Long-lasting battery

Beats Solo3 Wireless

All-around quality

Bose QC 35 II

The Beats Solo3 Wireless headphones sound as good as they are stylish, and its 40-hour battery life will keep you listening to your favorite stuff for a long time. The built-in W1 chip makes the Beats Solo3 a perfect companion to any iPhone; however, the lack of noise cancellation in a pair of headphones this size is unfortunate.

$197 at Amazon

Pros

  • W1 chip built-in
  • Amazing battery-life
  • Lots of color options
  • Fast Fuel for quick top ups

Cons

  • Not as comfortable
  • No noise cancellation

The noise cancellation on QC 35 IIs is just incredible, and Bose has been the gold standard in that regard for quite some time. The sound on these headphones is exceptionally balanced, meaning regardless of what you listen to you're going to be happy with the way it sounds. The slightly bland look, the high price tag, and its 20-hour battery life are a few (if not only) of the shortcomings.

$349 at Amazon

Pros

  • Fantastic noise-cancellation
  • Very comfortable
  • Superb sound quality
  • Multiple device pairing

Cons

  • Bland style
  • Less battery life

The major differences

Both Bose and Beats have been in the headphone space for quite some time, and both companies have developed a signature sound for their devices. If you've ever used a pair of Beats headphones (or a speaker) you'll know that the bass is quite heavy, and for some, maybe even too heavy. Bose, on the other hand, keep its sound profile very balanced and pretty neutral. Basically, the Bose QC 35 II's are better for more types of music and other sounds than the Beats Solo3 out of the box.

When you're looking at a pair of over-ear headphones, most people want some sort of noise-cancellation, and in that category, Bose wins hands down. The Beats Solo3's offer no noise cancellation and the passive noise isolation isn't even that great. The QC 35 II's have three different noise canceling options you can use allowing you to choose how much of the outside world you want to hear or not.

Beats Solo3 Wireless Bose QC 35 II
W1 chip Yes No
Noise cancellation No Yes
Battery-life 40 hours 20 hours
Charge time 1.5 hours 2.5 hours
Audio while charging Yes No
Power saving feature None Auto-off timer
Carrying case included Yes Yes

The other significant difference that's going to affect most users is battery life. The Bose QC 35 II's have a decent 20 hours of wireless battery life, which will vary a little based on your usage, but in our testing mostly rings true. The Beats Solo3 has a whopping 40-hour battery life on wireless, and in our personal experience that quoted time is accurate. Plus, the Fast Fuel that Beats offers to mean when your battery does run low, you can get three hours of battery life with only five minutes of charging.

Without beating around the bush, the Bose QC 35 II's are the premium headphones you would expect from a company like Bose. If you're a true audiophile and want noise cancellation, you'll be much happier with the QC 35 II's if you're willing to dish out the cash.

So what do the Beats offer? Well, we've said it before and will repeat it: If you're an iPhone user, the W1 chip is just awesome. It takes away any hassle of pairing and connecting the headphones to your iPhone and other Apple devices and makes your pair of Beats Solo3 Wireless feel like an extension of your iPhone rather than a standard accessory. Of course, the Beats have a slightly poorer sound quality than the QC 35 II that favors low-end tones over highs, and it doesn't have noise-cancellation so you'll be hearing the world around you a lot.

Best in class

Bose QC 35 II

Incredible noise-cancellation

At the end of the day, the Bose QC 35 II's offer so much good and very little bad. The noise-cancellation features are second to none, and the sound quality is phenomenal. The headphones may be a little bland to some, but you can wear them on your ears all day without feeling uncomfortable.

W1-chip enabled

Beats Solo3 Wireless

Fantastic for Apple users

The Beats Solo3 Wireless headphones are no slouch. With an incredible 40-hour battery life and the ability to charge up three hours of usage in only five minutes, the Beats Solo3 will keep you rocking and on-the-go more than almost any other headphone. While the bass-heavy sound profile may not be everyone's cup of tea, they are very stylish and have a fairly reasonable price tag for all the features they include.

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