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Bose QuietComfort 35 II Headphones UK Review: Superb quality and Google Assistant

Written by  Jan 05, 2018

Bose produced a pair of headphones that combined noise cancellation technology with Bluetooth wireless connection, although Bose were a little slow off the mark they were worth the wait.

After the original very popular headphones the Bose QuietComfort 35 II is borne,  sticking to a very similar formula, but  now there is added support for the Google Assistant.

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Bose QuietComfort 35 II Headphones UK Review

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II (QC35 II) are the first headphones – aside from the Google Pixel Buds – to build in support for Google's smart voice assistant, accessed by a button built into the left earcup of the headphones. Tap it and the headphones will tell you the time and read out any unread notifications; hold it and you can run Assistant queries just as you would on your phone, except you don't have to bellow "OK Google" before you do it. That is the main difference between the QC35 II and the regular QuietComfort 35.


Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II - Black £329.95 amazon uk


Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II - Silver £329.95 amazon uk

Design and features - Bose QuietComfort 35 II Headphones Review

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II, are not the most striking of headphones. They feel light, a bit plasticky and rather insubstantial, too.

Apart from that Google Assistant button, they're exactly the same as the original, that said there's still plenty to like about the Quite Comfort 35 II.

BOSE-QuietComfort35II-1
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Headphones UK Review

The QC35 were the most comfortable over-the-ear headphones I'd ever tried and these are the same. The headband exerts just the right amount of pressure to create a good seal around your ears, but it's not so tight that it creates uncomfortable pressure points across the top of your head or around your ears. 

The controls on the outside of the QC35 II are all sensibly located, easy to reach and work perfectly. A straightforward switch on the outside of the right cup lets you turn the headphones on and off instantly, with a further push to the right after switching on placing the headphones in pairing mode.

Three buttons on the lower edge of the same earcup place volume up, down and play/pause/skip controls underneath your right thumb and the Google Assistant button sits in the same location on the opposite earcup.

BOSE-QuietComfort35II-2
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Headphones UK Review

That button works perfectly, a quick tap reads out recent notifications to you, whilst holding the button down activates Google Assistant. It's a great way to search for music, set reminders, alarms and timers, and the microphone picks up your voice in all but the most demanding of conditions.

Google Assistant is only useful if you use its features, if you don't find yourself using it very much, then there is the option to reassign the button to adjust the noise cancellation between High, Low and Off settings. All you have to do to switch it over is load up the accompanying smartphone app and make the changes to the settings menu.

The QC35 II is all about hassle free, logical, no nonsense design and usage. They are so practical, insanely comfortable headphones; in fact, the only faults I can find with them are really minor. If you want to listen to the in-flight safety briefing, you'll have to physically remove them from your ears or switch them off. Although you can connect via cable to your seatback entertainment system, the connection on the QC35 II is via a 2.5mm jack, so you won't be able to substitute another cable if you need to whilst out and about.

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Bose QuietComfort 35 II Headphones UK Review

Sound quality and noise cancellation - Bose QuietComfort 35 II Headphones Review

As for the sound you'll enjoy excellent active noise cancellation and excellent all-round sound quality. There's still no other headphone manufacturer that can create the sound-deadening effect that Bose are able to achieve.

In quiet environments there isn't the same level of distracting hiss you get with other similarly priced headphones, when the ambient noise rises, nothing else cuts through the noise quite like the Qute Control 35 II. Whether it's the annoying hum of the office air conditioning, airplane noise or the clatter of a Tube train, these headphones take everything in their stride.

Sound quality, too, is superb. Yes they're not the last word in sparkling excitement and, yes, the bass is a touch overblown at times but, by and large, there's plenty enough dynamism and detail for most people. They're better from a sound quality perspective than the Beats Studio 3 Wireless for instance, though they can't match the Sony MDR1000X.

The one criticism I have is that there's no support for the superior AptX or AptX HD codecs and certainly nothing like the LDAC support you get with the Sony MDR1000X. And the latter is no longer completely proprietary; anyone with an Android O phone can take advantage, not just owners of Sony Xperia handsets.

Another area where the QuaiutyC35 II's lag behind a little is Bluetooth range. You only have to wander a few metres away from your phone or laptop before the audio signal starts to cut out where the Beats Studio 3 Wireless were able to hang onto that signal much further away. Battery life is excellent, though, rated at 20 hours with both noise cancellation and wireless enabled.

 
Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II - Silver £329.95 amazon uk

Price and competition - Bose QuietComfort 35 II Headphones Review

At £330, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II sit at the top of price range for these types of headphones. The Beats Studio 3 Wireless are £290, the Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 are a mere £179; only the Bowers & Wilkins PX among its immediate rivals match it on price.

None of these rivals can come close to bettering the QC35 for noise cancellation but they do have their own strengths. 

 
Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II - Black £329.95 amazon uk

Verdict - Bose QuietComfort 35 II Headphones Review

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are, a top choice personal audio companions. While they may not be the ultimate when it comes to sound quality and looks, but in terms of all-round practicality and comfort they're second to none.

The noise-cancelling capabilities are still the best of the lot. If you can afford a pair and you travel frequently, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II are the headphones that I would highly recommend.

Also see: The Best Beats Headphones UK

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