3 reasons the Bose QC45s are better than the AirPods Max - and why you need a pair

Bose QC45
(Image credit: Future/ iMore)

The Bose QC45s are some excellent headphones, and they can currently be had for something of a bargain price. At Amazon, there is currently an $80 saving (opens in new tab) on all colors of the ever-comfortable headphones, making them less than half the price of some of the alternatives - alternatives like the AirPods Max.

Despite the higher price and more impressive material quality of the AirPods Max, there are actually several reasons why you should go for a pair of the Bose QC45s - here are the three biggest reasons.

Reason 1 - sound quality

It's no great secret that I am not a fan of the sound profile of the AirPods Max - as with so many headphones you'll find out in the wild, they have a bass-forward signature that makes them overly warm. While a popular sound, it is by no means 'good' - and thankfully, the QC45's sound profile is a little less boomy.

Frequency response is good across the board, with a more neutral signature. This allows for more dynamism, with the quieter parts of songs and tunes more able to break through the rest of the music. Bass is present, smooth, and controlled, and never too much. For many, the AirPods Max wow with their warmth upon first listen - but give something that's a little more restrained a try, and you'll find notes and sounds in your music that you'll never have heard before on other headphones. The QC45's neutral, detailed sound are great for this.

AirPods Max

(Image credit: Christine Chan/ iMore)

Reason 2 - the carry case

It may sound really silly, but this is one of the biggest reasons to avoid the AirPods Max. In the box, the Apple headphones feature a weird, microfibre-lined, limp-wristed attempt at a carrying case that clacks the expensive aluminum earcups together when you put the headphones in. A carrying case should bring confidence when tossing them in a bag - the AirPods Max case just makes you worry that something will catch on the expensive headband. You can buy one of the best AirPods Max cases, but then you're spending extra on a very expensive pair of headphones.

The QC45's case is a simple, sturdy affair. It's a hard case with a zipper closure and compartments inside for all the accessories that come with the headphones. You can plonk it in a backpack without worrying whether harm will come to the headphones. More importantly, you don't have to go out and find a good one and spend extra to make sure that your headphones are safe - and when you spend more than $200 on a pair of headphones, anything extra is too much.

Reason 3: Price

The AirPods Max are very expensive - and for the package you get, $549 is far too much to spend. Even when they're reduced, the competition is still cheaper and offers far better value than Apple's aluminum headphones. Even when they're full price, the QC45s are a better buy - for $200 less, you'll get better sound, similarly performing noise canceling, and a much better carry case. Now, at the price they are on Amazon, they are less than half the price of the AirPods Max - so you can save even more.

Bose QC45 | (opens in new tab)

Bose QC45 | $329 $249 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

This deal brings the QC45s back to their lowest price, saving you around $80. This price has been around before, but it tends to leave pretty quickly too. Either way, these are some of the best over-head noise-canceling headphones, and at this price, they offer far better value than the alternatives.

  • More headphone deals: Amazon (opens in new tab) | Best Buy (opens in new tab) | Walmart (opens in new tab)

If you're not convinced and absolutely have to have a pair of AirPods Max, we know where to find all the best AirPods deals. There's also Black Friday on the horizon - and we're looking forward to the best AirPods Black Friday deals.

Tammy Rogers
Buying Guides and Deals Writer

As the Buying Guides and Deals writer for iMore, Tammy puts over a decade of experience in finding the best prices of Apple products to work, helping you save money on the equipment that you want. An audiophile at heart, she loves all things audio and visual, but you’ll also find her drooling over the latest Macs and MacBooks. With a Masters in screenwriting, Tammy likes to spend her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays or driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.