Preferred headphones store
Reviewed on Mar 01, 2018 , Sam Vafaei, Yannick Khong

Bose QuietComfort 35 II
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
7.4
Mixed Usage
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:
7.9
Critical Listening
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:
7.7
Commute/Travel
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.
Score components:
7.1
Sports/Fitness
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.
Score components:
7.8
Office
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:
6.0
TV
Score components:
5.6
Gaming
Score components:
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are great headphones for commuting and traveling with a few improvements over the previous model. The redesign does not change much but adds a bit more functionality and a dedicated button for Google Assistant and to switch between noise canceling modes which is a welcomed addition. They're still super comfortable headphones with a very good sound quality and a versatile, easy-to-use design but unfortunately, they're also a bit leaky a bit at higher volumes.

Pros
  • Outstanding noise isolation.
  • Comfortable wireless design.
  • Great sound quality.
Cons
  • Moderate leakage at high volumes.
  • Relatively high latency.

Test Results
Design 7.4
Sound 8.0
Isolation 7.8
Microphone 6.1
Active Features 7.9
Connectivity 5.3
Update 9/10/2018: The self-noise value in Noise Isolation was corrected. The active noise cancellation performance has not changed.

Check Price

7.4

Design

Score components:
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Design Picture

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II have a decently versatile design that's easy-to-use and very comfortable. You can wear them for hours without any fatigue, thanks to the very soft padding on the ear cups. Their build, comfort level, portability, and case are pretty much identical to the original Bose QuietComfort 35 but their control scheme is a little different. They now have a dedicated button to switch between noise cancelling modes and to activate Google Assistant. It's a decent improvement, being able to turn off the noise-canceling and still use the headphones felt like a missing feature on the previous model. Unfortunately, they're still not the best headphones for the gym due to their slightly loose fit and over-ear design that's not as breathable for exercising or sports.

Style
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Design Picture 2

The Bose QC35 II look identical to the original QuietComfort 35 but with an additional button on the left ear cup. They have the same aesthetics, design, and button layout (for the rest of the controls) and come in the same color schemes at launch. The all-black model reviewed has a high-end yet understated appeal, but there is also a silver/grey alternative that is a bit more flashy without being tacky. There is no special edition variant yet, so you can't choose your own colors schemes like on the previous model.

8.5 Comfort
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 II Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.52 lbs
Clamping Force
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 Bose QuietComfort 35 II are one of the most comfortable over-ears that we've tested so far. They're not too tight on the head, the headband and ear cups are well-padded and they're lightweight. They have the same fit and weight as the original QC35 which you can wear for hours at a time and not feel any fatigue. Breathability may be an issue during long listening sessions but not comfort.

7.4 Controls
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 II Controls Picture
Ease of use : Good
Feedback : Good
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : Adjustable
Talk-Through : No
Additional Buttons : Voice enabled controls

The Bose QC35 II have a slightly improved control scheme over the original QC35. They have an additional button on the left ear cup that will activate Google Assistant or switch between noise cancelling modes. The rest of the buttons though, are pretty much the same as on the previous model. They deliver great tactile feedback and the functionalities include: call/music, track-skipping, and volume controls. The buttons feel a little cramped on the bottom of the right ear cup but they're easy-to-use and you get accustomed to them fairly quickly.

6.3 Breathability
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 II Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 6.2 C

The QuietComfort 35 II like the previous model do not have the most breathable design. They create a good seal around your ears which prevents a lot of airflow and will make you sweat a bit more than average when exercising. They will not be the most suitable headphones for 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.

6.1 Portability
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 II Portability Picture
L : 5.1 "
W : 5.7 "
H : 3.2 "
Volume : 92 Cu. Inches
Stand required : N/A

The Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II are mid-sized over-ears, which means they won't be the most portable headphones to carry around on your person. They fold into a more compact format, and the ear cups also lay flat to take less space. However, they're a bit too bulky to have them on you at all times.

8.0 Case
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 II Case Picture
Type : Hard case
L : 8.3 "
W : 5.9 "
H : 2.2 "
Volume : 105.7 Cu. Inches

The Bose QC35 II headphones come with the same sturdy, hard case of the previous model. It 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
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 II Build Quality Picture

The build quality the QC35 II is the same as the original model. The plastic used for the ear cups is dense and should be able to handle a few drops without getting damaged. The headband is decently flexible and has a metal frame to reinforce the build which makes them a bit more durable. However, they still have a lot of plastic in their design, which is decently durable but feels a bit cheap for their price range, especially when compared to other headphones like the Parrot Zik 3.0, the Oppo PM-3 or the Sony WH-1000XM2.

7.0 Stability
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 II Stability Picture

The Bose QuietComfort 35 Series 2 are decently stable but not tight enough on the head to be suitable for more intense exercises. The ear cups, sway a little when exercising but 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.

Cable
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Cable Picture
Detachable :

The Bose QC 35 II come with one 1/8" TRRS-1/16" TRRS audio cable with no in-line remote, and a micro USB charging cable.

Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
8.0

Sound

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 II Frequency Response

The Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II are a very good sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. They sound nearly identical to the older model. Their bass is consistent and deep, with just the right amount of thump and punch. This makes them very versatile and suitable for all types of content from classical, to Dubstep, to podcasts. They also have very well-balanced mid and trebles ranges, although some may find them a tad too emphasized on vocals and leads. They also have great imaging, but like most other closed-back headphones, their soundstage is not speaker-like and out-of-head.

9.0 Bass
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 II Bass
Std. Err.
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
:
1.55 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
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
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
:
2.51 dB
Mid-Bass
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
:
1.41 dB
High-Bass
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
:
1.2 dB

The bass of the Bose QC35 II is excellent. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is great. Low-bass is quite flat and over our target by about 2dB. This indicates a deep and thumpy bass, capable of producing the low rumbling sounds common to EDM, hip-hop, dubstep and film scores. Additionally, mid-bass and high-bass are also flat and within 2dB of our target.

9.0 Mid
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 II Mid
Std. Err.
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
:
1.4 dB
Low-Mid
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
:
0.36 dB
Mid-Mid
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
:
-0.96 dB
High-Mid
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
:
-1.03 dB

The Bose QuietComfort 35 Series 2 have a great mid-range. The range's response is virtually flat and within 1dB of our target, which is remarkable. The deviation from our target in high-mid is very subtle, but could make the vocals and lead instruments a tad forward sounding. Overall, their mid-range is very well-balanced, ensuring a clear reproduction of vocals and lead instruments.

8.5 Treble
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 II Treble
Std. Err.
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
:
2.88 dB
Low-Treble
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
:
0.35 dB
Mid-Treble
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
:
-2.6 dB
High-Treble
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
:
-2.92 dB

The treble of the Bose QC35 II is very good. The response is rather uneven, but its effect will be negligible. Low-treble is with 0.35dB of our target, and mid-treble within 2.6dB. Overall, they have a detailed treble with just the right amount of presence, which is critical for a good reproduction of vocals, leads, and cymbals.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
Score components:
7.7 Frequency Response Consistency
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 II Consistency L Bose QuietComfort 35 II Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
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
:
0.45 dB

The Bose QC35 II have a good frequency response consistency. In the bass range, they seem to be using their ANC (active noise cancelling) to check for seal and ensuring proper bass delivery. They tend to perform very consistently even on users who wear glasses. In the treble range (below 10KHz), the maximum amount of deviation is about 6dB, which is good, but the positioning of the headphones on the head can definitely have a small effect on their perceived brightness.

9.0 Imaging
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 II Group Delay Bose QuietComfort 35 II Phase Response
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.1
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
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: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.69
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
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: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.26
Weighted Phase Mismatch
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: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
2.98

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II have excellent imaging. Their weighted group delay is 0.1, which is among the lowest we have measured. The graph also shows that virtually the entire group delay is below our audibility threshold. The spike in group delay in high-treble, and the mis-match in group delay in low-bass, although not ideal should not have a perceptible effect. There was also some mismatch between the L/R drivers of our test unit, especially in frequency and phase response, but their effect won't be very noticeable either. Overall, they have a tight bass and a transparent treble, along with an accurate placement of objects (voice, instruments, footsteps) in the stereo image.

5.5 Soundstage
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.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II PRTF
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.96 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
6.46 dB
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
10.6 dB
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. 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, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage 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
:
1.6
Acoustic Space Excitation
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 will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
4.0
Correlated Crosstalk
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
:
0.0 dB

The soundstage of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II is sub-par. They show a decent amount of PRTF accuracy and activation (Size), which should translate into a relatively large and natural sounding soundstage. However, their PRTF Distance score is below-average, suggesting a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside-the-head, as opposed to in-front. Also, because of the closed-back design and ANC, they tend to sound less open than open-back headphones.

7.1 Total Harmonic Distortion
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 II Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
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
:
2.008
Weighted THD @ 100
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
:
4.812

Average harmonic distortion performance. The overall amount of harmonic distortion is low and within good limits. It also doesn't change too much under heavier loads. However, the right driver of our test unit shows considerably more distortion than the left driver, which although negligible, is not ideal. Also, the peak in THD around 1.5KHz, could make the sound of the region a bit harsh and brittle.

7.8

Isolation

Score components:

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II have an excellent noise isolation performance. They have one of the best active noise-canceling that we've measured, which makes them great headphones for commuters and frequent flyers. They will easily cancel the noisy engine of a bus or train ride and are also great at reducing the ambient chatter in a busy office. Unfortunately, they leak quite a bit and would be distracting to the people around you at moderate volumes, which is not ideal for quieter environments.

8.4 Noise Isolation
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 II Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
What it is: The simulated noise isolation of the headphones, demonstrating how much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording. For headphones with ANC (active noise cancellation), the playback simulates the isolation with ANC enabled.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
:
Overall Attenuation
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
:
-27.08 dB
Bass
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
:
-20.5 dB
Mid
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
:
-25.28 dB
Treble
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
:
-35.82 dB
Self-Noise
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
:
21.25 dB

The ANC (active noise cancellation) of the Bose QC35 II is remarkable, and nearly identical to that of the older model. In the bass range, where the rumble of airplane and bus engines sit, they achieve more than 20dB of isolation, which is one of the highest we have measured. In the mid-range, important for cancelling out speech, they get 25dB of isolation, which is great. They also achieve a good 35dB of isolation in the treble range, which is occupied by sharp sounds such as S and Ts.

6.5 Leakage
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 II Leakage
Leakage Audio
What it is: The simulated sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
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
:
42.4 dB

The leakage performance of the Bose QC 35 II is average. The majority of their leakage is in the mid-range, between 400Hz and 3KHz. This means that their leakage will sound fuller and more distracting than that of in-ears and earbuds. So although the overall level of their leakage is not very loud, people around you will be able to hear your music if you blast it, even in moderately noisy places like a bus.

6.1

Microphone

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:
Integrated
What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
In-line
What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Boom
What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Detachable Boom
What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
N/A

The performance of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II's integrated microphone is mediocre. Speech recorded/transmitted with the mic will sound thin and noticeably muffled. This could make understanding the speech a bit difficult. They also don't fare well in noisy environments and will struggle to separate speech from background noise even in moderately loud environments, such as a busy street.

5.8 Recording Quality
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 II Microphone Frequency Response
Recorded Speech
What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
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
:
315.41 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
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
:
1.78 dB
HFE
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
:
2061.43 Hz
Weighted THD
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
:
2.399
Gain
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
:
37.46 dB

The recording quality of the Bose QC35 II's integrated microphone is sub-par. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 315Hz, which means transmitted/recorded speech with these headphones will sound noticeably thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 2.1KHz, indicates a muffled and lacking speech transmission. This will have a negative effect on the intelligibility of speech.

6.4 Noise Handling
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 II SpNR
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
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
:
16.19 dB

The noise handling of the mic is mediocre. In our SpNR test, it achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of about 16dB, which is below average. This makes this microphone suitable mostly for quiet environments, and not great for moderate and loud environments.

7.9

Active Features

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 Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II have a great battery life but a mediocre app.  They lasted a bit longer than the original model, at 20 hours of continuous playback for about the same charge time. You can almost double the battery life if you do not use noise-canceling and they turn off automatically after a set time if nothing is playing, which is a great power saving feature. Unfortunately, although the app has been improved via firmware updates, it still feels a little lacking when compared to other headphones like the Sony WH-1000XM2 or the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless.

7.9 Battery
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.
Battery Type
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
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
:
20 hrs
Charge Time
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
:
2.1 hrs
Power Saving Feature
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.
:
Auto-Off Timer
Audio while charging
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
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 Bose QC35 II have a great battery life, that's slightly better than the original QC35. 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
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 II App Picture
App Name : Bose Connect
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
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
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 : No
Room effects
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
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 QC35 II but doesn't provide you with an equalizer. On the upside, the app offers a good auto-off timer that you can set at different intervals. You also get a limited in-app player and the battery level status as well as being able to select from different noise cancelling profiles (High, Low and off). It's decent but not as customizable as the Sony| Headphones Connect app or the Sennheiser Captune app.

5.3

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: To know how compatible your Bluetooth device, console or PC will be with your wired or wireless headset.
Score components:
  • 10% Bluetooth
  • 33% Wired
  • 10% Base/Dock
  • 22% Wireless Range
  • 25% Latency

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II, like the previous model, are a Bluetooth headset that can pair simultaneously with multiple devices, supports NFC and comes with a regular audio cable. They have a slightly improved wireless range but a worse latency performance than the original model. This makes them a bit worse for watching videos but it's not a huge difference and won't be noticeable for most. They both won't be ideal for watching movies or gaming and only come with a regular audio cable that does not have an inline microphone. 

8.8 Bluetooth
What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: To connect wirelessly to Bluetooth sources like your phone, tablet, console, PC and TV.
Score components:
  • 80% Multi-Device Pairing
  • 20% NFC
  • <1% PS4 Compatible
  • <1% Xbox One Compatible
Bluetooth Version : 4.1
Multi-Device Pairing
What it is: A Bluetooth profile that allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources, and have full call and media support on both/all devices they are connected to.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example, switching from your phone to your home or work PC and still have call and media support on both devices.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
2 Devices
NFC
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.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your PS4.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your Xbox one.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No

The Bose QC35 II headphones can pair simultaneously with 2 devices and support NFC. 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. They're one of the best Bluetooth headphones we've tested.

7.2 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: For all devices with a regular audio jack (line-out) and also compatibility of the in-line remote/boom microphone with consoles and Personal computers.
Score components:
  • 13% Analog
  • 9% USB
  • 26% PS4 Compatible
  • 26% Xbox One Compatible
  • 26% PC Compatible
Cable Tested : iOS
Analog
What it is: A regular 1/8" TRS audio jack or a 1/4 or 1/16 TRS with a 1/8 TRS adapter.
When it matters: For all devices with a line out.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
USB
What it is: A USB or USB adapter to connect to your devices for audio and microphone.
When it matters: A digital USB adapter usually offers a slight advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC, and amplifier module or software support and compatibility with PCs. However it may not be as compatible with consoles.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only

The Bose QC35 II 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.

0 Base/Dock
What it is: The base station, dock or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a proprietary frequency range.
When it matters: Knowing the inputs and outputs of the base/dock/dongle as well as its compatibility with consoles and Personal Computers. Also whether the base supports dock charging to easily recharge the headphones without any cables.
Score components:
  • 5% Optical Input
  • 22% Line In
  • 5% Line Out
  • 22% USB Input
  • 4% RCA Input
  • 9% PS4 Compatible
  • 9% Xbox One Compatible
  • 9% PC Compatible
  • 2% Power Supply
  • 13% Dock Charging
Wireless Type
What it is: The type of wireless connection used by the base station/dock to communicate with the headphones.
When it matters: For latency and range. For example Radio frequency has low latency but mediocre range when obstructed and proprietary docks have their own 2.x GHz or 5 GHz frequency which varies in performance.
:
N/A
Optical Input
What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line In
What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line Out
What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Input
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
N/A
RCA Input
What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Power Supply
What it is: The connector type of the power source.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas a A/C adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
N/A
Dock Charging
What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A

The Bose QC 35 II headphones do not have a base/dock. If you want an equally great sounding headphone with a dock/base for watching movies and gaming, check out the Astro A50.

8.2 Wireless Range
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:
Obstructed Range
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
:
41 ft
Line of Sight Range
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
:
122 ft

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II have a very good wireless range that's slightly better than the previous model. They maintained a stable connection up to 41ft, and have a decent line-of-sight range of 122ft. This makes them a solid option for moderately sized offices but their range is not as good as the Beats Studio3 Wireless or the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2.

1.3 Latency
What it 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:
Default Latency
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
:
220 ms
aptX Latency
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
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

The Bose QC35 II have about 30ms more latency than the original QuietComfort 35. It's not a very noticeable difference but since they have no additional low latency codecs, they won't be the ideal headphones for watching videos or 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 II In the box Picture

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

Compared to other Headphones

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Compare Picture

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are a minor update to the Bose QuietComfort 35 with a better control scheme. You now have a bit more control over the noise cancellation even without the app and you get Google Assitant built-in. They're still one of the best noise-canceling headphones with a comfortable, easy-to-use design and a very good sound. However, they do not look as high-end compared to other headphones in their price range and their sound can't be customized like some of the competing models. They also tend to be a bit leaky at higher volumes.

Sony WH-1000XM3

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II have similar performance to the Sony Wh-1000XM3. The Bose are a bit more comfortable than the Sonys. They also have a slightly better default sound that does not have as much high bass as the WH-1000Xm3, which makes them sound a tad bit more balanced overall. They also have an easier to use control scheme and can pair with multiple devices at once which makes them a bit easier to use with your PC and your phone. On the other hand, the Sony are a lot more customizable than the Bose. They come with an excellent app that gives you access to a good EQ, noise canceling options and optimization, and in-app player and room effects and codec options. The sony also have a longer battery life with a better quick charge feature. Get the Bose if comfort is most important and you typically use headphone companion apps. However, if you like to tweak your audio and want more features, the Sony are the better option.

Sony WH-1000XM2

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are a better headphone overall than the Sony WH-1000XM2. The Bose have an easier-to-use, lightweight and more comfortable over-ear fit than the Sonys. The QC35 II also have a better sound quality that packs an equal amount of bass as the WH-1000XM2 but sounds a bit clearer with instruments and vocals thanks to their better balanced mid and treble ranges. The Sonys, on the other hand, have a bit more features and support multiple high-quality audio codecs that we haven't had the chance to test yet. They also look more premium and have an equally good if not better noise canceling performance.

Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are a better noise canceling wireless headset than the Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2. The QC35 II are lighter, more comfortable and have a better-balanced sound than the Plantronics. They also have a much more efficient noise canceling feature which makes them more suitable for commute and travel than the Backbeat Pro 2. On the upside, the Plantronics have a better battery life, wireless range, and controls. They also have a more exciting sound that packs a deeper bass which some may prefer over the Bose.

Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are bit better than the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless overall. The Bose have an easier to use control scheme and a more comfortable over-ear fit. They also have better noise cancellation and a more exciting sound that packs a more bass than the default Sennheiser sound profile. On the upside, the PXC 550 wireless are a lot more customizable than the Bose. Their app gives them a lot more control over their audio reproduction than the QC35 II, so you can EQ them to match your listening preference, even on individual tracks. They also have a longer list of features than the Bose and more connection options.

Bowers & Wilkins PX

The Bose QuietComfort 35 are a better more versatile headset than the Bowers & Wilkins PX. The Bose have a more comfortable over-ear fit than the PX. They also have a better-balanced sound out of the box that is a bit more consistent than the PX regardless of noise cancellation profile. The PX, on the other hand, have a better build quality that feels more in line with their price range. They also leak a little less which makes them a bit more suitable for noise sensitive environments like being at the office.

Bose QuietComfort 25

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are a wireless upgrade to the Bose QuietComfort 25. QC35II have the same feel and fit as the QC20s, so they are just as comfortable. They also cancel noise just as well as the QC20 but have a bit more self-noise. They are slightly better built, and since they are wireless and can be used wired, they're more versatile than the QC20. On the other hand, the QC 20 offer a better value for your money if you do not need a wireless headphone. They also have no latency when watching movies but you can always use the QC35 II wired and have the same experience. The QC20 have a longer battery life overall, but use AA batteries which may be a deal breaker for some, but an advantage for others since you do not have to charge them.

Bose SoundLink Around-Ear II

If you need noise cancellation for commuting, then go for the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, however, if you do not need the added isolation then the Bose SoundLink Around-Ear II have the same design without the ANC. The QC35 II are a more versatile option than the SoundLink since their noise cancellation makes them a bit better suited for commute and travel. The QC 35II also have a slightly more pronounced bass that will sound more exciting on tracks than the Bose QC 35 II. On the upside, the SoundLink offer a better value for your money if you do not need a noise canceling headphone. They're also a bit lighter so they might be a tad more comfortable for some.

Sony WH-H900N

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are a much better wireless noise-canceling headphones overall than the Sony WH-H900N. The Bose have a more comfortable and easier to use design with tactile controls and lightweight well-padded ear cups. They also have a much better noise canceling performance than the WH-H900N, so they will isolate you better in noisy conditions. The Sony WH-H900N, on the other hand, have as good a sound quality than the Bose but you can EQ them thanks to their better and more customizable app support. The Sony also have a sleek looking premium design that some may prefer over the Bose.

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort 35 are a better and more versatile headphone than the Sennheiser HD1 Wireless. The Bose are more comfortable, sound better out of the box, have a better battery performance, and they cancel more noise with their ANC then the HD1s. On the upside, the Sennheisers leak a lot less which makes them a slightly better option to use in noise-sensitive environments like being at the office.

Beats Solo3 Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are a better wireless headphone if you prefer over-ears, however, if you want a more portable on-ear design then go for the Beats Solo3 Wireless. The Bose are more comfortable and most will prefer their over-ear fit compared to the on-ear design of the Beats Solo3. The QC35 are also noise-canceling headphones that will isolate you better on noisy commutes and long flights. On the upside, the Beats Solo3 Wireless have a more portable on-ear design and are more stable for the gym. They also have a better wireless range and a longer battery life than the Bose.

Denon AHGC20

The Bose QuietComfort 35 are a much better noise canceling headset than the Denon AHGC20 Globe Cruiser. The Bose have a more comfortable over-ear fit and a better noise cancellation feature that makes them a bit more suitable for travel and commuting than the Denons. The Bose also have a much better sound quality than the AHGC20 which sound poorly balanced, dark and too bass heavy. On the upside, the Globe Cruisers have a better build quality than the Bose. They also have a longer battery life and a more premium look and feel.

Sony MDR-1000X

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are a better headphone than the Sony MDR-1000X. The Bose have an easier-to-use, lightweight and more comfortable over-ear fit than the Sonys. The QC35 II also have a better sound quality that packs a bit more bass than the MDR-1000X and sounds a bit clearer with instruments and vocals. The Sonys, on the other hand, have more features and support multiple high-quality audio codecs that we haven't had the chance to test yet. They also look more premium and have an equally good and more optimized noise-canceling performance.

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are a much better headphone than the Sennheiser HD1 Over-Ear. However, since the Bose are wireless and noise canceling, they're not really comparable to the Sennheisers. The QC35 II are a lot more suitable for commuting and traveling than the HD1 Over-Ear since they have better noise isolation thanks to their ANC feature. They also have a more range than the HD1, and they sound better with a more balanced representation of the treble range than the Sennheisers. The Bose are also a lot more comfortable too. On the other hand, since the HD1 are wired, they have no latency when watching videos. However, you can also use the Bose with the provided audio cable for the same use case.

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 On-Ear

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are a much better headphone than the Sennheiser HD1 On-Ear. However, since the Bose are wireless and noise canceling, they're not really comparable to the Sennheisers. The QC35 II are a lot more suitable for commuting and traveling than the HD1 On-Ear since they have better noise isolation thanks to their ANC feature. They also have a more range than the HD1 since they're wireless, and they sound better with a more balanced representation of the treble ranges. The Bose are also a lot more comfortable too. On the other hand, since the HD1 are wired, so they have no latency when watching videos. However, you can also use the Bose with the provided audio cable for the same use case.

Marshall Major II

If you just need a budget wired headset then the Marshall Major II could be a viable option but in most cases, the wireless noise-canceling Bose QuietComfort 35II are a much better and more versatile headset. The Bose block a lot of noise with their noise canceling feature which makes them more suitable for commute and travel. They're also a lot more comfortable and a have an over-ear fit that most will prefer over the on-ear design of the Marshall Major II. The Major II, on the other hand, are completely passive so you do not have to worry about battery life. They're also a bit more compact to carry around than the Bose but do not come with a case,

Plantronics Backbeat Pro

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are much better noise canceling headphone than the Plantronics Backbeat Pro. The Bose are a lot more comfortable so you can wear them for longer than the Plantronics. They also have a much better noise canceling feature that isolates well enough for most noisy environments so they're a great choice for commute and travel. The Bose also have a better-balanced sound that still packs quite a lot of bass. The Plantronics, on the other hand, have a better control scheme, a slightly longer battery life, and wireless range. The Backbeat pro are also a lot cheaper.

Samsung Level Over Wireless

The Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II are a better wireless noise-canceling headset than the Samsung Level Over. The QC35 II are smaller and easier to carry around, even if they are not the most portable headphones. They're also a lot more comfortable to wear for long listening sessions and have a much better noise cancellation feature than the Samsung. The Samsung Level Over on the other hand have a customizable sound quality thanks to their better app than that of the Bose. They also leak a little less which makes them a bit more suitable for quieter conditions.

Bose QuietComfort 35

 

The Bose QuietComfort 35 are the slightly older model with an identical design to the QuietComfort 35 II. They're decently versatile but lack the control options offered by the new model. This makes them just a bit worse for mixed usage but they still one of the best headphones for commuting and traveling thanks to their incredible isolation. Overall though, there isn't much difference between the two models so depending on your budget, the minor upgrade may not be worth it.

+ Show more

Conclusion

7.4Mixed Usage
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:
Good for most use cases. The Bose QuietComfort 35 II slightly improve on an already versatile design with a bit more control options and virtually identical sound quality. They're comfortable, well-built, sound great and isolate enough for most noisy environments. This makes them a great choice for commuters and frequent flyers. However, their relatively high latency won't be ideal for watching movies or gaming. They're also a bit leaky at higher volumes.
7.9Critical Listening
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:
Good for critical listening. The Bose QC35 II are comfortable for long listening sessions and have a virtually identical sound quality than the previous model. They pack a good amount of bass without drowning the instruments and vocals. They have a good stereo image and they're fairly consistent. However, their closed back design is not ideal for more critical listeners due to the reduced soundstage.
7.7Commute/Travel
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.
Score components:
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are great headphones for commuting. They have excellent noise-cancelation which makes them suitable for loud environments, busy commutes, and noisy flights. They're easy-to-use, comfortable and not too bulky.
7.1Sports/Fitness
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.
Score components:
Decent for sports use. They have a comfortable wireless design and a good control scheme. They're not too bulky but a little unstable. They also make your ears quite warm during more intense exercise due to their relatively low breathability.
7.8Office
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:
Good for office use. The Bose QC 35 II are super comfortable and will easily block the chatter of most office environments. Unfortunately, they're a bit leaky at higher volumes, so the people around you may hear what you're listening to.
6.0TV
Score components:
Average-at-best for home theater use. They're comfortable headphones that you can wear for hours, but unfortunately, they have too much latency for watching videos and movies. They come with a regular audio cable but it's pretty short and won't be ideal for most home theater setups unless you have an Aux extension cord.
5.6Gaming
Score components:
Below-average for gaming. They're comfortable for long gaming sessions, they have a good sound with a lot of bass, and a decent wireless range. Unfortunately, they also have a mediocre-at-best mic and a lot of latency which is not really suitable for gaming. They're also not compatible with consoles via Bluetooth and only have a regular audio cable with no inline microphone.

Discussions

LOG IN

JOIN RTINGS.com

Be part of the most informed community and take advantage of our advanced tools to find the best product for your needs.
Join our mailing list:

Create Discussion

Preview Back to editor Format guide

The editor uses special characters (aka. markdown).

To post formatted content follow these rules:

What you typeWhat it will look like
*italic text*italic text
**bold text**bold text
[link](http://rtings.com)link
> quoted text
quoted text
# header

header

- item 1
- item 2
- item 3
  • item 1
  • item 2
  • item 3

* Quotes and lists must be followed by a blank line