Headphones Comparison: Bose QC 35 II vs. Bose 700

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When shopping for wireless noise-canceling headphones, there’s a good chance you’ll narrow down your choices to the Bose QuietComfort 35 II and the Bose Headphones 700 – two of the best noise-canceling headphones currently out on the market. Both headphones are great for travel and all-around everyday use and boast excellent active noise cancellation (ANC). But they also have different strengths, making choosing between them more difficult.

In this head-to-head comparison, you’ll get a detailed look at the differences between the two Bose headphones, which will help you identify which product is the right one for you. In addition to their individual strengths and weaknesses, we’ll also mention their similarities to show you the things you won’t miss out on regardless of which product you choose.

Quick Look

Bose QuietComfort 35 IIBose Headphones 700
TypeWireless over-earWireless over-ear
EnclosureClosed-backClosed-back
ANCYesYes
ConnectivityBluetooth 4.1, 1/8 in (3.5 mm) analogBluetooth 5.0, 1/8 in (3.5 mm) analog
Battery20 hours20 hours
Weight8.3 oz9 oz
PriceAmazonAmazon

Design

Although the Headphones 700 have an updated and more modern design, the QuietComfort 35 II are still the better-designed headphones overall. They are much more comfortable to wear for long hours and have a foldable design that makes them more portable and more travel-friendly. Their controls are also easier to use. On the other hand, the Headphones 700 are better-built, with a sturdier headband and a more premium design, and include a more modern USB-C charging cable. They also feature touch controls, but their on-cup control scheme is less user-friendly.

Fit

The QuietComfort 35 II and the Headphones 700 are both wireless over-ear headphones that are comfortable to wear. Their large ear cups make your ears hot more quickly compared with on-ear and in-ear headphones, but they are decently breathable for closed-back headphones. Both headphones are lightweight and have well-padded ear cups, but the QuietComfort 35 II are more comfortable to wear.

They definitely live up to their name – they are known for being some of the most comfortable over-ear headphones on the market. They are extremely comfortable to wear for long hours, which makes them a better option for long flights and extended hours at the office. While their headband padding covers a smaller area, their headband clamp is looser than the Headphones 700, making them less fatiguing to wear for long listening sessions. They are also lighter, but not by a significantly noticeable margin.

With their tighter fit, the Headphones 700 are less suitable for long listening sessions, especially if you have a large head and wear glasses. They will start to become uncomfortable after around two to three hours of use without any breaks, but their tighter clamp will loosen up after repeated use. Compared to the older Bose headphones, their ear cups fit more snugly around your ears, creating a better seal, while their headband padding has a larger surface area.

Both headphones are quite stable and don’t slide off easily from your head, allowing you to walk or move around with them more freely, which is important for commuting and traveling. But both are not ideal for running and sports use in general. You can use them for training and exercises with minimal head movement, especially the QuietComfort 35 II due to their lighter and more comfortable design, but there are much better options if you need something more sports-oriented with better stability and sweat protection.

Build

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

The Headphones 700 are the better-built headphones and definitely look more premium due to their sleeker design. They are less plasticky, with their stainless steel headband making for a sturdier and more durable build. Moreover, they have fewer moving parts that are vulnerable to wear and tear because of their non-foldable ear cups and different hinge design.

Instead of traditional hinges, they have a cleaner and more streamlined design with their headband directly connecting to the ear cup back panels. The ear cups can swivel and move up and down on the headband. Similar to the QuietComfort 35 II, their earpads are covered with artificial leather, but the gel-like foam on their headband is coated with silicone.

The build quality of the older QuietComfort 35 II is still good, but it’s a bit disappointing for such an expensive pair of headphones. They have more plastic parts than the Headphones 700, which is easily noticeable when comparing the two headphones side by side. Additionally, their foldable design adds more moving parts that are susceptible to wear and tear.

On the bright side, their mostly plastic build is robust, with their metal-reinforced headband and plastic ear cups similarly appearing sturdy and capable of surviving a few minor drops. Just like the newer Bose headphones, their earpads are covered with artificial leather that doesn’t peel off easily after a few months of regular use, but their headband padding is covered with fabric instead of silicone.

Regarding aesthetics, the two Bose headphones are different. The QuietComfort 35 II look similar to other Bose headphones like the QuietComfort 25 and the SoundLink II, with a more corporate design that makes for a more discreet profile. If you want them to be flashier, you have the option to choose a custom colorway for an extra cost. The Headphones 700 have a more futuristic and sleeker design that will attract more attention. As of this writing, they are only available in three colors – black, silver, and white – with no option for custom colorways yet.

Controls

Both headphones have good control schemes, but with different designs and functions. The older QuietComfort 35 II have simpler on-cup controls that are easier to use, most especially while on the move. On the left ear cup, they have the Action button for adjusting the ANC level and activating either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, but not all functions can be active at the same time. You can set up the Action button function using the Bose Connect app.

On the right ear cup, the headphones have a three-button setup for call and music management, volume control, and mic mute during a call. As an alternative, you can use the middle multi-function button to trigger your voice assistant. There is also a switch on the right ear cup for turning the headphones on or off and for initiating the Bluetooth pairing. All the buttons on the QuietComfort 35 II are responsive and easy to press, but the three-button setup is a bit cramped.

In the opposite corner, the Headphones 700 have a different on-cup control scheme with a touchpad and fewer physical buttons. They also support Amazon Alexa voice activation, an uncommon feature among headphones. Their right ear cup has a touchpad on the front side of the backplate. With double-tap and swipe inputs, you can use the touchpad to manage your calls and music and adjust the volume.

Using the Bose Music app, you can also customize the tap-and-hold gesture on the touchpad, but the options are very limited. Currently, you can only assign it to one of two functions: check battery status or toggle the hands-free Alexa activation, with the former being the default function. The touch controls of the Headphones 700 are good, but the touchpad is quite small since it only covers the front side of the right ear cup’s backplate, making it harder to use while on the move.

Located on both ear cups, the Headphones 700 also have three small buttons that are easily accessible and not too confusing to use. Using these buttons, you can switch the headphones on or off; initiate the Bluetooth pairing; toggle between ANC levels; enable Conversation Mode; mute the mic during a call; and activate the supported voice assistant on your device. You can change the assigned ANC levels on the Bose Music app.

Although it might seem intimidating at first, the control scheme of the Headphones 700 is easy to use once you become familiar with all the touchpad gestures and button functions. But in terms of overall ease of use, the control scheme of the QuietComfort 35 II is the winner – it has a more straightforward setup that simply works for most people.

Portability

The QuietComfort 35 II are more portable than the Headphones 700. They are the better option if you prefer headphones that are easier to bring with you for travel. They can be folded into a more compact format, making them more portable. In addition, their hard case also has a slightly smaller footprint and takes up less space in your bag. If you want to simply wear them around your neck when not in use, their ear cups can be rotated to a flat position to make them less cumbersome.

With their non-foldable design, the Headphones 700 are not as travel-friendly as the QuietComfort 35 II, which will disappoint some people, especially those upgrading from the older model. Their hard case is also bulkier and takes up more space, but only by a small margin. On the bright side, their ear cups can rotate to a flat position, which is good if you intend to mostly wear them around your neck when not in use instead of putting them back in their travel case.

Accessories

The two headphones have almost identical accessories, with the only difference between them being their charging cable types. For both headphones, the box includes a hard case, an audio cable, and a short charging cable. The QuietComfort 35 II include a micro USB charging cable while the Headphones 700 come with a more modern USB-C charging cable, which is more convenient for some people, not to mention more future-proof.

Performance

The QuietComfort 35 II and the Headphones 700 have different strengths in this section, but the latter has more advantages. The newer Bose headphones offer more noise cancellation settings, including a full ambient sound mode, and have significantly better mic performance. They have a slightly better quick-charging feature and an additional power-saving feature. Moreover, they use a newer Bluetooth version and have an app with more customization options.

On the other hand, the QuietComfort 35 II are the better-sounding headphones out of the box, with a more neutral and better-balanced sound profile. They support NFC technology and are compatible with the Bose Music Share feature. Their overall performance is great, with excellent noise isolation and good battery performance. But compared to the Headphones 700, they have an inferior set of features in the sound isolation and battery categories.

Sound

Out of the box, the QuietComfort 35 II are better-sounding headphones than the Headphones 700, with a better-balanced and more neutral sound profile. Their bass is deep, powerful, and not overly emphasized while their mid-range is clear and very accurate. Compared to the Headphones 700, their treble is smoother and more detailed while their soundstage is larger and more spacious. They are good for different genres and are especially suitable for hip hop, rock, and electronic dance music.

Although they are still good-sounding headphones, the Headphones 700 feel like a downgrade from the older QuietComfort 35 II in audio reproduction. Their bass is lighter and slightly more accurate while their mid-range is also great, with balanced reproduction of vocals and instruments. However, their treble is too much and can be piercing in some tracks. Their soundstage is also inferior, though many people will not notice the difference.

Both headphones are not recommended for professional use, but for general media consumption, they will satisfy most consumers. If you don’t like their default sound, the Headphones 700 allow you to slightly modify their sound through the Bose Music app, which is a recently added feature. With the QuietComfort 35 II, there is no option to modify the sound without using third-party solutions; unlike the Bose Music app, the Bose Connect app still lacks any form of sound customization options.

Isolation

Bose Headphones 700

The QuietComfort 35 II and the Headphones 700 are two of the very best noise-canceling headphones currently out on the market. Both provide outstanding noise isolation, reducing a great amount of background noise, from the rumble of airplane engines to office chatter. There are only small differences in their noise isolation performances – the QuietComfort 35 II are slightly better at reducing low-frequency noises while the Headphones 700 are slightly better against high-frequency noises.

But while the noise isolation performances of the two headphones are similar, the Headphones 700 have the upper hand in the sound isolation category. In addition to offering more ANC settings, they have a lower sound leakage and provide better passive noise isolation when the ANC is turned off, with their tighter and more snug over-ear fit being the reason. Their lower sound leakage allows you to listen to loud music without disturbing people around you – like during flights.

With the Headphones 700, you can choose between 11 noise cancellation levels on the Bose Music app and assign your preferred ones to the ANC button. This gives you more freedom on how much noise you want to block out or let in. You also have the option to quickly enable Conversation Mode using the ANC button. When Conversation Mode is turned on, the audio is paused and full ambient sound mode is activated, allowing you to monitor your surroundings or have a quick conversation without removing your headphones, which is very convenient.

The QuietComfort 35 II only have three ANC settings and lack an ambient sound mode similar to the Conversation Mode of the Headphones 700. The lack of a true ambient sound mode is only a minor inconvenience for many people, though. Their higher sound leakage at high volume is also not going to be a major issue if you usually listen to music at safe volume levels. Despite their more limited ANC settings and higher sound leakage, the QuietComfort 35 II are still great in the sound isolation category.

Mic

Equipped with a quad-mic system for better voice pick-up, the Headphones 700 have much better mic performance than the QuietComfort 35 II. Their recording quality and ability to reduce background noise during calls are both great, especially the latter. This makes them the better option for phone calls and video conferences, whether at home, in the office, or while traveling.

The QuietComfort 35 II also have a decent integrated mic for phone calls, and many people will be satisfied with their mic performance, but the Headphones 700 are on a different level. Their integrated mic system is one of the best out there. They are even better than some gaming headsets, which include a boom mic for voice chat and are usually good at voice pick-up even in noisy environments. If you need noise-canceling headphones that are also great for phone calls, get the Headphones 700.

Battery

The QuietComfort 35 II and the Headphones 700 are basically identical in this category, with their minor differences being practically negligible. Both headphones can run up to 20 hours per charge, which allows them to survive particularly long flights on just a single charge, provided they start at full power.

The two headphones also feature adjustable auto-off timers, which trigger when no audio is playing for a specified amount of time. Moreover, their charging times are about the same, with both requiring less than two hours to be fully recharged from a dead battery. If you want to temporarily switch to a wired connection to conserve power, both headphones can be used in wired mode with ANC still enabled.

Both headphones have quick-charge features. The QuietComfort 35 II gain two and a half hours of playback after a 15-minute charge while the Headphones 700 are slightly better, getting three and a half hours of playback after the same amount of charging time. In addition to their slightly better quick-charge feature, the Headphones 700 also have another power-saving feature: they automatically shut down when they have not been moved for one hour.

Their better quick-charge feature and additional auto-off feature give the Headphones 700 a tiny edge over the QuietComfort 35 II in this category. But for many people, the minor differences in battery-related features between the two headphones is not a big deal. Both headphones are great in this category, with the QuietComfort 35 II matching the newer Bose Headphones 700 in three of the most important aspects: battery life, charging time, and passive playback capability.

Connectivity

The two headphones have similarities and individual strengths in this category, with no clear winner between them. Both headphones include audio cables with 1/8 in (3.5 mm) analog plugs for easy compatibility with most devices and support multi-device pairing, allowing them to connect to two devices at the same time. Using the Bose SimpleSync technology, both can also connect directly with select Bose speakers and soundbars.

The older QuietComfort 35 II use Bluetooth 4.1 for their wireless connection, with a good wireless range. They support NFC technology for faster pairing with compatible devices and can connect with the Bose Connect app. While limited in customization options, the Bose Connect app has a good user interface. You can use the app to manage all your Bluetooth connections, set the Action button function, and adjust the auto-off timer. You also get access to the Bose Music Share feature, which allows you to share audio with another pair of compatible Bose headphones.

Featuring the newer Bluetooth 5.0, the Bose Headphones 700 have an excellent wireless range and better connection stability, but they don’t support NFC technology. Their companion app is different, but some features are similar. Using the Bose Music app, you can change your voice assistant settings, manage your Bluetooth connections, adjust the auto-off timer, customize the tap-and-hold touch control, and select ANC settings. You also get a recently added adjustable equalizer for modifying the sound profile.

Wrap-up

Bose QuietComfort 35 II
If comfort, portability, and sound quality are very important factors for you, the QuietComfort 35 II are the better option. They are much more comfortable than the Headphones 700, with a lighter frame and a looser fit. They sound better out of the box, with a more neutral sound profile, and are more portable due to their foldable design. They support both NFC technology and multi-device pairing and have simpler and more user-friendly on-cup controls. While they have fewer bells and whistles, the QuietComfort 35 II are still some of the best noise-canceling headphones on the market.
ProsCons
  • Extremely comfortable fit
  • Foldable design
  • Outstanding noise cancellation
  • NFC support
  • Multi-device pairing
  • Mostly plastic construction
  • Inferior mic performance
  • Micro USB charging cable

Bose Headphones 700
The newer Headphones 700 are the better option if you want noise-canceling headphones with a much better mic for calls and a more premium design. They are better-built than the QuietComfort 35 II, with a sturdier stainless steel headband. They include a more modern USB-C charging cable and feature touch controls. Furthermore, they have more noise isolation settings, including a full ambient sound mode. Overall, the Headphones 700 are just as versatile as the QuietComfort 35 II, but they are the more premium product with more features.
ProsCons
  • Outstanding noise cancellation
  • Conversation Mode feature
  • Great mic performance
  • Multi-device pairing
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Tighter fit
  • Non-foldable design
  • Too much treble