probably even double the range — again haven’t tested those yet. If you need something though that provides great sound and blocks out the world, definitely get these a listen!

Buy the Bose QC35 Headphones

PS: I hate that I don’t get to keep these :’(