Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 vs. Bose QC35 II: Which do you have to purchase?

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Bose Noise Canceling 700

Modern ANC cans

$399 at Amazon

Pros

  • USB-C for charging
  • Intuitive touch controls
  • 11 steps of noise cancelation
  • Fast charging with two hours of listening with 15 minutes of charging

Cons

  • Non-foldable design
  • Heavier due to more premium design

Bose has clearly learned from its QC35 IIs and is looking to reinvent itself with its new Noise Canceling Headphones 700. It made necessary changes, such as a more premium design and USB-C.

Bose QC35 II

Classic ANC cans

$349 at Amazon

Pros

  • Great ANC performance
  • Super portable and lightweight
  • Solid, treble boosted sound
  • Excellent comfort

Cons

  • Lacks higher quality Bluetooth audio codecs (sans AAC)
  • Micro-USB for charging
  • Mostly plastic build

The Bose QC35 IIs have been one of the top ANC headphones on the market for quite some time now. They’re a reliable pair of headphones, but they’ve shown their age when it comes to charging tech and ANC performance.

The Bose QC35 IIs are simply a classic. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with them, and if you have them, there’s almost no reason to upgrade to the new Noise Canceling 700s.

However, if you’re in the market for a new set of ANC headphones, you should definitely be looking at the Noise Canceling 700s instead of the QC35 II. In this case, you should only be looking at the QC35 IIs if they’re discounted much lower than the 700s.

What’s the difference?

Bose’s new Noise Canceling Headphones 700 on the left, and the older QC35 II on the right.

The headlining feature of the Noise Canceling 700s is the headphone’s 11 different active noise canceling (ANC) modes versus the traditional 3 step ANC from other headphones, including the QC35 IIs. Traditionally, you have: off, maximum noise cancelation, and some middle ground to allow ambient sound mode.

While the Noise Canceling 700s aren’t the first pair of headphones to offer this type of ANC, it’s one of the few out there. Other headphones that come to mind are the Sony WH1000XM3 with its adaptive ANC feature and the Microsoft Surface Headphones with its innovative dial design.

Speaking of design, the Noise Canceling 700s finally adopt gesture-based navigation. Swipe up or down to change the volume, backward or forwards to go back/skip to the next track, and double-tap to play/pause or answer/hang up a phone call. This is in stark contrast to the Bose QC35 IIs, which had the standard physical button navigation.

One of the only downsides to the Bose Noise Canceling 700s over the QC35 IIs is that the new 700s do not fold compactly. This means the carrying case and overall footprint of the NCH 700s are much larger than the QC35 IIs.

Bose Noise Canceling 700 Bose QC35 II
Charging cable USB-C Micro-USB
Battery life 20 hours 20 hours
ANC levels 11 3
Bluetooth version 5.0 4.2
Bluetooth audio codecs SBC, AAC SBC, AAC
Foldable design No Yes
Navigation design Touch Physical buttons
Ambient noise mode Yes Yes

What’s better?

Well, both the Noise Canceling 700s and QC35 IIs offer a relatively neutral sound signature. With the QC35 IIs offering a more treble boosted sound signature. This means that songs with sharper, higher-pitched vocals and other instruments like drums could sound piercing and fatiguing. The Noise Canceling 700s tames that down quite a bit while also slightly boosting the bass for a richer and defined sound signature.

The Bose Noise Canceling 700s are the way to go if you’ve been eying a set of ANC headphones from Bose. They are more modern with a better overall design, USB-C, and a more customizable ANC.

Unless there’s an incredible deal with the QC35 IIs (or even the original QC35s if you don’t care for Google Assistant or Alexa), the Bose Noise Canceling 700s are the headphone to get when comparing your two Bose options. Unless, of course, you’re looking for a more foldable headphone, in which case the QC35 II takes the cake.

Bose Noise Canceling 700

11 step ANC

$399 at Amazon $399 at Walmart

The best just got better

Fantastic ANC capabilities with 11 levels, USB-C for charging with fast charging, and modern internals. It’s equal to or better than the Bose QC35 IIs in every way.

Bose QC35 II

Solid ANC performance

Budget ANC tunes

$349 at Amazon $279 at Walmart

The Bose QC35 IIs are the “it just works” option. You get solid sound quality, great standard ANC modes, and 20 hours of battery life.





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