The Bose QuietComfort 45 is the most recent model in a line of headphones. These headphones have been enabling users to enjoy distraction-free audio for more than 20 years.
Bose invented the first noise-canceling headphones in the late 1980s, intended to lessen the impact of flight noise. But, it wasn’t until the release of the original Quiet Comfort in 2000 that its ANC technology gained widespread acceptance.
Since then, the company’s flagship noise-canceling headphones have undergone a number of revisions. The most recent model, the beautiful Quiet Comfort 35 II, won our prized Best Buy title in 2017.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 has since seized the over-ear noise-canceling crown from Bose, but four years is a long time in the music market. In a few crucial areas, the Bose QuietComfort 45 are more than competitive with their opponents, but they still have some catching up to do in a few others.
Bose QuietComfort 45: Price and Competition
The Bose Quiet Comfort 45 costs £320, which is a significant premium for comfort. They are among the priciest noise-canceling headphones available at that price, but there are many more options available in one of the most competitive markets in audio.
The Sony WH-1000XM4, which offers a trinity of superb noise cancellation, exceptional comfort, and sensational sound quality, is our favorite over-ear ANC headset and the Bose QuietComfort 45’s fiercest rival. The WH-1000XM4 is now available for a very affordable £279 after being introduced at a price of £350.
The Apple AirPods Max is one of many other high-end choices available. They’re the most expensive mainstream ANC headphones we’ve tested, coming in at £549, but there’s no doubting their appeal. Especially if you’re an Apple customer who can benefit from its breathtaking 360-degree Spatial Audio. The immediate predecessors of the Bose QuietComfort 45, the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II, and the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, are two more vintage Bose headphones that are worth taking into account. The latter are routinely discounted from their £350 RRP. The black version is offered for £265 at the time of writing, while the former is frequently found on Amazon for under £200.
Check Bose QuietComfort 45 price on Amazon.
Controls and Connectivity
- Bluetooth 5.5
- SBC and AAC audio codecs
- Connecting Two Devices at a Time
- 3.5 mm connecter for wired connections
- Physical buttons
The Bose QuietComfort 45 is a common set of Bluetooth 5.1 headphones that are compatible with the majority of smartphones, tablets, desktops, and other devices. The Bose QuietComfort 45 supports the ubiquitous SBC and AAC audio codecs. They have a rock-solid connection to iPhones and Android smartphones. They can connect to two devices simultaneously, such as a phone for calls and a tablet for video. Even if your headphones’ batteries are dead, you can still listen to music while connected through a cable. For wired connections, a 3.5mm connector is provided, and the USB port is upgraded to USB-C.
Three buttons control playback and volume, and a sliding switch switches the headphones on and off and enters pairing mode. The left cup’s button changes the sound modes. The Bose QuietComfort 45 does not pause the music when you take them off, in contrast to the majority of high-end competitors.
Bose Quiet Comfort 45: Design
- Elegant and lightweight Design
- Soft fit leather
In terms of appearance, the QuietComfort 35 II was unremarkable. Bose has opted for progression over revolution with the Bose QuietComfort 45. They upgraded to a more contemporary appearance while maintaining the same profile as their forerunners.
However, they don’t seem as slick as Bose’s own NC Headphones 700. These improvements, which include the removal of the pleats and puckers and the use of synthetic leather for the earpads and the bottom of the headband, are quite welcome.
Glass-filled nylon is used as reinforcement in the headband structure to help it keep its shape and guard against drops. I’ve discovered that the material covering the headband can be prone to drawing smudges. Particularly, if you have the White Smoke variant as opposed to the Triple Black model.
Speaking of colors, Bose is likely to continue releasing new colorways of its premium headphones after the Bose QuietComfort 45 has been on the market for approximately a year.
They look more sophisticated and exquisite in terms of appearance. The transitions between the hinge, headband, and ear cup are smoother with the matte design than with the metal sheen of the older versions, and the Bose QuietComfort 45 is one of the lightest over-ears on the market at 240g.
A button for alternating between noise-canceling modes is located on the left earcup. On the right earcup, playback and volume controls are also located, along with a switch for turning the headphones on and off and switching to a different device. With a small space between each playback button and easy-to-reach placement, I had no trouble using the headphones.
The design is still foldable, which is not always the case with products like the AirPods Max and WH-1000XM5 choosing non-foldable designs. Alternatively, you can choose to store them in the travel case to protect them from scratches and dirt.
- 15 min quick charge lasts 3 hours
- 24 hours of music with full charging
- Separate audio cable
The Bose Quiet Comfort 45 won’t let you down when it comes to the battery. With noise cancellation turned on and at roughly 50% loudness, they provide you with about 24 hours of music. You can control how long they remain powered on through the Bose Music app. It’s useful to have battery-saving options available in case you ever need to.
If you run out of time, a quick 15-minute charge will give you roughly 3 hours of playback. They take 2.5 hours to fully recharge through USB-C. The really fantastic thing is that you won’t have to go without music if you entirely forget to charge them, because you can just plug them into your phone using the provided audio cable.
- Awareness mode
- Active noise cancellation (ANC)
The situation is a little more unsatisfactory in terms of features. Here, Awareness Mode is the main new draw because it enables you to considerably reduce the level of your music and switch off the noise canceling without removing your headphones. If this sounds familiar, it’s because Sony has been offering it on its noise-canceling headphones for a while now. It’s great to see it on a pair of Bose headphones at last.
So how does it function in actual use? really. The noise canceling feature is essentially turned off by the Bose QuietComfort 45, which also does a poor job of leveraging external microphones to augment ambient audio. This implies that distant announcements or conversations are still somewhat difficult to hear, or at least not as easily heard as they would be if Bose amplified them using the external microphones.
The option to adjust the level of noise cancellation is one of the other key features that is currently lacking. However, a recent update now allows users to adjust the tuning of audio playing via an EQ.
Last but not least, having a built-in virtual assistant like Alexa or Google would have been excellent. By holding down the play/pause button for a long time, you can still use your phone’s assistant, but having an always-listening assistant is useful if you have busy hands.
Bose Quiet Comfort 45: Sound Quality
All Bose headphones have a distinctive sound that has caused controversy in the audiophile community. Typically, they heavily process sound, which is thought to detract from the original intent of the music.
The Bose QuietComfort 45 produces a strong punch in the bottom end without overpowering other tones, making for a generally nicer and more balanced sound than competitors. The vocals are especially clear, but the treble and highs can sometimes be overemphasized, making some punk tracks with heavy cymbal use a touch too overpowering. Even with extremely intricate and overlapping tracks, instrument and tone separation is superb.
The Bose QuietComfort 45 does an outstanding job of reproducing the loud booms, action, and vocalists of movies while lacking any virtual surround-sound features.
- Impressive noise cancellation
- Aware mode
- High and Low ANC levels
Unfortunately, Bose QuietComfort 45’s active noise cancellation system does not offer the same level of user customization.
The noise-canceling technology on offer from noise-canceling industry pioneers Bose is excellent. The influence of low-end frequencies is effectively reduced, and a surprising amount of mid-range noise is also eliminated. The Bose QuietComfort 45 is firmly at the top of my list of the best noise-canceling headphones I’ve tried when it comes to ambient noise reduction, with even higher-pitched sounds getting a considerable dent made in them.
But unlike their forerunners and in-ear stablemates, the Bose QuietComfort 45 doesn’t provide various noise suppression levels to accommodate various environments. While the QC Earbuds offer ten distinct levels of ANC and enable you to designate three of them to presets, the QC 35 II features “High” and “Low” ANC levels and lets you turn them off completely. A comparable approach would surely be advantageous for the Bose QuietComfort 45, but it is unclear if Bose will be able to integrate it in a future update.
However, the new “Aware” mode is much appreciated and useful. They don’t sound too fake either, and the amount of outside sound they let into your ears really improves your capacity to stay on top of what’s happening around you.
Despite this improvement, the Sony WH-1000XM4 offers a higher level of intelligence than the Bose QuietComfort 45, allowing you to create custom sound profiles that automatically deploy different amounts of noise cancellation depending on where you are and what you are doing.
Bose Quiet Comfort 45: Performance
The sound quality of the Bose Quiet Comfort 45 is likewise problematic. On the one hand, these over-ear headphones sound decent, but they’re not the bassiest or most detailed we’ve ever heard. However, because of Bose’s wise decisions, they are one of the most listenable pairs of headphones among those we’ve tested.
A prime illustration of this is the Bose QuietComfort 45’s conspicuous lack of bass response. Songs like Bad Guy by Billie Eilish lack the richness and clarity in the upper registers as well as the strength behind the bass line that other headphones have. This indicates that, in comparison to other over-ear headphones, details in both areas are difficult to hear and have less effect.
Having said that, it wouldn’t surprise us if Bose adjusted them that way on purpose given that if not done properly, both regions may become very taxing very soon. There are several bass-heavy headphones available as evidence, and while they are certainly entertaining to listen to. They are not ideal for use on flights, as any added pressure can be uncomfortable. The same is true for headphones that are exceptionally clear and perfect for critical listening. They are enjoyable at home but not practical for travel.
Other performance difficulties we encountered included sporadic connection outages and subpar call quality. This occurred a few times using the Amazon Prime Music app, which is understandable given that it occasionally experiences issues. It also occasionally happened when watching videos on YouTube, an app that has always been rock-solid. Regarding the call quality, many of the people we spoke to reported that when we wore headphones, it appeared as though we were using speakerphones. They claimed that we didn’t necessarily sound clear, but rather loud.
We haven’t yet experienced a failure in their noise cancellation abilities. The noise from the AC or laundry room is eliminated, and discussions taking place elsewhere have no effect on the music we’re listening to when we’re simply wearing them about the home.
Instead of, say, a podcast or meditation that has pauses in the discourse where background noise can bleed in. It’s vital to have some music playing at a moderate volume for the optimal noise-canceling experience. Keep the music playing, and pretty much nothing including dull rumbling noise, outside conversations, or anything else should be audible.
The Bose Quiet Comfort 45 will be a great option for many people who desire comfy headphones with outstanding noise-canceling. You won’t get a thundering bass performance, but you may listen to your music for hours and hours and hours. The sound is unobtrusive, clean, and balanced.
Bose has opted not to include some pretty significant functions like the ability to pause the music when you take them off or to turn off noise-canceling in order to keep things simple. Additionally, you won’t be able to use them and charge them simultaneously, which is a slight irritation. Given their high price, it’s disappointing that they haven’t improved upon their functionality. However, Bose has released a new firmware update that offers manual EQ settings—a much-appreciated improvement!
Although there haven’t been many changes from the Bose QC 35 II, a few areas where Bose has made changes have had a significant impact on how they feel to use. Despite their shortcomings, I still strongly suggest these because they are wonderfully comfy and have some of the best noise canceling I’ve ever heard.
|Battery Life:||Up to 24 Hours|
|Color:||Black, White Smoke|
|Model Numer:||QuietComfort 45|
|Noise Cancellation:||Yes (Two Mode)|
|Charging Type:||Quick Charge, USB-C|
|Wireless Range:||33ft (10cm)|
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