Berlin. Bose’s Quiet Comfort Series has been a staple among portable noise-cancelling headphones for years. It is especially aimed at people who travel a lot. The new Quiet Comfort 45 should continue the success of the previous QC 35 II. Is this possible? practical test:
24 hours of battery life for 350 euros
Gray headphone with softly padded, foldable ear pieces, plus adjustable headband for heads from coconut to the size of a bowling ball. There is also a travel pack with a zipper, a charging cable (USB-C) and a cable with a jack plug (2.5 to 3.5 mm) in case the battery runs out for the wireless. However, according to the manufacturer, it lasts up to 24 hours. In practice, this is about the same. The headphones currently cost just under 350 euros.
A slide switch on the right earpiece is briefly pressed as far as it will go, then the QC45 switches into pairing mode and connects to iPhones, Android smartphones, and computers via Bluetooth. Your computer’s sound tells you which device or devices the headphones are paired with each time they are turned on. Then there is the Bose Music app. Aside from tips and some settings in terms of power consumption and Bluetooth sources, it doesn’t offer much. What doesn’t work: Listen to music while charging and listen to music via the USB-C cable.
comfort and operation
relaxing. 240g of QC45 sits comfortably and appears toned down. And even those who wear glasses don’t get any pressure points on the temples behind their ears. Bose sits comfortably on even the largest heads. However, due to the design, the QC45’s ears get warm after a while.
basic. A switch for the two listening modes is located on the left ear unit, while title, volume, and access control for the voice assistant are on the right. The buttons are easily accessible with your thumb. There is no corrosion detection. If you take off the headphones, you will continue to play happily.
Noise is completely suppressed
After minor difficulties getting started, the QC45 looks good and plays music and podcasts or movies clearly and warmly. Compared to the competition, the bass is missing something that, without an equalizer in the Music app, will stay that way for now. The situation is quite different when it comes to Active Noise Cancellation (ANC): hardly anyone can cheat the QC45 here. When you wear it, there is silence.
ANC is available in two stages in Bose: once in completely silent mode called “Quiet”. Then as “Aware”: Here, ambient noise is detected by external microphones, filtered and played in the ear. This looks surprisingly artificial – especially compared to many of the higher priced earplugs. In a quiet environment, there is also a slight background noise.
Phone calls work fine with the QC45. Conversational partners clearly and understandably land in the ear. People on the other end of the line notice a slightly artificial sound that resonates like a loudspeaker. “But it is still clearly understandable,” are the reactions.
What is the bottom line?
Not in the mood for noise? Then the noise-canceling headphones really help. Travel noise, people, machines, background noise – it all disappears. The Quiet Comfort 45 stands out favorably in terms of comfort, mobility and noise suppression compared to competitors from Sennheiser, Sony or Apple. When it comes to sound, it is on par or still good enough. In the overall package of light weight, compact size, sound and ANC, the QC45 is a successful compromise.
Is it worth switching from the previous one? In terms of sound, the three-year-old QC35 II and the older QC35 are still easily the race. Exchange is unnecessary because otherwise the differences are limited.