Sony WH-1000xM3 and Bose QC35 II – Who wins?

Deciding on which pair of noise-canceling headphones to purchase can be a more difficult task than it sounds – especially considering the fact that Sony WH-1000xM3 and Bose QC35 II are at the top of the mountain, both brands offering high-quality products for the price. Both products come with virtually the same price tag, which means that at the end of the day it all comes down to their features and to preference.

Audio Quality

The quality of the sound should be the top priority when it comes to deciding on which pair of headphones to buy. In this category, Sony’s product excels, providing a hard-hitting sound as a result of the company’s signature bass profile and the QN1 processor which makes the sound cleaner by reducing distortion. Music with plenty of bass will perform well on the WH-1000xM3, due to the fact that the headphones have a lot of low-end.

On the other hand, the QC35 II headphones provide a crisp sound. The highs and mids of the sound create a balance, but the bass is also a dominating feature. While the low-end doesn’t have as much depth when compared to the WH-100xM3, it doesn’t sound muddled and it manages to create an impact.

There are a few youtube videos we would recommend watching to get an idea of what each set of headphone entails, e.g.

Noise-Canceling Capabilities

Both headphones stand out when it comes to their active noise cancelation performance, however, the QC35 II is one step ahead of the WH-1000xM3. The Bose product comes with two modes when it comes to noise-canceling (low and high). The Low mode is designed to cancel noise in a quiet environment, while the High feature takes things to the highest level, blocking out any noise. Moreover, the noise cancelation feature doesn’t compromise the audio.

The WH-1000xM3 however is also able to do provide solid active noise cancelation. While its capabilities in this category are outmatched by the QC35 II, the Sony headphones are able to shut out loud train engines or a noisy crowd, but doesn’t perform as well in windy environments.

Aesthetics

Of course, when it comes to design, determining the winner comes down to the taste of the individual buying them. However, there are certain features that the headphones have that might help one decide which one stands out for them. For example, Bose might take the cake here for those who prefer having more options to choose from in terms of color. The QC35 II comes in Black, Silver, Triple Midnight, and Midnight Blue, and for an extra fee they can be customized. The Sony headphones on the other hand come only in Black and Silver.

Other features that might be of interest are weight and battery life. The QC35 II is slightly lighter, weighing 8.2 ounces, whereas the Sony headphones are 9 ounces. As far as battery life goes, the WH-1000xM3 wins, staying on for 30 hours with noise-canceling on, whereas the Bose has a battery life of only 20. On the other hand, with the noise-canceling feature off, the QC35 II has a longer battery life than Sony, at a total of 40 hours, compared to Sony’s 38.