While two giants tussle to sell best of ANC headphones at the same price, I have carefully evaluated them both on various features to make the buy decision easier. Again each comment is relative to Sony 1000xm3 VS Bose QC35ii and comparison is purely made between these two. Jut to tell you that the background study is done in real technical depth, but I have tried to keep the article simple for the layman understanding, I mean that’s my job at Howzbuy.com to make your buying decision easier 🙂
Needless to say that whatever equipment’s you use to measure the performance of headphones and whatever technical jargon you can tell for each headphones, finally its a subjective matter and each person will perceive the same headphone differently … So someone who really loves Bose signature sound which is really more towards neutral and true mostly may not like the Sony high Bass from XM3 .. anyway lets see comparing both one by one feature-wise and technical specs too.
Sony 1000xm3 VS Bose QC35ii Comparison and Review
Lets begin with comfort and then dive into the sound and call quality to determine which one is best sounding out of the two.
Wearing comfort – BOSE wins
There are two important points for any headphone .. one is weight of headphones and other is comfort for long duration listening ..
In terms of weight the Sony XM3 (254 grams) are bit heavier than Bose QC35ii (232 grams) – only for reference I can tell you that Sennheiser PXC-550 weights only 227 grams.
But the weight difference is not that great that you will cry for! mathematically speaking Sony are 10% heavier than Bose!!
Now coming to the long duration wearing comfort … Sony XM3 have slightly shallower cups, creating a warm feeling after long time wear .. so many people and websites have rated Sony negative due to sweating issues. This is may be because the ear-cups touch the ears after wearing ..
Bose is unanimously rated as best for longer duration wearing comfort, I think they are the lightest ANC headphones on earth! also bose are airy and roomy from inside as compared to Sony …
So if you are going to use them in Office throughout the day .. then surely go for Bose QC35ii
Touch controls – Sony wins
After you talk on wearing comfort .. second thing that comes to my mind is about operating the headphones using controls like volume up/down, ANC on/off, skipping tracks etc.
In this case Sony scores pretty good using their high tech super intuitive to use touch controls, however some kind of learning will be needed to operate these headphones.
Bose have traditional button controls, but they are also easy to use kind. In this case no learning needed since the controls are kind of proven method for headphones over ears.
As compared to Mark 2 Sony has improved in the touch control sensitivity, maybe due to change in the texture on ear-cups.
Voice assistant – Bose wins
Although I am not too freaky about using the voice assistant .. but just for those who really use it effectively …
Both of these headphones do provide voice assistant, Sony has only Google assistant whereas Bose adds Alexa too.
Battery – Sony wins
Another factor discussed over length across internet is about the battery life, now this is mainly due to laziness of anyone to charge headphones and the mobile phones! Yes, honestly as per me it has got nothing to do with how many house one uses it in a day .. to my experience even in the longest flights .. you can really use the headphones to 5-6 hours and not more than that! so why do people bother about longest battery life is only they are too lazy to put the headphones for charging!
Sony uses latest USB-C thus providing fastest charging method as against BOSE using old micro-USB charging port.
Both have cable provision in case the battery turns down.
Both headphones do not work while charging, so you can’t listen and charge at the same time.
Sony = 30 hours, Bose = 20 hours music playtime
Just for reference .. look at the Competition battery life
30 hours B&O H8I
30 hours Sennheiser PXC550
22 hours Bowers & Wilkins PX
22 hours Beats Studio 3
20 hours Bose QC35II
Claimed battery life by Sony
uoto 30 hours – NC ON
Max 22 hours – Ambien sound mode)
Max 38 hours – NC OFF
Max 36 hours – With headphone cable NC ON
So Sony regains life of 5 hours with just 10 minutes of quick charge!
Multipoint connection – Bose wins
Bose can pair with two devices at the same time
Sony can pair with only one device at a time
Most commonly I want to see movie on my iPad during train travel and when I get a phone call then I don’t really want to put off my headphones to simply take a call from my iPhone! So in this case Sony is completely NO for me! Bose allows connecting two devices like an iPhone and iPad at the same time, hence I need not take off the headphones but simply talk over phone call by pausing my movie.
So for couple travelers like me who want to connect two devices at the same time Winner is BOSE
LDAC sound – Sony wins
In-general both headphones are good in terms of quality of sound they can deliver.
Sony features LDAC which is one of the best wireless transmission ever (Android 8.0 or higher supports LDAC)
Sony has little more Bass compared to BOSE, sony also offers lot more clarity of instruments and vocals
QC35ii are better for listening to Classical music since delivers neutral and true sound compared to Sony
for someone who feels neutral sounding boring best to go for Sony XM3 .. .also XM3 provides more flexibility with the EQ options …
Sony does have app which gives some room effects, however they do not exceptionally do well … but good to have like facility …
relative comparison of sound can be done using dummy head .. but its not absolute .. since u can hear it through ur headphones ..
Bluetooth – Wireless truely
Just for reference …. look at the Bluetooth data speeds
LDAC = Max 990 KBPS (Sample rate/bit = 96 KHZ / 24 Bit)
APTX HD = Max 576 KBPS ( 48 KHZ / 24 BIT)
APT X = 352 KBPS
SBC = MAX 328 KBPS
Bose has only SBC and AAC, however BOSE do deliver its own well balanced sound signature.
Bluetooth range is not an issue for both headphones ..
However reliability of Bluetooth for XM3 is better than QC35ii ….
ANC – Sony wins
Sony outperforms Bose in ANC in noisy situations like restaurants, commute, airplane, subway, office as well as standard noises like AC systems
Sony features automatic active noise cancellation.
XM3 NC can be more precisely adjusted to your personal needs .. this is over and above the automatic NC models based on the action you are doing .. I mean walking, sitting, travelling in an airplane etc.
The difference with wireless versus wired is too little in both headphones …
Sound Leakage – Can your neighbor listen to your headphones?
Sound leakage from drivers is more in Bose than Sony .. so if you are listening louder then on Bose headphones . someone sitting nearby in somewhat silent area will be able to listen what you are playing.
Of-course Bose is also better than many other competition headphones, but surely Sony wins the battle here.
Voice Call quality – Bose wins
Bose provides more cleaner call quality during train travel than Sony headphones.
Sony delivers slightly lower call quality sound .. what I mean is that the other side person will listen to you in slightly suppressed sound like …
Bose delivers comparatively clean crisp voice quality to the listener at other end, which is desired and liked by me. I will say Bose is something near to True sound.
Music sharing – Bose wins
Bose allows sharing music across two bose headphones using the app, hence if I want to see a movie during my plane travel alongwith my wife, I am able to do it using Bose headphones.
However Sony does not have such music sharing option as well as it does not allow multi-point connection. Which means only I will be able to see the movie! or while I see the movie I can’t take a call over headphones!
Both are foldable and portable. So in this case Sony vs Bose .. both scores the same.
Headband breakage issue
And finally I must touch upon the most infamous issue of Sony XM1 and XM2 headband breakage issue. This has been discussed over internet world for a while and I have not found Sony commenting on this issue anywhere on this earth!
But the fact is that many many complaints about the Sony XM series on headband breaking in short duration making the $400 headphones useless in a while!
However many websites including RTINGS.com have mentioned that Sony XM3 has improved and better headband design than M2’s which will surely resolve the headband breakage issue! lets see, how it goes.
Specs comparison table
Best Buy price & offers
|Weight||0.6 lbs||0.52 lbs|
|Clamping Force||0.8 lbs||0.69 lbs|
|Ease of use||Good|
|Noise Canceling Control||Yes||Adjustable|
|Additional Buttons||Voice enabled controls|
|Battery Life||27 hrs||20 hrs|
|Charge Time||2.2 hrs||2.1 hrs|
|Power Saving Feature||Auto-Off Timer|
|Audio while charging||No|
|Multi-Device Pairing||No||2 Devices|
Go for Sony 1000xm3 if
If priority is Noise cancelling then you must go for Sony (public places, transport, air travel etc)
If you like high Bass … LDAC quality high tech sound .. then go for Sony .. Great for movie watching and rock ..
for someone upgrading from XM1 .. XM3 would be surely YES, but upgrading from XM2 to XM3, I will not insist on.
Go for Bose QC35ii if
Although Bose do not feature most of the high tech features like Sony … They provide Bose own sound signature with clear call quality and most powerful is wearing comfort for number of long hours … so If priority is long time wearing then go for Bose
If you like more true sound .. clear vocals .. if you love Bose balanced sound signature .. then go for Bose …
Easy to listen .. easy to wear .. lot of calls .. sharing music with your friend / watching movie with your love … Bose is the best ..
References for this post
Live Q&A Sony WH-1000XM3 vs Bose QuietComfort 35 II Headphones – RTINGS.com – Video link
Sony 1000xm3 VS Bose QC35ii : Listen to the difference… HERE – Video link