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Bose QuietComfort 45 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headset Review

Bose was once almost synonymous with the best active noise cancellation you could find. Now Bose is finally ready with a new addition to its QuietComfort series after QuietComfort 35 came back in 2016 and the update QC35 II was released in early 2020. QC45 is the name of the news, but the list of innovations may not be huge long.

Bose has expanded its range of on-ear wireless headphones with the QuietComfort 45, available for $ 330. The novelty is characterized by two modes of active noise cancellation, battery life up to 24 hours on a single battery charge, time for a full recharge of 2.5 hours and 15 minutes for three hours of listening to music, support for Bluetooth 5.1 with a range of 9 meters, support for wired mode via 3.5mm connector, microphone array, USB Type-C interface and buttons on the cups. There are two colors: black and white.

The noise cancellation improved; Bose has (finally) introduced an ambient mode, the headphones will have better sound insulation during calls, and the charging port has been changed from micro-USB to USB-C, as it should be in 2021.

PROSCONS
Lightweight and comfortableNo equalizer in the Bose app
Good noise CancellationNo aptX Bluetooth
Good battery life
Foldable, carrying case included

Specification

Bose QuietComfort 45
$CHECK PRICE
BrandBose
ReleasedAugust 31, 2021
ModelQuietComfort 45
Weight180g
Dimension184 x 152 x 76mm
TypeOn the Ear
ColorsBlack, White Smoke
ANCAcoustic Noise Canceling
Foldable DesignYes
Microphone3.5mm audio jack
Music ControlsYes
SpeakersYes
Frequency Response20 Hz (Min) – 20 kHz (Max)
Bluetooth5.1
CodecLDAC codec
Battery TypeLi-ion
Battery LifeUp to 24 hours
AppBose Music app
Connector TypeUSB Type-C port
CompatibilityWindows, Playstation, XBOX

Design

The design is essentially the same as before, which means low weight and very high comfort. It also means that the design is mainly made of plastic, and you do not get nearly the same feeling of luxury as on some other headphones in this price range. The QuietComfort series is designed to be used for many, many hours when traveling, and that does not change with the QC45.

The launch of the QC45 can perhaps also be seen as Bose realizing that dropping the QuietComfort name when they launched the previous noise-canceling flagship Noise Canceling Headphones 700 was not so wise. NCH ​​700 and QC45 will coexist, however, but in terms of price, QC45 is currently a bit higher, with a launch price of $300.

Externally, there is not much change from before to track on the QC45. You get the same power and pairing switch on the side of the right earpiece and the same remote control buttons on the “back.” The one button on the left earpiece, introduced on the QC35 II, is still here, but the option to choose between voice assistant and noise reduction strength has been removed.

Bose has simplified this part of the headphones somewhat, in that the button is only used to switch between noise reduction and ambient mode (which Bose calls Aware). The ability to choose how strong the noise reduction should have also been removed – now it is all or nothing, or in practice all or minus since you can not even choose to use the headphones without either noise reduction or ambient mode active. It’s a little weird.

Connectivity

The Bose is a kind of middle ground between many of the other noise-canceling headphones – they do not have the largest and most airy sound image, they do not have the most well-resolved treble or the loudest bass, but they are somehow approved in all areas.

In other words: The QuietComfort headphones have previously been a little too sober for your taste; the QC45 may be more relevant – mainly thanks to the treble breaking a little more through the soundscape than before.

The Bose app does not have an equalizer option at the moment, but the QC35 has at least been updated throughout its lifetime, so it is not inconceivable that it will appear in the future.

Audio Quality

The noise reduction is perhaps the most exciting when new Bose headphones are launched, and here we must say that Bose’s engineers have used the time since the previous launch well. The noise reduction is solid.

Bose is better at muting the “whooooshhh” sound that makes up a large part of the aircraft engine noise, while Sony maybe a little better at the very bottom of the frequency range. Here we might have preferred Bose, simply because we think it would have been more comfortable on the longest flights.

For aircraft noise, Apple’s AirPods Max is probably still a notch sharper than both of these two. They attenuate both the lowest and the slightly higher frequencies just as well. As we wrote in the AirPods Max test, it is a slightly strange experience when you can feel the hum of the speakers in the sofa, while you can not hear the sound because the headphones remove it completely.

Compared to Bose’s own NCH 700, the QC45 is an improvement anyway. There is little doubt about that. And then, it also follows that it is a big improvement from QC35.

One thing that may be worth noting is that the Bose headphones give a reasonably large feeling of pressure in the ears. It undoubtedly contributes to good noise cancellation but should take into account if you are sensitive to such things. Here, Sony, in particular, is perhaps less problematic.

It must also be mentioned that Bose’s ambient mode is good and sounds natural.

The call quality is also a highlight here. Precisely that is one of the elements Bose itself highlights as improved, and our impression is that Bose is up and nodding with the Jabra Elite 85 has some of the best at this point.

The Bose first and foremost manage to highlight the voice in an excellent way, even when it is pretty noisy around. They let through some of the ambient noise, but no more than that, it is acceptable to have a conversation even along a reasonably busy road. The dynamics are also good, and Bosene does not seem to have any problems with wind. We also like to adjust how much of your voice you hear during conversations in the Bose app.

Comfort

Impact resistance. Fiberglass-filled nylon reinforces the headband, protecting it from drops and keeping it in shape. Cast metal. Each pivot point has a die-cast metal hinge, so they stay strong and durable.

The ear cushions are covered with luxurious soft synthetic leather on an upper headband for all-day comfort.

Battery

The QuietComfort 45 headphones deliver more extended playtime than their predecessors, 24 hours on a single charge. It is enough for your music to sound in silence, even on the longest flight. And they are charged via USB-C. A quick 15-minute charge provides up to 2.5 hours of playtime. Or connect the supplied audio cable for wired music listening.

Conclusion!

It has been five years since Bose first launched its QC35, and since then, we have received no less than four iterations of what has gradually become the main competitor, namely the Sony 1000X series. And although the list of innovations on the QC45 is not enormously long, they are significantly better where it matters most.

The noise reduction is absolutely in the top tier, and depending on the type of noise, the Bosene is either at the very top or very close. The sound is also turned in a slightly smaller sedate and “boring” direction, mainly with a slightly fresher and more prominent treble. It’s for the better, you ask us.

The call quality is excellent, and the Boss is still very light and comfortable, but small technology upgrades make them more worthy in 2021. After a few years where Bose has had to put itself a bit in the back of Sony and Apple, they make a solid comeback with QuietComfort 45.

They are still far from the most fun to listen to. Still, the combination of sound, noise reduction, comfort, call quality, battery life, and other features is an excellent package – although others are better in some areas.

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