Product Reviews

Bose QuietComfort 35 Noise Cancelling Headphones Review

James Frew 28-09-2016

Back in 2014 Bose released the over-ear QuietComfort 25 headphones to near universal praise. Two years later they followed them up with the QuietComfort 35 – a wireless take on their popular noise cancelling headphones.


Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series I) Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling - Black Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series I) Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling - Black Buy Now On Amazon $149.99

You may worry that dropping the wire and moving to Bluetooth would be more of a headache than a convenience. As it turns out though, Bose has delivered an excellent wireless successor to the QC 25 in the QuietComfort 35.


The QuietComfort 35 are light at only 240g, but still feel like a premium product. Bose opted for glass-filled nylon for the headband and ear cups over plastic to make them more comfortable to wear. The joints of the ear cups are made of stainless steel to increase durability.


There is no avoiding that they aren’t visually exciting though. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the black or silver matte exterior, but unlike other fashion headphones, they do tend to blend into the background.



The headphones come with a case although I have to admit here, I didn’t actually use it. It just wasn’t very convenient. Despite this, the headphones fared very well. I threw them loose into my bag, used in light rain, and at the gym. The only wound they sustained through all that use was a few small scratches on the headband.

Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series I) Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling - Black Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series I) Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling - Black Buy Now On Amazon $149.99



The right headphone has a three mode power switch on the exterior, allowing you to switch between “Off”, “On”, and “Pairing Mode”. The bottom of the headphone has three buttons, volume up, volume down, and a play/pause button in the middle. In place of a dedicated skip button, you double tap the Play/Pause button for next track, and triple tap for previous track.

Sound Quality

I found the QuietComfort 35 had a well balanced sound – there was bass in all the right places and trebles were able to breathe. The audio sounded exactly as I expected across a variety of genres and spoken word. I didn’t find that the bass overwhelmed the music but gave enough of a punch when it was needed. While using the QC 35 all my music sounded exactly as I thought it should. In many ways the more intimate setting actually made the experience better than my desktop audio setup.

Unlike some headphones, Bose doesn’t allow you to adjust the EQ on the fly using the companion app. They claim the headphones are “EQ Optimized” but it’s shame that a premium pair of headphones comes without such a standard feature.


If you are going to be wearing any type of headphones – either in-ear or over-ear – comfort is essential. Using a poorly designed set of headphones can cause tension headaches. Fortunately, the QC 35 don’t suffer from this problem. I wore these headphones for upwards of 5 hours per day and only once did my head ever hurt after use, and that’s only because I fell asleep with them on.



Part of the reason is that the padded ear cups on the headphones are really comfortable. There is just enough padding to allow freedom from the tension of the headphone, but not too much to allow the headphones to lose the seal that they create around your ear to optimize the noise cancellation.

Noise Cancellation

Bose’s noise cancellation prowess is one of the primary reasons you see them adorning so many frequent fliers. The QC 35 have an external microphone on them which is able to pick up ambient noise in your surroundings. The electronics create an anti-phase signal to cancel out the off-putting noise 10 Terms You Should Know to Identify the Best Headphones In this guide we'll cut through the jargon and show you what the key headphone specifications actually mean, and why — or if — they matter. Read More around you. Despite their elite reputation, I was still blown away by just how little was able to disturb your audio solitude.

Noise cancellation works best on consistent noises like an air conditioning unit rather than unexpected or infrequent ones. Despite this even in busy places like coffee shops or while walking around in central London, I still found I was able to drift into my own secluded space.


Hands-free Performance

The built-in microphone lets the QuietComfort 35 double up as a hands-free headset. Everyone I spoke to using the QC 35 said that the sound quality of the call was a dramatic improvement over my previous headphones. Interestingly the noise cancellation is so good, that you can’t actually hear your own voice when on a call.


The Bluetooth 4.0 connection was lightning fast, which meant that I often used the headphones as my go-to for all calls. I could power them up and connect in just a few seconds  so I could pick up the call.

Battery Life

I found that the specified up to 20 hours of battery life wasn’t correct. Instead, they far exceeded that. Typically I charged them around once a week after I used them for around six hours per day. I didn’t use them lightly either: listening to music, taking calls, and even forgetting to turn them off on occasion. Bose says that the recharge time is 2.25 hours but they are underselling themselves on this front too. I found that it would typically only take between 30 and 45 minutes to go from depleted to full charge.


It is slightly disappointing that Bose doesn’t supply a charging dock, especially since the provided micro-USB cable is only 30cm long.


Throughout my testing I didn’t have a single connection problem. There was no interference, connection loss, or any noticeable degradation of audio quality between the QC 35 and my wired headphones. This is even more impressive as Bose hasn’t implement the superior AptX compression, which is incompatible with Apple devices.


You can connect up to two devices simultaneously to the QC 35. You might imagine that it would be a harsh transition between the two sources, but it is seamless. I had mine connected to my phone and PC and I could easily jump between both devices almost instantaneously. The Bose Connect companion app (Android/iOS) allows you to control which devices the headphones are connected to, but little else.


If you need to switch to a wired connection, the QuietComfort 35 also have a 2.5mm jack on the left headphone. You can even use the headphones in passive mode without power, but you do lose the noise cancellation.

Should You Buy Them?

Bose promises great sound quality and excellent noise cancellation and they deliver on both fronts. The battery life on the QuietComfort 35 easily surpassed expectations, and even Bose’s own specifications. They aren’t cheap but they do offer everything that you would expect for a $350 set of headphones. The design may be a little bland, but it doesn’t matter when the performance is so good.

Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series I) Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling - Black Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series I) Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling - Black Buy Now On Amazon $149.99

Our verdict of the Bose QuietComfort 35 :
Bose’s best headphones have gone wireless and been made even better for it. Although they aren’t cheap, the astonishing battery life, powerful noise cancellation and great audio performance make them ideal companions.
9 10

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  1. Headphone Reviews
    March 16, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    That's one of the best headphones I've encountered online. Thanks for writing about it. I am a blogger at and I am taking the chance if you can also leave a comment or a review on our site. Thanks in advance!

  2. Kunal Radia
    October 14, 2016 at 6:47 am

    I would really love to have these bose headphones .. Count me in :)

  3. Ted Canfield
    October 11, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Would love a pair!

  4. Linh
    October 9, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    I'm in :)

  5. Lin
    October 9, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    ready for this one :)

  6. John
    October 6, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I must have bad ears - all of these overpriced headphones only sound slightly better than my cheap Sony's. I could never see spending that much cash.

  7. Arturo Villegas
    October 5, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    I've tried these earphones at the sound department of a retail store, just a few meters aways where a guy was demonstrating a noisy sound equipment, and just was amazed how the set canceled the disturbing noise. Great sound. And Bluetooth pairing was a snap on a 6S iPhone

  8. Mer M
    October 5, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    I would absolutely love to have one! Count me in! :D

  9. Tom
    October 4, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Quite amazing. Best in class, I would say.

  10. Alfred C
    October 4, 2016 at 8:02 am

    What a great giveaway!! Wish me luck. :)

  11. Jasmina
    October 3, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Never saw something like that, living in country where such things are considered luxury... But enjoyed review , at least can learn about high tech stuff from here, makes me happy .

  12. Riz Sid
    October 2, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Great Giveaway. How do I enter...If Just this comment makes me eligible then count me in!!!!


  13. Willem Jan
    September 30, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Great review and the bose-quietcomfort 35 is on my whislist

  14. Frank Harrison
    September 30, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    I would cherish a Pair of those. IT's my NEW YEAR (BirthDay)

  15. Nikhil G
    September 30, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    I never owned noise canceling headphones. But I still remember in 2010 I was in Bose Store at heathrow airport. I tried one of there headphone. I liked too much. since there always wanted to have headphone like that.
    PS nice Review of product.

  16. Commander Spock
    September 30, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    Wow, I have these really old noise canceling headphones from Bose, that were handed down to me. Sure enough, they have the proprietary battery which is becoming available less and less. So I can no longer use them.
    The review sounds great, maybe I win and get upgraded.
    Thanks for the great review.

    • James Frew
      October 3, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      No proprietary battery in the QC35s, and no need to remove the battery - just plus the USB cable straight in. Good luck!

  17. Steven P
    September 30, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I have always wanted a set of Bose headphones but have never been able to afford them. The sound is amazing and the noise cancelling is simply the best I have tried. Great review!

  18. P H
    September 30, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Fantastic review. It just made me realise how much I NEED these bad boys. If only....

  19. P H
    September 30, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Fantastic review. It just makes me NEED these more and more. If only....

  20. Me
    September 29, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    I have a pair of the earbuds, and I've flown with me for two years of constant travel and use, and are still in factory condition. I HIGHLY recommend Bose to all my customers, coworkers, friends, and family. I typically don't go for the over-the-ear models because every one that I've tried physically starts to hurt my ears after about a half an hour, but would love to try these out to see if my ears can handle them, and Bose being Bose, I bet they would.

    • James Frew
      September 29, 2016 at 4:20 pm

      Until I used these headphones I had never enjoyed over-ear headphones. I had always used wired, in-ears which I found more comfortable. The QC35s changed my opinion completely - I wear them all the time without any discomfort at all. Make sure to enter the competition!

    • Drew
      September 30, 2016 at 6:22 pm

      I have a pair of QC25's, had them for several years now. I always hated over-the-ear cans due to heat and discomfort, and as a motorcyclist had purchased a pricey set of custom-formed, in-ear dual driver monitors. I also had a less pricey pair of very comfy in-ear buds to wear under my helmet. I bought the Bose on a whim while traveling because neither of the in-ear options were noise-canceling, and a series of long cross-country flights was driving me crazy. I was half sure I would hate the over-the-ear design even if I loved the noise canceling.

      Turns out, I wear these all the time now. For computer gaming, watching movies/TV, listening to music--they do everything equally well, and I never get too hot or feel any ear discomfort while wearing them. I'm now considering upgrading to the 35's for the bluetooth feature, now that I have an iPhone 7.

      It does seem extravagant to go for a new pair just because of a wire, though Bose has improved on both the audio quality and the noise cancellation feature in the 35's. The 25's do give a bit of feeling of 'backpressure' when you turn the noise canceling on, and some people are sensitive to this and can't tolerate NC headphones that produce this feeling. This has been corrected in the 35's based on other reviews I've read, so no backpressure feeling exists.

      Finally, if color and customization are your things, you can design and order custom colored QC35's straight from Bose's website, so you don't have to 'settle' for plain jane looks.

  21. Andre Mendes
    September 28, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    I would loooove to win this. Thanks for the giveaway!


  22. Heman Adams
    September 28, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Great product and a very honest review too. Who would'nt love to have a pair?

    • James Frew
      September 28, 2016 at 4:38 pm

      Thanks - make sure you enter the giveaway and you might get yourself a pair!

      • Heman Adams
        September 29, 2016 at 10:38 am

        I'm in.