BEST NOISE-CANCELLING HEADPHONE
BOSE QUIETCOMFORT 35 II VS. SONY WH-1000XM3
BOSE QUIETCOMFORT 35 II
VERSUS
SONY WH-1000XM3
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DESIGN & BUILD

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II and Sony WH-1000XM3 share rather similar design principles. In my opinion, Bose has a more classy design and used more premium materials than Sony's. The headband of the QuietComfort 35 II is covered with Alcantara while the WH-1000XM3 has regular cushions. The ear cushions on both models are also much large enough to encase your ears. The weight of the Bose is also much lighter than Sony's. From my experience, I can wear both of them all day without fatigue They do manage to keep their low profile look. with mostly plastic, it is worth noting that the headband is built with metal. Overall, the BOSE QUIETCOMFORT 35 II wins this round.

COMFORT

​Moving on to comfort,  Sony have listened to their customer's feedback and improved the size of the earcu[ cushions so that they encase your ears and not cause any wearing fatigue and even ear sweat on warmer days, Hence, users will not be able to wear it for long flights without taking it down to let their ears breathe. The clamping force of the Bose's and Sony's are non-existent. Both headphones never add any pressure to the crown of the head or to the jawline even after long hours of wearing them. Hence, the round is a TIE.

SOUND QUALITY

​Next, Sound Quality. None of the features is worth looking at if the sound cannot meet your standards. In my opinion, I find that the sound of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II & Sony WH-1000XM3 is fantastic for all genres of music. Those who like to tune their sound should look at the Sony WH-1000XM3 as Sony allows users to do so with selected presets and customisation with the Headphones Connect app, available for download on the App Store and Play Store, The bass response on the Sony's are deeper and clarity of details and instruments are more articulate due to the support for LDAC and AptX HD codecs with a compatible device. The Bose's do a great job as well even though the sound on the Bose is auto-tuned for the user. There is a great emphasis on the mid-range with the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, where vocals are heard. All in all, the SONY WH-1000XM3 wins this round.

NOISE-CANCELLING

​Moving on to the most important part, Noise-Cancelling. From my test, the Sony WH-1000XM3 managed to successfully beat the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. Sony's feature Adaptive Sound Control allows for toggling of different noise-cancelling modes like Walking, Staying, Transport and Running. Each has different levels of noise-cancelling and ambient sound mode. These are all automatically detected by the headphone itself. Users can toggle the amount of ambient sound let in, focus on voice only or just turn it off completely. Atmospheric Pressure Optimizing is another feature that helps to optimize the noise-cancelling to fit different environments such as in an aeroplane or on the ground. In the end, these features managed to defeat the Noise-Cancelling abilities of the Bose which causes an air-cabin pressure feeling on sensitive users. So, the SONY WH-1000XM3 wins this round again.

PORTABILITY

In the portability category, I find that both headphones do equally well. Both headphones fold up into a much more compact profile for easy storage. They also come with a hardshell carrying case to protect the headphones and pouch inside and at the back of the case to store all the cables. Therefore, this round is a TIE.

CONNECTIVITY

Both the Bose's and Sony's have their own features. Sony offers an app called Sony | Headphones Connect while Bose offers the Bose Connect App. Both are available for download on the App Store and Play Store. Sony's App allows users to take full control of the sound setting and Noise-Cancelling function while the Bose App allows of toggling of Google Assistant and changing of Noise-Cancelling intensity. There are buttons on the headphones themselves to cycle through different noise-cancelling modes as well. Bose, on the other hand,  offers another feature for the extra Action button on the left earcup which allows for bringing up Google Assistant instantly. You can do the same by holding down the centre of the right earcup on Sony's or changing the function of the ambient sound control to be your Google Assistant button. Moving on to wireless usage, with both headphones I experience absolutely no Bluetooth drop-outs or hiccups. The cable of both headphones do not have any inline controls or mic. Hence, playback controls or answering of calls is unavailable. The 30-hour battery life on the Sony WH-1000XM3 in wireless mode with noise-cancelling also beats the 20-hour battery life on the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. More notably, the WH-1000XM3 now charges via USB Type-C while Bose is still stuck with legacy Micro-USB. Overall, the Connectivity category goes to the Sony WH-1000XM3.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Overall, the Sony WH-1000XM3 managed to beat the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. In terms of sound quality, battery life, noise-cancelling and connectivity, Sony exceeds expectations.

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WINNER: SONY WH-1000XM3

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