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Bose QuietComfort 35 II Review (Noise Cancelling Headphone)

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I think the results show how Bose are big on using focus groups. That's why a measured response is very similar to the Harman target. Bose haters exist, yet the same group gets constantly duped by technical buzzwords and aesthetics and pay hundred of dollars for headphones that haven't been acoustically tuned for shit. I might be too picky to choose a Bose product but at the same time these other companies can learn a thing of two from Bose.
 
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Science does not mean absolute correctness. Science is the correct research method. I think most of the conclusions generated by scientific methods are correct, but QC35 II may be the error point presented in the scientific results.
Sorry, because my English is not good, so use Google Translate instead
 

Objectivist01

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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).
End of the day only results engineering matters than fancy par(n)ts
 

FrantzM

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Hi

Talks about "inexpensive" parts tend to forget economy of scale/mass production. Parts/devices/things can be of high quality and low price if/when there is appropriate demand. One such example are smartphones which are simply marvel of engineering and Science, yet are relatively affordable for what they do... <$500 smartphones are superb multi-purpose devices for an never ending list of tasks ... from entertainment to productivity .. Still camera, video cmera, GPS, Great display devices, Great sounding devices, Great microphones, great GPS. Simply Great ... "things" : They do it all at an affordable price .. seems there are 3.8 + Billions of these out there ... Complex, sophisticated devices made of extraordinary difficult to procure and make materials, rare and precious minerals. If we take a few seconds to think about these , one must wonder how they can be so pervasive.

Back to the Bose QC35 which seems to elicit a rather strong response in the hive :)
 

PeteL

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I'm not replying to anybody in particular here, but going to the thread... Personally, I enjoy reading different peoples opinions here and I wish that can stay. I do believe that most people here are real enthusiast about high fidelity and really do listen. Yes taste vary but there's more to it than that. I'll give you an example, without stating models or brands, to not stir a debate but more to illustrate my point, we can dismiss someone's opinion because lack of objective data. How about this one, my old headphone was headphone X. I purchased headphone Y. It's the first time I can distinguish clearly all the brass section partition in Bowie's Rock and Roll Suicide. Trumpet, Trombone, Baritone and Tenor saxes. Is it a random unquantifiable assessment? totally. Is it controlled conditions? nope, would it show on measurments? hard to tell, but does it means that headphone Y perform better than headphone X? Well as listening tests go, it's as objective as they get. Binary, I was hearing a vague brass ensemble, now I know which instrument plays which notes. Unbiased, never heard it before, I couldn't possibly know what to expect. Headphone Y might not be better in ALL aspects, but Objectively it does THAT better. at least with a determined data and electronic chain upstream. What I'm trying to say is, we should chill out a bit about "your finding don't have values, it's uncontrolled conditions, you don't have the experience, the right vocabulary, therefore it's just woo". I think we can grow and learn from everyones experience, not just Amir's.

I'll give you a second example. The Focal Clear, reviewed here, came trough as a not recommended headphone, If we read the review, it's mainly about a design flaw which can cause the driver to clip under certain conditions. Fair enough. I don't own the Clear, but the Elex is my main driver and it's well documented that it has the same mechanical characteristic, and same issue. The truth is ME, PERSONALLY, I have NEVER experienced it in normal usage. When searching for it, yes, I was able to reproduce it, am I saying that it's not a flaw? no, it is, but in my usage, it doesn't matter at all since it doesn't ever disrupt my experience, maybe because I listen to lower volume, maybe the equipment upstream, maybe my choice of music (and I do listen to a lot of electronic synthetically generated basses by the way). What it says is this criteria, which is indeed objective, don't have the same value for me than it does for him. For him it's a no go, don't buy it, for me it's something that never occurs. What it says is, we need to put things in context, and read between the line in reviews and not swallow everything as Gospel. If you don't do this and take every sentences word for word, You may be led to think, by reading a review, that the 10$ Sony headphone reviewed lately, with EQ, sounds just as good as a Focal Clear. That would be false by any stretch of imagination, objectively and subjectively.
 
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infinitesymphony

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Hi

Talks about "inexpensive" parts tend to forget economy of scale/mass production. Parts/devices/things can be of high quality and low price if/when there is appropriate demand. One such example are smartphones which are simply marvel of engineering and Science, yet are relatively affordable for what they do... <$500 smartphones are superb multi-purpose devices for an never ending list of tasks ... from entertainment to productivity .. Still camera, video cmera, GPS, Great display devices, Great sounding devices, Great microphones, great GPS. Simply Great ... "things" : They do it all at an affordable price .. seems there are 3.8 + Billions of these out there ... Complex, sophisticated devices made of extraordinary difficult to procure and make materials, rare and precious minerals. If we take a few seconds to think about these , one must wonder how they can be so pervasive.

Back to the Bose QC35 which seems to elicit a rather strong response in the hive :)
Definitely, the exponential nature of tech means more complex chips are getting cheaper every year.

In terms of inexpensive parts, I was just thinking about my Bose 201 Series IV bookshelves. Paper woofers, paper tweeters (!), plastic enclosures with bass tubes, little spring clip terminals. Yet they're still kicking 25 years later, filling the room with sound. They're not accurate, but they're closer and fuller-sounding than you might expect. To me, that's Bose's deal.

 

PeteL

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Definitely, the exponential nature of tech means more complex chips are getting cheaper every year.

In terms of inexpensive parts, I was just thinking about my Bose 201 Series IV bookshelves. Paper woofers, paper tweeters (!), plastic enclosures with bass tubes, little spring clip terminals. Yet they're still kicking 25 years later, filling the room with sound. They're not accurate, but they're closer and fuller-sounding than you might expect. To me, that's Bose's deal.

Nothing wrong with paper woofers, it is still to this day an excellent material. Now that doesn't mean I like these speakers
 
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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:


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.
Yes, that was a statement considering my experience with the product, and it's still an opinion, so that's what I was stating.
In any case, I didn't say amirm is wrong anyway, I have repeated many times this thing and I do not wanna repeat once again.
I stopped explaining the obvious some messages ago and I'm not even crying so I don't know why you're stating "come back and cry" as I don't need to do that, this is a forum and not a favela.
I don't wanna keep explaining and carrying on that discussion which is, at least to me, closed since yesterday, so I guess we can end this kind of argument as it does not bring me or you anything useful.

PS: don't compare me to amazon reviews, I hate them as well and I don't wanna get compared to them
 

Astrozombie

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I remember seeing these open box for about $150, I was curious because I've never had a pair of NC headphones and Rtings seemed to like them. Maybe some day.
What's it like if you don't have the battery charged for the NC?
 
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I remember seeing these open box for about $150, I was curious because I've never had a pair of NC headphones and Rtings seemed to like them. Maybe some day.
What's it like if you don't have the battery charged for the NC?
The review shows measurements for when they aren’t powered right?
 
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This was one of my favorites among what’s generally available at big box stores in the US, just below some pricey Bang & Olufsens. (I ended up buying some Plantronics and later the HiFiMan HE 400i 2020, both of which I like very much.) Finding something with balanced bass response instead of super boomy bass is the first challenge in the hunt.
 

solderdude

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The review shows measurements for when they aren’t powered right?
Both, in the plot it's mentioned if it is on or off. When not mentioned assume it's power on.
Powered off it isn't the best sounding headphone.
 
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Thank you Amir: On Sale in Switzerland for CHF 179.- = USD198.- :) and ordered me a pair yesterday, EQed on my RME Adi DAC and enjoyed thoroughly. Always wanted a pair for flights, but never got around buying one. Thanks Amir for recommendation, measurements and EQ parameters. These are my first pair of head phones and will be a great relieve for my neighbours ;). Never thought low notes could be so powerful with head phones: it will take some time to get used to as I still prefer listening to music via speakers. Now need to figure out how to EQ on my phone using Qobuz App:facepalm:
 
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Thank you Amir: On Sale in Switzerland for CHF 179.- = USD198.- :) and ordered me a pair yesterday, EQed on my RME Adi DAC and enjoyed thoroughly. Always wanted a pair for flights, but never got around buying one. Thanks Amir for recommendation, measurements and EQ parameters. These are my first pair of head phones and will be a great relieve for my neighbours ;). Never thought low notes could be so powerful with head phones: it will take some time to get used to as I still prefer listening to music via speakers. Now need to figure out how to EQ on my phone using Qobuz App:facepalm:
I also almost pulled the trigger on these since they are on sale here in Switzerland. But then again, I don‘t really need new headphones and I don‘t like the fact that you have to use them powered on PLUS additional EQ on top of that. And I watched a few tutorial videos on how to change the battery when it dies... a really messy undertaking. I’m going to wait for another headphone recommendation by amir. I‘m sure there will be another pair of headphones that does well in the tests and doesn‘t need batteries.
 

solderdude

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I also almost pulled the trigger on these since they are on sale here in Switzerland. But then again, I don‘t really need new headphones and I don‘t like the fact that you have to use them powered on PLUS additional EQ on top of that. And I watched a few tutorial videos on how to change the battery when it dies... a really messy undertaking. I’m going to wait for another headphone recommendation by amir. I‘m sure there will be another pair of headphones that does well in the tests and doesn‘t need batteries.
There will never be a passive headphone with similar outside noise attenuation and this flat response between 10Hz and 2kHz and doesn't need batteries. The only headphones that may come close would be well sealing IEM's.

AFAIK all active headphones these days have non user replaceable batteries that will loose capacity over the years and most of them will have pads that will flake and parish rather sooner than later.

An important, and never really measured, aspect of NC headphones is self noise (coming from the electret + electronics).
Not many brands do this well. Sony and Bose do but many cheaper offerings have an audible hiss.

One should only buy such headphones when one needs noise cancelling or a BT/NC with decent to good sound quality. I would not buy one to serve as a 'reference' headphone as none really are. The QC35-II however is certainly one of the better affordable BT/NC headphones out there along with the WH-1000XM. The Sony has better noise reduction the Bose sounds more 'correct'.
 

Objectivist01

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There will never be a passive headphone with similar outside noise attenuation and this flat response between 10Hz and 2kHz and doesn't need batteries. The only headphones that may come close would be well sealing IEM's.

AFAIK all active headphones these days have non user replaceable batteries that will loose capacity over the years and most of them will have pads that will flake and parish rather sooner than later.

An important, and never really measured, aspect of NC headphones is self noise (coming from the electret + electronics).
Not many brands do this well. Sony and Bose do but many cheaper offerings have an audible hiss.

One should only buy such headphones when one needs noise cancelling or a BT/NC with decent to good sound quality. I would not buy one to serve as a 'reference' headphone as none really are. The QC35-II however is certainly one of the better affordable BT/NC headphones out there along with the WH-1000XM. The Sony has better noise reduction the Bose sounds more 'correct'.
Somehow I felt the sonys to be sounding harsh with highs.
 

Helicopter

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I was pretty surprised at these results, given the usual audiophile Bose-bashing. Then again, maybe this is exactly what I should have expected.
I was only a little surprised. On the Bose use Genelec thread lots of smart members expressed good impressions of Bose travel headphones. This parallels my positive experience with cheap-component active Amazon speakers for background music in various places in my house.

...AFAIK all active headphones these days have non user replaceable batteries that will loose capacity over the years and most of them will have pads that will flake and parish rather sooner than later...
Not sure if I would include them in your 'active headphones' umbrella in the context of this thread since they aren't portable, but the Sennheiser RS 175, (discontinued) RS 185, and RS 195 TV headphones use rechargeable AAA batteries. That seems like a great way to go, but of course a good Li-ion will be lighter and last longer.
 
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