Sony WH1000XM3 vs. Bose QC35 II: Which should you buy?
Sony WH1000XM3(opens in new tab)
The WH1000XM3 are Sony's latest and greatest headphones ever. Along with excellent sound, noise-cancelation, and the same design of the WH1000X2, you've also got 30 hours of battery life and a newer USB-C port for charging.
Bose QC35 II(opens in new tab)
Bose's QC35s sound great and have one of the best designs in the business. You'll find around 20 hours of playback per charge and have access to the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built right into the headphones.
Bose QC35 II
Before you continue, read this!
The Bose QC35 II is still kicking along, but it's no longer the latest headphone offering from Bose. That title now goes to the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 (opens in new tab), which deliver 11 levels of noise cancelation, improved microphones, and USB-C charging!
If you want to see how they compare against the Sony WH1000XM3, we've got you covered.
While the Bose QC35 IIs put up a great fight with superior comfort and excellent noise cancellation, the Sony WH1000XM3 take the cake with better sound, battery life, and USB-C charging.
Why the Sony headphones win this fight
When it comes to noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones, the Bose QC35s have long been considered to be the unstoppable king. The QC35 IIs offer a winning formula of fantastic design, great, balanced sound, jaw-dropping active noise canceling, and stupendous battery life.
The QC35 IIs are still phenomenal headphones and are absolutely worthy of your attention, but Sony's WH1000XM3 offer a few serious upgrades that make them the overall better purchase.
While the Bose QC35 II offer great sound quality and noise-canceling, the WH1000X3 are even better. The sound is more powerful and customizable and Sony's active noise canceling is simply magical. Also, while battery life on the QC35 II is already great at 20 hours of use, the WH1000X3 go a step further with a 30-hour rating.
When it eventually comes time to charge up, the QC35 II do so with the older Micro-USB standard. While there's nothing inherently wrong with that, Micro-USB has become a bit long in the tooth in 2020. With the Sony WH1000X3, charging is handled with the more modern USB Type-C port and provides five hours of playback after just 10 minutes of charging.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Sony WH1000X3||Bose QC35 II|
|Active noise cancelation||✔️||✔️|
|Customizable EQ settings||✔️||❌|
|Battery life||Up to 30 hours||Up to 20 hours|
|Voice assistants||Via connected phone (Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Siri)||Built-in (Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa)|
That's not to say the Bose QC35 II should be completely forgotten, however. Sony's headphones do offer some serious improvements, but only Bose's offering comes with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built right in. Furthermore, the design of the QC35 II is still more comfy and lightweight than the WH1000X3 — a big win for people that frequently have their headphones on for long stretches of time at once. If you want that smart capability, this is a pair for you.
Another advantage for Bose is that the QC35 IIs are much more consistently available at a discounted price. Sony's WH1000XM3 headphones frequently fluctuate in price, meaning you may or may not be able to find it below its usual going rate of $348. Of course, it's likely that Sony will permanently reduce the price once the subsequent WH1000XM4s are released.
Best all-around package.
Sony's WH1000XM3 are among the very best headphones you can buy right now. The sound is amazing, noise canceling is fantastic, and you get outstanding battery life with charging taking place over USB-C.
Built-in assistants are a nice touch.
The WH1000X3 are newer and better than the QC35 II, but thanks to the lightweight + ultra-comfy design and your choice of two built-in voice assistants, Bose's headphones are still worth a look.
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Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.