I’ll be honest, this is the first pair of noise cancelling headphones I have every bought, so I don’t have much to compare these to. I have thought about buying some for a while, but never had an extra $300 to spend, and this wasn’t somewhere where I wanted to be cheap. But recently I got some money back from a home refinance, and my work cubicle was moved close to a fountain that buzzes in my ears all day. My coworkers constantly babble on about video games and I don’t want to hear that either.
So I did what I always do and headed to Amazon. I know that from the perspective of an audiophile, liking Bose makes me a poser, but for us normal humans, we know that Bose headphones, though expensive, will consistently be of high quality and will rarely disappoint. I have had a pair of wired Bose in-ear headphones for 10 years and I still wear them all the time. I also have a pair of crazy-expensive, fitted “in-ear monitors” made by Ultimate Ears that are amazing, but I only use them for when I am performing (I play the drums).
I first heard of the QuietComfort series in A.J. Jacobs book “Drop Dead Healthy” where he uses
them to cancel out noise pollution, and he really seemed to like them. I settled on the Bose QuietComfort 35 Headphones. This link is to the Series II; I bought the Series I. The only real difference is the Series II has a “Google Assistant” button, which I am sure some people would like, but I would never use.
First impression was that these were the most comfortable over-ear headphones I have ever worn, leaving me questioning myself, “Why did I wait this long to buy noise cancelling headphones?” They do a fantastic job cancelling out constant noises, like the aforementioned fountain, or a loud A/C. Other noises like people talking or your phone ringing come through but are definitely muffled. One of the things I love about the QuietComfort 35 is it has a physical switch to turn it on and off. You can turn on the noise cancelling without connecting to a Bluetooth audio device if you just want pure silence, and I do this often.
After wearing them for an hour or so, my ears tend to get a little hot, but that happens to me with any over-ear headphones. It comes with a high quality case and an airplane adapter (not included in the Series II, so I hear), which is nice. It charges with an included micro USB cable and can also be connected to an audio source with an included stereo cable, which I think is a great touch. Not everything has bluetooth (yet).
- Noise cancelling works well
- The little things make the difference: physical switch, high quality case, and wired option.
- Makes my ears hot.
- People can sneak up on me.
Overall: I am very happy I bought these, and though they were expensive, they were worth it.