Hell is other people and no one thinks it is more effective than Bose. The QuietComfort headphones are constantly beating when it comes to noise cancellation. In 2016, the Bose took over this superpower and made it wireless. The resulting Bose QuietComfort 35 was one of the best headphones on the market. One year later they were updated and replaced by the Bose QuietComfort 35 II.
We are essentially looking at the same product with minor changes this time. Bose has added intelligent elements like Google Assistant to keep up with the fierce competition of the Sony WH-1000XM2 and B & W PX.
That’s useful, but not the main attraction. The biggest selling point of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II is still what the name promises: These headphones are the quietest and most comfortable you can buy.
The Bose QC35 II look virtually identical to the original. It’s a design that can be considered simple or boring. I think its simplicity makes it versatile – I’ve seen countless commuters wearing Bose QC35, and its neutral design means it’s suitable for both bankers and ballerina.Most of the chassis is made of an unobtrusive, matte plastic, available in black or silver gray. I prefer the black. For my eyes, the silver is a little sumptuous. The only bonus is the use of metal caps on the back of the earcups. Unlike the B & W PX, there are no fancy textures or ornate sculpted elements.That does not mean that these headphones feel cheap. They come with a suitcase, but if you do not care about scratches, the QC35 II would survive happily if it were thrown into a backpack or purse alone. They feel solid. there is nothing to worry about. Fans of luxury, however, should instead watch the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless.The advantage of a mostly plastic structure is that you get very lightweight headphones. The Bose QC35 II weighs 234 g, the aluminum-clad B & W PX 335 g. It’s not much, but in the course of a long-haul flight, it makes a difference.From the best wireless and noise-canceling headphones I’ve tested, Bose is still the winner when it comes to comfort. The clamping force is reasonable – grip, not squeezing – and the padding is wonderfully soft.
On the wireless front, little has changed. What you get is vanilla Bluetooth 4.1. There is no higher quality codec like aptX. The B & W PX, which puts more emphasis on audio performance, offers Aptx HD.The active noise cancellation (ANC) is now adjustable. On the original Bose QC35, the ANC element was on or off earlier. Now you can configure it in the iOS / Android app and leave it either full, low or off. This is a small but useful feature if you want to leave an ear open for airport announcements or a child in the next room.The battery life remains unchanged: You can play up to 20 hours wirelessly or up to 40 hours in wired mode. Google Assistant is another innovation. This is the first example of a series of collaborations between Google and hardware manufacturers. It is activated with the smart button on the left auricle.Why? Finally, the Play button on most headphones already exists in duplicate to invoke the wizard of a smartphone. Here the assistant is much better integrated.Tap this button to view the time and notifications. If you have a new message, this is read to you by pressing a button. Do you want to answer? Keep this button pressed, speak your message and release it.By holding down this button, you can generally talk to Google Assistant. Ask him to navigate home, play music from your Spotify account, or ask for the weather. I found the speech recognition in loud areas a little hit and missed. If it works, it’s still a useful way to get things done without ripping your smartphone out.If you’re not interested in Google Assistant, you can completely remove it from the Smart button. With the app, you can turn off the function and turn this button into a switch to adjust the ANC levels.
Active Noise Canceling (ANC) is still the leader in the class. If your only interest is to cut yourself off from the rest of the world, stop reading and buy them. You will find nothing but making a loud motor a whisper. It is really impressive.The usual caveats apply: ANC works best with low, constant sounds, so you may still hear the siren of an ambulance racing past it. Strong wind confuses the noise canceling microphones so you can hear it too. However, this is the case with every ANC headphone I’ve tried.The impressive noise cancellation has been extended to the microphones for calls. Previously, many people reported problems with the microphone sensitivity of the QC35, which caused background noise and made conversation difficult. I had a phone conversation with the bathroom exhaust fan and the kettle was cooking while washing the dishes – the person on the other end was clear and could hear me perfectly. As for the music performance? The Bose QC35 II sounds good, but they are not the best. It’s a clear tone that overcomes the annoying humming or hissing of fewer wireless ANC headphones. Although they are closed headphones, the sound is wide and spacious.The bass is beefy, but never overwhelming, the midrange is detailed and the treble is crunchy without getting scratchy. It’s a smooth presentation that lasts for hours without fatigue.
If you want to have the best noise-canceling headphones in the area, this is the place to go. The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are simply the best to shield the world and isolate you in a bubble.
They are also the most comfortable wireless ANC options on the market. If you commute a lot and especially if you fly frequently on long hauls, these will be your best friend. The Google Assistant element is cool, but it’s not that indispensable, and its competitors have more impressive intelligent features.