As I noted in my review of Bose NC700, I found the pass-through functionality to be as tiring as the noise cancelling. Soon after completing that review, I concluded that the combined effect of that and the lack of a collapsing feature meant that they were not for me. Being a long-time Bose user, there was really only one option for me; the Bose QC 35 II. Here’s my review:
I have made no secret of my preference for Bose headsets, and have owned QC 15 through QC 35. Though QC35 II are not the milestone that their predecessors were, they readily deliver on my expectations. Externally, they are almost, but not quite, indistinguishable from their predecessors. The only difference is that Bose has now added a button to the left ear cup. More on that in a moment.
Like their predecessors, the mark II offer excellent noise cancellation, and comparing them to their predecessor, there is a noticeable improvement here, too. They feel like a solid successor, while offering a new trick to the Bose bag, which is where the aforementioned button comes in.
The button, known as the action button, activates your choice of voice assistant; Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or Siri. If you don’t want to activate voice assistant, however, it offers up a different – and to me far more useful – trick; it lets you cycle through the noise cancellation options. On start, the headphones default to the high noise cancellation option. The first press of the button sets it to the low option, the second press turns it off altogether (while Bluetooth remains active), and the third press returns you to the high option.
As I noted in my review of the NC700s, there is a bit of a learning curve and tendency to fidgetyness with their touch controls. In comparison, the buttons on the QC35 IIs are intuitive – certainly to anyone familiar (as I am) with the functionality of the microphone button on the OEM iPhone earbuds.
It should come as no surprise to you at the end of this review that I am happy with my choice. While the NC700s certainly are good, I think they tend to be too expensive – particularly because I think the noise cancellation feature is a bit on the unbalanced side.