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Bose QuietComfort 35 II Review (Noise Cancelling Headphone)

KeithPhantom

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I have purchased the QC35 II after the review but I am a little disappointed, don't get me wrong this is a good headphone and it sound right but I find it little bit dull sounding and not as enjoyable as my Etymotic ER4XR. I found the ANC doesn't compete with ER4XR amazing passive noise isolation.
I find the opposite with my ER4SR in terms of isolation. For me, ANC is better than passive isolation.
 

ksaugrin

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What i have omited to tell is i have used the QC35 II in bluetooth and we all know that DSP settings will differ because of that. After listening to. the QC35 with the cable and ANC on it's sound a lot better than on bluetooth
 
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Well I gave it a spin, but not for long.

Comfort
  • Not as comfortable as I was expecting, but not bad overall
  • I found the clamp a bit much, and could feel something starting to push on my ears within an hour
  • My ears got pretty hot
Sound
  • I bought them for wireless, so was using them as such, with ANC off; I don't much like the ANC pressure sensation
  • Sound was pretty good, I tried the EQ from here and the AutoEQ - both different, but not a big difference
  • The problem with EQ'ing these is I had them running at 60-70% for comfortable volume and then EQ drops it another notch so for quiet tracks it's getting close to the end of the available volume range that isn't introducing distortion
  • I was hoping EQ would add back in some of the separation and space I'm used to, but it didn't do much other than requiring more volume
  • Flipping back and forth between these and the E-Mu Teaks running off an Element II and there's just no contest. Unsurprising, but I was hoping it would be a bit closer
  • The isolation is incredible, especially compared to the Teaks, which isolate about as well as a hearing aid. I swear voices get amplified through the cups of the Teaks. With the Bose I couldn't even hear the cat yelling at me and that's with ANC off
Function
  • Pairing and using with iPhone was fine, but I ran into the notorious Bluetooth issues on Windows. After faffing about for about an hour with drivers and restarts I was about it give up when I tried removing every device I wasn't using that Windows had listed in the Bluetooth & Other Devices section of Settings, connected or not (most of them had never been connected) and everything started working. Before this they would connect and play for a few seconds, then just lose connection, then report reconnection, but no sound would play. I compared to some Jabra Elite 85h's and they connected fine (BT5.0), but then stuttered heavily when playing anything. Removing all the non-connected devices fixed them too, so this is all usual Windows stupidity
  • ANC defaults to high mode every time you turn them on: as with any device that does not retain your settings through a power cycle, this is annoying
  • Everything else was fine - you can set the action button to ANC, so that helps. The tactile buttons are better than touch controls on a device that you're not looking at when you use it. The NC 700 looks like a retrograde step in that regard
  • They also have a rubberized edge so you don't get an aggressive clack in your ears when removing them from your head like, for example, with the Teaks
  • Micro-USB in 2021 dear god
  • Non-user replaceable battery
Why I'm returning them
If they were as comfortable as the Teaks and sounded not necessarily as good, but as good in their own way I guess, had BT5 and some better codecs, and a replaceable battery I could live with the micro-USB, BT latency, and the ever-looming threat of more Windows-related BT issues. These are good headphones, but, as usual, I find the convenience of wireless is still outweighed by what you have to give up. I'm sure if I gave it a week or two the sound would be fine, but I can't imagine replacing the Teaks with these when I'm actively comparing the two. I'm a one-headphone person, which means I'm permanently dissatisfied.
 
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Well I gave it a spin, but not for long.

Why I'm returning them
If they were as comfortable as the Teaks and sounded not necessarily as good, but as good in their own way I guess, had BT5 and some better codecs, and a replaceable battery I could live with the micro-USB, BT latency, and the ever-looming threat of more Windows-related BT issues. These are good headphones, but, as usual, I find the convenience of wireless is still outweighed by what you have to give up. I'm sure if I gave it a week or two the sound would be fine, but I can't imagine replacing the Teaks with these when I'm actively comparing the two. I'm a one-headphone person, which means I'm permanently dissatisfied.
Thats fair, comfort is a very personal thing, the ear cups are small so if your ear isn't the 'right' shape to fit in them thats going to impact comfort a lot. Personally I wouldn't recommend them to anyone with ANC off, the sound is just a lot worse, plus the ANC performance is one of their major selling points. On the BT front i've using them exclusively with a dedicated BT transmitter (fed by Toslink) and thats been fine. I gave up long ago wrestling with bluetooth in windows.

Lack of replacable battery and headband pad are my two big criticisms of them, that and the general warmth on the ears, but thats probably inevitable with small isolating cups.
 
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As a big fan of measurements and measurement results (since I'm not only a hifi fan, but a full-time energy electronics technician), I'm rather downright shocked at the good measurement results.
Because the sound of the Bose called me relatively strong nausea before...
 
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As a big fan of measurements and measurement results (since I'm not only a hifi fan, but a full-time energy electronics technician), I'm rather downright shocked at the good measurement results.
Because the sound of the Bose called me relatively strong nausea before...
Could be the noise cancelling causing nausea, as opposed to the sound profile.
 
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I ended up getting a used pair of these as a place holder for a potential lossless wireless APM.

Comfort....well they are comfy, but sometimes when I am wearing glasses it will start to hurt. The discomfort is where your glasses rest between your skull and your ear lob. I think there is a sweet spot in which I can prevent it, but without glasses its a non issue.

Imo the sound quality is lesser than a HD6xx, but its good enough for what it is. I think if it had better instrument separation and a larger soundstage it would be pretty darn close. Anyways, once you acclimate to it, it sounds fine. Amir EQ is so subtle I wouldn't be able to notice if I left it on or off. I was hoping it would increase the spatial quality that I mentioned, but it doesn't.

I've used these with my windows 10 PC and they connect instantly, I've never had driver issues with any thing USB or bluetooth related either.

These are my first ANC cans, and they do a great job at blocking out conversations and have even gamed with them with a wired connection and I can localize people just fine, better than my closed TH900 actually. I like that I can blast my PC fans at full speed if I needed to and not hear them. Noise floor of the ANC is not bothersome to me either.
 
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