As an aficionado of noise-canceling headphones, there’s no denying that Bose is the reigning king of the music industry, pushing the envelope with each new release. And their latest creation, the Bose QuietComfort 45 (Bose QC45), looks to be the newest addition to their royal lineage. But hold up, what about the predecessor, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II (Bose QC35 II)? Which do you choose between Bose QuietComfort 35 II vs Bose QuietComfort 45?
Don’t get it twisted, the QC35 II is still a worthy contender, despite its age. However, the QC45 is the fresh young buck on the scene, loaded with new features and improved technology that could make even the most skeptical listeners nod their heads in approval.
But let’s not jump the gun just yet. We need to assess both headphones on their merit before we declare one as the new ruler of the noise-canceling world. We will break down these headphones from the design to the performance.
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Bose QuietComfort 35 II vs. Bose QuietComfort 45 – Key Differences
While the Bose QuietComfort 35 II and the Bose QuietComfort 45 share some similarities, we found various key differences that we feel you must know about. They are:
- The QC35 II has a total battery life of 40 hours without ANC and 22 hours with ANC. On the other hand, the QC45 has a battery life of 24 hours, but in the QC45, you cannot turn off the ANC.
- Both these headphones support fast charging. The QC35 II delivers 2.5 hours of battery on a 15-minute charge. On the other hand, the QC45 provides 3 hours of battery life on a 15-minute charge.
- The QC45 has the newer Bluetooth 5.1, whereas the QC 35 II operates on the older Bluetooth 4.1.
- The QC35 II supports NFC(Near-Field Connection); you can connect devices with a single touch. However, there’s no NFC support on the QC 45.
- The QC45 has 6 mics, whereas the QC 35 II only has a dual-mic setup. Hence, the mic and call quality are phenomenal on the QC45.
- The QC45 has larger and deeper ear cushions than the QC 35 II. Hence the former are more comfortable.
- The QC45 has a USB-C input option, whereas the QC 35 II uses the older and traditional microUSB input option.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II vs. Bose QuietComfort 45 – Comfort
According to our analysis and review, the QuietComfort 35 II is a snuggly set of headphones that wraps around your ears like a soft, velvety embrace. The padded synthetic leather ear cups and headband make for a comfy fit, even if you binge-watch your favorite shows or jam out to some tunes for hours.
The swiveling ear cups are also great, moving seamlessly to adjust to your unique head shape. No wonder why the Bose QC35 II is among the best headphones for movies and TV!
But don’t make up your mind just yet! The QuietComfort 45 is a major step up. It takes comfort to the next level with larger ear cups that give your ears more breathing room and alleviate any pesky pressure points. Once, we put it on, we could instantly feel the difference in terms of comfort compared to the QC35 II. The new protein leather material feels like butter, making for a plush, luxurious listening experience.
And we feel that the redesigned headband and adjustable ear cup slider provide a better custom fit for your head! Moreover, we also noticed that the headband is wider than the QuietComfort 35 II, which means the weight is distributed evenly across your head, making it more comfortable to wear for longer periods.
Overall, both headphones are downright comfortable, but if you’re looking for the ultimate comfort, the QuietComfort 45 is the way to go. We say this because we tested both headphones for around 4-5 hours and even wrote this review, trying both of them alternatively. And, the QuietComfort 45 was just better. However, if you’re content with the tried-and-true design of the QuietComfort 35 II, you won’t be disappointed either.
Winner in terms of comfort – Bose QuietComfort 45
Bose QuietComfort 35 II vs. Bose QuietComfort 45 – Design and Style
In terms of design, both headphones are very similar. Both are over-ear headphones. And there isn’t much of a difference amongst the two headphones’ designs.
The QuietComfort 35 II has a classic, lightweight design. We like that the ear cups are covered in cushy memory foam and synthetic leather, which not only feel fantastic on our ears but also seal the ears properly. Plus, the foldable design makes it a breeze to pack up and take with you on your travels.
The touch controls on the right ear cup are a game-changer, letting you easily adjust volume, change tracks, and even access your voice assistant with a tap or a swipe. And with the Bose Connect app, you can customize these controls to suit your every whim.
Now, enter the QuietComfort 45, the newer, more premium version of its predecessor. Its matte finish and overall design make it look and feel more premium. And those ear cups? They’re oval-shaped now for a more comfortable, ergonomic fit. We had a better and more pleasant time wearing the QC45.
We also noticed that Bose also stuffed additional mics onto the earcups of the QC 45. Plus, it folds up even smaller than the QuietComfort 35 II, making it even more portable. No wonder why the QC 45 is the best travel headphone in 2023!
Another design feature we love about the QC 45 is that it now comes with metal hinges missing on the QC 35 II. These metal hinges add to the overall feel and durability of these headphones. Plus, Bose swapped the microUSB with a USB-C input for better hardware because USB-C is the latest technology and more convenient and fast than microUSB.
While touch buttons are on both headphones, the QC 45 has a new “Aware Mode” toggle button. This mode acts as the transparent mode(A mode that lets you listen to outside noise) on most noise-canceling headphones.
Apart from the above design elements, we also like that the QC 45 has a leather-padded headband instead of the suede on the QC 35 II headphones.
Winner in terms of design and style – Bose QuietComfort 45
Bose QuietComfort 35 II vs. Bose QuietComfort 45 – Sound Quality
When it comes to sound quality, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II makes a comeback with a standard frequency response that is considerably more comfortable than the QuietComfort 45’s frequency range, which overly boosts treble notes.
During our tests, the QC35 II’s sound was decent on Paper Trails by Darkside. We feel that the QC35 II has a boomy sound, but you should know that this comes at the expense of a reduced dynamic range. During the sound tests, orchestra recordings in the song sometimes became somewhat monotonous, and the highs sounded slightly muffled and flat.
Many enjoy Bose’s warm, heavy sound profile, while others do not. Those of you who fall into the latter category can find comfort in knowing that Bose worked hard to improve the sound quality of the QC45. They did this by incorporating their proprietary TriPort acoustic architecture and a volume-optimized Active EQ. The TriPort acoustic architecture uses vents outside the earcups to increase the internal acoustic volume without making the earcups any bigger. As a result, the headphones are more compact, lighter, and more comfortable, and the audio quality is enhanced.
We got detailed highs that stand out in addition to powerful lows and crisp mids on Wilderness by Explosions in the Sky. And the bass was powerful and impactful.
Winner in terms of sound quality – Tie
Bose QuietComfort 35 II vs. Bose QuietComfort 45 – Microphone and Call Quality
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II has a dual-microphone system. We got crystal-clear sound quality during phone calls. We noticed that its mic can capture your voice with utmost clarity and, at the same time, reduce background noise thanks to Bose’s noise-canceling technology. All in all, the QC35 II packs a powerful punch when it comes to microphone quality.
Based on our evaluations, we feel that the Bose QuietComfort 45 has something even better to offer. Its improved six-microphone system is a game changer, taking your phone calls to the next level. With this upgraded microphone setup, you get unparalleled voice quality, even in the noisiest of environments.
We made calls from super noisy places, but our voice came out clear on the other end due to the advanced noise-canceling technology that eliminates any unwanted sound! Plus, with the QC 45’s new voice pickup algorithm, it can analyze your voice and adjust the microphones accordingly to provide even better voice quality during calls.
Both headphones are excellent choices for microphone and call quality, with the Bose QuietComfort 45 taking things up a notch with its six-microphone system and advanced noise-canceling technology.
Winner in terms of mic and call quality – Bose QuietComfort 45
Bose QuietComfort 35 II vs. Bose QuietComfort 45 – Battery Life
In terms of battery life, the difference between the two headphones is not that much.
The QuietComfort 35 II gave us an impressive battery life of 20 hours. That’s no small feat! With that kind of battery life, you could listen to music all day without worrying about running out of juice.
The QuietComfort 45 takes things up a notch with an even longer battery life of up to 24 hours. We tested the QC45 for a full day. And, to our surprise, it ran for 24 hours! Hence, we concluded that if you’re a music lover who spends long hours listening to your favorite tunes, the QuietComfort 45 might be the way to go.
The QuietComfort 45 also comes with a USB-C charging port. USB-C is the new kid on the block when it comes to charging technology, and it’s faster, more efficient, and more convenient than the micro-USB port on the QuietComfort 35 II. Moreover, both these headphones support fast charging. However, you get 3 hours of playtime on a 15-minute charge with the QC 45 and 2.5 hours of playtime on a 15-minute charge with the QC 35 II.
Now, you might be thinking that with the additional 4 hours of battery life and USB-C interface, the QC 45 took the win. However, during our test, we found something interesting. We noticed that on the QC 45, you cannot turn off the noise cancelation feature. This means the QC45 is always either in the ANC mode or the “Aware Mode.” This feature doesn’t allow you to conserve battery power on the QC 45.
On the other hand, the QC 35 II allows you to turn ANC on and off and get a playtime of up to 40 hours without the ANC! So, technically, the QC 35 II has better battery life than the QC 45!
Winner in terms of battery life – Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Bose QuietComfort 35 II vs. Bose QuietComfort 45 – Connectivity Options
Even though both the headphones use distinct versions of Bluetooth, the QC45 and QC35 II both deliver decent performance in terms of wireless connectivity. Both operate on the same Bluetooth codec supporting SBC and AAC.
The QC45 works on Bluetooth 5.1 and has a wider range, providing wireless listening for up to 50 feet, whereas the QC35 II runs on an older Bluetooth 4.1 and can only cover up to 32 feet before the connection drops out.
If you’re an NFC enthusiast, the QC 35 II is a better pick due to the presence of NFC, allowing you to tap your devices together and get connected in a snap. All you have to do is tap the back of an NFC-compatible smartphone onto the NFC logo on the right ear cup. Plus, with its trusty 3.5mm audio cable, you can always listen to music even if your device doesn’t support a wireless connection!
One great feature of the QC45 is the multipoint Bluetooth feature. With this feature, you can connect to not one but two devices simultaneously, making switching between your phone and laptop as easy as pie.
Winner in terms of connectivity – Tie
After an extensive comparison, the winner in the Bose QuietComfort 35 II vs. Bose QuietComfort 45 matchup is, without a doubt, the QuietComfort 45! Don’t get us wrong – The Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones are great, but the QuietComfort 45 headphones are just better. In fact, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones are still one of the best Bose headphones in 2023.
The QuietComfort 45 headphones have truly stepped up their game with their redesigned drivers and EQ tuning, making for a more balanced, high-quality sound experience that will leave you utterly speechless.
Not to mention, their reimagined headband that provides maximum comfort for those long listening sessions, and their deeper ear cups provide additional comfort to your ears.
To top it all off, the Quick-Charge feature is a game-changer, allowing for up to 3 hours of use with just 15 minutes of charging. Sure, the QuietComfort 45 may come with a higher price tag, but it’s worth it for the top-of-the-line features it brings to the table.