These headphones are the latest top-of-the line offering from Bose, and they are a premium Noise-canceling headphone with Bluetooth wireless functionality. The QC35 is also the successor to the best-selling QC15 and QC25 of the past. In this blog, I’m going to give you guys my honest review, without any of the hype:)
Today we have a very special one that I’m excited to review, the Bose QC35. The QC35 was released without much marketing hype or lead-up. As the name suggests, the QC35 is the successor to the best-selling QC25.
But unlike the jump from the QC15 to the QC25, where the headphones received a complete redesign and tweaked sound signature, the QC35 looks and sounds almost identical to the wired QC25, just now with the addition of Bluetooth wireless functionality.
Since I reviewed the QC25, I always wondered why Bose didn’t simply offer a wireless version of their top headphones, but instead they created the SoundLink line which had inferior sound quality and no active noise-cancelation, which is one of the biggest reasons to buy Bose headphones in the first place. Luckily, Bose has answered some prayers and now have a complete all-in-one headphone with world-class noise-cancellation, Bluetooth, lush comfort, and modern design.
Now with that said, let’s get into the actual review!
The Bose QC35 is packed with pretty much every feature you could want or ask for.
Let’s start with the world-class active noise-cancelation. Bose headphones are pretty much synonymous with noise-canceling at this point, and as I shared with the QC25, the noise-cancelation here is excellent.
Just flip the switch and outside noise seems to cut out by 80%-90% or so. Start playing some music, and it’s as if you just pressed the Mute button on the world. Yeah it’s that good.
So one change which Bose made with the QC35 versus the QC25 is the inclusion of an in-built rechargeable battery this time, instead of the external triple A battery with the 25. In my QC25 review, I actually complained about the external battery, and I basically got roasted by people commenting that the external battery is a much better solution for travelers, due to convenience. After reading maybe 20 of these comments, I started to see their point and agree.
Well, that all goes out the window with the new QC35. You can charge these much like any smartphone using the Micro USB cable which it comes with. The good news is that a single charge lasts a very long time, about 20 hours with the Bluetooth wireless turned on, and much longer without.
Speaking of Bluetooth wireless, this is the newest feature added to these headphones and is easily the biggest selling-point versus the older QC25. The headphones pair up with a phone or computer flawlessly, just turn on Bluetooth on your phone, turn on the headphones, choose the Bose headphones from your phone, and voila. Paired up and ready to go.
One cool feature since these are Bluetooth wireless is that the headphones actually talk when giving commands. For instance, when you first turn on the headphones, a voice tells you the current battery life percentage, and if it automatically connects to any familiar device.
Along with the voice commands, there are buttons on the right earcup of the headphones themselves that control rewind, play/pause, and skip to next track. There’s also buttons to raise or lower the volume.
Overall, I found the Bluetooth to work pretty flawlessly with my Smartphone, and the battery life is solid so far.
So aside from Bluetooth and noise-cancellation, the QC35 comes in a premium hardshell case much like the QC25. These headphones also fold flat with earcups that swivel to fit into the case. Inside the case, you also get a wired cable which basically turns the QC35 into the QC25. And lastly, you get the famous Bose airplane adapter
Where do I begin with the styling? First off, I think that this pair in the brand new all-silver colorway looks exceptional. Everything about it just looks so sleek and premium. But with that said, the styling is identical to the QC25, so there’s nothing really new here aside from the colorway, which does make a big difference to my eyes.
As I’ve spent a lot of time looking at both the QC25 and 35, I’ve come to appreciate the overall low-profile and slimness of the design, which looks good whether out in public or just sitting on a desk. One important difference is that the QC35 has leather at the top of the headband versus cloth on the QC25
For the category of comfort, I mean the very name of these headphones is QuietComfort so there’s no surprise that the comfort is next level. One of the plus sides of being mostly made of plastic is that these headphones are exceptionally light so they don’t put a lot of pressure on your head.
The leather on the earcups feels premium and very plush, almost like a memory foam. The headband has a nice suede and leather material as well.
I have no doubt that most people could wear these for hours without an ounce of discomfort.
4. Build Quality
In my QC25 review, I critiqued the build quality due to the large amount of plastic that this headphone is made out of. Nothing has changed physically with the QC35, but I will admit that as time goes on, I’m beginning to believe that these headphones are stronger than they look or feel. The are reinforced with metal in the hinges and in the headband I believe, so that’s reassuring.
No doubt, as long as you take care of them and use the included hardshell case, these should easily last for years if nothing electrical malfunctions. Lastly these do come with a 1 year limited warranty for peace of mind.
5. Sound Quality
Ok so here’s what everyone’s been waiting for, and it’s the sound. After testing these for about a week straight, I’ve come to the conclusion that the sound quality is identical to the QC25. Also, the sound quality is identical whether wireless or wired.
With that being said, overall sound quality is pretty excellent, and I have to admit that the QC35/QC25 has really grown on me.
I think my favorite part about the sound of these headphones is the soundstage. Instruments and vocals seem to be spaced out nicely, with the vocals pulled back a bit and not so in your face. I like this because it feels like a much more natural listening experience compared to other closed-back headphones, where everything is narrow and too upfront.
As far as frequency response is concerned, these headphones definitely are a little hyped in the bass and treble regions since the mids seemed a little subdued. The treble cuts through the mix nicely, providing some extra detail up top.
I originally critiqued the QC25 for not having enough bass impact, and although other headphones have quite a bit more, I’ve concluded that the QC35 actually has pretty decent bass when the volume is turned up and you’re using a decent source or additional amp.
Bottomline, the QC35 is an excellent headphone in all categories, and with the new addition of Bluetooth wireless, these may just be the best overall headphone you can buy today. But all of that goodness does come with a price, and as of right now, that price is $350. Now you’re probably wondering, can it possibly be worth it?
I like to look at it this way. Everybody loves music, maybe some more than others. People deserve to be able to hear their music in its fullest quality, not through some cheap earbuds. In addition to sound quality, throw in some world-class noise-cancelation that literally mutes the outside world, and these QC35s turn into a haven.
The price of admission may be high, but considering that you’ll be using these every single day for years to come, well I consider that a sound investment.
If you’re interested in picking up a pair for yourself, make sure to click the link in the description below for the lowest price available!
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