Bose QuietComfort 45 Review: Better Than The 700?

By Richard Goodwin •  Updated: 06/10/22 •  10 min read

Bose returns with its classically designed Bose QuietComfort 45 wireless headphones. But are they a better option than the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700? Let’s find out…


Bose has been at the forefront of the headphone market for as long as I can remember – and I’m pretty old. I’ve used a bunch of the company’s headphones over the years and they’ve all got progressively better. I’ve always been a huge fan of its Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones. I own a pair and have used them most days for going on three years now.

As with most things, the headphone market is in a constant state of flux. You have new brands entering the fray, Apple and Nothing, and new leaps in technology. In a bid to better realign itself with “modern” aesthetics, Bose released its Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. They used a sleeker design than what the company was traditionally known for, showing that it too can innovate and design with the best of them.

Bose purists, however, were divided. Many missed some of the features and design attributes they’d come to know and love from Bose’s QuietComfort series – things like the ability to fold the headphones away into a box. And like any good company, Bose was taking notes. This is why the Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones exist; they’re a love letter to fans of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones which haven’t been updated since 2017.

But now that they’ve been updated, what can you expect from a pair of Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones? Let’s take a look at the specs for the Bose QuietComfort 45. Then we’ll have a look at the updates, what’s new, and how they’re different from the 700s and the QuietComfort 35 II headphones. After that, we’ll have a look at some Bose QuietComfort 45 reviews to see if these headphones are worth a buy.

Bose QuietComfort 45 Updates – What’s New?

If you own a pair of QuietComfort 35 II headphones, you’ll know one of the most annoying things about them is that they run the now-ancient micro-USB. With the Bose QuietComfort 45, you now have the modern USB Type C in its place which brings with it not only easier charging, literally no one uses microUSB anymore, but also faster charging too – a quick five-minute blast delivers almost three hours of battery life.

Bose has improved the battery life inside the Bose QuietComfort 45 too, so you now get 24 hours of playback versus 20 hours on the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones. You also have things like support for Bluetooth 5.1 for true multi-point pairing, so you can pair both your iPhone and your MacBook at the same time, and the AAC Bluetooth codec but, like the Sony WH-1000XM4, they do not have aptX or aptX HD for higher-resolution audio streaming which is unfortunate.

Bose QuietComfort 45 Review
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With respect to drivers, the Bose QuietComfort 45 runs the same ones as its predecessor. The button placement is the same too, and they also feature the same fold-away design as before, making them ideal for traveling. You also get a travel case with them too for safe keeping when you’re on the road. All told, the improvements here aren’t massive. But for those of us running the QuietComfort 35 II headphones, which are now five years old, there’s enough going on here to warrant an update. Mine are starting to look a bit shabby, so I think I’ll be picking up a set of these in the not-too-distant future.

That’s my hot-take on the Bose QuietComfort 45, as a current QC35II user. But what did other reviewers and critics make of the Bose QuietComfort 45? Let’s take a look at a selection of Bose QuietComfort 45 reviews to find out whether these headphones are worth it, or if you’re better off going with Bose’s new flagship headphones, the Bose Noise Cancelling 700 headphones instead?

Bose QuietComfort 45 Reviews

85

The Verge

80

What HiFi

80

Expert Reviews

80

Tech Radar

T3

90

Guardian

Are Bose QuietComfort 45 Worth It?

If you’re a long-time fan and user of Bose’s QC35II headphones, the Bose QuietComfort 45 represents a nice, slightly incremental update. You get faster charging, USB Type C, the same excellent design and comfort, and an extra four hours of battery life. For me, that’s more than enough to warrant upgrading my aging set of QC35II headphones – it basically fixes everything that is wrong with them.

If you’re looking for a more modern set of headphones with things like adjustable EQ, more aggressive noise canceling, and a more contemporary design, it might be worth looking at the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. These are Bose’s newly anointed flagship headphones, so they get all the latest and best new features. But you will pay more for these headphones. Another option would be Sony’s incredible WH-1000XM4 headphones which boast 30 hours’ worth of battery life and outstanding audio quality.

Basically, it’s a really tough call choosing between these three sets of headphones. They’re great in their own ways. Me? I like the fit and finish of the Bose QuietComfort 45. I also love the sound of my QC35 II headphones and Bose hasn’t messed with any of the drivers inside its Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones, so performance will be precisely the same. I do really like the Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones, though, especially since their battery performance is so strong.

Whichever model you go for, you’re going to have a great set of headphones. Me? I reckon I’ll be picking up a set of Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones later this year. I’ve enjoyed my QC35 II headphones so much, that it’d almost feel rude switching to another brand at this point, although it is nice to know there are plenty of solid options out there that are all similarly priced.

Bose QuietComfort 45
$279.00
Buy Now
06/10/2022 09:48 am GMT
Sony WH-1000XM4
$278.00
Buy Now
06/10/2022 09:49 am GMT
Bose QuietComfort 45 Review
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Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.

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