Bose is a revered brand, loved for its great headphones that offer superior sound quality and excellent noise cancellation. The US-based audio firm pioneered the design of groundbreaking noise-canceling headphones in 1986.
Over the years, Bose has made upgrades to its noise-canceling headphones to not only keep them at the top of their game but to also provide well-rounded sets. They now provide a variety of over-the-ear headphones that prioritize comfort, immersive audio quality, full noise cancellation, and generally being water-resistant.
Below, we explore five of the best Bose headphones today:
- Best Overall: Bose 700
- Best for Midrange Quality: Bose QuietComfort 45
- Best for Gaming: Bose QuietComfort 35 II
- Best for Maximum Comfort: QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Canceling
- Best Budget-Friendly Option: Bose SoundLink AE Wireless
Best Overall Bose Headphones: Bose 700
- 11 levels of active noise cancelation
- Built-in beamforming microphone that adapts to noisy and windy environments
- Lightweight headband (stainless steel) and tilted earcups
- battery life: 20 hrs
The Bose 700 are our top pick, and with good reason. They are a game changer for Bose’s premium noise cancellers, which will eventually replace the QuietComfort line.
The headphones are powered by elite Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) circuitry and intelligent algorithms that allow you to choose from up to 11 noise cancellation levels. They allow you to drown out up to 95% of external sound and let the world back in with the Conversation Mode.
You can also optimize them for voice control by connecting them to your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, making your daily tasks as simple as a voice command away.
The Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 also offer cutting-edge voice pickup. This is thanks to the four-microphone system that isolates your voice while drowning out all the background noise.
Additionally, you can optimize them for voice control by connecting them to your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, so your daily tasks are just a voice command away from completion. The Bose 700s support multi-device pairing and a touch-sensitive surface that make switching between your phone and computer simple.
Comfort and aesthetics are not left out either. They are Bluetooth-enabled wireless headphones with protein leather cap cushions for all-day comfort. The ear cups are tilted at 15 degrees to mimic the human head and ear anatomy, while the band is made of secure steel and a soft silicone-covered foam underside.
|ANC feature that isolates you from ambient noise||Expensive|
|Precise and well-balanced audio||Battery life could be better—only up to 20 hours of wireless play on a single charge|
|Comfortable padded design|
|Support multi-device pairing, intuitive touch controls|
Check out Bose 700 on Amazon.
Best Bose Headphones for Midrange Quality: Bose QuietComfort 45
- Excellent and comfortable design with an over-ear design
- High-fidelity audio with adjustable EQ settings on Bose's smartphone app
- Active noise cancelation includes both Quiet and Active modes
- Get up to 22 hours of battery life with a 15-minute fast charge for 3 additional hours
The Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones come in second thanks to their lightweight, comfortable design that’s identical to the Bose QuietComfort 35. Plus, a balanced sound profile and world-class noise cancellation capability.
They are well-built, travel-friendly wireless headphones with pleated plush synthetic leather ear cushions and a headband with minimal clamping force. The Bose QC 45 deliver great sound quality thanks to exclusive Bose technologies like Triport and Adjustable Equalization (EQ).
The volume-optimized active EQ allows you to adjust the bass, treble, and mid-range to ensure the vocals and lead instruments are as clear as you like them. These wireless headphones also have responsive noise cancellation technology with two ANC modes.
The first is the Quiet Mode for traditional full noise cancellation. The second is the Aware Mode, which gives you a balanced volume between audio and your environment.
You can now enjoy multipoint pairing thanks to these being powered by Bluetooth 5.1. You can also pair the headphones with the Bose Smart Soundbar and gain access to the BOSE Music app.
Lastly, the QuietComfort 45 headphones are built for all-day listening. And, according to Bose, you can enjoy up to 24 hours of listening on a single charge. You can get 3 hours of listening with a 15-minute charging session, and it will take about 2.5 hours to recharge fully.
|Prioritizes a comfortable design||The noise cancellation settings are basic compared to the Bose 700ANC and cannot be turned off|
|Improved battery life|
|Excellent two-mode noise cancellation feature|
|Superior sculpted sound|
Check out Bose QuietComfort 45 on Amazon.
Best Bose Headphones for Gaming: Bose QuietComfort 35 II
- Impressive noise cancellation
- Noise-rejecting dual-microphone system
- Balanced audio performance at any volume
- Hassle-free Bluetooth pairing
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones are the best gaming headphones that offer top-tier noise cancellation, allowing you to focus on your games. They work in both wireless and wired modes and are compatible with major gaming platforms, including consoles, laptops, PCs, and mobile devices.
The best gaming feature of the QuiteComfort 35 II is the three levels of noise cancellation. They also come with a detachable boom mic that plugs into the 2.5 mm jack on the headphones. The mic features an in-line mute switch and rejects noise so that your teammates don’t miss a thing you tell them.
In lifestyle mode, you can access your voice assistants, whether Google Assistant or Alexa, and enjoy crystal-clear calls. Their sleek and modern design also makes them great for use as gaming and everyday headphones.
They have a triple black design and are mostly made of plastic, with rose gold Bose logos on the side. The cushions are covered with leatherette cushions to allow you extra comfort on long play days. The battery life is not much to brag about since it’s the same as on the 700 headphones. But for an old-generation set, it’s forgivable.
|The new mic attachment is easy to use and well made||Mic attachment is sold separately|
|Top-tier noise cancellation||Subpar digital assistant integration|
|Broad and clear audio||Expensive|
|ANC works in wired mode|
Check out Bose QuietComfort 35 II on Amazon.
Best for Maximum Comfort: QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Canceling
- For Apple devices
- The remote and mic are compatible with the following Apple devices: iPhone 3GS or later iPad iPod touch 2nd generation or later iPod classic 120GB, 160GB iPod nano 4th generation or later
- Deep, powerful sound with the music you love
- Lightweight, comfortable around-ear fit you can wear all day long
- Control your music and calls on Apple devices with an inline mic/remote
- Wired 3.5mm
The QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Canceling headphones are designed to be attractive and provide you with ultimate comfort. They are made of plastic and feature a soft, lightweight headband that fits very snuggly on the head.
The headband features cotton and felt, which are moisture-resistant, especially when compared to other materials with continued use. The ear cups are padded and comfortable to wear on your ears all day. If you want a set that’s incredibly portable, then this is it.
There are hinges on the headband that allow the ear cups to rotate flat into a travel-friendly footprint. The QuietComfort 25 give you a deep, powerful sound with balanced bass and neutral treble.
Although the sound is midrange it’s consistent, you get noise cancellation, which works for most folk. Unfortunately, they don’t support wireless connectivity, but they make up for this with both a microphone and remote control.
|Extremely comfortable design||Don’t support wireless connectivity|
|Good sound||Design is a bit old school|
|Can operate without a battery|
Check out QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Canceling on Amazon.
Best Budget-Friendly Option: Bose SoundLink AE Wireless
The Bose SoundLink AE Wireless around-ear headphones are a budget-friendly option that lacks ANC functionality, but delivers great sound quality and connectivity.
They use Bluetooth 4.0 to achieve a range of up to 35 feet while securing and maintaining a strong connection across all platforms. With the Bose SoundLink AE, you also enjoy the multipoint technology that allows you to connect up to two devices simultaneously. What’s more, there’s the unique, instantaneous tap-to-pair NFC functionality.
You get a loud and clear sound that’s consistent at any volume level, which is perfect even without noise-cancellation capabilities. The headphones are powered by HD Voice technology, which amplifies your call quality by increasing clarity for both voice and video calls.
The Bose SoundLink AE doesn’t compromise on comfort, either. The design features an impact-resistant stainless steel headband and a microsuede cushion around the ear cups for improved stability; even weight distribution. These headphones offer 15 hours of playtime on a full charge, which is a fair match to the 700s at only a fraction of the price.
|Affordable||Poor noise isolation|
|Lightweight and comfortable|
|Solid sound quality|
|Good call quality|
|Lightweight and comfortable|
Check out Bose SoundLink AE Wireless on Amazon.
How To Pick The Best Bose Headphones: Step by Step
When choosing the best Bose headphones, you have both wireless and wired options. In our list above, four entries are wireless and only one is fully wired. Battery life is a non–negotiable feature when choosing a wireless option.
The best wireless headphones offer up to 24 hours of battery life and allow quick charging in under 3 hours. However, Bose headphones with 15- and 20-hour battery life still allow you to enjoy good–quality music during a long flight.
If you want to enjoy an immersive audio experience, then you need to prioritize noise cancellation. Bose noise-canceling headphones use ANC technology. This combines external microphones to monitor sounds around you and internal microphones to monitor sounds inside your ear canal. The headphones then use the information collected by the microphones to produce an equal and opposite signal to the external noise.
With noise-canceling headphones, you isolate yourself from the world and fully immerse yourself in a movie, game, or music-listening session. Some options, like the Bose 700 and the Bose QuietComfort 45, allow you to adjust how much external noise you hear.
A few Bose headphones have voice pickup functionality that draws out the noise around you and isolates your voice. This makes for effective communication when you have virtual meetings on Google Meet or Zoom and makes for clear instruction delivery to your voice assistant.
Although the sound is key to a good pair of headphones, you should not compromise on fit or comfort either. The best over-the-ear wireless headphones hug your ears delicately and the earbuds have good cushioning. This ensures you enjoy a comfy all-day listening experience.
They also come with an adjustable headband that ensures they seal around your ears without applying too much pressure to your head.
What to Know Before Buying Bose Headphones
Bose headphones are great for all your listening needs. However, they differ in multiple ways, which may affect how well you enjoy your experience with the headphone set you pick. For instance, not all Bose headphones have noise cancellation capabilities, although the top models do.
One such example is the Bose SoundLink AE Wireless headset, which is a budget-friendly option with good sound quality that doesn’t support noise cancellation. When it comes to Bose headphones, we believe you have to pay more to get the full package of features.
The Bose 700s are the most expensive on the list, but they come with all the bells and whistles, including 11 levels of noise cancellation. It’s unfortunate that Bose headphones are made out of plastic and are therefore a little on the flimsy side. However, you can completely disregard this because they serve their purpose.
Using Bose Headphones: What It’s Like
Bose headphones offer an immersive audio experience with top-tier noise cancellation and a balanced sound profile. They all have lightweight designs with additional features that improve comfort levels and ensure you can have your headphones on all day long.
They don’t disappoint when it comes to connectivity or battery life either, though some models could use some work. Most offer good call quality by drowning out surrounding noise, ensuring that the person on the other end of the line hears you loud and clear.
The aesthetics are not much, but they work for home and away. And some designs, such as the QuietComfort 25, fold into a compact and portable footprint.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Random NZ Photography/Shutterstock.com.