Have you ever wondered why an updated model of a car or bike makes so much noise in the market in terms of advertisement? Logically, it may have some added features that are above the previous performance baseline of existing models. The same goes with Bose Quiet Comfort 35 ii aka QC 35 ii and Bose Quiet Comfort 25.
Though the Bose QC 35 ii is an improved version of the QC 35, it sounds rather unfair to compare the latest with its ‘ancestor’ QC 25. Well… this is because if QC 35 ii is from the digital age, then QC 25 happens to be from the Iron Age in terms of technology.
So before, we get on with some comparison for both these noise cancelling headphones and stir up some sibling rivalry, let us see what makes QC 35 ii distinct and more preferable than its predecessor.
And on a last note of humble nostalgia, the QC 25 were the best at the time of its launch as compared to many other headphones from Bose itself as well as other brands like Sony, Sennheiser, etc. QC 25 is what set the ball rolling for ANC technology and set it apart from others like a cult classic. You don’t throw away an old but premium motorcycle, just because a new model came out; you revere it with nostalgic appreciation. So… guys, a little respect here.
What’s up with the new Bose QC 35 ii?
The Bose QC 25 is a wired on-ear headphone with ANC technology and uses external battery. The Bose QC 35 ii is a wireless headphone with Bluetooth, NFC, ANC and built-in battery. Now, since we got these notable differences out of our way, let’s get in some on the core elements.
The Bose QC 35 ii is the all-better version of the QC series and by far one of the best wireless headphones in the market. The notable addition happens to be an extra hardware button that activates the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. The sound quality is distinct and the QC 35ii does not keep you hanging giving you a pleasurable feel throughout the sound spectrum. Build quality is improved and the premium headphones do make a significant functional statement without much boasting over its predecessor.
Now let’s pick apart, one by one, the functionalities to have a clear view:
Stronger in every sense, the headband has ‘Alcantara’, which is synthetic suede, normally found in exotic supercars. Both headphones have this finish and the QC 25 has a black matte finish with grey ear cups. The QC 35 ii is all black matte with metal hinges and does look equally strong, even in its all-plastic construction.
Both of them have adjustable headbands and deep ear cups that make it breathable for the ears. The ear cups for both headphones have a 90-degree forward swivel and a 5-degree backward swivel making stow away easy in the Bose carry case. One notable difference – when you place the QC 25 on a table, with its ear cups face to face, they lap on each other completely as an oval dome but the QC 35 ii do not touch each other fully – except at the base of the ear cups. This small angle of contact plays a significant role while wearing these headphones and the QC 35 ii gives you a relaxed feel compared to the ‘clampy’ feel of the QC 25.
The faux leather on the earcups is ample in QC 25, but there is more ‘cushion’ in the QC 35 ii. Feels a little odd to say, but the experience was surreal, since the sound quality changed and there was more background noise reduction as compared to QC 25.
QC 25 happens to be lightweight of the two and weighs only 192 grams whereas the QC 35 ii weight 232 grams. Ironically, it is heavier than the QC 25 but the QC 35 ii is the lightest in the market, in comparison to other brands in the same segment.
QC 25 uses AAA battery that last around 30-35 hours while the QC 35 ii has a built-in battery with a playtime of 20 hours on one single charge, with ANC turned on. This is the significant change in both the headphones.
Wired vs. Wireless
Bose QC 25 is a wired headphone – a major strike; but you must realize that the QC 25 came out in September of 2014, which was still a budding time for wireless technology. These headphones belong to a different category and therefore the comparison here will not be justified. The audio cable that connects your smartphone and the QC 25 has a built-in remote with play/ pause and volume button. It also has a good mic for calls too.
QC 35 ii has built in microphone, which is extra sensitive. This means – if you attend a call in a busy office, even ruffling papers on your desk or the noise of the fan/ people around can be heard on the other end. QC 35 ii mic is not ultra-sensitive, but still quiet sensitive to pick up ambient noise.
Bluetooth and NFC connectivity in the Bose QC 35 ii is brilliant but does not have LDAC (as that in Sony WH-1000 MH3). The play/ pause and volume control are on the left ear cup while a single button on the right earcup can summon the virtual assistants using apps.
Both these headphones are world apart in sound quality. HOWEVER, THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE QC 25 DISSAPPOINTS YOU. The odd yet surprisingly reviews that I have heard from people are that QC 25 does excel in its own right; I too agree. Bose QC 25 was undoubtedly the clearest audible headphone of its time while the QC 35 ii is a slightly refined version of the same. The public sentiment is too subjective and can trigger arguments over many aspects.
The bass is neutral and good for vocals, instrumentals and other genres on both headphones. Pop songs and EDMs are good but audiophiles will long for a little more punch in the bass area. Rock and metal have clarity but when compared to other brands, the sound may seem a little bass-neutral. The highs and mids are great and there is no distortion.
In my experience, what may ‘seem’ a better audio experience with Bose QC 35 ii is about the ‘features’ than that of the actual audio drivers. I am not denying the refined hardware and the high quality with respect to sound on the new Bose headphones. I am merely hinting that, since the ANC is much more improved, the ear cups are cleverly snug; more ‘cushiony’, the mic is much more sensitive and responsive and finally the wireless factor of the QC 35 ii does make it psychologically inclined to have a bit more concentrative focus on the audio delivery. All these factors provide an experience – altogether different and unique to its own creation.
Since we have counted all the stripes on the hide, now let us put it side by side to get a clear picture.
|Model||Quiet Comfort 25||Quiet Comfort 35 ii|
|Build quality||Premium and lightweight||Strong yet lightweight|
|Earcups||Less cushion||Airy and breathable, more cushion|
|Gross Weight||192 grams||232 grams|
|Controls||Inline remote||Press buttons on the earcups|
|Noise Cancellation Technology||Basic||Active and comes with Customizable Sound control app|
|Quick charging||NA||15 min of fast charge gives 2.5 hours of playback time|
|Battery||AAA battery||In built Lithium Ion battery|
|Battery (usage time)||30-35 hours depending on the battery||20 hours max.|
|Type of USB||NA||Micro USB|
|Inputs||2.5mm audio||2.5 mm audio jack|
|Equalizer||NA||Volume Optimized EQ|
|Bluetooth Range||NA||30 ft. (9 m)|
|Built –in Virtual Assistant||NA||Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa|
|Included in the box||Carry case||Carry Case|
|Sound Quality||Neutral yet great sound, less bass||Wide soundstage, balanced frequency range and warm sound.|
On a closing note, the Bose QC 35 ii is a better headphone; which is an obvious tell. However, what we are paying here is more for the features that include wireless technology like Bluetooth, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, sensitive microphone, etc. Things just get better when you stay with the current technology; we would recommend the Bose QC 35 ii and go with it as our pick of the day. Stay for more updates.
Stay tuned for more updates. Good day!