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Bose QuietComfort 35 II Review (Noise Cancelling Headphone)

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This is one time where the science disagrees with my emotional hate of all things BOSE. I can not accept that BOSE did something right.
Emotions 1 : Science 0
Honestly? This can just shows what DSP can do even with a "meh" design.
Look at the response of the system when ANC/DSP is offline. The headless panther would probably fall of a cliff if that were all.
 

infinitesymphony

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Honestly? This can just shows what DSP can do even with a "meh" design.
Look at the response of the system when ANC/DSP is offline. The headless panther would probably fall of a cliff if that were all.
Exactly. That's the name of Bose's game -- inexpensive parts, solid development.

Given what they have managed to do here with DSP, I have even more hope that other manufacturers are already replicating their success at lower price points (my bet remains on Anker).
 

Mnyb

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It works really well. For classical music too. But you need to be aware of 2 things:
a) you need to measure the SPL level during calibration.
b) you need to be aware of the actual digital loudness of the piece and (if you are OCD about it) normalize that via replay gain.

Personally, I calibrated it that a file that hits 0dBFS gives me ~90dB peaks pre EQ. Since most modern music hits 0dBFS anyway it works well enough for me. That way I only get "too little" bass if the piece is quieter but I never get too much bass when I turn it down.


I don't think anyone would consider the simple opinion of "the Harman target does not sound good to me" disrespectful in any way.
Fact is: I don't like the Harman target either. Treble is fine but bass is far too much for me. It's okay, my ears FR is not your ears FR, so differences in preferences are to be expected.
That was a nice bit of information that i newer thought of that replaygain would help level the playing field further :)
 
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Exactly. That's the name of Bose's game -- inexpensive parts, solid development.

Given what they have managed to do here with DSP, I have even more hope that other manufacturers are already replicating their success at lower price points (my bet remains on Anker).
Tried some cheapos like the soundcore life q20 and weren't so bad for the price.
Honesty, I would buy something wired at that budget, or a pair of IEMs for everyday usage, but if you really need a wireless over ear products like that aren't complete trash.
 

Spocko

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Exactly. That's the name of Bose's game -- inexpensive parts, solid development.

Given what they have managed to do here with DSP, I have even more hope that other manufacturers are already replicating their success at lower price points (my bet remains on Anker).
But DSP is not easy, and I think this is where Bose's deep pockets pay off. I can imagine that the level of research and tinkering required to create a DSP profile for any given headphone is unbelievably difficult, especially to the degree we're seeing with this headphone. But once the tools, software and processes are in place - competitive advantage Bose. Apple and Sony are right there with this approach.
 

HiFidFan

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I've had my QC 35 II's for about a year. As far as SQ, I've always liked them. Are they audiophile? I have no idea what that even means, really. After reading this review, I still like them. No more and no less. I'm not a head-fi guy per se, I use them for work (conferencing), out in the garage, lawn, and yeah, some music.

Edit: They're comfortable too, even at long periods with my reading glasses on.

I will say that I find the Bose app wonky and sometimes fiddly, but other than that they're pretty solid. A good value? No idea. Hopefully more reviews by @amirm will shed light on great value BT NC cans.
 
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Spocko

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I've had my QC 35 II's for about a year. As far as SQ, I've always liked them. Are they audiophile? I have no idea what that even means, really. After reading this review, I still like them. No more and no less. I'm not a head-fi guy per se, I use them for work (conferencing), out in the garage, lawn, and yeah, some music.

Edit: They're comfortable too, even at long periods with my reading glasses on.

I will say that I find the Bose app wonky and sometimes fiddly, but other than that they're pretty solid. A good value? No idea. Hopefully more reviews by @amirm will shed light on great value BT NC cans.
You may end up being disappointed when you "upgrade" to real audiophile headphones costing 10x more - comfort is actually the unsung hero of a headphone's desirability.
 

HiFidFan

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You may end up being disappointed when you "upgrade" to real audiophile headphones costing 10x more - comfort is actually the unsung hero of a headphone's desirability.
Who said I was "upgrading"? :)

I'm perfectly content with my Bose
 

mt196

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I believe what you keep missing here is that this is a science based forum where quantifiable data is highly valued over personal opinion. There are plenty of forums where personal opinions rule, but this isn’t one of them. That has nothing to do with you in particular, it’s the culture of this community. That works for some, perhaps not so much for others.
It is based on the part of science that is most useful to make some product look better than others and make people obsessed about minuscule snr percentage points that a bat couldn't even hear. It was kinda scientific with amplifiers and dacs, but it just looks so ridiculous for headphones and speakers and frankly there are a lot of people pointing this out (and being attacked to not respect the holy magical harman curve)
 

Bear123

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......still, many people think EQing is everything and I will never understand why aren't they trying with their own ears).
I see people claim this about others, but honestly have never or almost never actually seen an example of this. It almost seems imagined.....
 

Bear123

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In fact, since the beginning of my replies on this post, I have been specifying that was my own personal opinion, so reading that I'm nobody to express my opinion doesn't make me feel comfortable in sharing my own one in threads like this (moreover if I'm looked at like an inferior human).
Actually, you aren't being accurate about what you have stated. You clearly made statements that weren't just your opinion, but were stating that Amir's opinion and evaluation of the product must surely be wrong because it differs from your opinion. You can't then come back and cry you are innocent and only wanted to state your own personal opinion. It's not what you did. For example:
QC35 III don't have any kind of microdetail and detailing is average. Plus, bass is slow and fat, far from being a "quality" bass.
I still cannot understand why I see you recommending this and the 10$' Sony while bashing the 990 Pro.
It's understandable timbre is the thing that really makes the final decision between buying or skipping a product, but the 990 Pro make a golden shower with the QC35 II if you're on the market for a bright pair of headphones.
You aren't just stating your opinion that Bose is bad, but that Amir is wrong by giving the Bose a higher rating than the headphones you like better. You like your headphones better. That's your subjective opinion, and I'm sure no one has an issue with it. But you are *clearly* coming across as though your opinion is correct, and Amir's is wrong. Just because you subjectively claim bass is slow or fat or low quality, doesn't mean that it objectively(facts) is true. If you have objective data proving this, I'm sure everyone would be happy to consider it. The problem is that *purely* subjective opinion can be incredibly unreliable as it is based so much on one's own(often very limited) perspective. If every headphone you have owned has very poor, weak bass response or elevated treble, and it is simply what you are used to, then that will affect your subjective perception differently than a more objective standard based on the preference of many many many listeners. This is why Amazon reviews of objectively lousy speakers, subs, and soundbars all get 4.5 stars. They sound better than TV speakers which is most peoples reference.
 
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It is based on the part of science that is most useful to make some product look better than others and make people obsessed about minuscule snr percentage points that a bat couldn't even hear. It was kinda scientific with amplifiers and dacs, but it just looks so ridiculous for headphones and speakers and frankly there are a lot of people pointing this out (and being attacked to not respect the holy magical harman curve)
It's not "kinda" scientific. It's using the science to verify the characteristics of the products. simple as that. Again, the Harman curve is not "magical" its the result of the scientific method being applied and results formulated.

Harman themselves document the variabilty of the results in blind tests, giving some wiggle room for personal taste. To me this must come down to how some variables, they have not yet determined, vary the outcomes. Inching closer all the time.

I don't know what is so controversial about this.
 
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I have the QC35 and the Beats Solo Pro. They have different sound signatures but I enjoy both but in different situations. Agree with Amir the QC35 is somewhat dull sounding but very smooth overall. Very comfortable for listening while going for my daily walk compared to the Beats which are heavier and somewhat tighter fit. The Beats are much cleaner sounding with better upper frequencies and has lower frequencies that are very natural. The trumped up bass of previous Beats has been effectively addressed in this model. As for noise reduction the QC35 slightly better but both very good.
 
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nice nice, i feel good about my bet on these, got them 2 months ago, could not choose this or the Sony ones, but i felt good about Bose for some reason.
 

Spocko

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It is based on the part of science that is most useful to make some product look better than others and make people obsessed about minuscule snr percentage points that a bat couldn't even hear. It was kinda scientific with amplifiers and dacs, but it just looks so ridiculous for headphones and speakers and frankly there are a lot of people pointing this out (and being attacked to not respect the holy magical harman curve)
I think the speaker's FR curve is easy enough to adjust to taste (Dirac, Audyssey, Room Perfect, etc.) , but the single data point that is consistently correlated to speaker sound quality is off axis controlled directivity. I can understand a speaker builder's personal approach to creating the Klipsch sound, but good off axis FR is simply sound engineering that will always contribute to improved sound quality.
 

dfuller

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I know I'm going to catch a lot of flak for this, but I'm profoundly not a fan of using massive amounts of DSP to correct an otherwise kinda janky design, and I'm especially not a fan in headphones. Maybe these sound great with the DSP on, but I'd rather not have a headphone that sounds awful when the built in battery runs out of juice.
 

Phorize

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You may end up being disappointed when you "upgrade" to real audiophile headphones costing 10x more - comfort is actually the unsung hero of a headphone's desirability.
This occurred to me for the first time recently-my new k371s clamp tight enough to actually give me a headache.
 
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