The Outstanding Bose Quiet Comfort 35 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphone
"Value packed" is not a word I typically use to describe a headphone. I really thought the Beyerdynamic DTX 350 m was great for the money; definitely a good value...but not packed with value. Sennheiser's HD 600 is an extraordinary value...but no carry case; doesn't have a mic/remote; isn't useful portably. Still a great headphone and an extraordinary value, but packed with value? Okay, maybe. HD 800 S? Great headphone, but no friggen way anything over $700 is "value packed." The Quiet Comfort 35, on the other hand? Oh yeah, this thing will be a delightful traveling companion with technological, comfort, convenience, and solid sound quality characteristics abundantly.
The Bose Quiet Comfort 35 ($349.95) is an around the ear, sealed, noise canceling, Bluetooth wireless headphone, and is available in silver and black livery. The look is modern, understated, and elegantly simple.
The QC35 is of mixed construction; mostly plastics and synthetic materials. But the materials appear to be of excellent quality. The integrated headband pad is velour covered and the pad is soft foam; it does touch mainly in one spot at the top of my head, but weight is low and I found no discomfort there in long listening.
Earpads appear to be of a very, very nice grade of protein leather; pads are soft memory foam. Ear capsules are fairly modest in size, but pad openings are a generous 57mm X 40mm, made to feel even larger due to the opening behing the pads being even bigger than the opening itself. Drivers are angled leaving more space at the back of the cup for your pinna. I found these a uniquely comfortable headphone given its outside dimensions. I found this headphone very light, secure on the head, and remarkably comfortable.
The QC35 does have cup rotation and folding feature that allow it to fit compactly in the included, hard-side, clam-shell, zipper-closure carry case. (Man, that's a lot of hyphens.) Within the case is a nifty socket that holds the airline adapter with folding extra connector.
The included cable for passive wired headphone use when the battery runs dry is a proper 48" long, and is terminated at headphone end with a 2.5mm TRS plug, and at the player end with a 3.5mm TRS plug. It is inconceivable to me that they have not put a one-button remote/mic on the cable so you could take calls on a dead battery. But maybe I don't think that word means what I think it does. The QC35 can only be used as a headset for your phone when operating in Bluetooth mode.
The included USB Micro-A to type-A cable for charging is a very short 12" long.
Controls on the QC35 are simple, ergonomic, and effective...piece of cake. The three-position slider power switch is positioned at the top, outside face of the right ear capsule. To the left is off; in the center is powered on/noise canceling active; a momentary push to the right will activate Bluetooth. NFC pairing is also included.
Three in-line buttons on the bottom rear of the right capsule permit playback and headset controls. Buttons have good tactile identification and operate as expected. Below these buttons are two LEDs to indicate battery/charge and Bluetooth status. Oddly, the volume control on the headphones when run active on the wire has no effect; acoustic gain is fixed; volume is adjustable on the player only with the wire.
The QC35 uses voice prompts that can be changed to other languages. Battery status is announced on start-upmore makers should do that. Full description of the controls can be found in the on-line manual.
Worthy of note at this point is that the QC35 has outstanding Bluetooth range. I could walk to any room on one floor without a hiccup; and I could go further into the back yard, downstairs, or garage than any other BT headset I've tried.
There is also a smartphone app to go along with the QC35 (iOS and Android). It doesn't really do anything but allow you to manually switch Bluetooth pairing to other available devices. Not recommended.
Editor's Note: It has subsequently come to light that this app will transmit your personal listening data to third party data miners. Read more here.
Time to give it a listen...