Bose QuietComfort 35 review: the best noise-canceling headphones are now wireless – The Verge

The QC35s have NFC built in, so pairing the headphones is a bit quicker on Android than iOS, but it still took under 30 seconds to get going on my iPhone. You’ll hear voice feedback whenever you turn them on, alerting you to how much battery percentage remains and also which device the QC35s are currently linked to. As I said earlier, switching between two music sources — say, your laptop and smartphone — is as easy as giving the power toggle another slide forward. (The headphones can even maintain two connections simultaneously if you wish.)

Bose’s Connect app promises to make switching between multiple devices easier, and it’s also how you’ll install firmware updates. But the idea of headphones requiring an app feels positively silly to me; it’s overkill. So I never bothered and, surprise, everything still worked fine. Only if you plan to pair your headphones with a long list of other gadgets do I see it being worth the install.

So how do these noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones sound? In my listening time so far, they’re slightly richer and fuller than the SoundLink II headphones (also wireless, but sans noise cancelation) that Bose released last year. And that’s to say they sound pretty good. The “no highs, no lows, must be Bose” tagline is straight up unfair at this point, as the experience you get is anything but sterile or flat. My test material has included the latest releases from Drake, Sturgill Simpson, Chance the Rapper, Brian Fallon, my 2016 Spotify playlist, and random selections from Discover Weekly and my iTunes library, which contains only Apple Lossless files.

For the most part, the QC35s present a faithful reproduction of the recordings that I know best, though bass is notched up a bit. The soundstage isn’t as expansive and detailed as $1,000 headphones, but it’s still very pleasing. Acoustic guitars ring through with wonderful clarity and presence; harmonies have enough space to make every vocal note feel distinct; and the QC35s deliver plenty of thump when needed, like during Beyonce’s “Freedom” or through the entirety of Views. I didn’t experience the same distortion issues that drove my colleague Chris Ziegler away from these headphones. Whether it’s differing music tastes or volume preferences, I was left impressed, and he obviously had a different takeaway. You should absolutely try them and run through some favorite songs of your own before buying if you’re on the fence.

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