Headphones for any occasion – Bose QuietComfort 45 Review

Bose Headphone QuietComfort 45 Cover
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Written by Max Delaney

Updated - July 19th, 2022

There aren’t many better-respected sound brands in the world than Bose. Quality is guaranteed whether it’s a soundbar, speaker system or pair of headphones. For this reason, I was so excited to have the opportunity to test their QuietComfort 45 (QC 45) headphones.

Because Bose is such a high-level player in the headphone game, I came into this experience with supreme expectations. While it’s fair to say the QC 45 met these expectations, they were not exceeded. Sitting at just under $500 AUD, it is acceptable to expect a top-quality product, and a few features hold these headphones back from that.

Benefits

  • Clear and Crisp, High Audio Quality.
  • Comfort that lasts.
  • Excellent noise cancellation with Quiet Mode.

Drawbacks

  • Forced and awkward App integration.
  • Clumsy design features.
  • Lofty asking price.

Using Bose Headphone QuietComfort 45 for Studying

Design

The Bose Quiet Comfort 45 screams quality. A dull, off-white colour and traditional design leave high quality and extreme comfort for the user to discover—no need to scream ‘high quality” with flashy design. The Bose Comfort 45 was made to sit comfortably for hours.

Sealing firmly over your ears with cups not overly large. Not only does this tight fit mean the headphones don’t take up unwanted space on the rim of your head, but the tighter fit makes noise cancellation much easier.

Metal is used minimally on the joints of the Bose QC 45, with a primarily plastic covering keeping the weight down. These metal joints allow the headphones to be easily folded and safely held in their accompanying carry case. If, in the unfortunate event that the headphones were dropped, the headband is filled with glass-filled nylon to maintain shape and protect itself. Found on both the top and bottom of the headband, my headphone-sensitive scalp was thankful for the extra padding.

Unfortunately, as shown in the drawbacks above – the visible metal screws are a design element that annoys me. Flaunted as some kind of minimalistic design element, it just comes off as tacky. For headphones that just shine with elegance; otherwise, visible screws in the joints clash heavily. Priced highly and otherwise elegantly designed, if the screws were covered, I would have no issue with the design of these over-ear headphones.

Easily control your entire headphone arsenal from the earcups. Volume up/down and play pause sit right next to the USB Type-C charging port on the right cup, while on the left, you will find the power on/off slide switch.

Bose QuietComfort 45 Headphone

Battery Life

With around 24 hours of use coming from a single charge, you will have no issue with the battery life of the Bose QC 45. While being able to pick them up off your desk before you run out the door without charging would be a dream, Bose has provided quality in the battery department. One nifty little feature is that the QC45 provides you with an audio cue that updates you on the battery percentage every time they’re activated.

While a tad over two hours will fully charge the headphones, charging them for 15-45minutes while you shower and get dressed before work will give you three hours of listening time. These charging times may not be in the top echelon of the headphone world. It’s hard to find an issue with it.

Bose Music App Integration

Almost everything needs an app these days. Buy a coffee from your local cafe and you need to scan the QR code and download their app to drink it. The Bose QC 45 headphone is no different. Unfortunately, the headphones are a shadow of themselves without the Bose Music app. Fortunately, the app is incredibly easy to use and useful for the management of your headphone settings.

Allowing the user to view information like battery percentage and personalise audio settings, the frustrating part of the forced app integration is that you can’t connect to the headphones through bluetooth without it.

Bose QuietComfort 45 Power, Features And Performance

If you’ve been questioning the price tag with everything you have heard about these headphones, their performance will put any questions to bed. It will only take you putting these headphones on and listening to your favourite song for any worries you have to float away. With the Bose QuietComfort 45’s on your head, the sound in your ears will be of the highest fidelity. Whether watching La La Land, listening to Metallica or your favourite podcast, what comes through to your ears will be the clarity and accuracy you would expect from $500 headphones.

However, a little personalisation will be needed if you’re looking to get the most out of the QC 45. Luckily, that is easily configured in the Bose Music App. Straight out of the box, you might find the sound levels, and mainly the bass is a bit muted. Be sure to download the app, and you’ll listen to the exact sounds you enjoy.

Two of the best features of the QC 45 are the Quiet and Aware modes. The former activates the headphone’s acoustic noise cancelling feature to block out any outside noise, basically shutting out any noise other than what you’re listening to. The former, turned on by the press of a button on the left earcup, lets in close noises – meaning your attention will be able to be gained.

Want to focus on your work, coffee and soft jazz in a crowded cafe? Quiet mode will put you into your own world. Working from home but need to remain aware of children, pets or partners? Aware mode is your friend.

Headphones for any occasion Bose QuietComfort 45

Are you often on the phone and don’t like taking your headphones off for a call? Don’t worry. The QuietComfort 45’s will give you the best experience a phone call can provide. The audio will come through clearly, and I have heard no issues from those I spoke to. If you’re a heavy Siri (or Google or Bixby or Alexa user), you might be disappointed as there are no controls on the headphones for a virtual assistant. However, this is insignificant for the majority of audiophiles.

Final Verdict

Telling a buyer that a pair of headphones are worth a $500 price tag is an arduous task. Has Bose created yet another top-tier audio product that has proven itself worthy of the asking price? Yes. The QuietComfort 45 headphones sound and feel immaculate – like they should. Are they twice as good as the best $250 headphones? Maybe to specific users.

It’s annoying that you need to download an app to find the true greatness of the headphones, but in the modern age, that is almost expected. The only true drawback of this headphone gadget is the peculiar choice to leave the screws visible, and that does not affect how well the headphones work or how good they look when they’re on your head. They’re incredibly comfortable, have a clear midrange for those who listen to various music genres and can be used all day.

A few drawbacks might hold it back from a perfect score, but the Bose Quiet Comfort 45 gets close.

Max Delaney

Max Delaney is a Journalism student at Macquarie University, joining Gadget User in 2022 and reporting on a variety of topics. Only early in his career, Max is excited to write guides, reviews and more to help you make informed purchases!