The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is the sequel the previous QuietComfort 35 series I. The new model has evolved with a dedicated button for Google Assistant, but what else has it got going for it?
There isn’t much you can do in the world of headphones to make your design unique or stand out. The Bose QC35 II hit all the right notes. These are a mostly plastic build with some accents of leather or memory foam. This makes them light, sturdy, and comfortable to wear.
The rotating ear cups allow for a wide range of motion coupled with the soft leather and foam which makes them comfortable to wear for hours. However, like most closed-back headphones your ears can become warm after long periods.
The right ear cup houses all of your most important controls, this includes the power slider switch, multi-function button, and volume controls. The multi-function button allows you to play/pause, skip tracks, and answer calls.
A microUSB charging port is also found on the right ear cup. Unfortunately, Bose did not see fit to include a USB-C port. With the sequel to the ever-popular QC35 I many of us hoped Bose would embrace the USB-C port, but this is not the case.
The left ear cup houses the 3.5mm jack for using the headphones wired and besides that would be rather uninteresting if not for the action button. The main purpose of this button is to activate or interact with Google Assistant, but that’s not all it’s good for.
Along with the Bose Connect app, you have the ability to reassign the button to Alexa or control over the level of noise cancellation. That was a fantastic decision because now you’re not forced to use Google Assistant, Alexa, or any digital assistant.
The Bose QC35 II has an overall mostly neutral sound signature with good clear highs and a nice punch of bass. Sound separation was mostly good and this worked well for most types of music that I tried.
My only complaint was the sound stage was rather limited, which could make some tracks sound a little flat or cause instruments to overlap each other. Overall, it’s good sound quality but just shy of great.
The Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) really makes the QC35 II shine. Between the ANC and tight comfortable seal of the earpads, it makes listening to your music even better. Whether you’re on a plane, in public, or just have a noisy air conditioner, the QC35 II helps block out the majority of the distractions so you can enjoy your tunes.
I am an avid user and big fan of Google Assistant. I use it on several smart speakers, a smart display, my phone, and even on my smartwatch. However, despite the conveniences of Google Assistant, I didn’t find it all that useful on headphones.
In general, I tend to only use Google Assistant when at home and I don’t usually like asking it questions or giving commands while out in public. That’s where I’m most likely to use headphones. Even at home, it could feel a bit odd with others thinking I’m talking to them instead of the headphones.
The one feature I enjoyed most about the Google Assistant integration was the ability to hear your notifications. It was great to hear and also reply to messages while listening to music without having to pull your phone out of your pocket.
The Bose Connect app is not essential but filled with very useful features. As I mentioned before, it allows you to reassign the action button which in itself is very helpful. It also gives you the option to disable the noise cancellation feature or change the amount of cancellation between low or high.
While the active noise cancellation feature is a big reason most people want the QC35 II headphones, it can be handy to adjust the level or disable it to save battery life when it’s not needed.
The app is also full of options to change the name, manage connections, disable voice prompts, change the language of voice prompts, enable a standby timer, and more.
The one option I would have liked to have seen but was missing is an equalizer option. Some of the more high-end Bluetooth headphones include this and I was disappointed it was missing in the Bose app.
Bose promises 20 hours of battery life with noise cancellation enabled and in my experience the QC35 II definitely delivered. If you’re a frequent flyer, these won’t leave you wanting… if you remember to charge them up. Even if the QC35 II do die on you, there is always the wired route, but without the ANC feature.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II is one of the de facto standards when it comes to active noise canceling headphones. With a solid build quality, high-quality sound, and some of the best noise canceling around the reputation is well earned.
My only criticisms would be that the sound quality could be a little better at this price range and Google Assistant isn’t much of a game changer for me.
Regardless of some minor nitpicking, the Bose QC 35 II is one of the best and highest rated headphones on the market. If active noise cancellation is high up on your list than rest assured your money will be well spent on these headphones.