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    Table of Contents
  1. Intro
  2. Design
    1. Style
    2. Comfort
    3. Controls
    4. Stability
    5. Portability
    6. Case
    7. Build Quality
    8. Breathability
    9. Cable
    10. Front
    11. Angled
    12. Side
    13. Rear
    14. Top
  3. Sound
    1. Bass
    2. Mid
    3. Treble
    4. Frequency Response Consistency
    5. Raw Frequency Response
    6. Soundstage
    7. Imaging
    8. Total Harmonic Distortion
  4. Isolation
    1. Noise Isolation
    2. Leakage
  5. Microphone
    1. Recording Quality
    2. Noise Handling
  6. Active Features
    1. Wireless Range
    2. Latency
    3. Battery
    4. App Support
  7. In the box
  8. Conclusion
  9. Q&A
Reviewed on Jun 17, 2016 , Marc Henney, Jean-Christophe Lamontagne

Bose QuietComfort 35 / QC35
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.1
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Test Benches:

  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
7.6Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
7.5Critical Listening
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What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
7.8Commute/Travel
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What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
7.2Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
8.0Office
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What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The QuietComfort 35 deliver the excellent noise canceling of the QuietComfort 25 in a wireless design. They're incredibly comfortable headphones, with an above-average sound. They leak a bit less than the QC25 but sadly, they will still be distracting to the people around you at moderate volumes.

This Headphones is currently our best Wireless Headphones.
Pros
  • Outstanding noise isolation.
  • Wireless and comfortable design.
  • Above-average sound quality.
Cons
  • Moderate sound leakage.

Test Results
Design 7.4
Sound 7.4
Isolation 7.9
Microphone 6.1
Active Features 7.4
Update 9/28/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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7.4

Design

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Score components:
Bose QuietComfort 35 Design Picture

The QuietComfort 35 are well-crafted headphones. They're amazingly comfortable, even during long listening sessions. They're slightly better built than the QuietComfort 25, and their wireless design makes them less likely to fall off your head. They have an efficient control scheme and come with a sturdy case. Unfortunately, they're not tight enough to be comfortably used at the gym, and their overall design feels a bit bland. However, Bose released a custom version of QuietComfort 35, which lets you personalize the color scheme when ordering, to better suit your taste and preferences.

Style
Bose QuietComfort 35 Design Picture 2

The QuietComfort 35 are a mix between the Soundlink Around-Ear II and the QuietComfort 25. They share the same wireless aesthetic and button placement of the SoundLink AE but have the premium materials of the QC25. The all-black model reviewed has a high-end yet understated appeal. However, Bose has also recently released, color customizable variations. Hence for an additional fee, you can fully alter the color schemes to suit your tastes and preferences, giving the headphones a bit more flare and personality.

8.5 Comfort
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What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Bose QuietComfort 35 Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.52 lbs
Clamping Force
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What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
0.69 lbs

The QuietComfort 35 deliver a comfortable listening experience that is hard to match. They're not too tight, and the materials used for the ear cup padding is soft and molds well around your ears. However, they're a little heavier than the QuietComfort 25 due to the wireless technology and rechargeable battery, but it doesn't lessen their comfort level by much and will be barely noticeable once on your head.

6.4 Controls
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What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
Bose QuietComfort 35 Controls Picture
Ease of use : Good
Feedback : Good
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Noise Canceling Control : No
Talk-Through : No
Additional Buttons : No

The QC 35 have a good control scheme. The buttons deliver great tactile feedback, and the functionalities include; Call/music, track-skipping, and volume controls. However, the controls feel a little cramped on the bottom of the right ear cup, but you get used to it quickly.

7.0 Stability
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What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Bose QuietComfort 35 Stability Picture

The QC35 like the QC25, are stable during a casual listening session. However, they're not too tight, which makes them more comfortable but also a little less stable if used during sports. The ear cups of the QC 35, in particular, are slightly heavier and will sway a bit more than the QC 25. Fortunately, thanks to the wireless design, you don't have to worry about the audio cable getting caught on something and yanking the headphones off your head, which gives them a slight edge in stability over the wired model.

6.1 Portability
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What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
Bose QuietComfort 35 Portability Picture
L : 5.12 "
W : 5.71 "
H : 3.15 "
Volume : 92.07 Cu. Inches
Stand required : N/A

The QuietComfort 35 are mid-sized Over-ear headphones. They're a little larger than the QuietComfort 25 but are still decently portable. They fold into a compact format, and the earcups also lay flat to take less space. Unfortunately, They're a bit too big, to carry around on your person and will not comfortably fit into any pockets or smaller handbags.

8.0 Case
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What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Bose QuietComfort 35 Case Picture
Type : Hard case
L : 8.27 "
W : 5.91 "
H : 2.17 "
Volume : 105.72 Cu. Inches

Comes with a sturdy, hard case that will protect the headphones from scratches, falls, and mild water damage. It also doesn't add much bulk and easily stores all the provided headphone accessories in a dedicated pocket within the case, unlike the QuietComfort 25.

7.5 Build Quality
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What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Bose QuietComfort 35 Build Quality Picture

The QuietComfort 35 are slightly better built than the similarly designed QuietComfort 25. They have a little wider headband and a more premium leather material coating. The plastic used for the ear cups is thick and should be able to handle a few drops without getting damaged. However, they have a lot of plastic in their build, which is somewhat durable but not as robust as other higher-end headphones that use dense metals for their joints and frame.

6.2 Breathability
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What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
Bose QuietComfort 35 Breathability Before Picture Bose QuietComfort 35 Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 6.3 C

Cable
Bose QuietComfort 35 Cable Picture
Detachable : Yes
Length : 3.84 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS

Comes with one 1/8"TRRS-1/16" TRRS cable with no in-line controls.

Front
Angled
Side
Rear
Top
7.4

Sound

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What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
Bose QuietComfort 35 Frequency Response

The Bose QuietComfort 35 are a good sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. They have an excellent and well-extended bass, a very good mid-range, and a very good treble. Their performance is also quite consistent and doesn't vary much from person to person. However, their mid-range is slightly forward, and their treble is a bit uneven. Also, like most other closed-back headphones, they don't have an open and spacious soundstage.

9.2 Bass
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What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Bose QuietComfort 35 Bass
Std. Err.
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What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.15 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
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What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.81 dB
Bass
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.97 dB
High-Bass
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.81 dB

8.4 Mid
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What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Bose QuietComfort 35 Mid
Std. Err.
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What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.19 dB
Low-Mid
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.02 dB
Mid
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.83 dB
High-Mid
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.28 dB

8.2 Treble
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What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Bose QuietComfort 35 Treble
Std. Err.
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What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.26 dB
Low-Treble
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.3 dB
Treble
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What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-2.82 dB
High-Treble
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.51 dB

8.1 Frequency Response Consistency
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What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
Bose QuietComfort 35 Consistency L Bose QuietComfort 35 Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
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What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.37 dB

4.2 Soundstage
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What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
PRTF Error
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What it is: The average amount of deviation in Pinna-Related Transfer Function of the headphones, compared to that of a loudspeaker. Whether the soundstage is perceived to be unnatural, located inside or in front of the head, is dependent on this quality. The more the headphones activate the HRTF resonances of the ear (similar to what loudspeakers do), the more the soundstage will be pulled out from inside the listener's head. This quality affects both stereo and mono content.
When it matters: When a natural, in-the-front soundstage is desired, similar to that of a loudspeaker.
Good value: <5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
6.09 dB
Openness
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What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality affects both stereo and mono content. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score.
When it matters: When an open, wide and roomy sound is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
1.9
Acoustic Space Excitation
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What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones takes some of the characteristic of its environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality affects both stereo and mono content. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: When an open, wide and roomy sound is desired.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
3.4
Correlated Crosstalk
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What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.01 dB

7.3 Imaging
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What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Bose QuietComfort 35 Phase Response
Phase Error
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What it is: The average amount of deviation in the phase, from the ideal flat response.
When it matters: When an accurate and transparent imaging is desired.
Good value: <60°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
26.9 °
Driver Mismatch (Amplitude)
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What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <0.3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.99 dB
Driver Mismatch (Frequency)
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What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.99 dB
Driver Mismatch (Phase)
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What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <90°
Noticeable difference: 30°
:
35.11 °

7.1 Total Harmonic Distortion
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What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Bose QuietComfort 35 Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
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What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.574
Weighted THD @ 100
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What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
8.111

7.9

Isolation

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Score components:

The QuietComfort 35 excel at reducing ambient noise in loud environments. Their active noise cancelling is incredibly efficient, and the ear cups create a good seal around the ears for some additional passive isolation. They deliver an isolated listening experience, even on a busy commute or noisy flight. Sadly, they leak quite a bit and would be distracting to the people around you at moderate volumes.

8.5 Noise Isolation
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What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Bose QuietComfort 35 Noise Isolation
Overall Attenuation
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What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-25.16 dB
Bass
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What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-15.7 dB
Mid
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What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-25.58 dB
Treble
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What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-35.17 dB
Self-Noise
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What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
15.9 dB

One of our best-performing Over-Ear headphones. These headphones provide relatively linear isolation, from 80Hz down to 1KHz. They achieve more than 15dB of isolation in the Bass Range, more than 22dB in the Mid Range, and more than 35dB in the Treble Range, all being above average values. With ANC Off however, the low-end isolation goes away for the most part, but the performance from 1KHz and up will remain virtually the same.

6.6 Leakage
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What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Bose QuietComfort 35 Leakage
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
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What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
41.86 dB

Although these headphones perform slightly better than the QuietComfort 25 in the leakage test, they still leak a good amount. The majority of the leakage is between 300Hz and 3KHz, which is relatively a broad spectrum. The overall level of the leakage is high too.

6.1

Microphone

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What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
5.8 Recording Quality
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What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
Bose QuietComfort 35 Microphone Frequency Response
LFE
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What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
281.0 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
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What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
2.54 dB
HFE
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What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
2152.7 Hz
Weighted THD
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What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
16.622
Gain
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What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
39.75 dB

6.4 Noise Handling
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What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
Bose QuietComfort 35 SpNR
SpNR
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What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
16.69 dB

7.4

Active Features

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What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

The QC 35 have an above-average battery life and a good if slightly laggy wireless connection. They won't be the most responsive headphones for gaming or watching movies, but they have a decent wireless range and support NFC pairing. They last up to 18 hours on a single charge and only take about 2 hours to charge. They also have an auto off timer accessible through their bundled app. Unfortunately, the bundled app is a little lackluster only give you a limited amount of control over the headphones active features.

8.1 Wireless Range
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What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry.
Score components:
Type
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What it is: The type and version of the wireless network, the headphones use to connect to the audio source. This could either be Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: The Bluetooth version will determine how compatible the headphones are with your Bluetooth enabled devices. Typically, newer Bluetooth versions are backward compatible with older ones but may lack the additional features that more recent Bluetooth protocols provide.
:
Bluetooth Smart 4.1
Obstructed Range
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What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
39 ft
Line of Sight Range
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What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
116 ft
NFC
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What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
:
Yes

The QuietComfort 35 have an above-average wireless range. They maintained a stable connection just shy of 40 ft, which makes them a decent option for moderately sized offices. Like the other wireless Bose models, they have an easy to pair power switch that can be quickly toggled to put the headphones in pairing mode. They also support NFC. However, since these headphones use the latest Bluetooth Smart technology, you may have to download the Bose app to get these headphones to pair with devices that have an older Bluetooth version. Luckily, it isn't much of a hassle once the connection has been established, as it will remember the last synced device and connect immediately upon power on.

2.5 Latency
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What it is: The latency is how long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen.
Score components:
Base Latency
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What it is: The Base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
189 ms
aptX Latency
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What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
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What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
N/A

8.3 Battery
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What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Score components:
Battery Type
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What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
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What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
18.5 hrs
Charge Time
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What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
2 hrs
Auto-off
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What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
Yes
Audio while charging
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What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when your relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
No
Passive Playback
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What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
Yes

The QC35 have a good battery life, but you still have to charge them relatively often. They're suitable headphones for long flights or road trips, and they have an adjustable timer that helps prolong the battery life. Unfortunately, you can't use them while they're charging although they do not take too long to fully charge.

7.0 App Support
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What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Bose QuietComfort 35 App Picture
App Name : Bose Connect
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
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What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
No
ANC control
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What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
Adjustable
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
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What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
No
Playback control
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What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
Yes
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

The Bose Connect app is sleek but only offers a minimal list of features. It allows you to connect, rename, and update the QC 35 but doesn't provide you with an equalizer. On the upside, the app provides an auto-off timer, you can set at different intervals. A limited in-app player and the battery level status but that's pretty much it, which is disappointing.

Update 18/07/2017: Firmware version 1.3.4. You can now adjust the level of noise canceling and share your music with another Bose Connect compatible headphone.

Noise Cancelation control

Music Share

QuietComfort 35 Auto-off Timer

In the box

Bose QuietComfort 35 In the box Picture

  • Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones
  • Audio cable
  • Airline adapter
  • Carrying case
  • USB charging cable

Conclusion
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

7.6Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
Above-average everyday headphones. The QC35 are versatile and offer a comfortable, well-built wireless design. They have a good sound and great noise canceling, but they're also a bit leaky.
7.5Critical Listening
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What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Above-average for critical listening. They're comfortable for long listening sessions and have a good sound. However, their closed back design is not ideal for pure critical listening.
7.8Commute/Travel
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What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
The QuietComfort 35 are ideal for commuting. They fare well in loud environments, busy commutes, and noisy flights, thanks to their exceptional active noise canceling. They're easy-to-use, comfortable and not too bulky.
7.2Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Decent for sports use. They have a comfortable wireless design and a good control scheme. They're not too bulky but a little unstable.
8.0Office
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What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Decent for office use. They will block the chatter of most offices but leak a bit. The people around you may hear what you're listening to at high volumes.
Average for home theater use. They're extremely comfortable headphones that you can wear for hours, but unfortunately, they have too much latency for watching videos and movies.
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Questions & Answers

15 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
14
Hey Rtings, First of all, thank you so much for this detailed review, I really appreciate it that you made a review based on measurements instead of own experience. However I do have one unanswered question, could you tell me which firmware of the Bose QC is used for this review? I am wondering about this since I have read that there are some considerable differences in sound quality between one firmware and another. Thanks in advance.
We measured the QuietComfort 35 on firmware 1.0.6. We will retest the headphones with the most recent firmware 1.2.10 and append the review with the new data and any significant changes. However, we also have a new test bench, which means we are re-measuring all our previously posted headphones, so not all the changes will be due to the firmware update. We've bumped the QC 35 in our priority queue so the review should be up-to-date in a week or two.
7
I'm debating between these (Bose QC35's) the Sony mdr-1000x's and the Sennheiser PXC 550's. I trust your reviews, but there's nothing on the sonys or the sennheisers, so I was wondering if you had any opinions or suggestions as to which one I should go with. Appreciate all the detailed reviews, thanks guys!
We haven't reviewed the MDR 1000X or the PXC550 yet, but have the latter in the office. It seems in terms of noise cancellation, the QC35 outperforms the PXC550 by a small margin, but the PXC550 is a pretty good headphone too and a big improvement over the previous attempts by Sennheiser.
3
Hello, great review site thanks so much for all the information. I recently purchased the QC35's and have been pretty happy until I tried listening to Daft Punk 'Around the World' . The bass became very boomy and I had to turn the volume way down. Are you able to replicate this? I wonder if my pair are defective or I just reached the limit of what is possible with these. I am considering exchanging them for the sennheiser momentum 2.0 wireless or the new Sony MDR 1000x. Your review suggests that you prefer the Bose over the sennheiser momentums, any word on the sony's? I'm willing to sacrifice anc quality for increased sound quality but for me wireless is essential. Thanks!!
Unfortunately we can't tell if your unit is defective without listening to it. The QC35 does sound a little boomier than the Momentum 2.0 Wireless on "Around the World", but not enough for us to recommend exchanging it with the Momentum 2.0. Double check to see if you have an EQ setup in the signal chain affecting the QC35. Also, the kick on "Around the World" sounds a little boomy on its own, so it may not be the best reference for sound quality.
1
How does the sound quality compare to the SoundTrue II?
Nearly identical, but the QC35 could in theory sound slightly less open and spacious because of their noise-cancelling feature.
1
Disregarding the sound and the ANC, is there a noticeable difference in comfort between the QC35 and the Bose SoundLink Around-Ear II?
No, they are basically made identically.
0
I have the QC 35 and while watching a movie with sound cancellation on and wireless I was experiencing sound distortion during bass heavy parts of the movie. I then turned the headphones off and connected the cable to my computer and the distortion went away. I wanted to know if all QC 35 headphones are doing it or are my pair flawed in some way?

We can't tell exactly what kind of distortion you were hearing without being able to reproduce it ourselves. But we didn't notice a significant difference in the harmonic distortion of the Bass region, between the Wired and Bluetooth responses. However, we noticed that the right ear cup of our test unit would produce measurably more harmonic distortion than the left ear cup, at higher volumes and when connected via Bluetooth. But this is exclusively happening above 100Hz and probably not what you were noticing.

We also didn't notice any noise-cancelling artifacts with the QC35. One way to test that for yourself would be to put the headphones on your head, stomp your feet on the ground and/or tap lightly on the back side of the ear cups. If you notice a low-bass rumble (below 60Hz), that could be an artifact of the noise-cancelling system.

One important thing to point out is that the QC35 (and most other noise-cancelling headphones), use active EQ to fine-tune their sound. That is why the tonal quality of these headphones changes when you turn them on and use them wirelessly. As you can see in the graph below, with QC35 this is quite noticeable in the Bass Range. So our best guess is that what you are noticing is the overall increase in Bass, which in turn, could add excessive low-bass rumble to the sound during the bass-heavy part of the movie.

QC35 Wired vs. BT
0
Team this is great stuff! I believe most buyers only tend to rely more on the reviews found online or word of mouth/sales agent at places like Bestbuy. I wonder if there is any way Bose Soundtrue II can be reviewed.
Thanks! Yes, we have already purchased it. The review should be up in a month or so.
0
Hi RTings! Thank you for the detailed review on the headphones! I just have one question. Since the QC35 has a volume-dependent Active EQ, at what volume was the headphones tested at for the Frequency Response graph?

At the moment we measure headphones at 90dB & 100dB SPL (C-weighting, 20Hz-20Khz pink noise, post compensation curve). However, this may change slightly in the near future.

Not sure how Bose calibrates their headphones, but if the volume-optimized EQ is based on the Equal Loudness Contour, then theirs should be pretty close to ours. Also, the EQ's gain should more or less be reducing as the volume increases.

0
I'm a music producer. Whenever I make beats late at night in the house I've been using my beats pro headphones that I've had for about 5 years. They still sound excellent but it's time for an upgrade. I've considered just getting a new pair of beats pro headphones but I've been searching for a good wireless solution. The wireless beats studio headphones are out of the question because I only want the best. Is the sound in these headphones comparable to the beats pro headphones?
We haven't reviewed the Beats Pro, so we can't comment on that. But the QC35 on their own are pretty neutral sounding. They may sound different from the Beats Pro, but the QC35's neutrality makes them a pretty good candidate for wireless music production. One slightly negative thing about the QC35 is their leakage though. So if you listen at moderately loud volumes, and there are people around you, they may be able to hear the sound.
0
The summary says Mic: Yes but there is no other mention in the review of the mic. Is this accurate?
Yes, the QC35 do have a microphone. However we are not testing the microphones of headphones yet, that's why we don't have more information on that at the moment.
0
If my wish list was 1. Sound quality 2. Comfort 3. NC and money wasn't an issue, which should I buy, the Bose QC35 or Momentum 2 over ear?
Bose QC35 beats the Momentum in all three.
0
To repeat with a slightly different selection set, if my wish list was 1. Sound quality 2. Comfort 3. NC 4. Wireless/wired capabilities and money wasn't an issue, which should I buy, the Bose QC35 or Sennheiser PXC 550s over ear?
We would still recommend the QC35, unless the extra wireless features of the PXC550 are very important to you.
0
Your noise cancellation measurement of Bose QC25 and QC35 shows non-cancelling at about 70 Hz. In other measurement on the internet (innerfidelity.com, about.com, etc.), does not have that non-cancelling at about 70 Hz. What makes the difference? The headphones are from different batch? Or measurement artifact?
The Isolation box that we measure our headphones in, has a bit of a buildup at around 60Hz but that's compensated for post-measurement. Because of the build-up, some headphones can't handle the loud levels that are produced around 60Hz and therefore their noise cancelling system clips. We are looking into improving this, but it is not a big issue in our opinion since it is the same for all headphones. Not all of our noise cancelling headphones have the bump around that range, meaning that some headphones are better at handling low-frequency noise up to 120dB SPL, and some others can't.
0
Purchasing strictly for Blue tooth use with TV. For this purpose, do you think that Bose QC 35 is the best choice? Better selections ? Thank you!
The QuietComfort 35 have a pretty high base latency so they won't be the ideal headphones to use with your TV. Our best Bluetooth recommendation for home theater use are the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. However, to get their best latency performance you may have to purchase a Bluetooth dongle/transmitter that supports aptX Low Latency.

If you strictly need a home theater headphone, then the Sennheiser RS 165 are your best option. They are radio frequency headphones, limited by an RF transmitter stand but have an excellent base latency that's ideal for watching video content. Check out our best home theater recommendations here.
0
Great work guys! If exclusively wired to a tv, do you believe latency would still be an issue? I wouldn't use the wireless option due to latency. Should I turn off noise cancellations for movies and games?
Using your QuietComfort 35 wired with your TV will have practically no latency. Also enabling noise cancellation doesn't add any noticeable delay (below 5ms).
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