Is the Bose QuietComfort 45 a Regression in Performance?

For years, Bose has been the go-to brand for many seeking over-the-ear noise-canceling headphones. However, with the emergence of Apple’s AirPods Max and Sony’s WH-1000XM4 series, the competition has intensified. These newcomers have gained traction by offering superior sound quality and advanced active noise cancellation (ANC) technology.

In response, Bose has unveiled the latest upgrade: the Bose QuietComfort 45. Positioned as the pinnacle of noise-canceling headphones, Bose aims to reclaim its status as the leader in the market.

Review of the Bose QuietComfort 45:

Exploring the potential of the Bose QuietComfort 45 and its ability to carve out a niche in the fiercely competitive market is an intriguing prospect. Let’s delve deeper to see what this product brings to the table.

Crafting the Concept:

Designed with simplicity and practicality in mind, the QuietComfort 45 headphones boast a sleek aesthetic featuring the iconic Bose logo prominently displayed on the sides. Available in classic black and elegant off-white colors, these headphones weigh approximately 240 grams, ensuring comfort during extended listening sessions thanks to their evenly distributed weight.

The generously sized earcups offer ample cushioning for a snug fit, enhancing both comfort and sound isolation. Crafted from smooth and durable plastic, the headphones exude quality, with controls conveniently located on both earcups for effortless operation. While drawing inspiration from its predecessor, the QC35, the QuietComfort 45 introduces subtle innovations, resulting in an overall design that blends familiarity with fresh elements.

The Management Mechanisms:

The headphones feature a button on each earcup, offering a user-friendly interface, albeit potentially unfamiliar for those accustomed to touch controls. Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) is managed through the buttons located on the right headphone, while playback controls are accessible via the buttons on the left. Additionally, the left headphone is equipped with a toggle for activating the voice assistant. However, it’s worth noting that disabling ANC while using the right headphone alone is not an available option.

The Connectedness:

The Bose QuietComfort 45 employs Bluetooth 5.1 technology for a smooth wireless connection, offering a range of up to 9 meters before experiencing audio loss. While it stands as Bose’s latest over-the-ear headphone model, it lacks support for aptX or high-bitrate Bluetooth codecs, which may disappoint some users.

Nevertheless, it does support AAC and SBC codecs, providing options for audio streaming. Pairing is facilitated through the Bose Music app, compatible with both Android and iOS devices. This app also enables users to switch between the two modes – Quiet and Aware – and conveniently pair the headphones with two different devices simultaneously.

Battery longevity:

Surprisingly, the Bose QuietComfort 45 exceeds its advertised battery life of 24 hours by an additional 50 minutes when noise canceling is activated, providing a total of 24 hours and 50 minutes of usage. Recharging the QC 45 is convenient with its USB-C cable, offering a rapid 15-minute charge that yields 180 minutes of playtime. Nonetheless, although the headphones can be used passively with the included 3.5mm audio cable, this feature may be limited as many modern phones no longer include a headphone jack.

Assessment of the Audio Performance in Bose QuietComfort 45:

By default, the QC 45 headphones offer robust low-frequency performance, delivering deep bass without distortion even at high volumes. This bass depth remains potent even at more moderate levels, seamlessly integrating with sculpted higher frequencies. With the Bose music app, users can further customize their listening experience by adjusting bass, treble, and midrange settings to their preferences. Additionally, the microphone quality has been significantly enhanced compared to previous models. While the QuietComfort 45 provides a decent sound experience, competitors like the XM4 and AirPods Max still maintain a slight advantage due to their more extensive ANC customization options and additional sound adjustment features in their respective apps.

Enhanced noise cancellation featured in QuietComfort 45:

Whether you’re navigating bustling city streets, flying high in an airplane, or simply immersed in a cacophony of outdoor sounds, the QC 45 effortlessly tames the noise, establishing itself as the premier choice for over-ear noise cancellation. However, it’s important to note that unlike the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 or Apple’s AirPods Max, the QC 45 lacks the flexibility to switch between modes. Nevertheless, for individuals frequently immersed in environments with overwhelming external noise, the QC 45 stands as the ultimate companion, offering unparalleled tranquility and focus.

Final Thoughts on the Bose QuietComfort 45: A Review:

After thoroughly assessing the QuietComfort 45, it’s evident that they offer solid performance, particularly excelling in noise cancellation. However, the decision to purchase depends on your current headphone setup. If you already own Bose QC 35 or AirPods Max, the QC 45 might not offer significant upgrades, making it less worthwhile. Nevertheless, if you’re new to over-the-ear headphones and eager to explore them, the QC 45 could be a suitable option to consider.

Feel free to share your thoughts on our review of the QuietComfort 45 in the comments section. If you already own a pair or are considering a purchase, we’d love to hear about your experiences too.


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