The Bose QuietComfort 35 II Can Become Expensive Wired-Only Headphones

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II Can Become Expensive Wired-Only Headphones

The Bose QuietComfort series definitely is a favorite in regards to active noise canceling (ANC) headphones and are considered by many to be the best. The sound quality of the QuietComfort 35 II is considered to be good but generally not as much as the Sony WH-1000XM2s according to reviewers who’ve used both while others are divided about which has better noise cancellation. Speaking of which, Bose’s pair offers three levels of cancellation. Nonetheless, the QuietComfort 35 II is considered to be high class when taking the entire package into account.

Other features include a carrying case, an audio cable, and 3.5-mm headphone jack for wired connectivity and the optional, iOS and Android, Bose Connect applications to control connectivity.

The QuietComfort 35 II has been on the market since October 2017 according to Amazon, more than six months at the time of this post. That should be a good amount of time to start determining the quality as well as the durability of these.

These are $349 headphones. You want them to have great performance and longevity. It could be argued that great longevity should last at least as long as the warranty, within reason. Devices can malfunction in some way, sometimes as a result of the consumer mistreating them and sometimes as a result of a manufacturing defect. When the latter occurs, we as consumers would hope that companies would address such concerns as as soon as they can and provide free or reasonably discounted replacements depending on the warranty.

Interestingly, details about the standard warranty are not listed within the description of the Amazon product detail page, and the linked page in the community section currently does not work. I searched on Bose’s website and found that the current page for the United States is https://global.bose.com/en_us/global_warranty.html. It states that a purchase is under warranty for one year in the United States and two years in the United Kingdom and the European Union. If the product defect is covered, Bose will perform one of the following:

  • Repair the device with new or refurbished parts

  • Replace it with a new or refurbished equivalent

  • Give a partial or full refund of the product’s original purchase price in exchange for the unit

Regardless of whether the standard warranty is one or two years, the QuietComfort 35 II has not been as durable or even user friendly as some would have liked because in the eight months or so it has been on the market as of the time of this post.

The most notable problem in terms of reviews is the Bluetooth connectivity. This ranges from the headphones struggling to pair with or maintain a connection with more than one device to not being able to connect to a device within 10 feet or within the same room. It can take minutes to connect to a device, and audio can commonly stutter when connected. Additionally, connecting to a desktop operating system such as Windows or Mac OS X is more difficult.

They’re apparently not that good for calls either. The microphones responsible for creating the inverse signals for the noise cancellation change their behavior by generating sidetones to allow the user to better hear themselves during calls. However, it’s too strong because it lets external noises in and overwhelm the conversation. One reviewer explains that it was easier for the callers to hear people 15 feet away than himself.

As is commonly the case with Bluetooth headphones, the charging port can stop working, meaning that the QuietComfort 35 II effectively becomes wired-only. That is now a rather expensive QuietComfort 25.

There are some other comments basically about the device not working which means that the charging port as we know or one or both of the speakers malfunction. One reviewer apparently had replaced his QuietComfort 35 I six times due to the speakers, the sixth time being with the QuietComfort 35 II whose right speaker partially stopped working.

Those are the more major issues with the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. I would say that it is a device worth purchasing even when considering its flaws as it is covered by a standard, limited warranty. However, there still are concerns with repairs or replacements of the device whenever defects may arise. The warranty states that it does not cover damage caused by but not limited to “normal wear and tear.” Based on comments and reviews, some people have had been able to satisfy the warranty’s conditions and others have not, even for similar issues supposedly. Maybe consider it this way: don’t expect the headphones to work long after one to two years of use as the warranty implies or because of the QuietComfort series’ product lifecycle. There likely will be a successor to the QuietComfort 35 II especially if any competitors release products that compare to or even exceed their performance, and because of that, it should not be expected that the average pair of these headphones will last even five years from purchase. Like with the QuietComfort 15, Bose will have to discontinue the QuietComfort 35 II eventually and will want people to consider upgrading to their newest products.

Potential problems worth considering:

  • Bluetooth connectivity

    • Can take minutes

    • Falters particularly with more than one device

  • Microphones’ sidetones let in too much background noise during calls

  • Charging port can stop working, effectively making the device wired-only

  • Speakers can malfunction

  • Warranty states that it does not cover damage caused by “normal wear and tear”

Bose QuietComfort 35 II:

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