Revisiting the QC35s
Me (back then): Bose products are expensive! It stands for “Buy other sound equipment”. It sucks.
I'm so glad to be wrong about that. They're still damn expensive (₱22,500) but they're so worth it that it's a huge quality-of-life improvement for me for the past three years.
These Bose QC35s are so good that even on their first iteration, it has upturned my expectations on any headphones that I'm ever planning to own. Back then what decided a purchase was just the sound quality. But the QC35s have proven to me that it's worth taking a more expensive pair of cans that may have a slightly worse audio quality but with significant improvements to:
- being completely wireless
- and of course, active noise-cancelling.
Comfort and Durability
While “comfort” and “durability” may be no-brainer terms, the QC35s have increased my expectations about how they mean both words.
When I say comfort, I mean a pair of headphones that you can wear for an entire flight from Hong Kong to New York.
When I say durability, I'm expecting a pair of headphones that can last for over three years with varying degrees and extremes of weather conditions. I've traveled with these headphones in stormy nights, in freezing winters and steamy summers in the tropics.
While I'm already expecting these headphones to reach its end of life sooner or later, I'm still surprised that the headphones are still working perfectly. I'm sure other headphones would've fared worse with annoying defects like malfunctioning cans or iffy connections. I know conventional wired headphones would've had either or both of those problems in two years or so.
Wireless and Active Noise Cancelling
These two parts are what made the Bose QC35s popular, but there's more to it than just that.
ANC is fantastic and is an overall quality-of-life improvement, especially if you live with city noises and a busy commute. Silence is golden and it's kinda important when you do listen to music since you'll normally incline to “fighting” the noise with higher volumes with normal headphones. Both good active and passive noise cancellation lets you dedicate your ears to your music and either listen to low volumes, or enjoy it all to yourself with loud volumes.
Wireless? It's not just Bluetooth — it's also important to factor in long range that's capable of going through walls and rooms. Connecting to at least two devices is also a baseline requirement now; since I usually let my PC play music while calls would occasionally go through my phone during the day.
B-but you have to charge them!
It's honestly not an issue at all. Despite an aging battery, this thing can still last for over a day's worth of use and it only takes a few minutes to top-up if you really need to charge it. Chances are, I'll have the headphones with me at 100% charge at the start of the day and have around 40% – 60% of it at the end of the day. And if I'm travelling, there's also a good chance that I have a portable battery pack with me anyway.
So yes, I'm very satisfied with my QC35s. I'm looking forward to its third or fourth iteration depending on how long my current pair lasts. I do hope that Bose brings further improvements so that it stays at the top.
- Replace the microUSB port with USB-C
- Support for better audio codecs, like aptX or aptX HD
- Noise-cancelling controls without the app (the Sony implementation makes me envious — since you can toggle silence and ambient noise with a hand over the ear)