The Bose QuietComfort 35 II, or QC35 II for close friends, has recently arrived in our labs. In addition to the usage changes initiated by the new assignable control button and Google Assistant compatibility, we wanted to check if Bose had taken the opportunity to retouch the sound of its flagship headset.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II
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The QC35 II arrived a little over a year after the first QC35 of the name, in the month of September 2017. To explain this new version, the manufacturer mainly communicated around the appearance of compatibility with Google Assistant. However, as maniacs of sound, we first wondered if there were significant differences in performance between the first and second models.
After several listening and tests in situations, the observation is finally simple: there is no difference on the purely sound level, that it is on the frequency response, on the distortion, on the reactivity of the membranes and the reduction of noise active. The measurements made thereafter corroborate our impressions, here is an excerpt:
Measurement of the frequency response: QC35 wireless with RBA (black), QC35 II wireless with RBA (gray).
Measurement of Harmonic Distortion Rate: QC35 wireless with RBA (red), QC35 II wireless with RBA (gray)
Measurement of membrane reactivity: 50 Hz square waves. Bose QC35 (black) and Bose QC35 II (gray).
Active Noise Reduction measurement: without headphones (black), QC35 II with RBA (red), QC35 with RBA (gray).
It is important to point out that the small differences that you can see on some measurements can be explained in large part by differences in the wear of the pads between the helmets (the QC35 being a model used by a member of our editorial team, the QC35 It is almost new), the small differences in position on our model (although we have done everything possible to keep the same placement of the earpieces and the same setting of the arch) and also by some very small differences adjustment and calibration at the factory (especially for the RBA, more sensitive on this point). In practice, these differences are very difficult to perceive.
Impulse response measurement: communication latency in wireless. QC35 (blue), QC35 II (gray)
In terms of wireless communication latency, our test plays and measurements raise two key points: Bose has improved latency of wireless communication since the launch of QC35 (most likely thanks to the updates firmware since our initial test) and there is a small discernible difference between QC35 and QC35 II, to the detriment of the latter. In practice, with the QC35, you can follow a series or a film without worry (especially thanks to automatic Bluetooth compensation on some mobile applications like Netflix, YouTube or Facebook). With the QC35 II, the delay becomes more noticeable and is more disabling to comfortably follow his video, even with this compensation. If your reader allows it, you will have to reduce this delay to be completely at ease. For the complete test, you can find it on Thursday, March 15th!