Beats Solo3 Wireless vs Bose QC35 II: Which is better?
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.
- W1 chip built-in
- Amazing battery-life
- Lots of color options
- Fast Fuel for quick top ups
- 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.
- Fantastic noise-cancellation
- Very comfortable
- Superb sound quality
- Multiple device pairing
- 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.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Beats Solo3 Wireless||Bose QC 35 II|
|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
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.
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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Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.
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