Over the past number of years I have found the myself caring about high quality audio. When I was in my teens and early twenties I was content with buying a crappy pair of Sony in-ear headphone for €10 from Argos every couple of months. I would buy a new set every 6 months or so when the volume started to deteriorate.
However, from my mid-twenties on I found myself wanting more. I found myself wanting to get a set of cans which would actually allow me to enjoy the music and not just have it blasting in my ears. I started with an extremely budget set of Sennheiser HD201’s. I picked them up for around €30 and it was a decent taste of what over the ear headphones felt like.
Soon after I decided I wanted to spend a bit more and so I got the Sony MDR-ZX770BN bluetooth wireless headphones which at the time cost me around €160. They are a decent set of cans, getting rid of the cables was an incredible feeling. They were my go to headphones for around 10 months. Again, I found myself wanting something a bit more refined.
I had no interest in the QC25’s because there was no way I could go back to being plugged in. However when the QC35’s hit the market on the 15th June, I knew that I needed to get my hands on them. So last week I went down to Bose in Dundrum and bought myself a pair. I have barely taken them off since.
Cutting the cord
After going wireless with my Sony headphones, the need to stay wireless was very real. If you have never owned wireless headphones before it is hard to explain just how liberating it feels. No getting tangled in cords, no fear of dragging your iPhone off a table and watching it smash on the ground, no tangled mess when you pull them out of your bag. It is a glorious life.
Bose’s battery life is no joke either. Bose claims that the charge on the headphones will last up to 20 hours on wireless and based on my experience this week they have held firm to that claim. The battery life is just exceptional, and if you do happen to run out you can plug the supplied cord in and keep on listening.
However, Bose doesn’t want you running out of juice so a handy voice prompt tells you what percentage battery currently remains every time you power them on.
Drown out the world around you
The QC35’s have exceptional audio quality and you shouldn’t find too many faults during playback if you have a really sharp ear. In my research I only found one review which complained of distortion at high volume. I was unable to replicate this distortion and tried a wide range of music genres to see if any distortion was present at high volume.
When it comes to audio, you get what you pay for. The QC35’s are not going to challenge headphones in the higher price ranges. Some will debate that they may not even be the best in their own price range of €379.95. For me, they are the best headphone I have tried at this price.
It took me a few days to get used to not having music blaring in my ears. In the past I have been blaring music at top volume to act as a noise cancellation mechanism of sorts. When I first tried the QC35’s I thought I had a faulty set because they wouldn’t pump up the music as much as my cheap earphones. It took me a day or so to understand that the audio and noise cancellation is so good that if the QC35’s went up as high as my cheap crappy earphones they would blow the head off me completely.
The noise cancellation technology is where Bose really excels. It is was heightens the quality of the audio from “pretty good” to “incredible”. The noise cancellation on my Sony’s was okay but on the Bose QC35’s? Wow. When you put these on and start listening the whole world is drowned out completely.
You literally hear nothing of what is going on around you. Of course this does mean that you need to be aware of your surroundings even more so than ever before. If you have never used headphones with noise cancellation technology before you are in for a real treat though the first time is a bit freaky when you realise just how good they are with taking all other noise away.
Bose also has a connect app which allows you to change some basic settings as well as updating the firmware on the headphones. You can connect to five bluetooth devices and remain connected to two devices simultaneously which is a pretty neat feature when I sit down at my computer and want to easily switch from iPhone to iMac. The QC35’s will do that automatically.
What you will notice the first time you put these on is the comfort is phenomenal. The QC35’s are made from premium materials for optimum comfort. The ear cushions are made from a synthetic protein leather and contain a silicone bead for passive noise reduction.
They are lightweight and rest on top of your head almost as if they are not there. Bose uses glass filled nylon to keep the headphones lightweight and durable. The headband is wrapped in Alcantara which is the same soft material which is used in Lamborghini’s. Stainless steel is used for the headband spring and pivots to ensure the headphone are strong enough for daily use.
I have worn these almost constantly for the past week straight. I have used them to drown out traffic, drown out the noise from a neighbours house party, drown out the noise of the dogs barking at anything that moves outside the house.
They have been absolutely incredible. A sleek design, great audio and insanely good noise cancellation technology. If this is your price range you should definitely check out the QC35’s.
The QC35’s will cost you €379.95. You can find more information at the website below.