On September 29, 2021, Bose released the new QuietComfort series of noise-canceling headphones——Bose QuietComfort 45, priced at $329. This is exactly four years after the previous generation product Bose QuietComfort 35II was launched, Bose once again updated the QuietComfort (head-mounted) series with new products.
Classic appearance design, longer battery life, excellent noise reduction effect, and new transparency mode. Bose QuietComfort 45 can still be defined as a benchmark product in the $300 price range. However, what I feel after experiencing this product is-very good, but not worth buying. Of course, I hope everyone can comment on my conclusions after reading this article.
Wearing experience: lighter weight and improved comfort
The new generation of QuietComfort 45 is a bit lighter than Bose QuietComfort 35II, about 240g. It is 145g lighter than Apple AirPods Max (385g), which is almost the weight of an iPhone 13 mini. In my opinion, the wearing comfort of headphones is even higher than the sound quality. Just imagine, if you feel head-pressured and uncomfortable right after you put it on, many people may not pay the bill even if the sound quality is better.
The actual wearing experience is also the same. Thanks to the relatively light weight and reasonable head beam structure, the wearing experience of Bose QuietComfort 45 is still very comfortable-without chucking or pressing the ears, the wrapping of the earmuffs is also in place. For me, wearing it for more than 2 hours is completely fine.
In general, the wearing feeling of Bose QuietComfort 45 can be praised. It is comfortable, fit and light, and can provide users with a longer wearing time.
In terms of control, the button layout and operation logic of the Bose QuietComfort 45 are almost identical to those of the QuietComfort 35II. Volume adjustment, bluetooth switch and multi-function buttons are on the right earphone, and the noise reduction control button is on the left earphone. This part must be very familiar to friends who have used the Bose QuietComfort 35 series of headphones, so there is no need to repeat it.
The only difference is that QuietComfort 45 has added a new “transparent mode” this time, and the noise reduction button on the left earphone can be used to switch between the two modes of noise reduction and transparency. Next, let’s talk about the experience of using Bose QuietComfort 45’s noise reduction and transparency modes.
The exterior design will not be described, and everyone can see it from the pictures. To put it mildly, Bose QuietComfort 45 is based on the shape design of the previous generation of headphones, retaining the highly recognizable classic design elements. To put it harder, it has been four years, and the shape design has not changed a little, and there is no innovation.
Noise Reduction: As always excellent, and new transparent mode
You know, the previous-generation product Bose QuietComfort 35II has been a benchmark in the industry for its noise reduction level in the past four years. And careful netizens will notice that Bose never emphasizes how deep the noise reduction of its own headphones can reach. However, as long as you have experienced Bose’s noise reduction headphones, you will know how strong its noise reduction ability is.
The noise reduction capability of Bose QuietComfort 45 is undoubtedly still very good. Its noise reduction effect can balance depth and comfort, and there is no obvious ear pressure. In noisy places such as the subway, it not only allows you to enjoy music quietly, but also does not cause the problem of not being able to hear the stop announcement. However, if you ask me, is it better than the noise reduction capability of Bose QuietComfort 35II? My real feeling is-there is no obvious improvement.
The noise reduction ability of Bose QuietComfort 35II is already very good, and it is very difficult to make a bigger improvement. So it is not difficult to understand why Bose added transparent mode to Bose QuietComfort 45 this time. They are definitely not a “choose one” relationship, but need to coexist to bring consumers a better experience. In fact, Bose’s follow-up speed is already very late. Other manufacturers have already added transparent mode to the headset. Perhaps Bose wants to make the experience of transparent mode the most satisfactory, and then implant it in new products.
Bose QuietComfort 45 is in transparent mode, the microphone will pick up the surrounding environment sound and play it naturally through the earphone. At this point, you can hear the surrounding sound and music at the same time, and hear the sound you want to hear at a more balanced volume.
The transparent mode experience of Bose QuietComfort 45 is not bad, but there is still a certain gap compared with Apple AirPods Max. It is mainly manifested in that the transparency of the ambient sound is not as good as the latter, and it feels that part of the ambient sound is still filtered out by the earphones. Of course, having said that, the price of AirPods Max is also more than $250 more expensive than QuietComfort 45, and there will naturally be some gaps in the detailed experience.
Sound Quality: Listen carefully, it will be better than the previous generation
Perhaps the general evaluation of the sound quality of the Bose QuietComfort 35II before is too flat. This time Bose officially announced that the Bose QuietComfort 45 is equipped with a “TriPort” acoustic architecture and dynamic sound quality equalization technology, which aims to improve the sound performance of the full range.
In terms of my own experience after listening to it, QuietComfort 45 has indeed improved in dynamics and musical details, but the extent of this improvement is still relatively small. Especially when there is almost no change in the overall sound style, the sound quality of Bose QuietComfort 45 can be said to add a little seasoning to the plain, and it will be better if you listen carefully.
Bose QuietComfort 45 does not increase the size of the earmuffs. Compared with QuietComfort 35II, the sound depth and fullness are improved. In addition, the newly supported dynamic sound quality equalization technology further enhances the density of low frequencies and the brightness of high frequencies.
At any volume, the sound of Bose QuietComfort 45 is full and balanced. For example: when you turn down the volume, the low frequency volume and density are always the same. When the volume is turned up, the details of the music are still clear, and this is where I think QuietComfort 45 is more obvious than QuietComfort 35II.
Generally speaking, the sound quality is indeed improved compared to Bose QuietComfort 35II, but in my opinion, this improvement is indeed a bit small. To make an inappropriate analogy: at best, there is a little more sweet and salty taste in the plain. Of course, perhaps in Bose’s opinion, this is the sound they want, which is understandable. But at least compared with the previous generation QuietComfort 35II, the improvement in sound quality is not the biggest highlight of Bose QuietComfort 45.
Battery Life: Enjoy 24 hours of uninterrupted music
Battery life is a bigger improvement of Bose QuietComfort 45. From 20 hours (noise reduction on) of the previous generation product to 24 hours. You know, the extra 4 hours can give you a calm commute to and from work every day. At the same time, Bose QuietComfort 45 has further improved its fast charging efficiency, charging for 15 minutes and playing music for about 3 hours. Of course, you can also plug in the audio cable to enjoy longer playback time in wired mode.
Summary and Purchase Suggestions
In fact, friends here should be able to find that I am quite satisfied with the overall evaluation of Bose QuietComfort 45. But why do I still not recommend everyone to buy? In fact, I have always emphasized that QuietComfort 45 is really not that big compared to QuietComfort 35II. Noise reduction and wearing feeling are almost the same, although a new transparent mode is added, the sound quality is slightly improved, and the battery life is also increased. But QuietComfort 45 is 30 dollars more expensive than QuietComfort 35II.