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In the box
Bose QuietComfort 35
They were replaced by the Bose QuietComfort 35 II
The Bose QuietComfort 35 are good headphones for commuters thanks to their excellent noise isolation. They're incredibly comfortable so you can wear them for hours, they have an above-average sound quality and a simple design that's suitable for most use cases. They leak a bit less than the QC25 but unfortunately, they may still be distracting to the people around you at moderate volumes. They're also not the most stable or breathable headphones for sports.
See our recommendations for the best Bluetooth Headphones.
- Outstanding noise isolation.
- Wireless and comfortable design.
- Good sound quality.
- Moderate sound leakage.
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.
The Bose 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 carrying 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 the Bose QC35, which lets you personalize the color schemes when ordering to better suit your taste and preferences.
These headphones 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.
The Bose 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.
The Bose QC35 have a decent 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, and do not provide a noise canceling switch to just turn off the ANC or switch between ambient modes.
- 100% Avg.Temp.Difference
The Bose QuietComfort 35 do not have the most breathable design. They are over-ears that create a good seal around your ears which prevents a lot of airflow. This means they will make you sweat a bit more than average during physical exercise and will not be suitable for more intense work out routines. On the upside, they should be fine for more casual listening sessions only making your ears warm after hours of use.
The Bose 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.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 come 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 QC25.
The Bose 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.
The Bose 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, 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.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless are a good sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. They have an excellent, consistent, and well-balanced bass, with adequate punch and thump. They also have a very good mid-range and a very good treble. This makes them very versatile and suitable for a variety of genres from EDM to jazz and classical. However, they may sound a bit forward on vocals for some, and their treble is a bit uneven. Also, like most other closed-back headphones, they don't have an open and out-of-head soundstage.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 have an excellent bass. Their low-frequency extension (LFE) is at 10Hz, which is great. Also, low-bass is within 2dB of our target response. This means that these headphones are capable of producing low thumping and rumbling sounds, which is important for bass-heavy genres like EDM. Mid-bass, which is important for the punch of bass and kick instruments, is also flat and within 1dB of our target. Overall, their bass is deep, well-balanced, and punchy.
The Bose QC35 have a very good mid-range. Low-mid, which is an essential region for almost all instruments, is flat and well-balanced. But mid-mid and high-mid are a bit uneven, resulting in a bit of excess intensity and projection in the higher harmonics of vocals/leads. Overall, their mid-range is clear and open, but could be slightly forward sounding are bright tracks.
The treble is great. The response is a bit uneven, but the inconsistencies are too small to have a significant effect. The only remark here is that, because of the 1.3dB overemphasis in low-treble, some may find vocals and lead instruments a tad forward on these headphones.
The bass and treble delivery of the Bose QC35 is exceptionally consistent. In the bass range, the maximum deviation measured across our 5 human subjects is about 0.5dB, which is excellent. This is similar to what we have seen with the WH-1000XM2 and the QuietComfort 25. This is most likely due to the active noise cancelling (ANC) system of the headphones, which checks for fit and seal using feedback. In the treble range they are a bit less consistent, with the maximum deviation of 6dB (below 10KHz), which is still within good limits.
The imaging is very good. The weighted group delay is 0.11 which great. The group delay graph also shows that the entire response is below our audibility threshold. This is not the case with some other Bluetooth headphones such as the MDR-1000X. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were pretty well-matched. This ensures an even and coherent stereo image, which is important for localizing instruments and objects (such as voices, instruments, and footsteps) in music and video games.
The soundstage of the Bose, like most other headphones is sub-par. Their PRTF graph doesn't quite match our reference speaker's in shape (accuracy), which means that the perceived soundstage may not be quite nautral sounding. However, they activate the pinna to a good degree regardless (PRTF Size), suggesting that the perceived soundstage won't be too small, like on-ears. Overall, the soundstage of these headphones is better than most on-ears and in-ears, but won't have the natural and out-of-head quality of a speaker setup.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 have a decent harmonic distortion performance. In the bass range, the overall amount of harmonic distortion is low and within good limits. However, their THD is rather elevated in the treble range which could make vocals, leads, and cymbals a bit harsh and brittle sounding.
The Bose 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 busy commutes or noisy flights, which makes them great for that use case. Unfortunately, they leak quite a bit and would be distracting to the people around you at moderate volumes.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 is one of our best-performing over-ear headphones. They achieve more than 15dB of isolation in the bass range, which is important for cancelling out the rumble of airplane and bus engines. In the mid-range they isolate by more than 22dB, which is important for cutting out human speech. In the treble range, which is occupied by sharp S and T sounds, they achieve about 35dB of isolation which is good. Overall their ANC performance is nearly identical to that of QuietComfort 35 II, and the difference in the bass range is due to our updated test tone.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 have an average leakage performance. 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 range. The level of the leakage is also relatively loud. Overall, the leakage will be audible to people around you at high volumes and in moderately quiet environments, such as a quiet office.
The performance of the Bose QuietComfort 35's integrated microphone is mediocre. Speech recorded/transmitted with the mic of the Bose will sound thin and noticeably muffled. This could make understanding the speech a bit difficult. They also don't do too well in noisy environments and will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise even in moderately loud environments, such as a busy street.
The recording quality of the Bose QC35's integrated microphone is sub-par. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 281Hz means that speech with these headphones will sound noticeably thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 2.2KHz, indicates a muffled and lacking speech transmission. This will have a negative effect on the intelligibility of speech.
- 100% SpNR
The noise handling of the mic is mediocre. In our test, it achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of about 17dB, which is below average. This makes this microphone suitable mostly for quiet environments.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 have a great battery life but a mediocre app. 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 that lets you select between different time intervals. Unfortunately, the bundled app is a little lackluster only give you a limited amount of control over the headphones active features especially when compared to other headphones like the Sony WH-1000XM2 or the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless.
The Bose 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.
The Bose Connect app is sleek but only offers a minimal list of features. It allows you to connect, rename, and update the QC35 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.
- 10% Bluetooth
- 32% Wired
- 10% Base/Dock
- 22% Wireless Range
- 25% Latency
The Bose QuietComfort 35 offer decent amount of connection options. They can pair simultaneously with multiple devices, they have an above-average wireless range and support NFC which makes pairing with smartphones a breeze. They also come with a regular audio cable that does not have an inline remote. This means that these headphones do not have a microphone that will be compatible with consoles. They also have a quite a bit of latency, which is fairly average for Bluetooth headphones but not ideal for watching movies and gaming.
- 79% Multi-Device Pairing
- 20% NFC
- 0% PS4 Compatible
- 0% Xbox One Compatible
The Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones can pair simultaneously with 2 devices and support NFC. This makes them a rather versatile headphone when using Bluetooth. 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 keep the last sync devices in memory for automatic pairing when you turn the headphones on.
- 13% Analog
- 9% USB
- 26% PS4 Compatible
- 26% Xbox One Compatible
- 26% PC Compatible
These headphones come with a simple audio cable with no in-line remote or USB adapter. This means they do not have a mic that is compatible with consoles.
- 4% Optical Input
- 22% Line In
- 4% Line Out
- 22% USB Input
- 4% RCA Input
- 9% PS4 Compatible
- 9% Xbox One Compatible
- 9% PC Compatible
- 2% Power Supply
- 13% Dock Charging
These headphones do not have a base/dock. If you want a versatile headset with a base that you can also use wired check out the Arctis 7 by SteelSeries.
The Bose 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. They also have a decent line-of-sight range although it is not as good as the Beats Studio3 Wireless or the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2
The Bose QC35 have about 189ms of latency. While this is about average for most Bluetooth headphones with no additional low latency codecs, it's not ideal for watching videos and gaming. If you need to watch movies either use them wired or get the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x for their wired connection and good sound.
In the box
- Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones
- Audio cable
- Airline adapter
- Carrying case
- USB charging cable
Compared to other Headphones
The Bose QuietComfort 35 are good noise canceling headphones with a super comfortable design. They do not look as high-end for their price but provide a decently versatile design that's great for commuting and sounds decently well-balanced even without an equalizer. Unfortunately, their sound can't be customized like some of the competing models and they tend to be a bit leaky at higher volumes.
The Sony WH-1000Xm2 are a better-built alternative with a more premium looking design. They have a good sound and lots of customization options thanks to the new app support. They're also one of the best noise canceling headphones we've measured, which makes them a good choice for commuters and travelers. If you want the flexibility of a customizable sound and noise cancellation profile, then the WH-1000XM2 is a good option but if comfort is your top priority, then go for the QC35 instead.
The Beats Studio3 Wireless have a more stylish design and they're stable enough for sports. They have a better wireless range and a good battery life with an excellent quick charge feature. Unfortunately, their noise cancellation doesn't quite measure up to the Bose, so if noise isolation in noisy environments is most important for you, then get the Bose QuietComfort 35. However, if you want a more versatile design and have an iOS device, then the Studio 3 are a great alternative.
The Sennheiser PXC 550 are a versatile wireless headset with great customization options and a good sound. They do not have as much isolation as the Bose QC35 but they provide more control over their active features. They also have a comfortable design that's slightly more well rounded than the QC35 thanks to their tighter fit which makes them a bit more stable for sports. The PXC 550 are a great alternative to the Bose but won't be as well-suited for commuters due to their slightly weaker isolation.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50X are one of the best-sounding closed back headphones that we've measured. They have a wired design that's decently comfortable but a bit too bulky and not versatile enough for all use cases. If you only care about sound quality and do not need a lot of active features with your headphones, then the M50x are a great choice. However, they won't be as convenient for day to day use and they're also not as comfortable.
Questions & Answers
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.
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.
Before asking a question, make sure you use the search function of our website. The majority of the answers are already here.