After they first surfaced in July in an FCC filing and again earlier this month, Bose is today introducing the QuietComfort 45 headphones. Priced at $329.95 and going on sale September 23rd, the QC45 headphones will offer improved active noise cancellation, a transparency / ambient sound feature that Bose calls “Aware Mode,” upgraded voice call performance, and longer battery life that can now hit 24 hours on a charge. Bose is making a big deal about this product release, claiming that it’s “updating the headphone that redefined headphones.” Preorders begin today.
Available in black or “smoke white,” they look quite similar to their QC35 II predecessors, with a design that’s much more plasticky than Bose’s other premium headphones, the Noise Canceling Headphones 700. But that means, like before, these can be folded up for easy storage in a bag or the included carrying case. Bose says it has refined the design in subtle ways: according to the company, “pleats and puckers have been removed from soft materials, and gaps between components have been replaced with smooth transitions.”
The controls are largely the same, with four buttons on the right earcup and one on the left for toggling between noise canceling and transparency modes.
Speaking of which, Bose claims the noise cancellation on the QC45s does a better job than the QC35 II headphones when it comes to eliminating mid-range frequencies, which are “those typically found in commuter trains, busy office spaces, and cafes.” Whereas the Noise Canceling Headphones 700 allow you to customize the amount of noise cancellation applied, the QC45s will offer just two modes: quiet and aware.
The QC45s also step up in terms of microphone performance. Bose has included a beam form array for improved voice isolation on calls, and there’s also “a rejection array” that is meant to prevent distracting nearby sounds from being picked up and coming through to whoever you’re speaking with.
Battery life is rated at up to 24 hours of straight playback. And yes, the QC45s have a USB-C jack. Bose says a full top-off takes two and a half hours, but you can get three hours of playback with a brief 15-minute charge. Like their predecessors and the NCH700 (which remain for sale), the QuietComfort 45 headphones support multipoint pairing for two connections at once.
The QC35 IIs will be discontinued and replaced by the QC45s, but you might still be able to find Bose’s older pair until existing inventory at retailers is depleted.