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Today we are comparing the recently upgraded and newly improved Sony WH-1000XM3 against the legendary Bose QuietComfort 35 ii.

Sony WH-1000XM3 vs. Bose QC35 ii Review

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Today, I have picked up two of the best contending brands in the wireless headphone category with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) technology. Today we compare the recently upgraded and newly improved Sony WH-1000XM3 against the legendary Bose QuietComfort 35 ii.

Before we take a plunge into the comparison about which wireless headphone is better, I would like to remind my readers that the differences are very minute and hard to put a finger on; the verdict for every user will be subjective (especially if you have a soft spot when it comes to brands). What I can personally assure is that these headphones are one of the best ANC headphones out there in the market and can stand toe to toe with each other and, definitely, deliver quality, both in form and function.

So, let’s just dive right into it.

Build quality

Going over the physical build quality, honestly, it is going to be subjective and as to which one looks better. Besides, both of the headphones are built very well and being in the same price range, comparing to each other, the Sony WH-1000XM3 does seem to have slightly better faux leather feel and a gives a beefier construction to it. The Sony noise cancelling headphones do feel a bit solid.

Now when it comes to Bose QC35 ii, the built quality is great but it feels much lighter than its Sony counterpart does. This lightweight feel gives it a touch of a ‘space-age’ kind of a design instead of feeling heavy-ish. The reason for this being, Bose QC35 ii is the lightest ANC headphone I have tested until date. The QC35 ii weighs 232 grams and when you pick up the pair of headphone, you are going to notice the difference in the feel of it. Sony’s WH-1000XM3 comes at respectable 254 grams and the 22 grams, though not much does make its presence felt when you compare them side by side. And thus, Bose had been able to bag the title of the lightest pair of ANC wireless for quite a few years now.

Comfort

The Bose QC35 ii are amazing to wear. Not only is it super light at the crown of the head, but the ear cups are fully open allowing them to breathe and the ears hardly touch the inside of the ear cup. The Sony WH-1000XM3 feels fine on the head but comparing the two, the XM3 has less of that light and airy feel. The ear cups feel ever so slightly more stuffy and the ear does touch the inside of the ear cup at times and this would mean a little perspiration in warmer environments. Here Bose seems to impart the feel good factor.

Controls

Sony WH-1000XM3 has amazing touch sensitivity – swiping up and down, left and right to adjust volume, skipping tracks and to go back and forth on songs. Placing the right hand over the ear cup turns on the microphone, letting in the surrounding sound, and lets you know what is happening outside.

Bose QC35 ii is not as hi-tech as Sony, but it a lot easier to identify with easy to reach buttons for volume, play, pause and skipping tracks. Both the headphones have an adjustable switch under the ear cup for different levels of Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). The same button can also summon the built-in Voice Assistant – Alexa and Google Assistant in Bose QC35 ii; the Sony WH-1000XM3 has Google Assistant only.

Both headphones offer a headphone port to be used in the wired mode. Bose offers a 2.5mm headphone jack while Sony offers a 3.5mm headphone jack. The Bose QC35 ii uses a micro USB port for charging while the Sony WH-1000XM3 uses the latest C – type USB charging port.

Battery

The Sony WH-1000XM3 offers 30 hours of battery life in one single charge while the Bose QC35 ii gives 20 hours with ANC on. Both the headphones are available with quick charge features; Bose offers 2.5 hours of playback time with 15 min of charging while Sony gives a whopping 5 hours of usage time with just 10 min of charging. We had to give it to Sony for this class-leading battery technology, and in this segment, Sony is a clear winner.

Pairing

Both the headphones use Bluetooth 4.1 to pair but the Bose QC35 ii can actively pair with two devices at the same time while Sony maintains its one-on-one old school wireless connection methodology. Sony, however, uses LDAC technology, which, in layman terms can translate to – the best and clearest wireless audio quality transmission at the moment. All Android 8.0 and higher version phones are compatible with this technology.

ANC

Sony has automatic active noise canceling adjustments with its adaptive sound control app giving the best experience that you can garner while listening to your music.  When we tested both the headphones, Sony beat the Bose and made the latter feel like an average performer. Sony blocks out more background noise from AC units, fans and other bothering noise that often hinders your experience of good music.

Sound Quality

We would like to speak less on this because to compare both the headphones for sound quality is where many would fail miserably. The verdict will be subjective and does not feel much difference except Sony WH-1000XM3 has a much punchier bass inclination and a subsequent rumble. The rest of the variations in sound and notable aspects remain stellar and give an incredible, surreal and balanced sound experience. It may sound ironic, that excellent sound quality being the primary expectation from an “audio” device, here, the less said, the better it is. Both the headphones are champions in this department and deliver an amazingly great 3D experience that sounds great.

For the sake of argument, the Sony was a bit clear, almost by a thin hairline (and we literally mean it, if we could measure it that way). However, this happens and the effect of all the factors like ambient sound, surrounding conditions, and other factors dictates the mood for this verdict.

There you have it – Sony seems to lead considerably in the battery and ANC departments while Bose gives a comfortable and lightweight experience. However, at the core, both headphones have some unique features but do not compromise on the sound quality.

To make it easier here is a Pros/ Con or Difference chart to help you pick between the two.

Brand

Sony

Bose

ModelSony WH-1000XM3Quiet  Comfort 35 ii
Price
Build qualityRobust and heavyStrong yet lightweight
FeelThick ear cups / less airyAiry  and breathable
Gross Weight 254 grams232 grams
ControlsSurface touchPress buttons
Noise CancellationActive and comes with Adaptive(automatic) Sound Control AppActive and comes with Customizable Sound control app
ANC PerformanceExcellentAverage
LDACYESNO
Quick charging10 min of fast charge gives 5 hours of playback time15 min of fast charge gives 2.5 hours of playback time
Battery (usage time)30 hours20 hours
Type of USBC typeMicro USB
Inputs3.5 mm audio jack2.5 mm audio jack
EqualizerCustomizable EQVolume Optimized EQ
Bluetooth Version4.14.1
Bluetooth Range30 ft. (9 m)30 ft. (9 m)
Built –in Virtual AssistantGoogle AssistantGoogle Assistant and Amazon Alexa
Included in the boxCarry case with cableCarry Case
Sound QualityPunchy bass, clear vocals, suitable for EDM and PopWide soundstage, balanced frequency range and warm sound.

 

Sony WH-1000XM3 sure stands out on the better side in this comparison. However, we can expect Bose to make a comeback as the brand has consistently given products that are long-lasting and worth your money.

Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM3: Wireless Bluetooth Over the Ear Headphones with Mic and Alexa voice control - Industry Leading Active Noise Cancellation - Black
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Noise-Cancelling, with Alexa voice control, enabled with Bose AR - Black
Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM3: Wireless Bluetooth Over the Ear Headphones with Mic and Alexa voice control - Industry Leading Active Noise Cancellation - Black
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Noise-Cancelling, with Alexa voice control, enabled with Bose AR - Black
$348.00
$349.00
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DIGITAL NOISE CANCELING: Industry leading ANC lends a personalized, virtually soundproof experience
Three levels of world-class noise cancellation for better listening experience in any environment
LONG BATTERY LIFE: A single charge provides up to 30 hrs of playtime for reliable all day listening
Noise-rejecting dual-microphone system for clear sound and voice pick-up
Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM3: Wireless Bluetooth Over the Ear Headphones with Mic and Alexa voice control - Industry Leading Active Noise Cancellation - Black
Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH1000XM3: Wireless Bluetooth Over the Ear Headphones with Mic and Alexa voice control - Industry Leading Active Noise Cancellation - Black
$348.00
-
DIGITAL NOISE CANCELING: Industry leading ANC lends a personalized, virtually soundproof experience
LONG BATTERY LIFE: A single charge provides up to 30 hrs of playtime for reliable all day listening
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Noise-Cancelling, with Alexa voice control, enabled with Bose AR - Black
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Noise-Cancelling, with Alexa voice control, enabled with Bose AR - Black
$349.00
-
Three levels of world-class noise cancellation for better listening experience in any environment
Noise-rejecting dual-microphone system for clear sound and voice pick-up

We will be back with more updates and news about exciting products in the future and till then have a Happy 2019.

Tech savvy, Passionate Researcher and Writer. You can ask me any Question related to my articles.

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    March 20, 2019

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