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The New Bose QC45 Are The ANC Headphones We've Been Waiting For

Five years after the QC35 took the world by storm, Bose has just unveiled the QC45 as the long-awaited successor. When it comes to wireless headphones, Bose has long been one of the dominant forces in the space. The QuietComfort 35 headphones originally debuted in 2016 with rave reviews. They were lightweight, super comfortable, had great battery life, and sounded fantastic. Bose released a follow-up just one year later with the QC35 II — delivering the same unbeatable experience with a couple of quality of life changes.

Since then, however, fans have been left waiting and waiting for the next big thing. The Bose 700 launched in 2019, but they acted as an addition to the QC35 rather than a replacement. There weren't as comfortable as the QC35, not nearly as portable, and cost considerably more. Combine that with fierce competition from Sony, Jabra, Apple, and others, and all eyes have been on Bose to make a move.

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Thankfully, that day has finally come. Bose unveiled the QC45 on August 31, 2021, as a direct successor to the QC35 II. Right from the getgo, the QC45 look a lot like other entries in the QuietComfort series. They're available in Black and White Smoke, have a collapsable form factor for easy transportation, and a plastic construction to keep the whole package lightweight. It's not as premium as the metal design of the Bose 700, but for frequent travelers, this is the ideal setup. All of the playback controls from the QC35 II are also present, including volume buttons, play/pause, ANC controls, and power on/off. While the overall form factor is virtually identical, Bose says it's refined certain elements to make the QC45 its best-looking QuietComfort headphones yet — commenting that "pleats and puckers have been removed from soft materials, and gaps between components have been replaced with smooth transitions." 

The Bose QC45 don't look like a substantial change from the outside. Digging into its specs and features, however, it's clear that the years of waiting may have been worth it. In regards to noise-canceling, Bose claims that the QC45 are more effective at blocking mid-range frequency sounds. Specifically, "those typically found in commuter trains, busy office spaces, and cafes." Similar to other headphones in this space, the QC45 now feature their own transparency mode (called Aware Mode). Using Aware Mode, the QC45 use their built-in microphones to "pick up the sounds around you and play them naturally through the headphones. It’s your music and your environment at the same time." 

Speaking of microphones, those have also been improved for phone calls taken on the QC45. The three microphones from the QC35 II are still present, but a fourth one now joins them to create a "noise-rejecting mic system." Bose seems pretty confident in the performance of its mics, claiming they "exceed the competition" and deliver clear voice quality "even in windy, noisy conditions." On the opposite side of things, speaker audio quality is upgraded as well. The big feature this time around is a new TriPort design — allowing Bose to offer more depth and fullness without increasing the headphones' size. Rounding out the improvements is battery life. The QC45 are rated for up to 24 hours of use on a single charge, adding 4 hours of extra endurance compared to the QC35 II.

While it took a while for them to finally get here, the Bose QC45 look like they have everything Bose fans have been asking for. They look nicer, have stronger ANC, a new transparency mode, improved sound, and longer battery life. The best part? They're available for $329.99 — just a $30 price increase over the QC35 II. Pre-orders are available right now and regular sales are scheduled for September 23.

Next: AirPods Max Review

Source: Bose

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