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Bose’s QuietComfort 35 pairs Active Noise Cancelling with Bluetooth

Bose QuietComfort 35 lead

Bose has cut the cord on its latest active noise cancelling QuietComfort headphones along with launching two other new models

Look around on your morning commute and there’s a good chance you’ll spot a pair of Bose QuietComfort noise cancelling headphones adorning the head of at least one fellow disgruntled passenger. While there’s little that can be done about the armpit pressed too close to your face, Bose’s active noise cancelling has at least done an excellent job of isolating your ears from the monotonous drum of a train carriage or the surrounding traffic.

There has, at least until now, been one inconvenience to Bose’s noise cancelling headphones, however, and that was the wire. While other headphone makers, from Samsung to Plantronics to Lindy have cut the cord, Bose’s noise cancelling cans were still tethered. That’s not to say Bose hasn’t had experience with Bluetooth wireless headphones, the company’s SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II was excellent.

Bose QuietComfort 35

Now with its QuietComfort 35, Bose has finally embraced Bluetooth for its active noise cancelling cans when it goes on sale later this year for £290. The new QC35 will be sold alongside the original QC25 so the longstanding popular headphones aren’t going anywhere. In use, the new QC35 shares a lot of similarities to the QC25 and the Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II. They feel just as comfortable on your head and have the same great build quality. Now without the cable to get snagged or caught it’s even easier to be immersed in your audio.

At a preview event, I tested the QC35 in simulated environments that replicated the experience of a New York subway carriage and the QC35 did just as great a job of silencing the ambient sounds as their predecessors. So if you’re a fan of the QuietComfort range already, the QC35 will likely tick the same boxes. Bose has rated the battery life at around 20 hours with Bluetooth and Active Noise Cancelling engaged but you’ll get up to 40 hours use when using the optional wire, which is also handy for non-Bluetooth audio sources and for in-flight entertainment.

The headphones will also still work once the lithium-ion battery dies when using a wired connection but you lose the active noise cancelling and Bose’s Active EQ sound processing, so it’s really more of a fall-back until you can get them charged back up.

Bose QuietControl 30

Bose QuietComfort 30Alongside the QC35, Bose is also launching its QuietControl 30 headphones. These in-ear headphones also utilise active noise cancelling with a collar-based design. The earbuds have wingtips to help secure them in your ears. A unique feature versus the QuietComfort 35 is the ability to adjust the level of active noise cancelling, up to 12 steps. The lowest setting essentially replicates the ‘Aware’ mode of Bose’s previous active noise cancelling headphones, allowing more ambient sound in so you’re more aware of your surroundings. Bose said that the QuietControl 30 was designed to be worn all day, aided by the collar that secures them, so the ability to adjust the level of noise cancellation made sense for their use. According to Bose, the adjustable noise cancelling wasn’t included with the QuietComfort 35 

According to Bose, the adjustable noise cancelling wasn’t included with the QC35 as the QuietControl began development later than the QC35 and it wasn’t possible to create an enjoyable user experience. The company isn’t ruling out adjustable noise cancellation making its way to future QuietComfort cans, however. Having had a quick test of the QuietControl 30, the noise cancelling worked just as well and they felt comfortable and secure in my ears. They will retail for around £230 when they launch in September.

Bose SoundSport and SoundSport Pulse

Bose SoundSport WirelessBose also showed off new headphones geared towards fitness enthusiasts. These are Bluetooth wireless but don’t have noise cancelling, which makes sense for sport where you generally need to be at least semi-aware of your surroundings. Sports headphones aren’t typically worn in environments that need noise cancelling either, such as your daily commute. The neckband headphones are just as comfortable and secure as the QuietControl 30 and use a similar wingtip design to keep them locked in. 

A second model, called the SoundSport Pulse, will also include an in-ear heart rate monitor, similar to the manner in which the Jabra Sport Pulse takes measurements. The HRM is Ant+ compatible, so its data can be output to dedicated apps such as RunKeeper. The battery life of the SoundSport is rated at 6 hours, which is a little on the low side, whereas the SoundSport Pulse will drop battery life further to 5 hours. The regular SoundSport will sell for around £140 and the SoundSport Pulse for around £170.

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