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Beats Studio 3 vs Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II Best Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones 2018

There are many excellent noise cancelling headphones in 2018, but there can be only one winner. Let’s pit against each other a pair of stylish headphones with Apple’s W1 chip, the Beats Studio 3, and a king of active noise cancellation, the Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II to see which of these two $350 headphones deserves your hard-earned money the most.

ProductBrandNamePrice
BeatsBeats Studio3 Wireless Headphones - Matte BlackBuy on Amazon|$181.92(Price as of 11/21/2018 05:31 ET)
BoseBose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones, Noise CancellingBuy on Amazon|$349(Price as of 11/21/2018 05:31 ET)
SonySony WH1000XM3 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Over Ear Headphones, Black (WH-1000XM3/B)Buy on Amazon|$348(Price as of 11/21/2018 05:31 ET)

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.

Build and Design

Beats clearly knows how to design attractive headphones otherwise its products wouldn’t be so popular. If it wasn’t for the prominent Beats logo, the Studio 3 would be among the most elegant headphones on the market today. Still, their simple, curvy design with clearly defined lines looks great, and the fact that the headphones are available in many different colors only makes them more appealing.

The QuietComfort 35 Series II look very much like the original version, which is to say they have the look of a PC accessory from the early 2000s. Instead of elegant lines, you get buttons, toggles, and rugged hinges. The design of Bose’s headphones has traditionally been popular among business people and techies—not so much fashion-conscious commuters.

But when it comes to build quality and materials, the two headphones are mostly equal. The QuietComfort 35 Series II felts slightly more comfortable after an hour of uninterrupted listening, but that could be down to individual differences and not their design.

Extra Features

Unlike the original version of the QuietComfort 35, the new version has a dedicated button for Google Assistant, allowing you to launch Google Assistant and check calendar events, send messages or control music playback with a simple button press. The button works on all Android devices with Android 7.0 or newer, and it’s also compatible with iPhones thanks to the Google Assistant app, which can be downloaded from the App Store.

The Studio 3 have something even better than support for Google Assistant. They have Apple’s W1 chip built-in. This custom-designed silicon adds support for advanced power management, seamless pairing, and more in addition to standard Bluetooth 4.1 streaming. You may already be familiar with the chip from the Apple AirPods, which are arguably the most convenient wireless earbuds at the moment.

The only problem is that the chip does everything it’s designed to do only with Apple devices. Android users can still pair their devices with W1-enabled headphones, but they’ll work just like any other Bluetooth headphones.

Sound Quality

Before we get to sound quality, we want to talk about the exceptional Bluetooth range and stability of the Studio 3. The W1 chip is truly a marvelous piece of technology, and it provides around 50 meters of indoor range. On top of that, the headphones instantly pair with any recent iPhone, which elevates the entire listening experience to a whole new level. The QuietComfort 35 Series II have a decent range as well, but they’re no match for the Studio 3.

But when it comes to sound quality, it’s a much more even match. The QuietComfort 35 Series II are well balanced, their sound stage is spacious, and they play well with just about any music genre under the sun. The Studio 3 have a far more polarizing sound than the QuietComfort 35 Series II, and they’re clearly engineered with certain music genres in mind, namely hip hop and pop. If you prefer your bass to be on the heavy side and you don’t mind losing some details under its weight, the Studio 3 will likely put a smile on your face.

Noise Cancellation

The QuietComfort 35 Series II are widely considered to be one of the most effective noise cancelling headphones, so it’s really no surprise that the Studio 3 don’t quite reach their level of noise cancelling performance.

You can certainly hear the difference when you turn on the adaptive noise cancelling feature on the Studio 3, but the QuietComfort 35 Series II do a much better job of eliminating high-pitched noise and the human voice. With the QuietComfort 35 Series II, you can choose from three different levels of noise cancellation with the Action Button to find the right balance between battery life and quietness.

Battery Life

Speaking of battery life, that’s where the W1 chip gives the Studio 3 an edge over the QuietComfort 35 Series II. During our testing, the Studio 3 comfortably achieved more than 24 hours of uninterrupted playback on a single charge at a moderate volume level. The QuietComfort 35 Series II, on the other hand, barely achieved 20 hours at a comparable volume level.

While 20 hours on a single charge is still a lot, every extra hour goes a long way when you take into consideration the fact that batteries naturally lose their capacity over time.

Price

Both the QuietComfort 35 Series II and the Studio 3 cost $350, which only makes this comparison more difficult. What’s more, the excellent Sony WH1000XM3, which are Beats’ and Bose’s biggest competition at the moment also cost $350. Clearly, if you want great sound quality and impressive noise cancellation in 2018, $350 is the price to pay.

Verdict

If you know anything at all about Beats and Bose as companies, you probably don’t expect a decisive verdict because you know that each company makes headphones that target completely different consumers.

The QuietComfort 35 Series II from Bose are perfect for someone who values sound quality above everything else. Their battery life is decent, their design is acceptable, and their noise cancelling performance is impressive.

The Studio 3 from Beats, on the other hand, combine great sound quality with a fashion-conscious design to appeal to younger consumers and brand worshippers. Because they feature Apple’s W1 chip, they’re an excellent choice for iPhone users, who can enjoy effortless pairing and a very long battery life.

ProductBrandNamePrice
BeatsBeats Studio3 Wireless Headphones - Matte BlackBuy on Amazon|$181.92(Price as of 11/21/2018 05:31 ET)
BoseBose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones, Noise CancellingBuy on Amazon|$349(Price as of 11/21/2018 05:31 ET)
SonySony WH1000XM3 Wireless Industry Leading Noise Canceling Over Ear Headphones, Black (WH-1000XM3/B)Buy on Amazon|$348(Price as of 11/21/2018 05:31 ET)

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.

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