Bose has been at the front of the noise canceling headphone game for a long time. Years ago, one of the ways you could spot a frequent traveler in an airport was by their well-used Bose headphone case. These headphones have been staples in a travelers bag since long before the Apple AirPods Max and they will continue to be – helped in part by their latest release, the Bose QuietComfort 45 noise cancelling headphones.
The New Bose QuietComfort 45 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Link: Bose QuietComfort 45 (this is an affiliate link that supports the site)
- Price: $329
- Colors: Black and White Smoke
- Availability: September 23
Probably one of the more popular noise canceling headphones in the last 10 years had been the Bose QuietComfort 25 headphones which replaced the QuietComfort 15 series. In the last few years, Bose dropped the QC 35 and then the QC35 II before going in a different design direction with the Bose 700.
In the middle of all that, Bose had also released another traveler favorite, the Bose QuietComfort 20 earbuds. I owned these and loved them – they were compact and had a small control in-line that provided the battery power and noise canceling power. Now, they have the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds which are fantastic in-ear noise canceling devices.
But, today, it is all about the Bose QuietComfort 45 noise canceling headphones. What has changed with this newest edition?
What is Different About the Bose QuietComfort 45?
You know what they say – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The design of the Bose QC series of headphones has been enjoyed by many for its comfort and the Bose QC 45 headphones do not stray from that beyond some apparent smoothing of the design. It is more about what is inside that is in this upgrade.
Well, there is one external thing that is a big upgrade for today’s traveler and that is the switch from micro-USB for charging to the now ubiquitous USB C. With most modern electronics now using this (with the exception of the iPhone), it is nice to have Bose QC headphones that now can also charge from that same cable.
On the inside, Bose says they have improved the noise canceling – which is one area where Sony has edged them over the years – while also including a new “Aware Mode”. This is also something that Sony has and is a nice improvement for those times when you want to hear what is going on around you.
Bose also has improved the call quality. I am not sure how many people use these headphones for all day use that includes phone calls (though I know many do) but the new noise-rejecting mic system should bring some improvement on that.
The battery life stretches out to 24 hours now, with a pick-up charge of an additional 3 hours for just 15 minutes of charge. This increase in battery life is an extra 4 hours over the Bose 700 and the QC 35 II but still short of the 30 hours that the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones offer.
Compared to Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphones?
It’s hard to really say for sure until I can try out the Bose QC 45 also (I own and use the Sony XM4 headphones are my main headphones of choice) but here are the key differences between these two top-of-the-model line for Bose and Sony.
Battery life gives the edge – by quite a bit – to Sony. But, when you are talking 24 hours of battery life and getting an extra 3 hours with just a 15 minute charge, it’s kind of picking hairs at this point. Rarely are people using these for 24 hours straight and if you forgot to charge them at your destination, you can take a break on your flight to just boost them again.
A big one for many will come down to the type of controls you like – physical buttons or touch controls. The Sony has swipe controls on the ear cups with just a power button and custom button while the Bose QC 45 headphones rely on physical controls. Many people still like that so this could be a reason to stick with the Bose.
The Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones will start shipping September 23 at a price of $329. That is $30 more than the QC 35 II and $20 less than the Sony XM4 while still being $40 less than the Bose 700 and a whopping $229 less than the Apple AirPods Max. Of course, all of those prices are retail and each of these headphones have seen regular sales.
I will say good job to Bose for keeping what is loved while upgrading the tech that it needs to compete – all while not chasing Apple in the pricing stratosphere. Looking forward to seeing how they perform in the real world!