Bose announce QC45 headphones, the flight companion

One look at the QuietComfort headphones from Bose brings back immediate memories. Those walking into airport lounges wear them around their neck as though it was a condition of entry. They tell you this passenger is a regular flyer, someone who knows their way around the airport, has a passport full of stamps and likely has a personalised wallet to carry all their flight materials. The Bose QC35 was that pair of headphones and after a number of years, a new model has been announced and it signals the return to travel.

The Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones carry a strong resemblance to the previous model with a familiar design and button layout. They can be used in wired or wireless mode, carry advanced noise cancellation and have a stronger battery life.

The QC45 headphones now carry a 24 hour battery life to see you through any flight in existence, this can be recharged entirely in 2.5 hours. The 24 hour rating is when used in wireless mode and with noise cancellation active. If perhaps you had a three day flight to the International Space Station you may need to consider using them in wired mode to save battery.

There are two modes on the QC45 headphones around noise cancellation. Quiet Mode provides full noise cancelling, no crying babies, no external noise, it’s just you and your content. Aware Mode will let in some of your surroundings, likely handy for when you’re in the lounge and they’ve called you to get to the gate, for the second time.

The QC45 headphones are now heavier than the previous model, likely due to the additional battery life but the other improvement here is in the microphones. Bose has recognised that we’re all talking in virtual meetings more, spending more time on conference calls and talking to people remotely rather than in person. The QC45 headphones have additional microphones to isolate and focus on your voice alone. They’re intelligent enough to hear environmental sounds and filter that out for those you are trying to speak with. This intelligence means you won’t be demanding a quiet space for your calls and best of all, your meeting attendees won’t know whether you’re dialing in from the lounge, a bar or a train station.

All controls on the QC45 headphones are physical buttons. This makes it easy to feel your way around the product when you need to quickly pause music to speak to the flight attendant and will be a familiar experience to those upgrading from the QC35.

The Bose QC45 headphones will retail for $499.95 and will be on sale on October 4th.

But what about the Bose Headphones 700?

This was my thought also. When the Bose Headphones 700 were announced it appeared like this was the end of the QC range. Having used the 700’s for long haul flights, for working from home and anything in between we’re very keen to compare the two. The Bose Headphones 700 feature 11 levels of noise cancellation, not just two. They have a more elegant and futuristic design with capacitive touch controls and a couple of buttons. Battery life is slightly less at 20 hours and voice control via Google or Alexa is available. They ever have similar voice pick-up technology to isolate environmental sounds. What’s more interesting is that they’re the same price. Both are carrying an RRP of $499.95. Is Bose relying on nostalgia and familiarity to drive sales of the QC45? Did they receive negative feedback from the Bose Headphones 700 because they were a design change too ahead of its time?

We’ve reached out to Bose for the opportunity to test the new QuietComfort 45 headphones and will be putting them side by side with the Bose Headphones 700 to help you decide which is best for you.

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