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.
- Outstanding noise isolation.
- Comfortable wireless design.
- Great sound quality.
- Moderate leakage at high volumes.
- Relatively high latency.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 100% SpNR
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.
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.
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.
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. A limited in-app player and the battery level status. Also with the latest firmware you have access to a control slider for noise cancelling. It's decent but not as customizable as the Sony| Headphones Connect app or the Sennheiser Captune app.
- 10% Bluetooth
- 32% 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.
- 79% Multi-Device Pairing
- 20% NFC
- 0% PS4 Compatible
- 0% Xbox One Compatible
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.
- 13% Analog
- 9% USB
- 26% PS4 Compatible
- 26% Xbox One Compatible
- 26% PC Compatible
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.
- 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
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.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II have an 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.
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 headphones
- Audio cable
- Airline adapter
- Carrying case
- USB charging cable
Compared to other Headphones
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.
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 then the WH-1000XM2 is a good option but for most use cases, the QuietComfort 35 II performs slightly better.
The Beats Solo3 Wireless are decently well-built on-ears with the stylish and slick design that Beats is known for. They have a better wireless range and a longer battery life than the Bose QC 35 II, with an excellent quick charge feature. Unfortunately, they are not noise canceling, so they won't be as suitable to use in loud environments. If you need a more portable design that's better for sports, the Solo3 are a decent and cheaper alternative to the Bose. However, if your a frequent commuter and need more isolation, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II are definitely the better option.
The Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless are a versatile wireless headset with great customization options and a good sound. They do not have as much isolation as the Bose QC35 II but provide a bit more control over their active features. They also have a comfortable design that's slightly better for physical activity than the Bose thanks to their tighter fit. However, they won't be as well-suited for commuters due to their weaker isolation.
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.