Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones Series II review 3

When Bose released the QuietComfort 35 headphones in 2015, the company realised something important: sound quality is all very well and good, but blocking out the relentless chatter of the outside world is just as vital.

To that end, the headphones really lived up to their billing. They were both quiet, with the active noise cancelling silencing the outside world better than anything else available at the time, and they were comfortable, meaning you didn’t have to choose between the ear ache of extended wear or the headache of taking them off. 

A second version arrived in 2016, adding in an almost entirely pointless Google Assistant button, but otherwise Bose has left the headphones untouched. And in that time, rivals – most notably from Sony, Sennheiser and Apple – have all closed the gap and, by some metrics, pulled ahead.

But now it appears a true follow up is imminent. German site WinFuture spotted an FCC listing for the Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones suggesting a release may not be too far away.

Other than the fact that the headphones exist, there isn’t much else that the listing reveals, though there is a picture to demonstrate that Bose’s designers seem to be taking the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach to aesthetics. At a glance, the headphones look practically identical to the originals, right down to the fabric ‘L’ and ‘R’ inside the cups to ensure simpletons put them on the right way round. 

The only real change is the adoption of USB-C charging which is welcome, though hardly unexpected given microUSB was the worldwide standard when the last headphones were released six years ago.

The real changes are likely to be on the inside, and you’d imagine that would include a big boost to sound quality, and the effectiveness of the noise cancellation. Bose certainly has a great pedigree – indeed, two of the company’s products sit on our list of the best over-ear wireless headphones in NZ – so expectations are justifiably high. Hopefully the QuietComfort 45 will immediately make that list… and hopefully we won’t have to wait so long for the QuietComfort 55 to follow.