When it comes to quality headphones, Sennheiser and Bose are two names that are not to be questioned. In this article, we will discuss the comparison between two noise-canceling models from these companies, which are Sennheiser PXC 550 vs Bose QC35. Although they share some similarities, there are also several distinctive differences that set them apart.
So, continue reading below and find out more about:
– The design and appearance of each model
– Which headset that is generally more comfortable to wear
– The comparison of their noise cancelation performance
– The sound quality of Sennheiser PXC 550 vs Bose QC35
– Which headset that has better battery life
– Which headset that is more recommended for the money
Design and Appearance
Both of the two headsets here come with sleek and beautiful designs. Sennheiser PXC 550 has a modern and detailed appearance, yet without being too flashy. Bose QC35 is quite more streamlined, and is entirely monochrome, but the simple look has its own elegance and attractiveness. See also: Nuraphone vs Bose QC35.
Sennheiser PXC 550 comes with oval ear cups and a pretty wide headband. The ear cups can swivel, and are connected to the headband by firm hinges, so they will never accidentally fall off. The ear cups are made from hard plastic, whereas the headband is reinforced with a metal frame. So, the overall build quality is very good. The headset can withstand regular travel abuse just fine. This model is only available in black.
The Sennheiser headset is foldable, which is definitely a good thing. It also comes with a carrying case. However, the folding mechanism does not feel very precise, so that you are inclined to check the headset twice every time you fold it. The carrying case doesn’t feel very protective.
While the headset can connect wirelessly to your mobile device via Bluetooth, it can also work with an audio cable. The box includes a 3.5mm audio cable, a 3.5mm-to-6.3mm adapter, an in-flight adapter, and a USB cable for charging.
Bose QC35, on the other hand, comes with two color options, which are black and silver gray. It is equipped with circular ear cups and a headband that doesn’t look too bulky. The overall build quality is good. Although most of the frame seems to be made from hard plastic, the headset feels solid and rugged enough.
The ear cups of the Bose headset also swivels. The headset is foldable into a flat form. The folding mechanism feels precise and solid. Once folded, you can put it inside the slim carrying case for easy portability. The carrying case is solid, so it should be able to protect the headset against scratches and impacts. The box includes a gold-plated audio cable with 2.5mm and 3.5mm plugs, an in-flight adapter, and a USB cable for charging.
So, between Sennheiser PXC 550 vs Bose QC35, which one is more comfortable? Well, even though both headsets are generally great, Sennheiser PXC 550 turns out to be a little bit less comfortable than Bose QC35. This may be surprising because Sennheiser PXC 550 actually has a lighter body than Bose QC35.
Sennheiser PXC 550 is more suitable for someone with a relatively small head. This is because of the more compact size and the snugger fit. The Sennheiser headset is also great for people who wear headphones while lifting weights or simply lying down. It weighs about 227 grams, which is really lightweight. The top padding is particularly very comfy.
However, the headband is not very adjustable, so users with larger heads will find that the headset is a bit too tight. Furthermore, the ear cups are not very breathable – which is not surprising at all since these are closed-back headphones – but you will need to take the headset off every a few hours.
Bose QC35 is incredibly comfortable. The fit is just right, and it can accommodate any head size. It is not too tight on your head, but it still gives a stable and secure fit. People with larger heads find that the headset fits well, whereas people with smaller heads think that it is still snug enough for their liking.
The pads on the ear cups and headband are thick, soft, and comfy. The overall weight is about 234 grams, so it is only a tiny bit heavier than Sennheiser PXC 550. It is still really lightweight. Unfortunately, Bose QC35 also has some breathability issues, so your ears will feel warm pretty quickly and you will need to free them every a few hours as well.
Both Sennheiser PXC 550 vs Bose QC35 offer active noise cancelation. So, which one is better in this aspect? We all know that Bose has the best noise cancelation, but the Sennheiser headset here can be more versatile and adaptable.
The noise cancelation of Sennheiser PXC 550 is actually good. It can block and eliminate most environmental noise very well. However, it is more like an echo chamber, as it will still let you hear your own breathing. It does not give total silence.
The advantage of Sennheiser PXC 550 is that you can adjust the noise cancelation. There are several settings that will let you increase or decrease the intensity of the noise cancelation. This way, you can wear it to reduce most environmental noise, but you can still hear some of the louder sounds. This is definitely better and safer if you want to wear the headset while commuting or walking outside. You can also turn the noise cancelation off when necessary.
Bose QC35 has a truly impressive noise cancelation. It can block virtually all sounds from the outside. You won’t hear anything. It will give you total silence after you put the headphones on your ears. So, this headset is the way to go if you are looking for a headset that can isolate you away from the world.
However, the noise cancelation on Bose QC35 is not adjustable. You can’t reduce the intensity in order to hear some traffic sounds or to hear your boss calling out your name. You also can’t turn the noise cancelation off, although it is possible to use the headset without the ANC when you are using an audio cable without battery.
Now, let’s compare the sound quality of Sennheiser PXC 550 vs Bose QC35. They both have excellent sound quality, but each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. Sennheiser PXC 550 is generally better for Android phones, whereas Bose QC35 is great with iOS devices.
Sennheiser PXC 550 has good bass performance. The low-frequency sounds are balanced and accurate. However, the midrange and upper-midrange sounds tend to falter. As the effect, some vocals and instruments may come out to be not very clear.
However, Sennheiser PXC 550 supports the aptX codec system, which is used by many Android smartphones for high-quality music. Bose QC35 does not support this codec. This is why Sennheiser PXC 550 generally sounds better when playing music from an Android device. However, Sennheiser PXC 550 does not support the AAC sound format used by iOS devices, so it uses the lower-quality SBC codec when playing from an iPhone.
Bose QC35 has slightly better overall sound quality. It has strong, heavy bass. As the effect, the output may sound like it’s been digitally enhanced, but this is actually a good thing for a fun listening experience. Of course, this also means that the Bose headset is not suitable for people who need headphones for analyzing and performing critical reviews over music tracks. The midrange and treble are quite crisp and detailed, without getting muddled on any part.
Bose QC35 supports the AAC sound format, which is used by iOS devices. As the effect, the overall sound quality when playing music from an iPhone is noticeably better and more detailed. However, Bose QC35 doesn’t support the aptX codec, and it is a mystery why the company hasn’t decided to implement this codec on their headphones as well.
Both headsets here have decent battery life. However, Bose QC35 has a slight advantage here. It has a slightly longer battery life, and it is more user-friendly when it comes to showing the remaining battery level.
Sennheiser PXC 550 can last for about 20 hours when used wirelessly, or up to 30 hours when used with the audio cable. However, it does not have any way to tell you the remaining battery level. It only has a voice prompt which suddenly interrupts you when the battery is running low; and the voice prompt is repeated at an interval. This is quite annoying at times.
Bose QC35 can last for about 20 hours when used with Bluetooth, or up to 40 hours when used with the audio cable. It shows the battery level percentage when turned on, so there is no guesswork on deciding when to recharge the headset.
Sennheiser PXC 550 vs Bose QC35
- Bluetooth 4.2 wireless technology in an ergonomically designed lightweight, comfortable and collapsible travel headset perfect for travel. Connectivity Technology: Wireless
- NoiseGard adaptive noise cancellation ensures superior sound quality in every environment
- Intuitive user control and convenience thanks for voice prompts, touch controls, NFC pairing, smart pause and automatic on/off
- Triple microphone array delivers business class communications with exceptional vocal clarity..Sennheiser sound signature quality with selective sound modes to enhance the listening experience
- Impedance:Active 490 Ohm/ Passive 46 Ohm. The PXC 550 wireless is fully compatible with CapTune, sennheiser's premium quality music player and powerful sound tuning app to perfectly adjust the feel of your music to your personal preference
- World-class noise cancellation makes quiet sound quieter and music sound better. Plush ear cushions are manufactured from a synthetic protein leather
- Volume-optimized EQ for balanced audio performance at any volume
- Wireless convenience, with easy Bluetooth and NFC pairing aided by voice prompts
- 20-hour battery life per charge; up to 40 hours in wired mode
- Noise-rejecting dual-microphone system for clear calls even in windy environments
Both models are very good headsets with different advantages and disadvantages. However, Bose QC35 is generally more recommended for the money. This model is more comfortable, and it also has better overall sound quality. The noise cancelation is very powerful, although without being adjustable. The battery life is a bit longer when used with the audio cable.