Written by Lisette

Comparison: Bose QuietComfort 35 II vs Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones

You're looking for headphones that exclude disturbing ambient noise. You often travel by bus, train or plane and don't want to be disturbed by the environment. Noise canceling headphones are the solution for you. The Sony WH-1000XM3 and Bose QuietComfort 35 II are headphones with active noise canceling. They are very similar in design, but also differ in a few points. I explain below what the difference is between these 2 models so that you can make a choice after reading the expert review.

Which noise canceling headphones do you choose?

Bose Quietcomfort 35 II Sony WH-1000XM3
I want to be able to adjust the level of noise canceling Yes Yes
I want to control my music with physical buttons Yes No
I want to control my music with a touch pad No Yes

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Black

Listen to music wirelessly | 20-hour battery life | Noise canceling
in stock
  • Active noise canceling mutes disturbing ambient noise and noise.
  • You can control the headset with your voice via Google Assistant.
  • Determine the strength of the noise canceling yourself with the Bose Connect app.
  • Via Bluetooth you stream music wirelessly from your smartphone or tablet.
  • If the noise canceling is off or the battery is empty, the sound quality is poor.

Sony WH-1000XM3

Over ear | 38-hour battery life | High-end noise canceling
in stock
  • Use Bluetooth to wirelessly stream music from your smartphone or tablet.
  • Active noise canceling muffles distracting ambient noise and white noise.
  • The Smart Listening function adjusts the degree of noise canceling to your activity.
  • The headphones don't include a 6.3mm adapter.

Noise canceling

Strong noise canceling

Strong noise canceling

The main reason to buy the Bose QuietComfort 35 or Sony WH-1000XM3 is the active noise canceling. The noise canceling of the QuietComfort is strong. When you put on the headphones, it seems like your ears are closed. You can't hear the roar of the train or a colleague who is typing next to you. You can listen to music without having the noise canceling on as well.

Adjustable noise canceling

Different modes of noise canceling

Like the Bose QuietComfort 35, the Sony WH-1000XM3 has active noise canceling. In addition, the Sony headphones have 2 modes Ambient Sound. At Normal Mode you can hear the sound as they sound without headphones. Nice when you walk on the street, because the traffic remains audible. In Voice Mode you hear voice sounds with emphasis. So you do not suffer from noise at the airport and you do not miss an important broadcaster at the same time about a delay. With the Sony headphones, Bluetooth and noise canceling can be switched off independently.

Sound quality

Quiet listening experience

Quiet listening experience

The Bose QuietComfort 35 has a clear sound. This is nice for a quiet listening experience. When the battery is empty or the noise canceling is off, the sound quality is significantly less. The battery lasts up to 20 hours when you use the headset wirelessly and up to 40 hours when you use it with the cable.

Detailed listening experience

Detailed listening experience

The Sony WH-1000XM3 has a detailed sound compared to the QuietComfort 35. Every tone is strongly audible. The wide frequency range from 4 to 40,000 Hertz ensures that the headphones offer high quality sound. Even when your music is streaming via Bluetooth. The battery lasts up to 20 hours when the noise canceling is on and a maximum of 22 hours when the noise canceling is off.

Music controls

Physical buttons

Physical buttons

You can control your music via the buttons on the right earcup of the QuietComfort. You control the volume, change the number and pause the music. With the Bose Connect Apple or Android app you control your music from your smartphone or tablet. You also easily switch between Bluetooth devices, perform software updates and change your settings.

Touch pad

Touch pad

With the Sony WH-1000XM3 you control your music via the touch pad on the right earcup. By swiping up, down, left or right, you change the volume and go to the next or previous song. Pausing the music is done by tapping the touch pad once. The touch pad is very touch sensitive, so you accidentally go to the next song if you adjust the volume.

Wearing comfort

Ear cups

Long-term use

The Bose headphones are lightweight and have very soft ear cushions. Even after 6 hours of continuous listening my ears did not hurt, while I always suffer from a feeling of pressure. The headband has a soft interior that does not pinch.

Ear cups

Short use

The Sony headphones are comfortable when you do not want to listen to more than 2 hours of music. After prolonged use, your ears will hurt. This is mainly because the drivers touch your ears. With the Bose headphones, the space between the drivers and your ears is larger, so there is no contact. In addition, the Sony WH-1000XM3 is less suitable for eyeglass wearers due to the tight headband.

Experience noise canceling in our store

Coolblue listening table: test headphones in our store

Do you want to know what headphones with noise canceling sound like? Visit one of our stores in Amsterdam, The Hague, Groningen, or Zaventem. These stores have listening tables, where you can test the best noise-canceling headphones we sell. If you want to know more about testing of headphones in one of our stores, click the link below.

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