Offering field-leading sound quality and great noise cancellation, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II were some of the best wireless headphones we tested. They made everything we listened to sound great, from loud, bass-heavy anthems to quiet audiobooks and podcasts. The integrated Google assistant adds a new level of functionality for Android users, and the 20 hours of battery life is more than enough to get you through the day. While newer models from Bose do outstrip these headphones, they remain in the upper echelon of noise-canceling over-ear headphones.Editor's Note: This Bose gear review was updated on January 18, 2022, to provide additional details on the products we prefer and why.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Review
Pros: Great sound quality, good noise cancellation, comfortable, built-in Google Assistant
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|Pros||Great sound quality, good noise cancellation, comfortable, built-in Google Assistant||Superb active noise cancellation and overall sound quality, multipoint Bluetooth pairing, auto-pause, relatively comfortable for most people||Excellent sound quality, field-leading noise cancellation, comfortable||Great sound quality, great noise cancellation, comfortable, user friendly features||Inexpensive, powerful bass, effective active noise cancellation, comfortable|
|Cons||Expensive||Expensive||Expensive||Expensive, both sound quality and noise cancellation fall just short of being the best in the field||Lacks some brightness in mid and vocal ranges, headband may be to large for smaller heads|
|Bottom Line||Top of the line headphones that offer nearly everything you could want||Top-notch in terms of both noise cancellation and sound quality, it's hard to find a better listening experience||Pillowy comfort and one of the best personal listening experiences we've enjoyed from any device||Premium cans that offer unique features on top of great sound quality and noise cancellation||Impressively inexpensive given the sound quality, active noise-canceling performance, and comfort|
|Rating Categories||Bose QuietComfort 3...||Sony WH-1000XM4||Bose Noise Cancelli...||Jabra Elite 85h||Soundcore Life Q20|
|Sound Quality (30%)|
|Noise Isolation (25%)|
|User Friendliness (10%)|
|Specs||Bose QuietComfort 3...||Sony WH-1000XM4||Bose Noise Cancelli...||Jabra Elite 85h||Soundcore Life Q20|
|Manufacturer reported battery life (hours)||40 wired, 20 BT||30||20||36||40|
|Measured weight (ounces)||10.9||8.8||9.2||10.5||9.3|
|Included case||Semi-hard case||Semi-hard case||Semi-hard case||Semi-hard case||Lined drawstring pouch|
|Earcup padding cover material||Synthetic protein leather||Foamed urethane/leatherette||Leather||Leatherette||Leatherette|
|Charging cable length (inches)||47.2"||7.9"||42"||12"||40"|
|Microphone for voice?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Onboard buttons||Volume, play/pause, forward/back, noise cancelling||Volume, change track, take/make calls||Volume, play/pause, forward/back, noise cancelling, voice assistant, power/bluetooth, answer/decline/mute calls||Volume, play/pause, forward/back, noise cancelling, voice assistant, power/bluetooth, answer/decline/mute calls, toggle between sound modes||Volume, multifunction, power, NC|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is one of the best sets of wireless headphones that we tested. Though dethroned from their long reign at the top of the field, we would still recommend these headphones without reservation.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II sits near the top of our sound quality leaderboard. These headphones exemplified the crystal clear sound that you would expect from high-end audio equipment in our testing. They also produced impressively deep and resonant bass, which gave the sound a well-rounded and full quality. Everything from bass-heavy electronic music too complicated jazz riffs to mellow acoustic numbers sounds great in these headphones.
Yes, there are some newer models on the market that narrowly best these headphones when it comes to sound quality, but we highly doubt anyone will be disappointed by the sound offered by the QuietComfort 35 II
The QuietComfort 35 II was one of the better models we tested for noise isolation. With the active noise cancellation turned on, the QuietComfort 35 II eliminates almost all ambient noise when you're listening to music. Even when listening to quiet things like podcasts, ambient noise is barely noticeable. If you're not listening to anything, some things may make their way into your ears, like voices and loud footsteps, but they will be very muffled. If you're using the QuietComfort 35 II solely for sound cancellation and not for music listening (e.g., drowning out the crowd noise while you enjoy a museum), we think you'll be satisfied.
Here again, a few newer models on the market from Bose and Sony offer slightly more adept active noise cancellation. Still, the differences are minor and likely not noticeable outside of direct side-by-side comparisons.
Bose doesn't change its physical design between headphones too much, so if you've ever tried on a pair of Bose headphones and found them comfy, we think you'll have similar sentiments about the QuietComfort 35 II. It has widely spaced, fluffy padding that accepts any sized ears and provides a cozy fit. The leather is synthetic.
The QuietComfort 35 II was easy to pair with both Android and iOS devices in our testing. In fact, it can pair with multiple devices at one time, allowing you to switch between all the paired devices with a push of a button. So you can be watching a movie on your tablet and then push a button on the headphones to switch over to your phone when you feel it vibrating in your pocket. This added feature was one thing that earned it one of the highest scores in this metric.
The QuietComfort 35 II features simple onboard headphone controls, with multi-function buttons that can play and pause music and adjust the volume. Double and triple tapping the middle button can move tracks forward or back. Holding that same button-down summons Siri for iOS users. There is also a new dedicated Google Assistant button that can summon Google voice commands. These are nice features to have, but their usefulness depends on how much you use Siri or Google Assistant in the first place. There is also an app that lets you fine-tune audio and noise cancellation settings. We found the app quite intuitive to use, but generally, we found the default settings to be better than any tinkering we did.
The QuietComfort 35 II has hinged earpieces that allow them to fold up into a slim, included carrying case. The headphones themselves weigh 10.9 ounces.
Should You Buy the QuietComfort 35 II?
While expensive, the QuietComfort 35 II's price is fairly average for top-tier noise-canceling headphones. If you're willing to pay a premium for top-notch quality, these headphones offer reasonable value but certainly aren't a bargain. The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are high-performing, noise-canceling headphones that offer pretty much everything you could want from a personal, wireless music device. If you're willing to sacrifice a bit of sound quality and bells and whistles, there are slightly better values available, but if you want top-notch performance, these headphones are a great choice.
What Other Wireless Headphones Should You Consider?
While these are a nice set of headphones, we are left to wonder if you have the money to spend; why wouldn't you get the absolute best in the bunch with the highest test results in the group? The Sony WH-1000XM4 is the most impressive in the group and sports the same price tag. With impressive sound quality and noise cancellation, as well as comfort and more, it is hard to see why someone would choose the QuietComfort 35 over the Sony unless it is a personal comfort-based decision.
— Max Mutter
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