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Bose QuietComfort 35 II Review

Top of the line headphones that offer everything you could want
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Price:   $350 List | $299 at Amazon
Pros:  Great sound quality, good noise cancellation, comfortable, built-in Google Assistant
Cons:  Expensive
Manufacturer:   Bose
By Max Mutter ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 28, 2017
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86
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 20
  • Sound Quality - 30% 9
  • Noise Isolation - 25% 8
  • Comfort - 25% 9
  • User Friendliness - 10% 8
  • Portability - 10% 8

Our Verdict

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.


Compare to Similar Products

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.

Performance Comparison



Sound Quality


The Bose QuietComfort 35 II sits near the top of our sound quality leaderboard.


In our testing, these headphones exemplified the crystal clear sound that you would expect from high end audio equipment. They were also able to produce impressively deep and resonant bass, which gave the sound a well rounded and full quality. Everything from bass heavy electronic music to complicated jazz riffs to mellow acoustic numbers sound 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's superb clarity is smile inducing.
The QuietComfort 35 II's superb clarity is smile inducing.

Noise Isolation


The QuietComfort 35 II was one of the best models we tested in terms of noise isolation. It occupied the second step on our noise isolation podium with a score of 8 out of 10.


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 (ie. drowning out the crowd noise while you enjoy a museum), we think you'll be satisfied.

Here again, there are a few newer models on the market from Bose and Sony that offer slightly more adept active noise cancellation, but the differences are minor and likely not noticeable outside of direct side-by-side comparisons.

Bose's active noise cancellation can make most noises blend into the background  kind of like how the QuietComfort 35 blends into the black couch in our break room.
Bose's active noise cancellation can make most noises blend into the background, kind of like how the QuietComfort 35 blends into the black couch in our break room.

Comfort


Here again the QuietComfort 35 II reigned supreme, picking up the highest overall score of 9 out of 10.


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. And, for you vegans out there, the leather is synthetic.

This is one area where the QuietComfort 35 II outperforms its main competitor, the Sony WH1000XM3. By comparison, the Sony's earpieces are shallow and have less padding, so those with larger ears may find them feeling a bit cramped. If you have smaller ears they're just as good as the QuietComfort 35 II.

The incredibly comfy earcups of the QueitComfort 35 II. Also  notice the Google assistant button to the left. You can also summon Siri by holding down the multifunction button on the right. No word on how Alexa feels about being left out.
The incredibly comfy earcups of the QueitComfort 35 II. Also, notice the Google assistant button to the left. You can also summon Siri by holding down the multifunction button on the right. No word on how Alexa feels about being left out.

User Friendliness


The QuietComfort 35 II is quite easy to use and shard the top score of 8 out of 10 in our user friendliness testing.


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 on 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 intuitive controls.
The QuietComfort 35 II has intuitive controls.

This is one area where the QuietComfort 35 II outdid its main competitor, the Sony WH1000XM3. The Sony uses touch sensitive controls. Though these controls lend a slightly sleeker look, they also aren't quite as intuitive as physical buttons, especially considering that you use the controls while the headphones are on your head and out of your sightline.

Portability


The QuietComfort 35 II have hinged earpieces that allow them to fold up into a slim, included carrying case. The headphones themselves weight 10.9 ounces. The only model that outperformed the QuietComfort 35 II in this metric was the Beats Solo 3, which are noticeably lighter at 7.5 ounces and also includes a padded carrying case. The Sony WH1000XM3 earned the same score as the Sony WH1000XM3, weighing in at a comparable 9.5 ounces and offering a carrying case that is nearly identical to Bose's.


Value


While expensive, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II's price is fairly average when it comes to 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.

Bose provides a very nice carrying case.
Bose provides a very nice carrying case.

Conclusion


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.

Other Versions


If you're willing to order your headphones directly from Bose and don't mind paying an extra $100, you can completely customize the look of your headphones. And when we say completely, we mean completely. Check out the crazy ones we designed, just for fun.

Bose doesn't like to stifle creativity.
Bose doesn't like to stifle creativity.


Max Mutter