Bose QC45

Bose QC45 test, simple and effective, fans will appreciate

After years of waiting, Bose finally offers the successor to the QC35 / QC35 II. Here is our test of the QC45 with which we spent the last two weeks.

After years of waiting among the most fans of the American brand, Bose finally took advantage of the end of the pandemic to announce and release the highly anticipated Bose QC45. Indeed, for many, the Quiet Comfort range from Bose remains the benchmark, even if for a few years now, Sony, one of the leaders in the audio headset market, has been playing the spoilsport with its WH-1000X.

Bose QC45

We thought that the successor to the Bose QC35 was the Bose 700 with its more modern design and tactile controls but no, the arrival of the QC45 proves to us that users did not see it the same way and that’s probably what motivated Bose to finally release the QC45, the true successor to the QC35 and the QC35 II. We have been using it for a few weeks now and we can tell you already, it is an excellent headphone with active noise reduction.

Bose QC45 at the best price
Base price: 349 €

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Copy / Paste for design

When we discover the Bose QC45 for the first time, we can’t help but think that the QC45 looks like two drops of water to its predecessor and it is true. Apart from the colors which have been modernized, the QC45 is an almost identical copy of the QC35. We thus find its physical buttons with on the left atrium the button to activate or not the active noise cancellation. Note that when the noise cancellation is deactivated, it automatically activates Transparent mode. There is no in between with passive isolation. On the right ear cup, we find the famous trio of buttons with volume management and the main control button. 2021 requires, it is a USB-C port that will charge the QC45. Note that this USB-C port will only be used for charging and we will not be able to have audio via USB-C, which is a shame. You can always use the QC45 in wired mode with the supplied 2.5mm jack cable. Why not use the standard 3.5mm ???

Bose QC45

Like its predecessor, the QC45 has a more business-oriented design since it remains the DNA of the range, we are far from the Bose 700 and its decidedly more lifestyle-oriented design. In any case, once on the head, we cannot deny that the QC45 is super comfortable, it is much less tight than the Bose 700 for example and will be better suited to large heads. The ear cushions are particularly wide and completely envelop the ears so that the QC45 remains comfortable, even over long sessions. As we will have noticed, the finish of the QC45 remains plastic and to our surprise, it remains top of the range and we have this impression that it will stand the test of time. And speaking of time, the autonomy is average with 24 hours announced, a quick charge of 15 minutes allows you to have 3 hours of use.

Simplicity above all

While the Bose 700 had given us several possible settings when it comes to noise cancellation, we go back to basics with the QC45. Either we have noise cancellation, or we have Transparency mode. You can’t adjust the noise cancellation level any more like on the 700. It goes without saying that the noise cancellation works extremely well, but it is a shame not to have these settings anymore. Likewise, we would have liked to be able to deactivate the noise cancellation and not necessarily activate the transparency mode.

Bose QC45

Coming back to noise cancellation, obviously Bose has built in a cancellation similar to what the Bose 700 offers at maximum level and it’s much more efficient compared to the QC35 II. In all fairness, we rank the QC45 at the same level as the Bose 700, Sony WH-1000XM4 or the AirPods Max. Transparency mode is much quieter than its competitors, and Bose tries to strike the right balance so that surrounding noises aren’t too loud. Once again, we would have liked to be able to choose the level of transparency by ourselves, like on the Bose 700.

And finally, it should be noted that the Bose QC45 does not offer an automatic pause when you remove your headphones. We are in 2021 and the competitors are doing it very well, without any particular problem, as was the case with the first Parrot helmets. We told you above, simplicity above all. Too much perhaps?

And the audio quality

For audio quality, Bose was already doing very well with the QC35 / QC35 II and the 700. We therefore find the same sound quality. I was able to quickly compare the QC45 to the 700 and there are almost no differences. Compared to a Sony WH-1000XM4, the bass is, in our opinion, a little less “punchy” but for the rest, we can hear the different instruments perfectly and we recognize this Bose signature with a warm and enveloping sound. Moreover, by this signature, Bose never communicates on the technical characteristics.

Bose QC45

Suddenly, signature obliges and since we cannot adjust the levels of transparency or cancellation of noise, we cannot also adjust the sound. There is still no access to any equalizers. Suddenly, one may wonder what the application can really be used for, apart from possibly for firmware updates.

And finally to finish, Bose has all the same revised its copy with an additional microphone to better capture the voice of the user. According to Bose, there are additional algorithms that can cancel out outside noise during conversations, which has been confirmed to us by the various people who had to undergo our tests.

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Bose QC45 at the best price
Base price: 349 €

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