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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Optimized active equalization
Compatible with voice assistants
Bluetooth multipoint 5.1
iOS and Android control app
24 hour battery life
Bose QuietComfort QC45 vs Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
|Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700||Bose QuietComfort QC45|
|Customizable noise cancelling (11 microphones)||Active noise-cancelling + Aware mode|
|Control buttons + touch-sensitive interface||Control buttons|
|20h battery life||24h battery life|
|Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built-in,|
native voice assistant
|Native voice assistant|
|Adjustable equalization||Optimized 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.