BOSE QuietComfort 35 (Series I) Review: The Boss of Silence

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When it comes to premium noise-cancelling headphones, the Bose QuietComfort 35 Series I (QC35 I) is often a top contender. With its renowned noise cancellation, impressive sound quality, and comfortable design, many consider these headphones a worthwhile investment. However, deciding whether they are worth buying depends on your specific needs and preferences. This article will help you determine if the Bose QC35 I is the right choice for you by examining key factors such as performance, design, features, and value for money.

Noise Cancellation

One of the standout features of the Bose QC35 I is its exceptional noise cancellation. Bose has a long history of leading the market in this area, and the QC35 I continues this tradition. The headphones use advanced algorithms and dual microphones to detect and counteract ambient noise, creating a quiet listening environment even in noisy settings like airplanes, trains, or busy offices.

If you frequently find yourself in environments with a lot of background noise and need a reliable way to block it out, the QC35 I’s noise cancellation capabilities are among the best available. This makes them particularly valuable for travelers, commuters, and anyone who works in a noisy environment.

Sound Quality

The sound quality of the Bose QC35 I is another major selling point. These headphones offer a balanced and rich audio profile that caters to various genres of music. The bass is deep and controlled, the mids are clear and natural, and the highs are crisp without being harsh. This balanced sound signature ensures that you can enjoy everything from classical music to rock and hip-hop with excellent clarity and detail.

For audiophiles or anyone who values high-quality sound, the QC35 I delivers a satisfying listening experience. While there may be headphones with more customizable sound profiles, the QC35 I’s sound quality is versatile and consistently pleasing.


Comfort is a critical factor for any pair of over-ear headphones, and the Bose QC35 I excels in this area. The headphones feature a lightweight design, weighing just 235 grams, which reduces the strain on your head and neck during extended use. The padded headband and plush ear cups provide a comfortable fit that conforms to the shape of your head and ears.

The QC35 I headphones keep your ears from becoming tired, whether you’re on a lengthy journey, working through a mountain of work, or just relaxing at home with some music. The headphones will remain firmly in place without causing any discomfort thanks to the evenly distributed clamping force.

Build Quality

The build quality of the Bose QC35 I is another highlight. The headphones are constructed from high-quality materials, including a combination of metal and plastic that makes them both durable and lightweight. The ear cups and headband are covered in soft leather, adding to the premium feel of the headphones.

The foldable design and included hard-shell carrying case make the QC35 I easy to transport and store, enhancing its portability. This durability and attention to detail in the construction ensure that the headphones can withstand the rigors of daily use.

Wireless and Wired Options

The Bose QC35 I offers both wireless and wired connectivity options, providing flexibility in how you use them. Bluetooth pairing is straightforward, and the connection is stable with a good range, allowing you to move around freely without losing signal quality. For situations where Bluetooth is not available or if you want to conserve battery life, the included 3.5mm audio cable allows for wired connections.

Battery Life

Battery life is another strong suit of the QC35 I. With up to 20 hours of wireless playback with active noise cancellation enabled, and up to 40 hours in wired mode, the headphones offer plenty of listening time for most users. The quick charging feature provides up to 2.5 hours of playback from just 15 minutes of charging, which is convenient for those times when you need a quick boost of power.

Controls and App Support

The controls on the QC35 I are intuitive and user-friendly, with buttons on the right ear cup for power, volume, playback, and call management. The Bose Connect app, available for both iOS and Android, allows for further customization, firmware updates, and managing Bluetooth connections. This app adds an extra layer of convenience and functionality, making it easier to tailor the headphones to your preferences.

Value for Money

Being at the pricier end of the market, the Bose QC35 I could put off some prospective customers. For many consumers, the price is justified by the feature set, performance, and construction quality. For those seeking superior noise cancellation, great music quality, and a cozy design, the QC35 I is a tempting bundle well worth the money.

Longevity and Warranty

Bose products are known for their durability and longevity, and the QC35 I is no exception. The high-quality materials and robust construction mean these headphones are built to last. Buyers can rest easy knowing that Bose stands behind their products with a one-year limited guarantee and is known for their exceptional customer service.

Comparison with Newer Models

You can tell the Bose QuietComfort 35 Series I apart from more recent models by looking at how it compares to the Sony WH-1000XM4 and Bose QuietComfort 45. To start, with the addition of more sophisticated algorithms and more ways for adaptive noise reduction, the noise canceling capabilities of newer models have been significantly improved. Enhanced ambient sound features, found on devices like the Bose QuietComfort 45 and the Sony WH-1000XM4, let consumers fine-tune their settings for various surroundings.

Compared to the Bose QuietComfort 35 Series I, which only has a 20-hour battery life, newer models like the Sony WH-1000XM4 have a whopping 30-hour battery life. Also, the fast-charging capabilities have been enhanced, so you can listen for hours on a single charge.

Sony XM4
QuietComfort 45

Further reading: What makes Sony XM4 headphone so popular?

Newer versions also have better comfort and better quality materials. Modern materials are used in the Bose QuietComfort 45 and other new models to make them even more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. With their lighter weight and better padding, these headphones are by far better for long listening sessions.

Better connection and smart features are also big improvements. The Bose QuietComfort 35 Series I has strong wireless connectivity and the Bose Connect app for convenience. However, recent models often have better microphone quality for clearer calls, better integration of voice assistants, and the ability to connect to multiple devices.

In the long run, the Bose QuietComfort 35 Series I is still a good choice, but the price-to-performance ratio of later models might make people change their minds. Newer models tend to be a better deal for people who want the latest technology and ease of use with more advanced features.

What are the differences between Bose QuietComfort 35 Series I and Series II?

The Bose QuietComfort 35 Series I (QC35 I) and the Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II (QC35 II) are both highly regarded noise-cancelling headphones, but there are some key differences between the two models. Understanding these differences can help you decide which pair is best suited to your needs. Here’s a detailed comparison:

1. Google Assistant Integration

  • Series I
    The QC35 I does not have built-in support for voice assistants like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
  • Series II
    The QC35 II comes with a dedicated button for Google Assistant. This allows users to access voice commands, notifications, and more by simply pressing the Action button on the left ear cup. The QC35 II also supports Amazon Alexa, providing users with the flexibility to choose their preferred voice assistant.

2. Action Button

  • Series I
    The QC35 I lacks the Action button, meaning there is no quick access to voice assistants or additional noise cancellation settings.
  • Series II
    The QC35 II features an Action button on the left ear cup. This button can be customized using the Bose Connect app to either activate Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or cycle through different noise cancellation levels.

3. Noise Cancellation Adjustability

  • Series I
    The QC35 I offers excellent noise cancellation but does not provide the option to adjust the level of noise cancellation.
  • Series II
    The QC35 II allows users to adjust the level of noise cancellation through the Bose Connect app or by using the Action button. This provides greater control over the listening environment, allowing users to select between high, low, and off settings for noise cancellation.

4. Firmware Updates and Features

  • Series I
    While the QC35 I does support firmware updates through the Bose Connect app, it does not receive as many feature updates as the QC35 II.
  • Series II
    The QC35 II benefits from more frequent firmware updates that can add new features and improve performance. The integration with Google Assistant and Alexa, as well as adjustable noise cancellation, are examples of features added to the QC35 II through firmware updates.

5. Design and Build

  • Series I
    The design and build quality of the QC35 I are excellent, with a lightweight and comfortable fit. The materials used include high-quality plastic and metal, along with plush ear cups and a padded headband.
  • Series II
    The QC35 II retains the same design and build quality as the QC35 I, ensuring the same level of comfort and durability. The main design difference is the addition of the Action button on the left ear cup.

6. Price and Availability

  • Series I
    The QC35 I is typically less expensive than the QC35 II due to being an older model. However, it may be harder to find as Bose and other retailers phase out older models in favor of newer ones.
  • Series II
    The QC35 II is usually priced higher than the QC35 I due to its additional features and improvements. It is more readily available from various retailers, both online and in-store.

7. Battery Life

  • Series I
    The QC35 I offers up to 20 hours of wireless playback with noise cancellation enabled and up to 40 hours in wired mode.
  • Series II
    The QC35 II offers the same battery life as the QC35 I, with up to 20 hours of wireless playback and up to 40 hours in wired mode.

8. Voice Prompts

  • Series I
    The QC35 I uses voice prompts to provide information about battery life, connectivity status, and other functions. However, it does not support voice assistants.
  • Series II
    The QC35 II also uses voice prompts and adds the capability to interact with Google Assistant and Alexa, offering more comprehensive and convenient voice control options.

QuietComfort 35 Series I 

Exceptional Noise Cancellation
  Comfortable and Lightweight
  Impressive Battery Life (up to 20 hours on a single charge)
  Seamless Wireless Connectivity
  Clear Call Quality
   Personalization via Bose Connect App

  Higher Price Point
  Not the Latest Model
  Limited Color Options
  Lacks some of the newest noise-cancellation advancements found in newer models

The Bottom Line

The sturdy construction and extended lifespan of the Bose QuietComfort 35 Series I should not be overlooked. From long days on the road to rigorous exercise, this model has shown to be durable enough to withstand it all. Even if there are more feature-rich models on the market, the QuietComfort 35 Series I is still a solid pick for people who value long-term reliability and high-quality sound because of the combination of sturdy materials and careful engineering. The Bose QuietComfort 35 Series I are still a great choice among noise-cancelling headphones for people who want a product with both high-quality sound and a history of dependable performance.

Despite the minor drawbacks, the Bose QuietComfort 35 Series I remains a top-tier choice in the noise-cancelling headphone market, offering a blend of performance, comfort, and durability that is hard to beat.  

Indeed, I agree that when it comes to quiet, Bose QuietComfort 35 Series I rules as the boss of silence during its prime years. 



Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)

Q. Can I use the QuietComfort 35 Series I headphones without the noise-canceling feature?

A: Yes, you can use the headphones without noise cancellation. You can easily switch off the noise-canceling feature if you prefer to listen to your environment while enjoying your music.

Q: Are the Bose QuietComfort 35 Series I headphones compatible with voice assistants?

A: Yes, the QuietComfort 35 Series I headphones support voice assistants such as Siri and Google Assistant. You can activate them using the multifunction button on the right earcup.

Q: Is it possible to connect the Bose QuietComfort 35 Series I to multiple devices simultaneously?

A: Yes, these headphones have multi-point technology, allowing you to connect to two devices at the same time, such as a phone and a laptop, making it easy to switch between them.

Q: Are the Bose QuietComfort 35 Series I headphones water-resistant?

A: No, the Bose QuietComfort 35 Series I headphones are not water-resistant, and it is advisable to keep them away from water and excessive moisture to ensure their longevity and performance.

About the author


A father to his son, Geo. He is a family man in nature. Believes in the power of inspirational quotes and practical wisdom. His side hustle is to explore the best practices in ranking within the Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

1 Comment

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  • Thanks, Ed for dropping by. 

    I totally agree with your son-in-law that Bose QC35 performs better than Sony MDR-XB650BT particularly due to the ability of Bose QC35 to actively cancel the noise.  Sony’s MDR-XB650BT targeted its market, not in the category of “noise-canceling headphones” but amplifies its model as a “bass-heavy” stuff.  

    On the other side, the Sony WH-1000X might be a closer rival to the noise-canceling aura of Bose QC35.