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Bose QC35 vs. Soundlink Wireless Headphones II: Which should you buy?

Bose QC35 II headphone
Bose QC35 II headphone (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Bose QC35

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If you want the best wireless Bose headphones you can buy in 2018, the QC35s are the way to go. In addition to providing the best active noise-canceling around, the headphones also feel great, last up to 20 hours on a single charge, and have both the Google Assistant and Alexa built-in.

Bose QC35

Noise-canceling beast

Noise-canceling
Up to 20 hours of battery life
Google Assistant and Alexa built-in
Expensive

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If you're okay giving up noise-canceling, Bose's SoundLink Wireless II is a great headphone pick. The battery life isn't quite as long at 15 hours and there aren't any built-in virtual assistants, but the sound quality is still superb and the design is just as comfy.

Best for less

Powerful, crisp audio
Comes in two dual-tone colors
Offers more value for your money
No noise-canceling
Shorter battery life

For buyers that don't need noise-canceling, the Bose SoundLink Wireless II offers the best bang-for-your-buck. However, if you've got the cash to spend and want the best that Bose has to offer, the QC35s are still worth the higher price.

Break it down now...

At first glance, the Bose QC35 and Soundlink Wireless Headphones II look very similar — and for good reason. While there are a couple distinct features that separate the two products, they both offer a very similar experience in more ways than not.

Starting first with the design, both the QC35 and Soundlink Wireless II are over-ear headphones with a padded headband, adjustable sides, and leather earcups that hug your ears with great comfort and security. Both also come with a free carrying case, 3.5mm cable to use them in a wired fashion, and microUSB charger.

In regards to the sound quality itself, you'll find a very similar experience across the QC35 and Soundlink Wireless II. Bose promotes crisp and deep sound for both headphones to ensure your music and podcasts sound as great as can be. There's also built-in microphone so you can easily answer phone calls and support for the excellent Bose Connect mobile app.

QuietComfort 35Soundlink Wireless II
Dimensions7.1" H x 6.7" W x 3.2" D (8.3 oz)7.5" H x 6" W x 1.5" D (7 oz)
BatteryUp to 20 hoursUp to 15 hours
Noise-canceling
Voice assistantsGoogle Assistant
Amazon Alexa
None

While all of that's great, there are a couple key areas where the QC35s definitely come out on top — most notably with its active noise-canceling. There's no doubt the Soundlink Wireless II sounds great, but if you're using them on an airplane or a noisy coffee shop, it can be easy to have your tunes overwhelmed by the ambient sounds around you.

With the QC353, that's not an issue in the slightest. Bose's noise-canceling on the QC35 is some of the best you can find on any headphones right now. With the flick of a button, all of the extra noise arround you either disappears completely or turns into a faint muffle — allowing your music to stand out even in the loudest of envrionments.

Along with this, the QC35 also gets an edge with its built-in voice assistants. You can hold down a button to quickly talk to either the Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, making it simple to hear notifications from your phone, check the weather, send texts, and a ton more.

Lastly, while battery on the Soundlink Wireless II is really good at 15 hours of use before needing to charge, the QC35 also gets a slight edge here with a higher 20-hour rating.

Our top pick is the QC35

With all that said, the Bose QC35 earns our top pick between the two headphones.

The $349 price tag definitely isn't cheap, but these headphones do it all. The superb sound quality and excellent design already stand out as fantastic, and when you bundle that together with Bose's top-notch noise canceling and the availability of Google Assistant and Alexa, you end up with a really special product.

Oh, and don't forget about the ridiculously good battery life.

The Soundlink Wireless II is a great, cheaper alternative

We also understand that not everyone is able to spend more than $300 on a pair of wireless headphones. If you don't need the noise-cancelation features or built-in voice assistants, the Soundlike Wireless II will serve you really well.

The sound is great, the design is just as comfy as what you'll find on the QC35, and while the battery isn't quite as legendary, it's still pretty darn awesome.

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.