Explore the features, pros, and cons of Bose Quietcomfort45 in this detailed review... Read more
Test of Bose QuietComfort 45 Wireless Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones, Triple Black
- Great noise cancellation
- Comfortable wear
- Improved Bluetooth 5.1
- Convenient multi-point Bluetooth
- Decent microphone
- Strong Battery Life
- USB-C charging
- Sound quality lacks
- High-end overemphasis
- Lackluster bass
- Equalizer missing in app
- Undramatic design changes
- High Price compared to QC35 II
- Non-support of aptX
“After spending considerable time with the Bose QC45, I’m left somewhat underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong, the headphones are comfortable, the noise cancellation is impressive, and they have noteworthy tech upgrades. However, a notable overemphasis in the high end sounds and lackluster bass response were disappointing, as was the inability to adjust the EQ. The value doesn’t quite seem to match a price tag that’s $80 more than its predecessor, the QC35 IIs, which still holds up well and in some aspects, outperforms the newer model.”
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|Model Name||QuietComfort 45-Headphones|
|Form Factor||Over Ear|
|Connectivity Technology||Wireless, Bluetooth|
As a self-proclaimed audiophile, I’ve had the privilege of spending countless hours getting lost in the immersive worlds of music, podcasts, and audiobooks, thanks to my trusty Bose QC35 IIs. These headphones have been my faithful companions for the past four years, serving me faithfully through commutes, workouts, and flights. Unlike the latest models that flood the market, the QC35 IIs offer impeccable sound quality and comfort, two attributes that always crown them the go-to choice despite their age.
But when I recently heard whispers of Bose launching a successor to the QC35 IIs, I was all ears, ready to embrace an advancement in my musical journey. The new arrival, the Bose QuietComfort 45, promised delightful novelty while carrying forward the reliable legacy of its predecessor. To say I was a tad excited would be an understatement.
The Legacy: Bose QC35 IIs
The QC35 IIs allowed me to enjoy music without the annoying external noise disrupting the tranquility these headphones offered. But what made them stand out was their incredible comfort, allowing me to be engulfed in tunes for lengthy periods. Despite these headphones being a few years old, they remained my go-to gadget for my audio needs.
Anticipating the New: Bose Quietcomfort45
When news of the Bose QuietComfort45 made its rounds, it was no surprise that I was intrigued. Bose has built a reputation for creating high-quality, exceptional sounding headphones, so a new addition to their collection was definitely something to look forward to.
Was it Worth the Wait?
Despite my usual excitement for new products, I couldn’t help but approach the Bose QC45 with some skepticism. Could it genuinely surpass the QC35 IIs? Or would it be a mere refresh of the old, justifying its place with some minor adjustments and a higher price tag?
This review will explore these questions and more, delving deep into the design, tech upgrades, sound quality, noise cancellation, and mic quality. We’ll also discuss the battery life, value for money, and whether or not this new piece of tech is worth the upgrade. So, without any further ado, let’s proceed, shall we?
Design & Comfort
- Bose QC45s feature plastic construction, minimalistic design
- New button design less intuitive
- USB-C port introduced, microphone USB removed
Upon first glance, you might wonder if you’ve opened the new QuietComfort 45 box or if you’re looking at the QC35 IIs. The design resemblance is striking, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The QC35 IIs were known for their comfort and easy-to-use design.
Same but Somehow Different
The Bose QC45s sport almost the same plastic construction and matte finish as the previous model , but with slightly more rounded edges throughout the frame and buttons. I appreciate the compatibility of the minimalist design across generations. However, don’t be fooled, there are subtle differences.
Challenges of New Button Designs
For instance, the buttons on the QC45s are a bit more curved, which, in all honesty, felt like a bit of a miss for me. It wasn’t a deal-breaker, but I found that the new rounded design made it easier for my finger to accidentally press the wrong button . It felt less intuitive than before.
Welcome USB-C Port, Goodbye Micro USB
One welcome change is the implementation of a USB-C port – a small but significant upgrade from the micro USB connector on the QC35 IIs. For people like me who appreciate the convenience of universal chargers, this upgrade is noteworthy.
The Comfort Quotient
The QC45s scored high on comfort, too. The headset is light at 240 grams and evenly distributes its weight on the head , allowing for comfort over extended listening times. This works out great for a long-haul flight, or simply if you plan to have them on while working for hours. The synthetic leather pads provide a suitable seal for noise isolation without overheating your ears, thanks to their breathability.
Packaging and Included Accessories
Speaking of flights, with folding flat features and adjustable hinges, the QC45s are easy to pack in the included carrying case, making them travel-friendly. This meticulous packaging and convenience add to the overall experience of using these headphones. They remain true to the motto ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ at least when it comes to design.
- Bose QC45 includes major upgrade: Bluetooth 5.1
- Allows Bluetooth multi-point, lacks aptX support
- Bose Music App offers limited customization features
As I journeyed into exploring the tech side of the Bose QC45, there were a few things that caught my attention. The inclusion of Bluetooth 5.1 , for instance, was a major upgrade that definitely enhances the headphones’ performance.
Appreciating Bluetooth 5.1
The Bose QC45 now features Bluetooth 5.1 , promising a better and longer range, up to 9 meters before experiencing any sort of connection drop. That means, I could easily mosey into the kitchen from my workspace or switch rooms, without having the connection drop out. This kind of flexibility and freedom to move is greatly appreciated.
Multi-point Bluetooth & Non-support of aptX
Another significant feature of the QC45 is Bluetooth multi-point, allowing connections with up to two devices at a time – for instance, switching between a laptop and a phone has never been easier. Yet, as much as these features were a breath of fresh air, the fact that the QC45 doesn’t support aptX or high-bitrate codecs incidated a necessary but missed opportunity. Consequently, this undermines its capacity to deliver high-quality sound.
The Shortcomings of the Bose Music App
The Bose QC45 is customizable using the Bose Music app. You might think this is a bonus point for the headphone; however, upon close analysis, the limitations of the app become evident. Its features are limited: renaming the headphones, managing devices, adjusting noise cancellation modes – all these are possible but that’s about it. The longed-for EQ controls are notably absent, an aspect that’s certainly questionable for an upgraded product amidst such a competitive market. It’s a letdown that Bose has overlooked such an important feature, which would otherwise have enriched the user’s audio experience by providing comprehensive control over sound modifications.
The step forward with tech upgrades on the Bose QC45 is commendable, yet, the aptX support and EQ controls’ missing pieces leave room for criticism, and potentially, improvement. Therefore, the user still might find themselves at crossroads, trying to strike a balance between the newly added features and the existing missed opportunities.
- Overemphasis on higher frequencies in Bose QC45
- Bass response lacks desired punch
- Absence of an equalizer in Bose Music app
As a seasoned audio enthusiast, sound quality is paramount for me. With excitement building up for the successor to the reputable Bose QC35 II, one may presume that the sound quality of the new Bose QC45 would indeed leave a strong impression. As with any high-end audio product, the devil is always in the details, and here, unfortunately, the QC45 turned out to be a mixed bag.
High Emphasis – A Double-Edged Sword
What immediately stood out for me was the noticeable overemphasis across the higher frequencies. Some may appreciate this predisposition as it made sounds like cymbals and high octave instruments feel livelier, almost as though they were pushing their way to the front of every track I listened to. However, I found this to be somewhat distracting, diverting attention from a more balanced aural experience. These elevated highs resulted in an audio soundscape that deviated from the original mix, which could be a deal-breaker for a discerning listener looking for true fidelity.
Delving in deeper, the bass response left something to be desired. Due to the pronounced emphasis on the highs, the bass felt somewhat diluted and lacked the punch that I was previously acquainted with on the QC35 II. This imbalance often tempted me to turn up the volume, which unfortunately only served to amplify these highs, rather than the bass.
Missing Equalizer: A Shortfall Worth Noting
A glaring issue I encountered was the absence of an equalizer within the Bose Music app. If I were using a headset charging a less premium price, perhaps I could overlook this, but with the Bose QC45 being a top-tier product, it’s a surprising and, frankly, disappointing lack of detail. Under normal circumstances, one would be able to bring down the 3 to 10 kilohertz region in the EQ to balance out the high emphasis. Sadly, that’s not an option here. Unless your phone or independent music app provides an EQ, you remain at the mercy of default sound settings on the Bose QC45.
In conclusion, the Bose QC45 does not sound bad – far from it. However, when compared with its predecessor – the QC35 II, which delivered a more rounded, balanced audio experience, the QC45 seems to be a step backwards. Here’s hoping Bose takes note and addresses these issues in the next product iteration.
- Bose QuietComfort45 features advanced Noise Cancelling technology
- ANC significantly reduces external noise, including airplane engines
- Bose QC45 outperforms Sony and Apple in high-frequency noise cancellation
One of the highlights of the Bose QuietComfort45 is the Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) feature. Over the years, Bose has maintained a solid reputation for its state-of-the-art ANC technology, and with these headphones, they aim to uphold that tradition.
Turning Up the ANC: An Improvement to Applaud
Users of the previous generation will immediately notice an overall improvement in noise cancellation. The Bose QC45 does an excellent job at cancelling external noise. Whether you are dealing with noisy neighbors, a bustling coffee shop, or even the constant hum of an airplane engine, these headphones deliver a pleasantly quiet experience.
Note: Our tests showed that with ANC activated, airplane engine roars were reduced to about 1/8th of their original volume. This performance is quite impressive and goes a long way in enhancing the user experience on flights or in any high-noise environment.
Comparison with Contemporaries – Sony and Apple
ANC performance-wise, the Bose QC45 stands tall among its contemporaries from Sony and Apple. In fact, in high-frequency noise cancellation, our tests showed the QC45 had a slight edge over the others. This essentially means better attenuation of sounds such as shrill chatters or high-pitch machinery noises, key for those of us wanting a truly immersive listening experience.
Keep in mind, though, the ANC feature on the Bose QC45 works optimally while cancelling out droning or continuous sounds. For sporadic noises, you might find the ANC capability less satisfactory. But even then, it’s a minor complaint, given that any headphone’s ANC is not designed for elimination of spontaneous or sharp noises.
So, the ANC feature offers much to appreciate. However, I can’t help but wonder if Bose could have given users the option to adjust ANC levels. It’s either on or off with the QC45s, a feature that’s becoming increasingly standard in many of today’s ANC headphones.
Mic Quality & Noise Rejection
- QC45’s four-mic array delivers crisp voice calls.
- QC45 effectively rejects distracting ambient noise.
In the realm of noise-cancelling headphones, two critical factors beyond pure sound quality take center stage: microphone quality and noise rejection. Let’s dig in deeper into my hands-on experience with these elements in the Bose QC45s.
Upon receiving and unboxing the QC45s, one of the first features I wanted to test out was its microphone. After all, how effective is a pair of headphones if the mic quality is subpar, right?
The Bose QC45 comes with a four-mic array, engineered to isolate your voice and ensure your voice calls are crisp and clear. The verdict? It does a decent job for Zoom meetings and standard phone calls. However, keep in mind, it won’t be replacing a dedicated studio mic anytime soon, so don’t drive into professional audio recording expecting studio-like audio quality.
Moving on to Bose QC45’s ability to reject external ambient noise while on a call, this might be a huge selling point if you often take calls in noisy environments. From my testing, I’d say the noise rejection is pretty impressive. Using the QC45s in different settings, from bustling coffee shops to a noisy workplace (open-plan, mind you), the noise-rejecting algorithm definitely came into play, filtering out distracting background noise quite effectively.
A point to note, the noise rejection works best when the background noise is constant and steady – think steady chatter in a café or the hum of an air conditioner.
In conclusion, the microphone does serve its purpose, and the noise rejection feature works as advertised. But do remember, it’s all within reasonable limits. Use it the way it’s meant to be used, and the Bose QC45 can serve as a competent workhorse in your everyday life.
- Bose QC45 offers approximately 24-hour battery life
- Fast charging feature, 2.5 hours for full charge
- 15 minutes charge gives 3 hours playback
For those of us who like to keep our headphones glued to our heads all day, the battery life of a device carries a hefty significance. And the Bose QC45 managed to pleasantly surprise me on this front.
A Win: Longer Playtime
In the thicket of improving and refining features, Bose has managed to bump up the battery life, registering an impressive life-span of around 24 hours and 50 minutes with active noise cancelling enabled. Whether you’re up for an international flight or a day filled with endless playlist, the Bose QC45 stands by you.
Fast Charging: Ideal for the On-the-Go user
And if in case, the battery does give up, thanks to a speedier charging ability, a drained-out Bose QC45 can rejuvenate back to life in about hours . For those who are often in a hurry, which, let’s admit, is most of us, the QC45 saves the day with its swift charging. A mere 15 minutes of charging is enough to provide up to three hours of playback time. Now, that’s a feature that guarantees a seamless sonic experience, wouldn’t you agree?
In conclusion, the battery life of the Bose QC45 delivers more than just satisfactory performance. It’s superior to many other models on the market and is undoubtedly one of the standout features of this headphone.
The Big Question: Bose QC45 or QC35 IIs?
After using these latest offerings from Bose, I find myself involved in a great debate: Should you plunge in and buy the QC45 this festive season? Surprisingly, my answer tilts towards ‘probably not’. Don’t mistake it – the Bosch QC45 is truly a significant piece of audio technology – comfortable, superior noise cancellation, and a decent microphone system – but it doesn’t pose a significant jump over its predecessors to justify its price tag. Honestly, I found myself repeatedly returning to the comfort and familiar sound quality of my QC35 IIs.
Value for Money: Or a Matter of Small Trade-Offs?
The QC45 is retailing at 329 USD currently but the QC35 IIs, a proven performer, can be yours for $80 less. Yes, you do have to juggle the micro USB in place of the QC45’s USB C port – it’s a slightly bothersome trade-off but manageable, in my opinion. It’s definitely critical to scrutinize whether the apparent advancements in the QC45 truly outweigh your investment.
A Disappointment or An Upgrade? Unpacking My Expectations.
As it stands, I can’t say I was entirely disappointed with the QC45. Yet, I also can’t overlook the slight twinge of disappointment. After a wait of four long years, I had my expectations set high and was waiting for a phenomenal refresh of the QC series. While the QC45 is by no means a bad product, it doesn’t feel like a significant upgrade after such a long wait. The Bose QC35 IIs, though older, still hold their ground and perform a similar job for much less. To an extent, it feels like an ironic realization of the old adage – sometimes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Should you buy the Bose QuietComfort 45 Wireless Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones, Triple Black?
Buy it if…
You prioritize comfort
Bose QC45 boasts a comfortable design, making it perfect for everyday wear and long listening times.
You need multi-point Bluetooth capabilities
This feature allows switching between two connected devices, like a laptop and a phone, regardless of the platform.
You value improved Noise Cancellation
The Bose QC45 showcases improved noise cancellation compared to the previous models, which is perfect for those in loud environments.
Don’t buy it if…
You’re on a budget
The Bose QC45 is a bit pricey. If you’re on a budget, it’s worth considering its predecessor, Bose QC35 IIs which offers comparable features at a lower price.
You’re an audiophile with a love for base
The Bose QC45 has a noticeable overemphasis on high tones and lackluster bass, which might not align with your preference.
You want comprehensive App control over your headphones
The Bose Music App doesn’t offer a wide range of control features and lacks EQ controls.
- Does the Bose QC45 support aptX?
Unfortunately, like the previous generation, the Bose QC45 doesn’t support aptX or any higher bitrate codecs. However, it does support SBC and AAC.
- What is the battery life of Bose QC45?
The Bose QC45 is tested to have around 24 hours and 50 minutes of use with active noise cancelling enabled. If the battery runs out, it only takes 2.5 hours to fully charge the headphones.
- What are the negatives of the Bose QC45?
According to the review, there is an overemphasis on high frequency sounds in QC45, which makes the bass feel underemphasized. It also lacks a built-in equalizer in the Bose Music App.
- Does Bose QC45 offer better noise cancellation than its predecessor?
Yes, the review does mention improved noise cancellation in Bose QC45 compared to previous models.
- Does the Bose QC45 have a better sound quality than QC35 II?
The review suggests that QC35 II arguably provides better sound quality than QC45 due to a lesser emphasis on the high end, which results in a more balanced sound.
- What is the cost difference between Bose QC45 and QC35 II?
According to the review, QC45 is available for 329 US dollars, while QC35 II can be purchased for roughly 80 dollars less.
- Does the Bose QC45’s microphone quality good for professional use?
While the microphone quality is decent for casual use, it is not suitable for professional or studio-quality recording.
- What upgrades does QC45 have compared to its predecessor model?
The QC45 now features Bluetooth 5.1 for better range, USB-C Port for charging and slightly improved design. However sound quality and the lack of aptX support remain the same.