Bose is not a brand always well loved by the audio cognoscenti. It is rather conservative and sometimes launches quite dull products with such energy and confidence that they get unwarranted adulation in the non-specialist media.
In headphones, however, especially the noise-cancelling variety, Bose is the master of the middle market, and I don’t mean that pejoratively. Its headphones are ideal for planes and trains, but you’d hesitate to use them with a high-end home hifi. Serious travelling types love them – look around you in the more superior cabins on any flight and you’ll see just how dominant the brand is.
My travel headphones of choice have been Plantronics BackBeat Pro. But Bose’s new QuietComfort 35 are better. At 310g they are 30g lighter and very comfortable; they are also more compact and come in a great case. The sound is assured, classy and powerful and the battery life immense – enough for the longest flight. And their noise-cancelling capability is disorientatingly effective – they don’t leak sound too badly, either. You could happily wear these just to quieten the office. They’re so good, I can’t fault them.