Bose QC45 review: commuter favourite noise-cancelling headphones revamped | Headphones

Bose is again with a revamp of its hottest noise-cancelling headphones, which enhance the know-how however hold the nice bits principally the identical.

The corporate seems to have taken an “ain’t broke, don’t repair it” method to the brand new headphones, that are just like the superb QuietComfort 35 from 2016 however markedly totally different to the extra fashionable NCH 700 that launched two years in the past.

The QuietComfort 45 price £320 ($330/A$500) and are non-showy and comfy. The design has been refined with smoother ear cushions and fewer traces and microphone holes within the ear cups for a extra minimalist look, however aspect by aspect the variations with the QuietComfort 35s are refined. The headscarf is now lined with smoother vegan leather-based fairly than the suede-like Alcantara of their predecessors.

Bose QC45 review
They fold up neatly for journey and include a very good, compact, laborious case with built-in cable storage. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The headphones are nonetheless mild, properly balanced and keep put in your head with no need to clamp significantly laborious, aiding their long-term consolation.


The development feels strong and able to taking a beating, just like their longstanding predecessors that stood up very properly to years of the tough and tumble of journey and my every day commute.

Controls and connectivity

Bose QC45 review
The bodily buttons for controlling numerous capabilities are easy to make use of and really feel good. You may’t use the microphones or buttons for pausing the music and skipping tracks when listening through cable fairly than Bluetooth, nonetheless. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The QC45 are a regular set of Bluetooth 5.1 headphones supporting the common SBC and AAC audio codecs, that are suitable with most telephones, tablets, computer systems and different units. They will join to 2 units without delay, corresponding to a telephone for calls and pill for video, and had a rock strong connection to iPhones and Android units. You should use a cable for wired listening even when the headphones are out of battery.

A sliding swap turns the headphones on and off and places them into pairing mode, whereas a trio of buttons management playback and quantity. A button on the left cup switches between sound modes. In contrast to most high-end rivals, the QC45 don’t pause the music once you take them off, nonetheless.


  • Weight: 240g

  • Dimensions: 184 x 152.4 x 76.2mm

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1 with multipoint, 3.5mm, USB-C charging

  • Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC

  • Battery life: 24 hours

Sound and noise cancelling

Bose QC45 review
Regardless of the ear cups not protruding as removed from the aspect of your head as some rivals, they’re deep sufficient to completely accommodate my ear with none a part of it touching the within, making them extraordinarily snug. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

All Bose headphones have a signature sound that has confirmed divisive in audiophile circles, sometimes as a result of they closely course of sound, which suggests music is taken into account to be faraway from what the artist supposed.

The QC45 sound typically nice and higher balanced than rivals, producing a strong punch within the low finish with out it overriding different tones. Vocals are significantly clear, however the treble and highs will be over accentuated, making some punk tracks with heavy use of cymbals somewhat overbearing. Separation between devices and tones is great, even for very advanced and overlapping tracks.

Regardless of missing any digital surround-sound function, the QC45 do a wonderful job of recreating the massive booms, motion and vocals of flicks.

The energetic noise cancelling removes extra undesirable sound than virtually another set of headphones, decreasing increased tones and speech extra reliably and to a larger extent than most rivals. In contrast to the NCH 700, the QC45 solely have two sound modes: “quiet”, with noise canceling on, and “conscious”, with noise cancelling turned off and the sound of the surface world piped in – helpful for itemizing out for site visitors or bulletins. You can not use them with out one or different sound mode turned on.


Name high quality is cheap, with my voice coming by clear if somewhat distant-sounding, however they let some background noise by and fall far wanting the efficiency of the NCH 700.

Battery life

Bose QC45 review
The sliding energy and pairing button may be very easy and satisfying to make use of – no want to carry a button to show them on or off as is frequent on rivals. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The QC45 final for about 25 hours of listening over Bluetooth between prices or considerably longer through cable. That’s a lot for many commutes and the longest of flights, however 5 hours wanting their finest opponents from Sony.

They absolutely cost through USB-C in 2.5 hours, with a 15-minute cost including as much as three hours of playback.


Bose estimates that the battery will final in extra of 500 full cost cycles however it’s not replaceable, in the end making the headphones disposable.

The headphones are generally repairable, and a few alternative elements together with the ear cushions, at £24.95 for a pair, can be found. The headphones don’t include recycled supplies. Bose doesn’t publish particular person product environmental influence reviews however does publish annual sustainability reports.

Bose QC45 review
The Bose Music app on Android or iOS handles updates and has some customisable settings for sound modes and different options. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian


The Bose QuietComfort 45 price £319.95 ($329/A$499.95).

For comparability, the RRP of the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 is £349.95, the QuietComfort 35 II price £299.95, the QuietComfort Earbuds price £249.95, the Sony WH-1000XM4 price £279, B&W PX7 price £349.99, Apple AirPods Max price £549.


The Bose QuietComfort 45 supply a few of the best possible noise cancelling and luxury cash should buy. In the event you want a set of headphones to put on for hours on finish, corresponding to on long-haul flights or countless commutes, there aren’t many higher choices.

They’re mild, fold up for journey, really feel strong, sound good, join to 2 units without delay, can be utilized with a cable and final for about 25 hours between prices. However whereas that formulation made their predecessors prime canine in 2016, the QC45 lack the bells and whistles supplied by the newest rivals at comparable or decrease costs, corresponding to automated pause, digital {surround} sound, sound and noise cancelling customisation and assist for increased high quality audio codecs.

The Bose are nonetheless nice however a bit pricy at RRP. They’re incessantly discounted so search for a deal or contemplate the nonetheless wonderful QC 35 II, which can be found for about £200. Word the battery can’t be changed on the brand new headphones by Bose, in the end making them disposable and dropping a star.

Execs: best-in-class noise cancelling, tremendous snug, 25-hour battery life, good sound, Bluetooth can join to 2 units without delay, fold up for journey, cross-platform companion app, can be utilized with a cable.

Cons: costly, voice mic permits background noise, no higher-quality audio format assist, no equaliser, no variable noise cancelling ranges.

Bose QC45 review
The headphones are manufactured from clean, solid-feeling plastic, with metallic hinges and a strengthened headband. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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