Bose QC45 and the story of Bose active noise cancelling


Bose is celebrating the 21st anniversary of its QuietComfort range with the all-new Bose QuietComfort QC45 headphones that join the QC1 (2000), QC2 (2003), QC3 (2006), QC15 (2009), QC25 (2014), QC35 (2016) and QC35 II (2017) models. Launched in 2000, the QuietComfort range produced the very first noise-cancelling headphones for the general public. An opportunity to review the history of the first noise-cancelling headphones from the famous American manufacturer.

Active noise cancelling for aircraft pilots

The story of Bose’s active noise cancelling headphones began in 1978 when Dr. Amar Bose, founder of the Bose Corporation and a professor at MIT, boarded a flight from Zurich to Boston. The airline Swiss Air provided him with a headset that only increased the perceived noise in the plane. Amar Bose then decided to develop his own noise reduction technology.

Bose founder and professor at MIT Amar Bose decided to come up with a new audio headphone technology in 1978: active noise reduction.

In 1986, while Bose active noise cancelling headphones were still under development, the brand provided two prototypes to pilots Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager to protect their hearing during their non-stop round-the-world flight.

Pilots Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager were the first to benefit from a Bose noise-cancelling headset in 1986.

Three years later, Bose revolutionized aviation for pilots with the introduction of its first-ever noise-cancelling headset, which was also designed to provide optimal comfort and effective communication.

Designed specifically to meet the requirements of pilots, the very first Bose aviation headset was released in 1989. It was a true revolution in the aviation world.

Nine years later, the brand released a new noise-cancelling model called Bose Aviation Headset X. Particularly well adapted to the needs of pilots, this new iteration featured the proprietary TriPort technology, which uses external ports to effectively increase the acoustic volume without changing the size of the ear pieces.

Released in 1998, the Bose Aviation Headset X was equipped with TriPort technology.

Bose QuietComfort: active noise-cancelling headphones

Building on its solid reputation for making noise-cancelling headsets for aviators around the world, Bose launched its first QuietComfort model, the QC1, in 2000. The latter’s design was quite different to that of the brand’s current models.

The QC1, the first Bose QuietComfort active noise-cancelling headphones, had a very distinctive design with a separate box used for the active noise reduction function.

The noise-cancelling feature could be activated via a box connected to the headphones’ cable. The box was a lot bigger than the microphones and controls that we see on headphone and IEM cables today. A precursor to the systems we know today, it was already battery operated.

The QuietComfort range is celebrating its 21st anniversary with the new Bose QuietComfort QC45 active noise-cancelling headphones.

With the launch of the QuietComfort QC1, Bose popularized noise-cancelling headphones. While pilots and travelers enjoyed the first professional Bose noise-cancelling headphones, the Bose QC1 model reached a wider audience and was optimized for everyday use. Over time, the brand added more technologies. While the first four generations (Bose QC1, Bose QC2, Bose QC3 and Bose QC15) had a wired connection, Bose began using a Bluetooth connection in 2014 with the Bose QC25 noise-cancelling headphones. 2017 also marked a turning point with the arrival of the Google Assistant voice assistant when the Bose QuietComfort QC35 II Bluetooth headphones were released, the evolution of the Bose QC35 released a year earlier.

Bose QuietComfort QC45: new active noise-cancelling headphones


For its 21st anniversary, the QuietComfort range welcomes a new arrival: the Bose QC45 noise-cancelling headphones. They have all the key features of their predecessors, the highly acclaimed Bose QuietComfort QC35 II, plus some new features and upgrades. This new Bose QuietComfort version therefore features the “Aware” mode, optimized active equalization, support for the source’s native voice assistant, a dedicated USB-C port for charging or for 4 hours of additional battery life.

The Bose QuietComfort QC45 noise-cancelling headphones can provide up to 24 hours of music playback with the ANC mode activated, ideal for long trips!

In addition, the available Bluetooth connection is the 5.1 version, compared to 4.1 for the Bose QC35 II. The design has also been revised: the visible creases on the soft materials of the Quiet Comfort 35 II have been removed and the spaces between the components have been replaced by soft transitions for more comfort and elegance. Lastly, the Bose QuietComfort QC45 is equipped with four microphones, which is one more than its predecessor, to ensure better quality phone calls.

New technologies

Aware mode

The starting point of the QuietComfort range is the “Aware” mode. Activated from the only button on the left ear piece, it allows the external microphones to capture surrounding noises and transmit them to the user’s ears. So you can keep your headphones on while remaining aware of what is happening around you.

The Aware mode available on the Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones lets you safely enjoy your music outside.

Thanks to this mode, it is possible to listen to music safely outside with the Bose QuietComfort QC45s.

Optimized active equalization

Optimized active equalization adjusts the balance of high and low frequencies according to volume, so you can enjoy high-quality sound at any volume level.

Voice assistants

One of the Bose QC45 Bluetooth headphone’s new features is its compatibility with the voice assistant of the associated source, as it is natively compatible with Google Assistant, Siri and Amazon Alexa.

To activate voice control on the Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones, simply press and hold the multifunction button on the right ear piece for 1 second.

To activate voice control on the Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones, simply press and hold the multifunction button on the right ear piece for 1 second.

Technical specifications

Active noise-cancelling
Aware mode
Optimized active equalization
Compatible with voice assistants
Bluetooth multipoint 5.1
iOS and Android control app
24 hour battery life
Quick charge
Weight: 440g

Bose QuietComfort QC45 vs Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Long recognized as THE best-seller in its category alongside the Sony WH-1000XM3, will the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 be dethroned by the Bose QuietComfort QC45? It’s a fair question…

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700Bose QuietComfort QC45
Customizable noise cancelling (11 microphones)Active noise-cancelling + Aware mode
Control buttons + touch-sensitive interfaceControl buttons
20h battery life24h battery life
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built-in,
native voice assistant
Native voice assistant
Adjustable equalizationOptimized active equalization
Spotify Tap feature

Far from being opposed, these two Bose noise cancelling-headphones simply serve slightly different needs. Which one do you choose?

While it’s already available for pre-order, the Bose QuietComfort QC45 noise-cancelling headphones will officially be in stock starting October 25, 2021.

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C’est tout droit sortie de la fac que j’ai embarqué dans l’aventure Bercée par le monde de la hi-fi et du cinéma depuis ma plus tendre enfance, cet univers m’était familier. Alors j’y suis allée. Côté installation, j'ai choisi de jeter mon dévolu sur une paire d'enceintes compactes Q Acoustics 3030i montées sur leurs pieds dédiés, et épaulées par un ancien mais très bon ampli Kenwood KR-V7070.

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