Get insider access
Preferred store
Your browser is not supported or outdated so some features of the site might not be available.
We've recently released our Test Bench 1.7 update for Headphones! Read the Noise isolation R&D Article to learn more.

Prime Day Deal: The Sony WH-1000XM4 has dropped by $152 on Amazon.com. See all Headphones Prime Day deals.

Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.7
Review updated Jun 21, 2023 at 09:27 am
Latest change: Retest Jun 25, 2024 at 03:34 pm
Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless Picture
7.5
Neutral Sound
8.2
Commute/Travel
7.5
Sports/Fitness
7.9
Office
6.1
Wireless Gaming
7.3
Wired Gaming
7.1
Phone Calls
These headphones were replaced by the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless are the next generation of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018. They have a look and feel similar to their predecessor and an outstanding active noise canceling (ANC) system. Unlike the previous generation, they support SimpleSync, which lets you pair the headphones with up to two other Bose products, like soundbars and speakers, to share their audio. Their companion app is a step up over the QC35 II's since it includes a graphic EQ for sound customization. You can't turn off the ANC, but you can cycle to 'Aware' mode, which allows you to hear your surroundings without taking off the headphones.

Our Verdict

7.5 Neutral Sound

The Bose QuietComfort 45 are good for neutral sound. They have a very neutral sound profile with a touch of extra thump, rumble, and boom in the bass that doesn't overwhelm vocals or lead instruments. Luckily, if you want to adjust their sound, their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets. However, the passive soundstage seems closed-off and as if coming from inside your head. Our unit's left and right drivers are also somewhat out of sync in the mid to treble range, and you can hear a mismatch using regular content. That said, this issue may be limited to our model.

Pros
  • Very comfortable.
  • Good build quality.
Cons
  • Poor passive soundstage.
8.2 Commute/Travel

The Bose QuietComfort 45 are great for commute and travel. They have a very comfortable fit, and their over 21-hour battery life will easily last you through long days on the go. They have an ANC feature, which does a remarkable job of blocking background noise like the low rumble of bus and plane engines around you. Unfortunately, the ANC can't be turned off, but you can use their 'Aware' mode to hear your surroundings without removing your headphones. While they're also a bit bulky, they come with a carrying case to help protect them.

Pros
  • Exceptional noise isolation performance.
  • Very comfortable.
  • Over 21 hours of continuous playback time.
  • Good build quality.
Cons
  • Bulky and can fall off your head with more intense movement.
7.5 Sports/Fitness

The Bose QuietComfort 45 are good for sports and fitness. They have a very comfortable fit and a wireless design, so you don't need to worry about a cable getting snagged on something. However, they can fall off your head if you move around, like during a run. They don't have an IP rating for water resistance, which is expected for over-ear headphones.

Pros
  • Very comfortable.
  • Good build quality.
Cons
  • Bulky and can fall off your head with more intense movement.
7.9 Office

The Bose QuietComfort 45 are very good for office use. They have a comfortable fit and about 21 hours of continuous battery life for long days at the office. They support multi-device pairing, so you can stay connected with your phone and computer simultaneously. Their ANC system effectively blocks out ambient sound like background chit-chat, but on the downside, they leak a lot of audio, which might disturb people around you.

Pros
  • Exceptional noise isolation performance.
  • Very comfortable.
  • Over 21 hours of continuous playback time.
  • Good build quality.
Cons
  • Mic really struggles to separate your voice from moderate ambient noise.
6.1 Wireless Gaming

The Bose QuietComfort 45 are mediocre for wireless gaming. You can't use them wirelessly with PlayStation or Xbox consoles, and although you can use them on Bluetooth-enabled PCs, their latency is too high to be suitable for gaming.

7.3 Wired Gaming

The Bose QuietComfort 45 are very good for wired gaming. Using their 1/8" to 1/16" TRS audio cable, you can connect them to PCs and Xbox and PlayStation consoles. However, you can only receive audio, which may be disappointing if you want to chat with others while you game. On the upside, they have a very comfortable fit, and their neutral sound profile suits most gameplay.

Pros
  • Very comfortable.
  • Good build quality.
Cons
  • Poor passive soundstage.
7.1 Phone Calls

The Bose QuietComfort 45 are good for phone calls. Their integrated mic has a very good recording quality, so your voice sounds intelligible and natural over the phone. The app also offers a feature called 'Self Voice', which allows you to adjust how much of your own voice you hear in a call. Their ANC feature effectively blocks ambient sound around you, but the mic has disappointing noise handling, and your voice will be drowned out by background noise if you make a call in a moderately noisy environment.

Pros
  • Exceptional noise isolation performance.
  • Very comfortable.
  • Good build quality.
  • Very good recording quality.
Cons
  • Mic really struggles to separate your voice from moderate ambient noise.
  • 7.5 Neutral Sound
  • 8.2 Commute/Travel
  • 7.5 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.9 Office
  • 6.1 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.3 Wired Gaming
  • 7.1 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Jun 25, 2024: In response to user feedback and the addition of a wind reduction mode, we retested the headphones for Noise Isolation - Full Range, Noise Isolation - Common Scenarios, Noise Isolation - Voice Handling, and ANC Wind Handling re-running the tests before and after the firmware 4.0.4 update. The demos, graphs, and relevant text have been revised to reflect the results.
  2. Updated Apr 08, 2024: We've retested the latency of the audio cable in Wired Connection to reflect their active latency rather than passive latency.
  3. Updated Apr 04, 2024: We've retested ANC Wind Handling with updated methodology.
  4. Updated Apr 04, 2024: The following test groups have been updated following Test Bench 1.7: Noise Isolation - Full Range, Noise Isolation - Common Scenarios, and ANC Wind Handling. There have also been text changes made throughout the review, including to the usages and product comparisons to match these results.
  5. Updated Apr 04, 2024: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.7, which updates our Noise Isolation test. We've also expanded the scope of this test to include Common Scenarios in addition to Voice Handling and Wind Handling.
  6. Updated Dec 12, 2023: The following test group's text has been updated following TB 1.6: Bluetooth Connection.
  7. Updated Dec 12, 2023: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.6 , which updates how we measure latency. We've updated and renamed the following test groups: Wired Connection, Bluetooth Connection, and Wireless Connection (Dongle). We've also added new codec latency measurements and provided an audio sample of recorded latency.
  8. Updated Nov 17, 2023: We've added clarification in the intro, in the Commute/Travel verdict regarding ANC, and in Noise Isolation, as this feature can't be turned off.
  9. Updated Nov 07, 2023: We've added a comparison between these headphones and the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones Wireless in Build Quality.
  10. Updated Nov 06, 2023: We've added a comparison between these headphones and the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds Truly Wireless in Virtual Soundstage.
  11. Updated Aug 30, 2023: Added a note that the Beats Studio Pro Wireless are similarly-priced headphones with virtual soundstage features.
  12. Updated Aug 09, 2023: We've added a comparison between these headphones and the Dyson Zone Wireless in Build Quality.
  13. Updated Aug 04, 2023: Thanks to user feedback, we've retested Recording Quality and Noise Handling, which has changed the scoring of these tests.
  14. Updated Jun 21, 2023: Made minor edits and checked that the text is up to date.
  15. Updated Jan 11, 2023: We've added a mention of the Bose QuietComfort SE to Compared To Other Headphones.
  16. Updated Nov 15, 2022: We've added a comparison between these headphones and the Bose QuietComfort 35 II Gaming Headset in Noise Handling.
  17. Updated Sep 30, 2022: Due to a user report of faster battery draining when connected to Windows 11, we have retested Battery. However, there hasn't been a change in our results. We have also added a note regarding a user report of the headphones rattling in Build Quality.
  18. Updated Feb 21, 2022: Updated App Support with firmware 2.0.4-3475+32e4b0e. Also retested 'Multi-Device Pairing' for audio dropping.
  19. Updated Nov 19, 2021: Updated Imaging and tested ANC for cabin pressure.
  20. Updated Nov 11, 2021: Review published.
  21. Updated Nov 08, 2021: Early access published.
  22. Updated Oct 21, 2021: Our testers have started testing this product.
  23. Updated Oct 18, 2021: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  24. Updated Sep 28, 2021: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Bose QuietComfort 45 come in four color variants: 'Black', 'White Smoke', 'Eclipse Grey', and 'Midnight Blue'. We tested the 'Black' variant; you can see our model's label here. These headphones also come as a variant called the Bose QuietComfort SE, which are only available in the 'Triple Black' colorway. This variant is nearly identical to the QC45 model but comes with a soft case instead of a hard case to protect the headphones from dust and minor water damage. However, they're only available via retailers like Sam's Club and Costco.

If you encounter another variant, please let us know in the forums below, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Bose QuietComfort 45 are the next generation of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018. They have a very similar design, with very comfortable padding and a neutral sound profile suitable for most kinds of audio content. Like other Bose headphones, such as the Bose 700 Headphones Wireless, their noise isolation performance is top-notch. Their companion app offers features like a graphic EQ plus presets so you can tweak their sound to suit your tastes. They also have an adjustable 'Self Voice' feature that you can use to control how much of your voice you hear while on a phone call.

Check out our recommendations for the best noise cancelling headphones, the best wireless Bluetooth headphones, and the best travel headphones.

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless

The Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are more customizable than the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless. The Sony are better built, and their ANC does an even better job of blocking background noise. They also have a longer continuous battery life. However, the Bose are more comfortable and have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer.

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones Wireless have the edge over the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless. While both models look similar, there are a couple of changes. The Ultra are better built and have a different control scheme with a volume slider. They also have CustomTune technology, which automatically adjusts their sound, and noise cancelling performances based on your unique hearing characteristics and environment. They support Immersive Audio, too, which is an adjustable head-tracking feature that can create a more immersive sound. The QuietComfort Ultra Headphones also have a greater codec selection, including aptX Adaptive. That said, the Ultra need to be powered on to be used via analog, while the QC45 support passive playback.

Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless and the Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless are both high-end headphones. The Bose's ANC blocks out more of the low rumble of bus and plane engines, but the Sony do a better job of cutting down mid range noise like ambient chatter and treble range sounds like the high-pitched whirl of computer fans. Their neutral sound is also much more versatile than the Sony, and their fit is more comfortable. That said, the Sony have a few extra features over the Bose. The Sony support LDAC for hi-res audio, and they have a virtual soundstage feature to help give you a more immersive sound, though you need to subscribe to services that support it.

Bose 700 Headphones Wireless

The Bose 700 Headphones Wireless and the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless are both premium headphones with slightly different strengths. While both headphones have a fantastic noise isolation performance thanks to Bose's ANC technology, the 700 are better built and have a better overall microphone performance. However, the QC45 have a slightly better battery performance and are more comfortable. 

Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless and the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless are similar headphones with different strengths. If you want headphones for your commute, the Bose are much more comfortable and have an ANC feature that blocks out significantly more noise. However, the Sennheiser support aptX Adaptive, which you can use to stream higher quality audio or lower latency when you're watching videos. They also have a much longer continuous battery life. 

Apple AirPods Max Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 are slightly more versatile headphones than the Apple AirPods Max Wireless. The Bose are lighter and more comfortable, delivering audio more consistently. Their integrated mic offers significantly better overall performance, they support multi-device pairing, and you can use them wired via their 1/8" to 1/16" TRS cable, though you can only receive audio. However, the Apple feel better built and have a virtual soundstage feature. They also have the edge when it comes to noise cancelling, although both headphones still do a fantastic job in this regard.

Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless are better headphones than the Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless if you prefer an over-ear design. The Bose are more comfortable, have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and have a better overall noise isolation performance. They also have longer continuous battery life. However, the Sony are better built and have a more stable in-ear fit, making them a solid choice for workouts.

Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless are more premium headphones than the Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless. The Bose are more comfortable and have a more neutral sound out of the box, which some users may prefer, and their noise isolation performance is significantly better, too. However, the Sennheiser have a longer continuous battery life.

Bose QuietComfort Headphones Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort Headphones Wireless are the next generation of the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless. Most things have stayed the same in this iteration like comfort. However, there are a couple of interesting changes. The QuietComfort Headphones have a more bass-heavy sound than their predecessor. Their audio cable also comes with an in-line mic, which is handy if you want to take calls while wired, and they have a slight edge when it comes to noise isolation, though you can still expect an outstanding performance from both over-ears.

Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless are better over-ears than the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless. The Bose are more comfortable, and they have an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life when you're not using them. They also support multi-device pairing. However, the Sony are better built and have an even better noise isolation performance, though both headphones are still top-notch in this regard.

Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless are better over-ears than the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless. The Bose are more comfortable, have a slightly more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and have a better noise isolation performance. They also have a longer continuous battery life. However, the Sennheiser are better built, and their app offers a parametric EQ and presets to help you adjust their sound to your liking.

Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless are somewhat more versatile headphones than the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless. The Bose are more comfortable, have a better noise isolation performance, and have a significantly longer continuous battery life. They also support multi-device pairing so that you can connect them to your laptop and smartphone simultaneously. However, the Apple are better built, have a more stable in-ear fit, and are more portable. They also support Spatial Audio and have an H1 chip for seamless pairing with Apple devices.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018

The Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless are the next generation of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018, although they don't offer much of a significant improvement over their predecessor. Both headphones are similarly well-built and have very comfortable fits. Their neutral sound profiles suit various audio content and have comparable battery performances. However, the QC35 II can block out slightly more background noise in the mid to treble ranges and support NFC pairing. On the other hand, the QC45 have SimpleSync, a feature that allows you to pair the headphones up to other compatible Bose headphones, speakers, and soundbars to share their audio.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Gaming Headsetโ€‹

Depending on your needs, you may prefer the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless or the Bose QuietComfort 35 II Gaming Headset. Both are equally great headphones, but the QC45 are casual-use headphones, first and foremost. They have an integrated mic for taking calls on the go, and their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets to help you customize their sound. However, the 35 II Gaming Headset utilizes a boom mic to ensure your voice sounds clear to enemies and teammates alike. It also comes with a PC Desktop controller, which allows you to adjust the headset's sound on the fly. Both headphones have a fantastic noise isolation performance though, thanks to their ANC systems.

Bose QuietComfort 35/QC35 Wireless 2016

The Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless have slight improvements over the Bose QuietComfort 35/QC35 Wireless 2016. While both headphones are very comfortable and well-built, the QC45 have a longer continuous battery life. They also have a stronger noise isolation performance with bass-range noise, like the low rumble of bus and plane engines. Their mic's recording quality is better too.

Beats Studio Pro Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless are better than the Beats Studio Pro Wireless. The Bose can block out more noise across the range and have a more comfortable fit for most people. They support multi-device pairing and give you more control over the sound profile with an in-app graphic EQ. However, the Beats have a longer continuous battery life, and they support NFC and Google Fast Pair for quicker pairing with your devices.

Sennheiser ACCENTUM Plus Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless have a few advantages over the Sennheiser ACCENTUM Plus Wireless, although it depends on your specific priorities as to which is ultimately better for your needs. Out of the gates, the Bose are more comfortable and sound more consistent between wears. Their noise isolation is better, particularly when reducing mid and low-pitched noise, like ambient din and engine rumblings. The default sound is quite bright and piercing unless you use the somewhat basic EQ in-app. They also only let you listen with ANC or transparency modes on, which isn't ideal in every scenario. On the other hand, the Sennheiser's battery life is more than twice as long-lasting. They have more connectivity options with aptX Adaptive codecs, which can allow for lower latency playback and higher resolution Bluetooth audio, plus they support USB audio. Their app offers a bit more utility with EQ and assignable touch controls. However, the Sennheisers are a bit less portable, don't fold down, and won't filter out as much noise overall.

Bose QuietComfort 25/QC25

The Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless are better over-ears than the Bose QuietComfort 25/QC25. While both headphones have a very comfortable fit and are well-built, the QC45 are wireless headphones with a more neutral sound profile, block out more bass-range noise like bus and plane engines, and have longer-lasting continuous battery life. However, some users may prefer the QC25's wired AAA battery design, as you can easily replace the battery when it can't hold a charge anymore.

Razer Opus Wireless 2020

The Razer Opus Wireless 2020 offer a more customizable experience than the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless. The Razer are better built and have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and their noise isolation performance is better, though both headphones are still remarkable in this regard. They also have a longer continuous battery life. However, the Bose are more comfortable and support multi-device pairing with up to two devices at a time.

Dyson Zone Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless are a better value for most people than the Dyson Zone Wireless. The Bose are more comfortable, have a significantly better noise isolation performance, and are more customizable, thanks to their companion app's graphic EQ. They also support multi-device pairing and can be used wired. However, you may still like the Dyson for on-the-go air purification. They also have a more neutral sound, which some people will prefer.

+ Show more

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Transducer Dynamic

They have a similar design to their predecessor, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018. They have a sleek and minimalist look with a modest print of the manufacturer's logo on each ear cup. They come in the following colors: 'Black',ย 'White Smoke', 'Eclipse Grey', and 'Midnight Blue'.

8.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.52 lbs
Clamping Force
0.7 lbs

These headphones are amazingly comfortable. They feel light and don't clamp onto your head very tightly. The ear cups and headband padding feel softer and cushier than the Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless. Most people won't experience much fatigue, even after wearing them for a few hours.

8.1
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control Mute/Unmute
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control On/Off
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The Bose QuietComfort 45 have great controls. There are three physical buttons located on the right ear cup, which are clicky and easy to use. There's a switch on the outside of the right earcup that powers the headphones on and off and controls Bluetooth pairing. An 'Action' button on the left ear cup also acts as a multi-purpose control. There are volume chimes for when you've reached the minimum and maximum volume and voice prompts when cycling through ANC settings. There are also voice prompts for when you're pairing the headphones. Unfortunately, there's no feedback if you're skipping tracks.

On the left ear cup:

Action button:

  • Single press: Cycles between 'Quiet' mode, which is the ANC on, and 'Aware' mode. 'Aware' mode is very similar to a talk-through mode as it allows the headphones to actively use their microphones to pick up sounds around you and play them alongside your regular audio content. However, unlike the Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018, you can't adjust the level of noise cancelling if you prefer a lower setting, and you can't turn this feature off.
  • Press and hold: Access voice assistant.

On the right ear cup:

  • '+' and '-': Raises and lowers the volume.

Center button:

  • One press: Plays and pauses audio. Also answers and ends calls.
  • Double press: Skips a track forward.
  • Triple press: Skips a track backward.
  • Press and hold: Declines a call.

6.6
Design
Portability
L 6.8" (17.2 cm)
W 5.5" (13.9 cm)
H 1.5" (3.8 cm)
Volume 55.44 inยณ (908.50 cmยณ)
Transmitter Required No

They're fairly portable. They're bulky, like most over-ear headphones, but the headband can fold into a more compact format. You can also lay the ear cups flat to take up less space.

8.0
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 8.3" (21.1 cm)
W 5.7" (14.5 cm)
H 2.2" (5.6 cm)
Volume 105.16 inยณ (1,723.20 cmยณ)

The case is great. It's made of leatherette, and it feels sturdy and solid. There's a zipper to help secure the headphones when you're on the go and has a small pouch inside to store the cables when you're not using them.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

Their build quality is good, and they feel similarly well-built as the high-end Dyson Zone Wireless. The ear cup and headband padding feel soft, and the adjustable headband is made of metal, which helps make them feel sturdy. However, they're otherwise mostly made of lightweight plastic, which feels a little cheap considering their price. The hinges and yokes are also made of the same plastic as the rest of the body and feel like a weak point in the build. If you're looking for even more premium Bose headphones, try the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones Wireless.

7.0
Design
Stability

They have decent stability. They'll stay on your head while you're using them at your desk or on the couch. However, they aren't as stable as some over-ear headphones, like the Beats Studio3 Wireless, and they may fall off your head during a run. On the upside, they have a wireless design, so you don't need to worry about snagging them on something and pulling them off your head.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones
  • 1/8" to 1/16" (3.5 mm to 2.5 mm) TRS audio cable
  • Carrying case
  • USB-A to USB-C charging cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
0.87 dB
Treble Amount
0.57 dB

They have a very neutral sound profile well-suited for various audio content. A touch of extra bass adds thump, rumble, and boom to mixes, but it doesn't overwhelm vocals and lead instruments. Luckily, if you prefer a different sound, their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets to help you adjust their sound to your liking.

Note: Our unit's left and right drivers are somewhat out of sync in the mid to treble range, which makes the upper harmonics of voices overly bright in the right ear. However, this issue may only affect our unit, though if you experience this too, please let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.

7.7
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.46 dB

They have good frequency response consistency. Once you achieve a proper fit, seal, and positioning on your head, you'll get consistent bass and treble delivery each time you use them.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.1
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.72 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
2.86 dB
Mid-Bass
2.86 dB
High-Bass
3.07 dB

The bass accuracy is great. It's slightly overemphasized across the range, but the response is still very flat. In Lorde's song, Royals, the bass drum at the beginning has a bit of extra punch and kick. However, the extra bass doesn't completely overwhelm vocals or lead instruments.

9.0
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.39 dB
Low-Mid
0.77 dB
Mid-Mid
0.07 dB
High-Mid
1.13 dB

The Bose QuietComfort 45 have outstanding mid accuracy. It's fairly flat and neutral across the range, resulting in detailed, accurate, and present vocals and lead instruments. However, our unit's left and right drivers are out of sync in the high-mid, so the right driver sounds harsher than the left.

7.4
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.82 dB
Low-Treble
4.08 dB
Mid-Treble
0.75 dB
High-Treble
3.25 dB

The treble accuracy is decent. While the response is mostly overemphasized across the range, our unit's left and right drivers are somewhat out of sync. As a result, the harshness of vocals and lead instruments is more present in the right driver than in the left driver. However, the difference is less noticeable in the mid-treble, so sibilants sound bright but not necessarily piercing.

8.6
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
0.9 dB
Dips
1.01 dB

The Bose QuietComfort 45's peaks and dips performance is amazing. For the most part, the peaks and dips are fairly minor. However, our unit's left and right drivers become very out of sync in the mid-mid, so a dip in the right driver nudges vocals and lead instruments at the back of the mix while dulling their detail. A peak in the right driver's low-treble makes the upper harmonics of these sounds harsh, while a dip in both drivers' mid-treble dulls sibilants like S and T sounds.

6.5
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.6
Weighted Phase Mismatch
26.97
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.5
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.46

The Bose QC45's imaging performance is just okay. Bose usually has good quality control and makes headphones with well-batched drivers. However, our unit's group delay is slightly above the audibility threshold, indicating a slightly loose bass. At the same time, the headphones are mismatched in phase response, and the right driver sounds louder in the high-mid. You can also hear the phase mismatch in the treble range, even with real-life content. There's some mismatch present in frequency response too, which indicates holes in the stereo image. Overall, the imaging performance affects the accurate placement of objects like footsteps in the stereo image. However, imaging varies depending on the manufacturer's quality control and ergonomics.

4.8
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.62 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
6.52 dB
PRTF Distance
8.49 dB
Openness
1.0
Acoustic Space Excitation
4.3

These headphones have a poor passive soundstage. While it sounds large, the soundstage still seems like it's coming from inside your head rather than from speakers placed in the room around you. Since they also have a closed-back design, they sound less open than open-back headphones.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No

Unlike the Beats Studio Pro Wireless, these headphones don't have any virtual surround sound features. However, Bose has since developed their own Immersive Audio technology, found in more recent products like the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds Truly Wireless.

7.6
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.173
WHD @ 100
0.207

The Bose QuietComfort 45 have a good weighted harmonic distortion performance. All frequencies fall within acceptable limits, producing clear and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
1.0.3-2674+ee3f55e
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
On
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test these headphones, and our results are only valid when you use them in this configuration.

Isolation
9.0
Isolation
Noise Isolation - Full Range
Noise Cancelling Yes
Overall Attenuation
-23.90 dB
Bass
-19.96 dB
Mid
-22.53 dB
Treble
-30.21 dB

The Bose QC45's noise isolation performance is fantastic. Using the 'Quiet' ANC mode, they block out bass-range noise like rumbling engines very effectively, like the previous generation. However, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018 and Bose 700 Headphones Wireless still have a slight edge when it comes to reducing noise in the mid and treble ranges, though the QC45 apply the ANC more evenly. That said, the QC45 can still reduce significant noise, like ambient chatter and the hum of AC units. You can't turn off the ANC but only cycle between 'Quiet,' which is ANC on, and 'Aware,' which is a talk-through mode that allows you to hear your surroundings without removing your headphones. As a result, we tested their passive isolation capabilities with the headphones turned off.

Users have reported high cabin pressure when using their unit's ANC. Cabin pressure refers to the pressure-like feeling inside your ears when the ANC is on and is similar to when a plane ascends and descends, creating a difference in pressure between your inner and outer ear. Some users may also describe this feeling as similar to being underwater. This sensation is caused by your brain perceiving the lack of low-frequency sound as a pressure difference between the inner and outer ear, which can become uncomfortable. The cabin pressure of these headphones is slightly more than normal when their ANC is on, but it won't be an issue for most users unless you're already sensitive to ANC. In comparison, other ANC over-ears, like the Apple AirPods Max Wireless, have higher and more noticeable cabin pressure, but it won't be too much of an issue for most users.

9.1
Isolation
Noise Isolation - Common Scenarios
Airplane Noise Attenuation
-21.39 dB
Airplane Noise Isolation Audio
Office Noise Attenuation
-20.89 dB
Office Noise Isolation Audio
Street Noise Attenuation
-22.37 dB
Street Noise Isolation Audio

These headphones have similarly excellent noise isolation performance when it comes to more dynamic environments you'll encounter in your day-to-day life. Whether you're traveling on an airplane, walking down a busy street, or working at the office, these headphones can isolate you from a lot of ambient sound so that you can focus on your audio. With firmware update 4.0.4, their ANC improved slightly, particularly in handling busy streets and airplane noise.

Isolation
Noise Isolation - Voice Handling
Female Voice 1
Male Voice 1
Female Voice 2
Male Voice 2
Isolation
ANC Wind Handling
ANC Wind Noise

As of firmware 4.0.4, these headphones have a wind reduction mode. When the wind reduction mode is enabled, it helps prevent the ANC system from creating 'anti-noise' caused by the wind directly interacting with the ANC microphones on the outside of the headphones. Basically, it reduces the annoying popping sound ANC can produce without a wind mode. The mode works with similar effectiveness regardless of the wind's angle. However, leaving the mode on can impact the ANC's performance if you're not in a windy area.

6.3
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
43.53 dB

The Bose QuietComfort 45 have a passable leakage performance. Their leakage is mostly concentrated in the mid to treble range, which sounds fuller than in-ears and earbuds. People around you can hear parts if you listen to audio at high volumes in a moderately noisy environment like an office.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
Mic Yes
7.7
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
201.59 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
3.6 dB
HFE
6,834.38 Hz
Weighted THD
0.373
Gain
34.01 dB

The integrated microphone has very good recording quality. Speech sounds natural, although a little muffled and lacking in body. Your voice is still understandable, though.

5.3
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
36.73 dB
Noise Gate
No
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
5.5
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
5.0
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The Bose QuietComfort 45 have disappointing noise handling. The mic struggles to separate your voice from moderate ambient noise, so your voice will be drowned out if you're taking a call from somewhere like a busy street. If you're looking for Bose headphones with a better noise handling performance, it's worth considering the Bose QuietComfort 35 II Gaming Headset instead.

Active Features
8.5
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
21.3 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
21.3 hrs
Charge Time
2 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Yes
Charging Port USB-C

The Bose QuietComfort 45 have an excellent battery performance. The manufacturer advertises them to last 24 hours continuously with their ANC on and continuous audio playback set to 50% volume. However, we measured a bit less than that, though battery life can vary depending on usage. Depending on whether you connect to one or two devices simultaneously, you may also notice a difference in battery life. The manufacturer advertises them to deliver up to three hours of playtime after a 15-minute charge. If you tend to run through battery life quickly, they have an auto-off timer you can adjust in their companion app to conserve battery life.

8.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Bose Music
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
Graphic + Presets
ANC Control
On/Off
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
Yes
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

Bose Music is a great app. It includes a graphic EQ and presets so you can customize their sound. Unlike previous generations, this app lets you connect the headphones to other Bose products using 'SimpleSync'. You can pair up to two compatible Bose speakers, soundbars, or headphones together, so you can listen to your TV's audio via your Bose soundbar without disturbing others around you. For instructions on how to connect your devices, check out Bose's FAQ here.

You can also use the app to switch between ANC modes, adjust the volume, check the battery life, and set the auto-off timer. You can also adjust 'Self-Voice' (or sidetone) volume, allowing you to hear your voice when using the mic. You can turn voice prompts on and off and switch languages. You can view, add, and change the Bluetooth sources too.

Connectivity
7.4
Connectivity
Wired Connection
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable
Yes
Length
3.61 ft (1.10 m)
Connector
1/8" TRS
Latency - Analog
16.4 ms
Latency - USB
N/A
Recorded Latency
Recorded Latency Connection Analog

These headphones come with a 1/8" to 1/16" (3.5 mm to 2.5 mm) TRS cable that you can use to passively listen to audio with low latency. However, you can't use their mic with this connection. These headphones also come with a USB-A to USB-C charging cable.

8.2
Connectivity
Bluetooth Connection
Bluetooth Version
5.1
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices
Quick Pair (Android)
No
Quick Pair (iOS)
No
Line Of Sight Range
272.31 ft (83.00 m)
Latency - SBC
182 ms
Latency - aptX
N/A
Latency - aptX Adaptive (High Quality)
N/A
Latency - aptX Adaptive (Low Latency)
N/A
Latency - LDAC
N/A
Recorded Latency
Recorded Latency Codec SBC
AAC Support
Yes

The Bose QC45 have great Bluetooth connectivity. They support multi-device pairing with up to two devices at a time, and unlike the Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018, they use Bluetooth 5.1. However, they don't support NFC for easier pairing. They also have high latency on PCs via SBC codec, causing your audio and visuals to fall out of sync. However, some apps and devices compensate for latency differently.

Some users have reported experiencing issues like as audio dropping when connected to their smartphone and PC at the same time. We retested multi-device pairing in two ways: connected to a Windows 10 PC and a Samsung S10e phone and connected to the same Windows PC and an iPhone SE. Both phones are updated to the latest firmware. We played a song on the phone and a YouTube video on the PC, alternating when one source played audio and the other was paused. However, we didn't experience any issues with either phone and couldn't replicate this issue.

0
Connectivity
Wireless Connection (Dongle)
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Latency - Dongle
N/A
Recorded Latency
N/A
Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
Audio Only
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No

The Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones can connect to Bluetooth-enabled PCs with full audio and mic compatibility. You can connect them to your PC using their included 1/8" to 1/16" (3.5 mm to 2.5 mm) TRS cable, but you can only receive audio.

Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
Audio Only
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No

You can only use these over-ears on PlayStation consoles via an analog connection. However, you can only receive audio.

Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
Audio Only
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No

They can only receive audio when connected via analog to an Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S console.

0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock