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Reviewed: Bose QC 35

When I replaced my Bose QC 15 with a pair of QC 25 last year, I reviewed them here on the blog. They recently started acting up. Rather than have them repaired, I paid the difference, and took home a pair of QC 35.

The design is largely the same as that seen in its two predecessors. The biggest difference is that where QC 15 and 25 had the controls on the wire, QC 35 has all controls on the right ear cup. Unlike its predecessors, QC 35 does not have replaceable batteries, but sports a USB-port to charge the headphones.

Arguably the biggest difference between its predecessors and the 35 however, is the fact that QC 35 can be used wirelessly, connecting to your device with Bluetooth. They are not, however, unusable when the battery runs out, as a mini-jack connection is included in the package. Like QC 25, the 35 offers decent sound quality, and stellar noise cancelling. They are light enough (and the padding soft enough) to be comfortable even when worn for an extended period of time (and even if you, like me, wear glasses).

Now, wireless use may or may not be enough to choose the 35 over its somewhat less capable – but still very, very good – sibling, the 25. The 35 has one more trick up its sleeve, however; a companion app. I’ve got a pretty good idea what you might be thinking; something along the lines of “what do I need a companion app for?” You don’t need it, but it is certainly a nice addition, as it lets you manage connections to other devices (you can pair it with two devices simultaneously, and store up to eight different connections), and enable/disable connections at will.

What’s more, it lets you know that a firmware update is available, lets you download it to your phone, and lets you install it on the headset, all over the air. Like my car, my headphones can now be improved, through software.  While you will certainly be able to get by without downloading and installing the companion app, it does make life easier if you, like me, have multiple devices with which you normally use your headphones.

At the end of the day, whether the US$50 difference in MSRP is worth it to get rid of the cables is up to you. I am very happy that I went for them, however, and anticipate getting at least as much enjoyment out of these as I did either of my previous pairs.

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