Bose QuietComfort 45 Review
Bose’s QuietComfort headphones have been the standard-bearer for noise-canceling headphones for over 20 years. With the release of the AirPods Max and the WH-1000XM4, Apple and Sony have given Bose a run for their money by providing their own outstanding active noise cancellation (ANC) with probably superior audio quality.
The excellent Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 from Bose, which provide adjustable ANC, show that the company isn’t above competing with itself. The $329 QuietComfort 45 headphones are the company’s latest pair of QC headphones, so the pressure is on. Over-ear headphones with this level of active noise reduction are simply unrivaled. Even if the aforementioned models are better suited for audiophiles, the sound quality is superb and certainly lives up to the price tag.
Bose QuietComfort 45 Specs
|Active Noise Cancellation||YES|
|Connection Type||Bluetooth, Stereo 3.5mm|
|Colour||Black, White Smoke|
|Battery||24 hours (ANC on)|
|Size||7.25 x 6 x 3 inches|
- The most effective noise reduction available
- Very good sound with full bass and clear treble.
- Extremely relaxing
- A noise cannot be changed.
- For serious audiophiles, the sound characteristics are off.
The QuietComfort 45 headphones come in black or off-white. They are circumaural (over-ear) headphones that look like the QuietComfort 35 II. The earpads and cap are very soft, which makes listening to music very relaxing. I could wear them for long amounts of time without getting headaches or pain from the headset’s pressure. The headphones don’t have an IP rating, which means they can’t stand up to water.
Bose headphones don’t have capacitive touch settings. Instead, they have a group of buttons on the back of the right earcup. The volume up and down buttons are the main controls. The middle button controls playback, calls, track navigation, and voice assistants, based on how many times you tap it.
Bose’s noise-canceling Quiet and Aware modes are turned on by hitting a button on the left earcup. You can’t turn off both features on a Bose to save battery life; you have to choose between the Quiet and Aware listening modes. The headphones come with a 3.5mm audio cable for passive use, but many modern smartphones don’t have a port for headphones, so this isn’t a very good choice.
Noise Cancellation Headphone
Without question, the QuietComfort 45 headphones are the best active noise-canceling headphones we’ve tried. The deep, low-pitched roar of the plane is easy to turn down. But technology that blocks out noise has no trouble with this. As a stress test, we played a tape of a loud, busy restaurant through the near-field speakers.
ANC headphones have a lot more trouble with high sounds that change like people talking and glasses clinking. In both cases, the ANC did a great job, lowering the mids and highs by a lot and muting the lows. Even a very small amount of high-frequency hiss, which sounds like very quiet background noise, has no effect on how well the ANC works. The ANC doesn’t do a great job of canceling out these loud noises, but it’s rare that any similar technology could.
The QuietComfort 45 does a good job of blocking out background noises like the TV or people talking at work. It’s hard to say which set of headphones is better at handling loud low-frequency sounds than Sony’s WH-1000XM4 headphones. Both of them cut down on a lot of low-frequency noise, but because their hardware is different, they don’t cut down on the same frequencies. The QC 45’s ANC is just a little bit better in the mids and highs. The Sony headphones seem to let in a little bit more of the higher sounds and cut out less of the mids.
The headphones’ default settings provide a strong low-frequency response, even on tracks with high sub-bass material like “Silent Shout” by The Knife. Even at unsafely loud volumes, the bass remains robust and distortion-free. Even at more manageable listening volumes, the bass remains forceful and nicely complemented by higher frequencies’ sculpting. If you want a better idea of the QuietComfort 45’s overall sound, listen to Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” which features far less deep bass in the mix.
Some light bass thump is added to the drums in this track. The high mids of Callahan’s voice provide some crispness to the delivery, complementing the lush low mids. The frequency sculpting further improves the acoustic guitar’s sound and the higher-pitched percussion impacts. The sound signature isn’t too manipulated, but it’s not a flat response.
The QuietComfort 45 headphones outperform the $549 AirPods Max, the $349 Sony WH-1000XM4, and the $379 Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, solidifying Bose’s position as the active noise cancellation market leader. However, the QC 45 aren’t the most musically accomplished duo, and each rival has its own advantages. The AirPods Max provides the highest level of compatibility with Apple devices and includes groundbreaking technologies like adaptive EQ and spatial audio.
Audiophiles should purchase Sony’s WH-1000XM4 headphones. The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 also allow you to adjust the level of noise reduction to suit your preferences. These three sets of options are all interesting and worthy of consideration. However, the QuietComfort 45 headphones are the best in their class when it comes to noise cancellation.