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Exploring different headphone options is an exciting endeavor. However, the fear of wasting your money on poor quality can persist. As a result, it’s reasonable to want to do some research before making a purchase. However, our goal is to simplify this procedure for you, allowing you to enjoy the music instead of devoting excessive time to research. Set away your worries! Explore the enthralling battle between the Bose QuietComfort 35 II and the Sennheiser PXC 550 II. This comprehensive comparison is designed to help you make an informed and enjoyable selection.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Vs Sennheiser PXC 550-II: A Complete Guide
Before we go into a detailed comparison, let’s quickly go over the main differences between these headphones. Often, the initial attention is on the outward aesthetics – the build and design of the headset. As a result, I’m starting with a thorough investigation of this function to uncover its intricacies.
Fit & Comfort
Regarding the Sennheiser PXC 550 II’s comfort, my initial listening experience was flawless, with no noticeable discomfort. The cushioning on the headband and earpads was of the highest quality, ensuring comfort. The large earcups accommodated varied ear sizes, making it ideal even for individuals with larger ears. During brief periods of use, the well-cushioned headband prevented instant head strain. However, continuous use revealed a problem: the clamping force gradually increased, resulting in a tight and painful sensation. This pain was attributed to the headband’s limited adjustment, which appeals to people with smaller heads.
In sharp contrast, the Bose QC 35 II quickly turned my gloomy experience around. Its adjustable headband was extremely accommodating, even for people with larger heads. The headset secured itself without putting unnecessary strain on the ears or head. Furthermore, the ample cushioning on the headband and earcups increased comfort. Memory foam earpads provided softness and smoothness, allowing for prolonged wear without pain.
The large and airy ear cups were one standout feature, reducing ear contact and excessive sweating during long sessions. The segment’s main points have been covered.
Finally, why do we buy headphones? Most people want to listen to their favorite music of higher quality in privacy. What if the sound quality is poor? Not to worry, neither of these headphones falls short in this regard. However, there is an outstanding performance out there waiting to be discovered. Stay tuned for my advice on making that extraordinary choice.
Design & Build
The Sennheiser PXC 550 II has a modern appearance that maintains a mix of modernism and subtlety, avoiding overt flamboyance. This design aspect contributes greatly to its uniqueness in the headphone landscape. The headset exudes refinement with oval-shaped ear cups made of strong plastic and a slightly wider metal-reinforced headband. The clean and inconspicuous positioning of the Sennheiser emblem at each headband end maintains the overall modest and minimal appearance.
The Bose QC 35 II features a synthetic leather-wrapped padded headband that complements the memory foam earpad coverings. The headband and circumaural earcups are finished with a matte texture with leatherette undertones. Bose uses a strong glass-filled nylon material for the outer headphone casing, which is reinforced by a corrosion-resistant stainless steel headband for increased durability. Its padding is made of plush Alcantara automotive cloth. The folding flat and compact storage feature of the earcups is similar to that of the PXC 550 II.
Both headphones have memory foam earpads wrapped in soft protein leather for maximum comfort. Interestingly, the positioning of the logo is a significant design feature. Unlike Sennheiser, Bose places their branding on the earcups.
Because of its stronger materials and construction, the QC 35 II takes the lead in terms of build quality. The Sennheiser PXC 550 II, on the other hand, succeeds in design aesthetics, with its matte finish conveying a more premium appearance. While both headphones are composed of plastic, the Sennheiser’s smooth matte surface retains a sophisticated appearance, but the QC 35 II’s raw plastic texture may appear less premium.
This intriguing contrast comes down to a tie, with one excelling in design and the other in construction quality. If you value comfort and fit over aesthetics, you’ll love the next investigation into which headset provides the best comfort.
Starting with The Sennheiser, its sound quality is typically excellent, however, it falters significantly in the mid-range and upper mid-range frequencies. This flaw emerges as muddiness in vocals and vocal-like instruments, as shown in tunes like Jann Arden’s Sleepless, when the voice feels congested and unclear. This issue could be caused by the physical construction of the ear cups. Notably, the bass response is powerful and digitally boosted, making for a delightful listening experience, especially with bass-heavy tunes. However, when compared to the Bose QC 35 II, Sennheiser’s bass reproduction appears less balanced and occasionally fake.
The bass on the QC 35 II is more balanced. While it may not resonate as deeply, it compensates with a balanced output that retains presence without dominating the listening experience. The Bose headphones work brilliantly across a wide range of musical genres. The highs are noticeably clear and meticulously detailed, outperforming the Sennheiser in this regard. Notably, listening to Anabela by Renato Braz and Paul Winter on the Bose headphones amplifies the neutrality and natural saxophone impact, boosting vocal clarity.
In conclusion, both headphones increase sound quality, but Bose’s presentation has a more harmonious and balanced character. This nuanced distinction earns the Bose QC 35 II my choice in this round. Now I’ll compare the noise-cancelling capabilities of these two headphones.
The Sennheiser PXC 550 II has above-average noise-cancelling capabilities. When adjusted to the highest level, the ANC suppresses low-frequency disturbances to half their original volume. I was able to block out the construction noise during the installation of my apartment doors by activating the ANC, allowing me to focus on writing my evaluation without distraction. Furthermore, the headphone’s passive isolation contributes to its noise-canceling abilities by significantly dampening upper mid-range frequencies. This feature emphasizes the necessity of a correct fit, mandating ear cups that completely encircle the ears without gaps. Sennheiser’s design choice for roomy and ergonomically contoured ear cups strives to achieve this.
However, in a quiet area, the experience alters because the headphones can create an echo chamber effect, similar to listening to the sound of the ocean through a shell. In comparison to the Sennheiser PXC 550 II, the Bose QC 35 II excels in noise cancellation. The Bose model reaches a remarkable level of stillness, successfully eliminating numerous disturbances such as wind whoosh, background chatter, and jackhammer sounds. Its noise reduction abilities span the frequency spectrum, making it suited for airplane trips and subway rides.
Overall, the Bose QC 35 II is the gold standard for noise-canceling headphones, securing its position as the top in this category.
Microphone or Call Quality
Both the Bose QC 35 II and the Sennheiser PXC 550 II have outstanding microphones that can handle professional and intimate calls. Bose takes a calculated approach by adding a high-pass filter to its microphone, which reduces the prominence of low frequencies. This technique helps to reduce the proximity effect, which intensifies bass tones when a speaker is close to the microphone. Despite its unorthodox nature, this strategy is effective. I recall a chat on the QC 35 II in windy outside conditions, during which my friend complimented the clarity of my speech. The call quality was so good that he assumed I was speaking directly into my smartphone.
The call quality on Sennheiser’s PXC 550 II is likewise impressive. Despite having a less powerful high-pass filter than the QC 35 II, it transmits accurate audio without interfering with the proximity effect. This was clear in my conversations on the PXC 550 II. Given the comparable performance of both headphones in this aspect, it’s only fair to pronounce the result a draw.
Now, let’s look at the connection quality of these two headphones.
Both the Bose QC 35 II and the Sennheiser PXC 550 II have the same battery life of up to 20 hours with active noise cancellation (ANC) enabled. Both models charge by micro USB connection and have quick charging capabilities. However, the Bose QC 35 II has an advantage in terms of speedy charging. This headphone delivers an incredible 150 minutes of gameplay after only 15 minutes of charging, whilst the PXC 550 II gives 90 minutes of playtime after a 10-minute charge. Furthermore, the QC 35 II takes little more than two hours to fully charge, but the Sennheiser PXC 550 II takes about three hours.
The Sennheiser PXC 550 II has three buttons and a touchpad on the right earcup. Turning the headset on and off is as simple as turning the right earcup. The touchpad atop the earcup is very responsive to tap and swipe gestures, providing extensive track control like play/pause, skipping, volume adjustment, call management, and more. The same earcup houses the Bluetooth, ANC, and voice assistant activation buttons, as well as the Bluetooth pairing function.
In contrast, the Bose QC 35 II has a three-button control layout. The right earcup has volume up (+) and down (-) buttons, as well as a play/pause button, and the power/Bluetooth pairing button. On the left earcup, there is an Action button that can be set to ANC or Google Assistant. In terms of usability, Bose’s physical button control method appears more straightforward than Sennheiser’s touch-sensitive approach, which can sometimes result in unintended inputs.
Both headphones include specialized companion applications to improve the listening experience. In the following part, we will examine the app features and capabilities of these two models.
The connectivity features of the Bose QC 35 II and the Sennheiser PXC 550 II differ noticeably. When contrasted to the PXC 550 II’s modern Bluetooth v5.0, the QC 35 II’s Bluetooth v4.1 appears out of date. This mismatch gives the Sennheiser model an advantage in terms of power efficiency and transmission speed. The PXC 550 II supports a variety of Bluetooth codecs, which is especially useful for customers who transition between iOS and Android devices. These include AAC, SBC, aptX, and aptX Low Latency. This broad codec support enables high-quality Bluetooth audio transmission across multiple devices. In comparison, the QC 35 II’s codec support is limited to SBC and AAC, and the variability of AAC performance on Android smartphones due to encoding issues can be a disadvantage.
Despite its restricted codec compatibility, the QC 35 II provides a dependable connection strength within its operational range, especially when used with the proper device. Both headphones provide multipoint connectivity, allowing users to watch TV while remaining alert to incoming calls and notifications. Notably, both versions support wired audio connectivity through the included audio cable for lossless playback. In conclusion, while both headphones offer good connectivity features, the Sennheiser PXC 550 II’s sophisticated Bluetooth version and extensive codec compatibility give it a tiny advantage, making it the winner in this category.
Support for Bluetooth Codec
Support for Bluetooth codecs is critical in giving an improved listening experience in the ever-changing field of wireless audio technologies. When comparing Bluetooth codec compatibility between the Bose QuietComfort 35 II and the Sennheiser PXC 550-II, it is clear that both headphones cater to a wide range of customer preferences. The Sennheiser PXC 550-II supports a wide range of codecs, including AAC, SBC, aptX, and aptX Low Latency, providing smooth connectivity and high-quality audio streaming for a variety of devices. This codec diversity provides compatibility with both Android and Apple devices, allowing consumers to enjoy superb wireless audio. The Bose QC 35 II, on the other hand, albeit limited to SBC and AAC codecs, provides steady and dependable audio performance.
While the QC 35 II lacks the vast codec range of its predecessor, its AAC support is notably beneficial for iOS users, ensuring a high-fidelity audio experience. In summary, both headphones succeed at giving a decent Bluetooth codec experience, with the Sennheiser PXC 550-II offering a more complete codec choice and the Bose QC 35 II responding adequately to the needs of iOS users. Your choice in this area will be determined by your device ecosystem and the level of audio quality you require.
The Sennheiser PXC 550 II has three noise-canceling settings: Mode 1, Mode 2, and off. The opportunity to adjust Mode 1 with the Sennheiser Smart Control app is an exciting feature. You can specify your favorite ANC mode—adaptive ANC or adaptive anti-wind ANC—to this parameter. The software also contains smart pause, call enhancement, and smart assistant options. This program also allows for small sound tweaks.
The absence of an in-app EQ or equalizer preset is a big disadvantage of the Bose Connect app. Nonetheless, it allows you to find your headphones, configure the action button, and select your favorite voice assistant. Only one job can be assigned to the Action button, and Google Assistant can be accessible via the multi-function button if your smartphone supports it. The software allows you to toggle between the three ANC levels (low, high, and off). Music Share is an exclusive feature that allows for simultaneous music streaming on two pairs of Bose headphones, as well as firmware updates. This feature, while unique, is only available on iPhones and a few Samsung handsets.
Both apps have useful functions, but the Bose QC 35 II has the advantage due to its more user-friendly UI and pleasant experience. The anticipation for the eventual winner must be increasing now that you have been introduced to the numerous elements of these noise-canceling headphones. Proceed to the next section to end the suspense.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Vs Bose SoundLink: Pros And Cons
Which is the Winner?
It would have been preferable not to select between the two, as both the Bose QuietComfort 35 II and the Sennheiser PXC 550 II have great qualities. However, because a choice must be made, I recommend the Bose QuietComfort 35 II above the Sennheiser PXC 550 II. As you are aware, it has triumphed in the majority of areas, including a well-balanced sound profile, superb noise cancellation, and exceptional comfort. However, the Sennheiser alternative is also a good pick, especially if you value extended high-quality codec support. As a result, before making a decision, it’s critical to determine your unique priorities. However, if you are still undecided and looking for alternatives, the next section is designed to address your concerns.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 and the Shure AONIC 50 are two suitable alternatives to the Bose QC 35 II and the Sennheiser PXC 550 II. Consider the Sony WH-1000XM4 if you’re ready to stretch your budget a little further. When compared to the QC 35 II and PXC 550 II, this headset has superior noise-cancelling characteristics. While its sound profile isn’t as neutral as the Bose model, you may tune it with Sony’s Headphones Connect app, which also includes other capabilities. The Shure AONIC 50 is another outstanding noise-cancelling alternative. This comfy headset is a solid candidate if you’re looking for exceptional wireless audio quality, comprehensive codec support, and USB-C passthrough audio features. This brings our conversation to a close.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Vs Sennheiser PXC 550-II – FAQs
Which headset has greater noise cancelling, the Bose QC 35 II or the Sennheiser PXC 550-II?
Both headphones provide strong noise reduction, however, the Bose QC 35 II excels in this area. Its powerful noise cancellation technology provides great noise reduction, making it an excellent choice for frequent travelers and loud environments.
Are these headphones comfy to wear for an extended period of time?
Yes, both the Bose QC 35 II and the Sennheiser PXC 550-II are ideal for long listening periods. The Bose model has plush cushioning and an adjustable headband, whilst the Sennheiser model has roomy ear cups and a well-padded headband.
Can I change the sound profile of these headphones?
Yes, you may customize the sound profile of both headphones to some extent. The Bose QC 35 II supports audio customization via the Bose Connect app, allowing you to tailor the sound to your preferences. The Sennheiser PXC 550-II can be adjusted via the Sennheiser Smart Control software, which includes features such as a programmable equalizer.
Do these headphones support multipoint connectivity?
Yes, both the Bose QC 35 II and the Sennheiser PXC 550-II enable multipoint connectivity, allowing you to connect to two devices at the same time. This feature is useful for handling phone calls and media playback from many sources.
Which headphone has the longest battery life?
The Bose QC 35 II and Sennheiser PXC 550-II provide up to 20 hours of battery life with active noise canceling enabled. The Bose QC 35 II, on the other hand, has faster charging capabilities, delivering 150 minutes of playtime after only 15 minutes of charging, compared to the Sennheiser’s 90 minutes after a 10-minute charge.
I think that this detailed comparison of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II and the Sennheiser PXC 550-II has provided you with the information you need to make an informed decision. We examined every aspect to determine strengths and weaknesses. The Bose QC 35 II stands out for its balanced sound, exceptional noise cancellation, and comfort. Meanwhile, the Sennheiser PXC 550-II stands out for its stylish design, comprehensive codec support, and good sound quality. Both headphones have advantages in that they appeal to different tastes. Whether you’re looking for sound quality, noise cancellation, or convenience, this analysis will help you make an informed decision. Your ideal headphone is waiting for you, delivering an immersive audio trip. Enjoy your chosen headphones, and may they offer you unending listening pleasure. Thank you for participating in this investigation.
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