Over the past few decades, Bose has become synonymous with noise cancelling headphones. The Bose QuietComfort line exemplifies Bose’s commitment to delivering stellar noise cancellation and premium audio quality for an immersive listening experience. This comprehensive guide takes an in-depth look at the evolution of the QuietComfort headphones, their standout features, top models, and how they stack up against competitors.
A Brief History of Bose QuietComfort Headphones
Bose embarked on their noise cancellation journey in 1989 when they released the first noise cancelling headset for aviation use. In 2000, Bose entered the consumer market with the QuietComfort 1 over-ear headphones, offering noise cancelling capabilities in a lightweight portable form.
Milestone Models Over the Years
Here’s a quick overview of milestone QuietComfort models that have shaped the lineup over the past two decades:
- QuietComfort 2 (2003) – An upgrade over QC1 with improved noise cancellation. Bose’s first foldable over-ear noise cancelling headphone.
- QuietComfort 3 (2006) – Introduced active EQ for better audio performance. Increased battery life to 30 hours.
- QuietComfort 15 (2009) – Bose’s first in-ear noise cancelling headphone with molded earbuds and a neckband.
- QuietComfort 25 (2014) – Lightweight portable on-ear model with improved noise cancellation.
- QuietComfort 35 (2016) – Bose’s first wireless noise cancelling headphone with 20 hours battery life.
- QuietComfort 45 (2021) – Adds 24 hour battery life, USB-C charging and new transparency mode.
Over the years, the lineup has continued to evolve with enhancements in audio quality, noise cancellation performance and innovative new designs while upholding the QuietComfort legacy.
What Makes Bose QuietComfort Headphones Special?
So what has made the QuietComfort lineup such an enduring success and a benchmark for noise cancelling headphones? Here are some of their standout features:
Pioneering Noise Cancelling Technology
At the heart of QuietComfort headphones is Bose’s industry-leading noise cancellation powered by the proprietary Bose Active Noise Cancellation technology. It continually measures environmental noise using built-in microphones and generates opposite signal to cancel it. This enables you to immerse in music or calls without distractions.
Lifelike Audio Quality
Complementing the stellar noise cancellation is Bose’s expertise in audio engineering that delivers clear lifelike sound with depth and detail across frequencies. Their volume optimized active EQ maintains audio quality at any volume.
Plush Comfort for Hours of Use
Designed for comfort and convenience, QC headphones feature lightweight materials, adjustable headband and angled ear cups. The soft ear cushions enclose around the ear to block noise while staying comfortable for extended wear.
Intuitive Controls and Voice Assistance
Smart touch controls, voice prompts and integration with Google Assistant/Alexa makes it easy to manage music, calls and device settings handsfree.
Long Battery Life
With battery life ranging from 15 to 24 hours, QuietComfort headphones let you keep listening throughout long commutes and trips without recharging frequently.
Premium Portable Design
Foldable, lightweight designs with carrying case make QuietComfort headphones the perfect travel companion to eliminate distractions anywhere.
Overview of Current Bose QuietComfort Headphone Models
Bose currently offers QuietComfort models in over-ear, on-ear, in-ear and earbud designs to suit different user needs. Here’s an overview of the key models:
Bose QuietComfort 45
- 24 hour battery life
- Adjustable noise cancellation with transparency mode
- Balanced audio with customizable EQ
- Plush ear cushions and headband
- Foldable design with carrying case
- Google Assistant and Alexa enabled
As the latest addition to the series, the QuietComfort 45 delivers the perfect blend of stellar noise cancellation, hi-fi audio, voice assistance and long battery life. With a comfortable over-ear fit, it’s ideal for travel and work.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
- 11 levels of noise cancellation
- Touch controls with Alexa built-in
- Adjustable fit with unibody frame
- 20 hours battery life
- Clear calls with 4-microphone system
- Carry case included
The Bose 700 offers the most advanced noise cancelling from Bose with great audio quality. It has a more contemporary design with glass-filled nylon headband and narrow ear cups. Engineered for clear calls and voice.
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
Type: In-ear earbuds
- Adjustable noise cancellation and transparency
- Volume-optimized Active EQ
- StayHear Max tips for comfort and stability
- Weather and sweat resistance
- 6 hours battery life with 18 extra in case
- Simple touch controls
As Bose’s first noise cancelling earbuds, the QuietComfort Earbuds bring the magic of QuietComfort to a lightweight wireless form. With rich sound and customizable fit, they are ideal for everyday use.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Type: Over-ear, wireless
- Three levels of noise cancellation
- Voice access to Google Assistant and Alexa
- Volume-optimized EQ for balanced performance
- 20 hours battery life per charge
- Dual microphones for clear calls
- Foldable design with case
- 3.5mm headphone jack for wired use
The QuietComfort 35 II are engineered for both wireless freedom and wired performance. With Google Assistant and Alexa built-in, you can control music, info and device settings completely hands-free.
Bose QuietComfort In-Ear Headphones
Type: In-ear with neckband
- Bose Active Noise Cancelling technology
- Aware mode lets you hear surroundings
- Weather-resistant for exercise and travel
- Volume-optimized EQ for any volume
- 10 hours battery life per charge
- Inline microphone and controls
How Do Bose QuietComfort Models Compare To Competitors?
Here’s how flagship QuietComfort models stack up against popular competing noise cancelling headphones:
Bose QC45 vs Sony WH-1000XM5
| Feature | Bose QC45 | Sony WH-1000XM5 |
| Noise Cancellation | Excellent | Industry-leading with auto NC optimizer|
| Audio Quality | Balanced and immersive | Customizable with LDAC, edge in clarity |
| Comfort | Plush earcups, lighter | Comfortable with swivel mechanism |
| Controls | Touch controls with voice | Swipe, touch, wear detection |
| Battery Life | 24 hours | 30 hours (ANC on) |
| Voice Assistant | Google, Alexa | Alexa and Google Assistant|
| Price | $329 | $399 |
Sony WH-1000XM5 wins on noise cancellation and audio reproduction but some may prefer QC45 for more balanced sound and lighter comfort. At lower price, QC45 provides excellent performance and value.
Bose 700 vs Apple AirPods Max
| Feature | Bose 700 | Airpods Max |
|Noise Cancellation | 11 levels with adjustable strength | Adaptive quality ANC |
| Audio Quality | Clear and immersive | Spatial Audio, seamless Apple device integration |
| Comfort | Less ear heat, tighter headband | Plush memory foam cushions |
| Controls | Touch, voice access | Digital Crown, seamless Apple device control |
| Battery Life | 20 hours | 20 hours |
| Voice Assistant| Alexa, Google Assistant | Seamless Siri access |
| Price | $379 | $549 |
The Airpods Max offers a more premium noise cancelling experience for the Apple ecosystem. But the Bose 700 gives comparable performance for less cost.
Bose QC Earbuds vs. Sony WF-1000XM4
| Feature | Bose QC Earbuds | Sony WF-1000XM4 |
| Noise Cancellation | Adjustable, very good for earbuds | Industry-leading for earbuds |
| Audio Quality | Clean, balanced | Customizable, slight edge in clarity |
| Comfort | Secure fit with ear tips | Very comfortable and secure |
| Controls | Touch controls | Touch controls + wear detection |
| Battery Life | 6 hrs + 18 extra (charging case) | 8 hrs + 16 extra (charging case) |
| Voice Assistant | Google, Siri | Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri |
| Price | $279 | $278 |
The Sony earbuds win on noise cancellation but the Bose are nearly as good while costing the same. Both offer comparable user experience.
While competitive options exist, Bose QuietComfort models continue to excel in noise cancellation, audio and comfort. Their optimized performance across the board and lightweight designs make them perfect for everyday use.
Buying Considerations for Bose QuietComfort Headphones
Here are some key factors to consider when choosing QuietComfort headphones:
Subscribe to our list
Don't worry, we don't spam
- Usage – Over-ear or in-ear? Travel, home, exercise? Calls or music?
- Noise levels – Over-ear QC45/700 block more noise than earbuds.
- Portability – In-ear and earbuds are more portable than over-ear models.
- Device compatibility – Wireless QC models connect via Bluetooth but can also work wired.
- Controls – Prefer simpler buttons or advanced touch/voice controls?
- Budget – QC earbuds start around $279, over-ear models start at $329.
- Voice assistance – QC45, 700, 35 II have built-in Google/Alexa.
- AUDIO QUALITY – Most models share excellent Bose sound but 700 edges ahead.
Select the model that best fits your needs and usage. Over-ear headphones like the QC45 provide the most effective noise isolation for demanding environments like air travel. Lightweight earbuds like QC Earbuds are ideal for everyday use for calls and music. Those wanting the most advanced microphone system for calls should get the 700.
6 Common Questions about Bose QC Headphones
Q1. How effective is the noise cancellation on Bose QC headphones?
Excellent. Bose noise cancellation uses proprietary technology to continuously measure and neutralize outside noise. Reviewers consistently rate Bose ANC as among the best in the market. Over-ear models like QC45 cancel most ambient noise making them ideal for travel. In-ear models reduce lower frequency rumble while letting you remain aware.
Q2. What is the audio quality like?
Bose headphones are renowned for their clear, well-balanced sound reproduction. Their volume-optimized active EQ delivers immersive audio at any listening level. The over-ear 700 model has the most advanced audio with adjustable EQ. For true audiophiles seeking more audio customization, other brands may be preferred. But for everyday listening, Bose sound quality is tough to beat.
Q3. How is the battery life?
Battery life has improved with each QuietComfort generation. The latest QC45 delivers up to 24 hours per charge which is great for all-day use. The 700 gives 20 hours. The earbuds last about 6 hours with noise cancellation on. This is decent compared to other wireless earbuds. Quick charging gives up to 3.5 hours from 15 minutes.
Q4. Are they good for taking calls?
Yes, the headphones work great for calls thanks to the noise cancellation letting you focus on the voice. The 700 model has the most advanced microphone system making calls exceptionally clear. Other models also have inline mics that suppress ambient noise well. Voices come through loud and clear on both ends.
Q5. Can you wear them while exercising?
The over-ear and in-ear QC headphones are sweat resistant and stay secured during exercise. Their lightweight, portable design makes them suitable for workouts. The earbuds are IPX4 rated water resistant and optimized to stay in place. Just avoid submerging them in water. They will handle sweaty exercise sessions fine.
Q6. What devices are they compatible with?
QC headphones connect wirelessly to any Bluetooth device – smartphones, tablets, computers etc. Wireless models like QC35 II and 700 also have 3.5mm headphone jack for wired use. They are compatible with iOS/Android but device controls may be limited on non-Apple/Android. Pairing is easy using the Bose Connect app.
Final Verdict – Why Bose QuietComfort Headphones are a Sound Investment
In summary, here are the key reasons why Bose QuietComfort headphones have stood the test of time and continue to be a top choice for noise cancellation:
- Industry-leading noise cancellation – From noisy planes to bustling streets, QuietComfort headphones keep the distractions at bay.
- Lifelike audio – Whether your taste is hip-hop or opera, Bose headphones bring out detail and depth in the music.
- All-day comfort – The plush ear cushions and headband keep you comfortable during extended use.
- Sleek portable designs – Foldable models easily slip into bags and come with a protective case.
- Seamless controls – Intuitive touch controls, voice access and device integration make using them a breeze.
- Reliable performance – Backed by Bose’s excellent engineering and build quality.
With the wide range available, you are sure to find QuietComfort headphones perfectly suited for your needs. Once you experience their beautiful noise-free audio, wearing Bose QC headphones simply becomes a joy. They make daily life and travels immensely more peaceful and pleasant.