Bose QC35 review: The noise-cancellation tech of Bose's wired headphones, transplanted to a new wireless model

Steve Hogarty
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Bose QC35

The Bose QC25s, otherwise known as “those headphones that absolutely everybody on the Tube seems to be wearing now”, are ubiquitous enough to make you feel like you’ve slipped into some kind of parallel Bose-dimension, a universe in which no other brand of headphone exists.

And for good reason. Bose has mastered active-noise cancellation in their distinctive cans, engineering top-of-class headphones that not only block out background noise but produce ear-pleasingly crisp audio for the price.

The new QC35s take the sound-cancelling wizardry of their wired headphones and implants it into their wireless model – a first for the company, which is at pains to stress how much of technological ball-ache the whole thing was. You’d struggle to spot the difference in sound quality between this and the wired QC25s – there’s none of the flatness typically found in wireless phones.

Both use external mics positioned on the earcups to pick up exterior sounds and eradicate them from your ears, but while the wired model greedily suckled on a AAA battery to power its noise-cancelling, the QC35s run off a charge that lasts for 20 hours. That number rises to 40 if you use the optional wired connection.

The QC35s really are the finest wireless headphones Bose have made, and virtually no compromises have been made in transplanting the noise-quashing effect from the wired versions. The earcups are as comfortable as anything else in the range – like lovely spongey beds for your ears – and the build quality is reassuringly rugged. Similar to the QC25s too, Bluetooth connections can be triggered by touching your NFC phone against one of the cups.

But it’s the noise-cancelling that really impresses here. Try it without playing music and it’s like having your head submerged under water – slightly claustrophic at first, but then strangely soothing. An accomplished pair of headphones.

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