Bose QC35 II vs QC35

Bose is one of the most popular options when it comes to audio equipment including the noise cancelling headphones such as Bose QC35 II Vs QC35. These headphones are the favorite of many not only for their good noise cancelling ability but also because of how they sound really good for the typical music listening purposes. Being close models, the two are more similar than different and if you are interested to buy an ANC headphones, let’s see below about which version will be the better choice.

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • What is Noise Cancelling Technology
  • What are Bose QC35 II and QC35
  • How are the Design of Bose QC35 II and QC35
  • How are the Sound Quality of Bose QC35 II and QC35
  • How are the Control in Bose QC35 II and QC35
  • How are the ANC Performance in Bose QC35 II and QC35
  • Bose QC35 II Vs QC35

Noise Cancelling Technology

We live among each other and there are so many sounds that you can hear everyday from the song that comes out the car’s sound system to the chatting noise of your friends or coworkers. Sometimes they are necessary and fun but the other times they can be annoying and get in the way of your work or even resting time. This is when noise cancellation technology comes in handy and while they may sound similar, noise cancelling, noise blocking, and noise masking are not the same.

First let’s talk about noise blocking but this term is probably more familiar as noise reduction or noise isolation. Noise blocking or noise reduction is a passive sealing which means it is achieved due to the design of your listening device. This is because our headphones or earphones for example are creating a physical barrier in which outside noise can’t get through as easily as when they are not present. Theoretically anything that can cover our ears can perform noise blocking. 

Next we have noise cancelling which is the most common type of technology offered by high-end listening devices now. It is different from noise blocking because the device needs to have an active way of preventing the outside noise to be heard by your ears. It utilizes a microphone to monitor the sound around you while the computer inside will design and emit the exact opposite signal to effectively cancel out both sets of sounds as they collide. The actual tech is more complicated but this is how they are simplified. 

Next there is a similar tech called noise masking which is very similar to noise cancelling but also different. It doesn’t use electronics to combat the disruptive sound but works based on how our brain perceives sounds as it introduces another sound at the same time to cover the outside noise. This turns out to be very effective because when there is a steady sound that is just at the right frequencies, it can make the irregular and disruptive sound less perceptible by our brain.

These technologies are similar but different and they are ideal for different types of applications as well. For example, noise blocking is everywhere and all listening devices offer a certain level of noise blocking from the build. It won’t eliminate sound completely which makes it great for commuters or while you jog out there to still be aware of the surroundings. On the other hand noise masking makes bursts of sound less noticeable which is great to keep you unaware of the surroundings, suitable for resting time.

Bose QC35 IIBose QC35
Product Dimensions 3.2 x 6.7 x 7.1 inches
3.19 x 6.69 x 7.09 inches
Shipping Weight8.3 ounces
8.3 ounces
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About Bose QC35 II and QC35

Depending on the type of application, the choice for technology can vary as well but it is always good to choose based on the device’s purpose. If you are here then it means a noise cancelling headphone is what matches the application the most. There are plenty of amazing ANC devices out there coming from different brands or with different capabilities but not all of them will have the same level of performance or have the same sound color.

You can shop based on the personal preference, budget, or even the brand. Most people have a certain image of popular manufacturers and Bose is always one of the best in this category. Being a prominent player in the market, make sure their products are always at the top quality and price wise they are competing well with many other manufacturers too such as Sony. 

When it comes to noise cancelling, they carry lots of famous headphones and earbuds that you can count on to. The traditional options is the QuietComfort line which has been around for two decades now with the original QC1 sold from 2000-2004 but the current series Bose QC35 II and QC35 are what you want to consider today. Both the original and the second iteration are highly praised, of course with the new model being an overall better headphone.

They don’t change much of QC35 as this unit is loved by many but we are happy that QC35 II is improving what needs to be improved especially on the noise cancelling performance and on the battery life which is better on the QC35 II. We do think if you have used or owned the original headphone, it is good to upgrade into the newer version, but if you are considering between the two, getting the original headphone can save you quite a lot too. Read also: Shure SE215 vs Aonic 215.

Bose QC35 II and QC35 Design

As you can see from the sample picture above, there is not that much of a difference between Bose QC35 II and QC35 from the outside. They have the same built quality and are made of plastic which is also a bit flexible or flexing if you force the earcups to get close to each other. The ear cup is swiveling to make sure they are comfortable enough when worn. The design is identical along with some padding at the top of the head.

The two come with a solid carrying case but this case is quite bulky since the headphone itself is not very compact. It is a great case however to prevent the headphone from getting damaged when you are putting it inside a bag. The overall headphone is just half a pound or 235 grams with the same clamping force. There are some buttons at the bottom of the earcups and they are available in two colors; black and silver. Aesthetic wise, they look very simple and should match well with common hairstyles.

Bose QC35 II and QC35 Sound Quality

Now for the most important part, let’s see what the Bose QC35 II and QC35 can offer starting from the sound quality. The first thing we want to mention is their consistency across users and the two seem to be very similar here, as long as the headphone fits really well on your head. The bass range will sound slightly overemphasized and in comparison this is more prominent in the new headphone. What’s slightly different is that mid and high bass are equally more emphasized on the QC35 II.

This way, the bass sound may be too strong if you prefer a more neutral experience but for those who like bassy music like EDM, the music may sound more pleasing or more prominent through the new headphone. The mid-range is more balanced on the new headphone and this is because it is almost flat which makes vocals along with lead instrument are well separated. As for the high-range, their treble are very similar but the uneven mid-treble may cause sibilants sometimes dull and sometimes too sharp.

Bose QC35 II and QC35 Control

Next we also want to talk about the control on Bose QC35 II and QC35 which are very important to make sure we can easily navigate the music or control the playlist. As it has been mentioned above, there are several buttons located below the earcup’s housing that you can use for activating the noise cancelling feature. The difference is that now QC35 II has a dedicated button to activate voice assistant and noise cancelling function while the rest of the buttons are very much the same to each other.

The feeling of these buttons are very good however with tactile feedback and typical functions such as calling and controlling music along with skipping track or adjusting the volume. Our main concern is only the narrow gap between them which sometimes can make it difficult to differentiate or activate and access certain functions.

Bose QC35 II and QC35 Noise Cancelling

Lastly the most important point and this is about the noise cancelling ability of Bose QC35 II and QC35. Noise isolation is done passively and both headphones are sealing the ears really well but in comparison, when ANC is activated the level of noise, especially low rumble like engine sound and the hum of AC units are less noticeable through the QC35 II. Additionally, the suction feeling or effect of the original QC35 is not as prominent anymore making the QC35 II overall more comfortable to wear for a prolonged time.

Bose QC35 II vs QC35

Both of these headphones are great options based on which is more important to you. The prominent difference between the Bose QC35 II and QC35 is mostly on the sound quality and the noise cancelling ability which are slightly better on the new headphone. The sound is more balanced, especially on the mid-range but bass is more prominent if you like stronger bass headphones. As for the noise cancelling function, they are good for low-rumble but the QC35 II is more comfortable to wear.

- Three levels of world-class noise cancellation for better listening experience in any environment
- Alexa-enabled for voice access to music, information, and more
- Noise-rejecting dual-microphone system for clear sound and voice pick-up
- Balanced audio performance at any volume
- World class noise cancellation makes quiet sound quieter and music sound better; Connectivity - Technology: Wireless
Volume optimized EQ for balanced audio performance at any volume
- Wireless convenience, with easy Bluetooth and NFC pairing aided by voice prompts
- 20 hour battery life per charge; up to 40 hours in wired mode


There are plenty of ANC headphones in the market based on which seems to fit in your application the most. Personally we recommend getting the Bose QC35 II because it is more comfortable and this means the headphone will be easier to wear as well.

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