Bose QC35 II vs Sony 1000XM4

Noise cancelling headphones are very common and the fact that they can help sealing the ears both passive and actively, makes the device a great option for those who want to enjoy their music without much disturbance. Plenty of options to choose from such as the popular Bose QC35 II Vs Sony 1000XM4 that are well known for their performance and overall sound quality. If you are considering these impressive headphones as well, see below about what you can expect from the two.

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • Are You Currently Looking for a Noise Cancelling Headphone
  • What are Bose QC35 II and Sony 1000XM4
  • How are the Design of Bose QC35 II and Sony 1000XM4
  • How are the Sound Quality of Bose QC35 II and Sony 1000XM4
  • How are the Noise Cancelling Performance of Bose QC35 II and Sony 1000XM4
  • Are Bose QC35 II and Sony 1000XM4 Comfortable
  • Bose QC35 II Vs Sony 1000XM4

Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

We love music and we listen to it on a daily basis. There are lots of new genres and musicians to discover each day and paid music streaming service is a great portal to let you enjoy these new songs. Streaming services may change the way people listen to their favorite songs because it is now much easier to find new releases and high-quality audio files that will improve your experience. Besides the file, your listening device will also decide how the song will sound like. 

What’s confusing about choosing the best listening device is that people can have their own preferences about which sounds best for them. It can be highly subjective but in most cases, the more you pay the better as well the product quality including the experience. Not only for regular headphone, headset, or speaker, the noise cancelling headphone or earphones are also great alternatives to improve experience. What’s special about noise cancelling headphones is that you can listen to the song with less disturbance.

This is not a new technology anymore and while it was popularized by headphones, we can find earbuds such as AirPods Pro with the technology. Noise cancelling means that the headphone is capable of countering the outside or ambient noise based on the noise it detects from the microphone. They have an internal processing that will counter or neutralize this sound by sending a matching wave into our ears. It sounds simple but the process often varies from one device to another even when they are made by the same manufacturer.

We do think ANC headphones or technologies can benefit a lot of people or are versatile in the application. They are useful to block outside noise which most of us despise when trying to concentrate on something we listen to or while trying to rest and relax. The environment noise can be quite annoying, especially if you have an open working space where there are a lot of people around you.

Personally we love it for commuting with public transportation to let us enjoy whatever is currently playing and blocking the train or chatty noise by other passengers. It is also a great tool to help you focus better when working on something and don’t want to get disturbed by the surroundings. Depending on how they are designed, many are comfortable enough for hours of listening activity but this can be subjective as head shape, size, and hairstyle or whether or not you wear glasses will also affect their overall fit. 

Bose QC35 IISony 1000XM4
Product Dimensions ‎6.3 x 8.27 x 3.47 inches
7.27 x 3.03 x 9.94 inches
Shipping Weight‎8.8 ounces
9 ounces
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About Bose QC35 II and Sony 1000XM4

Just like when choosing a headphone based on the sound quality alone, ANC is quite complicated and they can be hit or miss too. If this is your first buy for an ANC capable headphones, we highly suggest sticking with the popular options because they are the most often to work best in the category. The only drawback is probably the price point because we need to spend more to enjoy the experience. Most well-known audio equipment devices have at least a couple of ANC headphones in their collection.

Among those who are carrying some of the best headphones including ANC, Bose and Sony are currently the leaders in the market. Both of them are well-known when it comes to product quality and overall performance. People love their products for the sound quality and if you are willing to spend the amount, we do think their headphones will be a great options to consider. In terms of performance, depending on the model they will vary as well.

On the most popular options, we have Bose QC35 II and Sony 1000XM4 which we are sure are familiar to so many people for how hyped these headphones are. The QC line was probably the most successful ANC headphones out there and the QC35 II is the star of the collection with its balance of good audio quality as well as an effective noise cancelling performance. The unit itself is very comfortable making it a great choice for almost anyone who is in the market for a good noise cancelling headphones.

On the other hand, Sony started to gain lots of attention with the 1000XM3 a year later after QC35 II was released. This is when Bose has a noticeable competitor because Sony’s new ANC is also working amazingly well. The newest iteration is 1000XM4 and entered the market last year while Bose still doesn’t have the new QC45 as of this comparison. It seems that Bose is still confident with the QC35 II and in comparison it is also cheaper than 1000XM4 so we do think it is a worthy option without compromising the quality.

Bose QC35 II and Sony 1000XM4 Design

Before checking what Bose QC35 II and Sony 1000XM4 can offer, let’s see the headphones first because the two are also quite different. Even from the outside we are sure you can guess which headphone will be the heavier one and yes, it is the 1000XM4 as it is thicker than QC35 II. The good side, it is also the one with a more rigid and sturdy looking headphone. QC35 II build quality is already good but Sony enhanced this headphone by thickening some parts, noticeably the ear cups and headband.

When it comes to portability, the Bose QC35 II and Sony 1000XM4 are not the simplest and most compact headphones you can find out there. They do fold but the dimension is still too wide to be considered compact; it is about 6.5 inches to 7.4 inches respectively on the widest length. Thankfully both Bose and Sony are equally giving a hard case for storing and carrying the device securely. Read also: Bose QC35 II Vs Bose QC35.

Bose QC35 II and Sony 1000XM4 Sound Quality

Now for the most important part, let’s hear the sound quality of Bose QC35 II and Sony 1000XM4. Starting with the beloved bass frequency, both headphones are overemphasizing this range but you can notice it more on the 1000XM4. The overall response is fairly flat but the latter can probably sound too punchy for some people. It is similar to QC35 II but is boosted while Bose is playing it more moderately. It is subjective but the two match well with bass-heavy music like EDM. 

Both headphones are also good on the mid-range which is surprisingly similar and we personally can’t tell the difference besides the Bose being the more neutral one, the same with their treble range which is great especially on low treble but not so much on the higher range since they are not as consistent. The QC35 II is better in our opinion because 1000XM4 sounds slightly harsh on vocals and lead instruments.  

Bose QC35 II and Sony 1000XM4 Active Noise Cancelling

As an active noise cancelling headphones, we need to see how well the active cancellation is in both Bose QC35 II and Sony 1000XM4. They are impressive but not the same and in comparison 1000XM4 is a little bit better here. When tested the headphone is more capable of keeping the outside noise as low and as unnoticeable as possible especially for the low rumble sounds like engine noises. The Bose QC35 II is also good but the result is less consistent compared to Sony’s new ANC.

Without the ANC on, we also think Sony 1000XM4 has the better passive sealing which is probably achieved by tighter sealing and thicker padding on the ear cups. This headphone is better if you don’t want the people nearby to hear what you are listening to but the QC35 II is not bad as well and chances are, unless the room is very quiet, your coworker can’t hear the leakage. 

Bose QC35 II and Sony 1000XM4 Comfort 

Lastly, it is for the comfort of Bose QC35 II and Sony 1000XM4 which based on the design, we can say that Bose is slightly more comfortable. This headphone is lighter and there is not much pressure applied on the head because the headband is also thin. The Sony’s one is thicker especially near the hinge and it is quite tighter when still new. While the padding helps a lot to dissipate the pressure, we do think the QC35 II is the better headphone for prolonged use.

Bose QC35 II vs Sony 1000XM4

Both Bose QC35 II and Sony 1000XM4 are good options so you can go amazing with any of them. Comparing the sound quality, the QC35 II is the more neutral headphone if you prefer this type of sound better while the 1000XM4 is a bassy one among the two. It is also the better headphone based on the build quality and noise cancelling along with isolation but can be too tight on the head.

- 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
- Industry-leading noise canceling with Dual Noise Sensor technology
- Next-level music with Edge-AI, co-developed with Sony Music Studios Tokyo
- Up to 30-hour battery life with quick charging (10 min charge for 5 hours of playback)
- Touch Sensor controls to pause play skip tracks, control volume, activate your voice assistant, and answer phone calls


They are equally high performing ANC headphones depending on which seems to fit in your personal taste the most. But, based on the comparison and current price point, we still think Bose QC35 II is the better choice for value because it is an all-rounder good headphones that is currently much more affordable.

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