Sennheiser is a German company that specializes in producing a wide range of high-end audio products such as headphones and microphones. [Read more…] about Sennheiser HD558 vs HD598: Pros & Cons and Verdict
Sennheiser is a German company that specializes in producing a wide range of high-end audio products such as headphones and microphones. [Read more…] about Sennheiser HD558 vs HD598: Pros & Cons and Verdict
Headphones industry is dominated by a few big names and a handful of smaller names. Out of the big ones in this industry, Bose and Sennheiser are right at the top.
Both these companies specialize in making top-class headphones that provide a fantastic listening experience to users. They also tend to come with advanced features and excellent comfort.
These statements are sure to make you wonder if it holds good for every headphone model from these two companies. Well, that’s exactly what we are going to find out. In fact, we will be comparing Sennheiser PXC 550 with Bose QC35 to see which of the two is better and in what aspects.
We will be comparing these two headphones across different aspects such as design, comfort, sound quality and more to get an in-depth idea about which headphones are more suited for each aspect.
Sennheiser and Bose have put in considerable effort into the design of these headphones, and this is why both of them look sleek, beautiful and elegant.
Sennheiser has a modern look that is not too flashy, but at the same time, its design helps it to stand out in a crowd. The ear cups are oval and the headband is slightly wide. The ear cups have a swivelling mechanism with firm hinges, so they will never fall off, thereby making it ideal for many activities like lying down or jogging.
The overall build quality of Sennheiser is solid. The headband is reinforced by a wide metal frame while the ear cups are made of a dense plastic. Both of these materials are durable and can withstand moderate falls and tumbles.
This pair of headphone comes with a detachable cable that is about four and a half feet long. Other accessories include 1/8″ TRS, 1/16″ TRS, audio cable and a USB charging cable.
Moving on to QC 35, these headphones are all-black in colour and this could have an understated appeal among users. For those who prefer to have a flashy option, there is also a silver grey alternative. The ear cups and headband are similar to its previous model’s ad the look and feel are overall nice. Maybe Bose did not find the need to make significant changes in its design when compared to its previous models, because the users loved them all.
When it comes to accessories, it comes with the same ones as that of Sennheiser.
Both headphones come with a cool carrying case. Bose’s case is smaller and has a better design. Also, you can fold your Bose headphones and fit them easily into this case. The carrying case of Sennheiser doesn’t look as strong and well-built as that of Bose.
Also, they have zippers that tend to get pushed on the hinges and is hard to find at times. To top it all, Sennheiser headphones have to be folded in a certain weird way, so we had to check the manual for the first few times till we got familiar with it.
The carrying case of Bose is compact and at the same time, large enough to fit the headphones. They are made of a sturdy material that will give good protection even against hard falls. It doesn’t add much bulk either and overall makes it easily portable.
Overall, the design of both the headphones is great, so it is more of a personal choice as to which design you prefer.
Bose QC 35s are made for those with larger heads while PXC 550 gives a good fit for those with small heads. The latter is also ideal for those who wear their headphones while lying down or lifting weights.
That said, the padding used is top notch. Sennheiser’s padding material on both the headbands and ear cups makes it comfortable to wear. Also, the headband has a low profile, which means, it will not stick out above your head.
The ear cups of Sennheiser are large enough to fit any ears and the padding helps to give a stable fit. The headband is also well-cushioned, so your head does not feel the strain of headband. But when you wear it for a long period of time, it feels a bit tight and this could be a spot of bother for many people.
One drawback is that the headband is not adjustable enough to fit heads of all sizes and this could come as a bummer to someone who has a large head and wants to use these headphones.
When it comes to breathability, Sennheiser headphones score average. They definitely have a breathable design despite being a closed back over-ear headphones. Yet, they obstruct air flow considerably and this doesn’t make them ideal for intense workout sessions. The good part though is that the design keeps the outer ear cooler.
Moving on to the carrying case, it is a decent-sized one. But definitely it cannot protect your headphones from hard falls, so this is something to keep in mind. Also, they are not so convenient to move around because the large ear cups fold well, but don’t fit neatly into the frame. So, carrying them around in your bag is not the best idea. You are better off putting it in the carrying case that comes with it.
Bose QC 35 is one of the most comfortable headphones available in the market today. They do not feel too tight on your head and yet give a good and stable fit. The padding on ear cups and headband make them comfortable to wear for any period of time. Also, they are lightweight and highly portable.
These headphones too are not great when it comes to breathability. They sit tightly over your ears and can make you feel sweaty after an intense workout session.
The airflow is highly restricted and in this area, scores lower than Sennheiser as the design of the latter at least keeps the outer ears cool. With Bose, you’re sure to have breathability issues, as your ears will start feeling warm soon.
In terms of operations, there is a world of difference between the two headphones. Bose headphones rely on pressing small buttons to change tracks, adjust volume levels and more while Sennheiser headphones give users the choice to do different types of finger swipes to perform different operations.
Personally, the press option works better because there is always a chance to accidentally swipe and make changes, without ever intending to.
When it comes to overall comfort, Bose scores better than Sennheiser, especially because it can fit into any head and the operations are easier.
Sound quality is an important aspect for headphones, so we’ll go really deep into the differences and similarities in terms of their sound output.
To start with, both the headphones are awesome when it comes to sound quality, and this is exactly what you would expect from both Bose and Sennheiser. That said, there are some variations too.
Sennheiser’s sound quality is good, but it seems to falter a bit in the mid-range and upper mid-range tones. This makes vocals and vocals-like instruments not so clear. One track that we found particularly abnormal in Sennheiser is Jaan Arden’s Sleepless.
The voice sounded congested and it looked like she was suffering from a cold while singing this track, which is obviously not true! That was just to give you an example of how some vocal tracks could sound on Sennheiser, and this is partly due to the physical shape of their ear cups.
Bose, on the other hand, is heavy in bass, so much that some tracks sound digitally enhanced to sound better. This is definitely a good thing because these headphones are designed to make listening to a fun experience.
Of course, if you are looking for a pair of headphones for analyzing and to do a critical review of different tracks, then both these headphones are not meant for you.
When you compare both the headphones while listening to bass-heavy tracks, you’ll notice that they are more or less the same. Sometimes, Bose feels better while at others Sennheiser feels better.
Generally speaking, Bose seems to have a stronger and smoother bass sound, though this effect is not very pronounced. This stronger touch also felt artificial at times, but in a few situations, it really enhanced the listening experience.
Sennheiser’s bass is more balanced and doesn’t give out that strong tone at all. This felt like it lacked a little bit of presence. Across many tracks, what we found is that Sennheiser has chosen balance over presence when it comes to its bass output.
We listened to different tracks with these two headphones and found that Bose offered a superior performance across all genres and tracks. Its upper registry tones were clear and crisp and more detailed when compared to Sennheiser.
In fact, Sennheiser muddled some of the tones and instruments that it changed the whole effect of the track.
For example, Renato Braz and Paul Winter’s Anabela sounded excellent on Bose. The sax effect was natural and neutral while Renato’s voice came out sounding clear.
The soundstage was great too while the bass simply blew us away. With Sennheiser, there were a lot of resonances and also, we could discern a hazy note to the bass.
In many of the other tracks too, Bose seems to score better when it comes to sound output and rendition when compared to Sennheiser.
When it comes to connecting through your Bluetooth, the device to which you connect has a bearing on the performance of your headphones. If you use iPhone, Bose headphones sound better because they are compatible with the AAC sound compression that iPhone offers.
On the other hand, if you connect PXC 550 to an iPhone, it may not produce the same level of output because these headphones are compatible with the higher-quality AAC compression.
Rather, they use the SBC codec, which is of a slightly lower quality. You may not find a perceptible difference right away when you use either of these headphones with iPhone, but the difference does exist.
Is it the same for Android devices too? No. PXC 550 sounds better with Android devices because they are compatible with the aptX codec system supported by Android smartphones. Bose QC 35 is good too, but PXC 550 definitely sounds better on Android phones.
When it comes to phone calls, both headphones are equally good, especially when you want to talk in a noisy environment. With this feature, Bose and Sennheiser have really elevated the bar when it comes to taking calls with Bluetooth headphones.
Which of the headphones are better in sound quality? The winner is hands down Bose because it definitely has a better sound output and doesn’t muddle parts of the track at any time.
It is clear, clean and detailed. Though Bose could have eliminated the additional sound processing it does to make the tracks sound better, but that is nevertheless not an issue for those who listen to music for fun without having to bother about the critical aspects.
Overall, Bose is the better one.
No discussion of Bose headphones is complete without talking about its noise cancellation feature.
As with all other headphones in the QC series, QC 35 has great noise cancellation technology. When you put on these headphones, you will not hear anything outside, so it is just you and your music until you take them off your ears.
While this aspect is good in some ways, it can also be a scary feature to have sometimes. Imagine you are walking on the road with your Bose headphones on.
There is always a possibility for you to get hit by a car because you won’t be able to hear the honking sound. This is why such excellent noise cancelling is not always good, especially if you plan to use it outdoors.
Now, if you put on your headphones in a quiet room, the feeling is different. Sennheiser headphones feel like a pair of echo chambers as you can hear your own breathing.
It almost gives the same sound that you get when you put an empty shell to your ears to hear the ocean. But with Bose, there was absolute silence and no outside noise was heard at all.
On the other hand, the PXC 550 is more balanced. It is nowhere as good as Bose but comes with different settings that allow you to adjust the intensity of noise reduction. This way, you can wear it outdoors and can still hear the noise of the car coming near you.
Which of these two do you think is better? We would go with PXC 550 because we like to have a private listening experience, but at the same time, would like to tune ourselves out at times. More so, when outdoors. But if you prefer to have the best noise cancelling headphones, Bose is your choice.
Verdict? Bose is definitely the better headphone when it comes to noise cancellation. But depending on how and where you want to use it, you can decide if you need such high noise cancelling headphones.
The battery life in both headphones is fantastic. They are rechargeable and have a long life.
One distinction between the two is that Bose displays the battery level percentage when you turn it on while Sennheiser doesn’t do, so it is hard to know the battery level.
In fact, this could be a little bit of a problem too, especially if you are planning to take your headphones elsewhere, say the gym, and you don’t know how long it will last. This is a simple display that Sennheiser could have included in the headphones.
Another difference is that when the battery levels are low, Sennheiser headphones have a voice prompt that interrupts while listening. This feature is a little annoying at times.
While the warning is good, Sennheiser should have stopped with just one single warning instead of sending the warning at frequent intervals.
To save battery, you have the option to turn the switch on or off in Bose whereas, in Sennheiser, it automatically turns on or off when you rotate the ear cups.
So, which of the two wins in battery life? Bose again, not for the length of battery, as this is more or less the same in both the headphones. Bose wins because it displays the battery level so you can always stay on top of it and also because there is no annoying warning that disrupts your listening experience.
Sennheiser PXC 550 costs a little more than Bose QC 35. In terms of cost, there is just a small difference, so is this extra money worth the features offer by PXC 550?
Not at all. Bose scores better in every aspect and does a fantastic job when it comes to sound quality and noise cancellation. PXC 550 doesn’t justify the extra price at all, as there is nothing that it offers better than Bose.
So, the verdict? Bose gives the right bang for your money, so go for it.
Here is a quick comparison of the pros and cons of each of the headphones to give you an idea of which one is better suited for you.
Sennheiser PXC 550 comes with the following pros and shortcomings:
|Good sound quality when compared to many other models||Sound quality could have been better|
|Lightweight||Noise cancellation is mediocre|
|Stable fit and this makes it ideal to use in any position||Tends to leak sound at high volumes|
|Good battery life||No display to show the battery levels|
|Swipe controls||Vocals in some tracks sound muddled|
The pros and cons of Bose QC 35 are as follows.
|Top-notch sound quality||High latency|
|Study and well-built||Perfect noise isolation is not good always. Should have controls to determine the level of noise cancellation required|
|Lightweight||Unwanted sound processing to enhance the listening experience|
|Feels comfortable to wear for long periods of time|
|Battery life display.|
|Good bass output|
|Great battery life|
|Bluetooth works well|
We have come to the end of the piece and it is time to decide which of the two is better.
As we have seen in the above discussions, Bose scores better than Sennheiser on many aspects. It feels more comfortable, noise cancellation is better and the sound quality is top notch.
Most tracks are clear, detailed and audible and they add to the listening experience of users. The fit is great and feels comfortable, though they could have been a little more breathable. Battery life is superb and we love the display that comes up about the length of available battery life.
When it comes to price too, Bose QC 35 is priced a bit higher than Sennheiser and yet, scores well over the latter. Due to all these reasons, Bose QC 35 is better than Sennheiser PXC 550.
Bose is a name that has come to be associated with good quality sound products. Whether it is the sound system or headphones, Bose has carved a niche for itself. [Read more…] about Bose QuietComfort 15 vs 25: Pros & Cons and Verdict
Bose is a leading maker of headphones that are known for their great sound quality and build. One aspect that truly distinguishes Bose from other headphones of the same category is its noise cancelling feature. Bose is one of the best when it comes to implementing noise cancelling technology in headphones.
Both QuietComfort 25 and 35 have this feature and this is what makes them so competitive in today’s world of headphones.
There are many similarities and differences between these products that come in the same line. So, let us dive deep into the different features, design and other aspects of both these headphones to help you decide which of the two is better for you.
We will compare both these headphones across different aspects to get an idea about their capabilities and more importantly, to choose the better one.
The design is one of the first things you’ll notice about any headphone, and both of these products are typically Bose in this aspect.
The products are made of hard plastic that gives it a strong build. But there is nothing really exciting about their design. They use minimalist colours and border on the boring side. If you’re looking for exciting colours that would double up as an accessory for your dress, these headphones are not for you!
Also because of their minimalist design, you don’t have too many controls except the power button and an aux port located on the ear cups of these two headphones.
Those are the similarities. Moving on to the differences, there is one major difference between the two model. QuietComfort 25 is wired while QC 35 is wireless. This is an important difference as it has a big impact on comfort and convenience.
Generally speaking, wireless headphones are a lot more comfortable than wired headphones. But on the flip side, wired headphones sound better than wireless ones. We will go into the sound part a little later.
In terms of design though, both the models are fairly identical. One change that Bose brought in QC 35 is that the outer side of the headband has a leather finish when compared to QC 25 that had a denim finish.
When QC 25 was released, it looked like many people complained about the denim finish and it was even seen as a turn-off for some buyers. To counter that, Bose used a leather finish for QC 35. In reality, there is not much difference between the two materials unless you look closely at them.
There is nothing much different in terms of look and feel except a single wire sticking out in QC 25 and that was missing in QC35.
Another minor difference is the colour choice. As with all Bose headphones, your colour options are highly limited. QC 25 comes in three colours, namely, dark grey-black, true triple black, and tan and silver white with blue accents on the interior side of the cup.
Not a whole lot of choices, but the third one looks neat, especially with the blue accents. If you like to have some colours on your headphones, the third one is probably your best bet.
QC 35 looks a little bit more professional and come in black or silver colours. Both look nice, so it is a matter of personal preference. They had a midnight blue edition, but it is discontinued now.
Some people prefer to have a combination of colours on their headphones. If you’re one of them QC 25 is a good fit as these headphones have a nice metallic touch on the outer sides of the ear cups that go well with the black colour on the rest of the body.
QC 35, on the other hand, is all black or all silver and there are no colour variations. So, that could feel a little bit boring.
So, who is the winner in the design category? None, because we have a tie. Both the products are more or less the same when it comes to design, so there is nothing much to compare.
Which one should you buy going purely by the design aspect? Depends on your preferences, but we think QC 25 looks a little better with its colour combination when compared to the plain look of QC 35.
In fact, some people have even complained that QC 35 is really black and so, they don’t like it. So, it is just up to you. If you love an all-black headphone, go for QC 35 by all means.
If the design is one side of the coin, comfort is the other. Headphones that look great may not always feel comfortable and the other way, comfortable headphones may not always be the best looking ones.
So, if you have to choose between the two aspects, it makes sense to choose comfort over design. And that’s exactly what Bose engineers and designers thought too while making these headphones.
There is a ton of padding on the ear cups and this makes them super comfortable, even if you have to listen to it for long periods of time. Somehow, the ear pads on QC 25 feels softer and of a better quality than the QC 35.
The clamping force is right in both the headphones. It does give you a good fit without pressing down too much on your ears, and this makes it perfect for those who like to listen to music all day long.
In terms of weight, QC 25 is slightly heavier than QC 35, but the difference is not significant enough to impact the comfort levels. In fact, both of them feel reasonably light on your head and pose no problems whatsoever.
One aspect that does have an impact is again the wire. QC 35 is a little more comfortable than QC 25 because it doesn’t have a wire associated with it. So, these headphones are portable and easy to use.
Another minor difference is the distance between the ear cups. In QC 25, the ear cups tend to touch each other when you leave them down whereas, in QC 35, there is a gap between the two ear cups. This can make a big difference if you are likely to wear your headphones over your neck when you are not listening.
When you wear QC 25 on your neck, it feels a little stiff and pinches your neck after some time whereas QC 35 give you a comfortable feel even if they are on your neck for long periods of time.
Except for these two minor aspects, both headphones are winners in this category because they are super comfortable to wear. If you like to put your headphones over your neck though, QC 35 is the clear winner. Also, go for QC 35 if you like the comfort of having a wireless headphone.
What about the sound quality? Are they similar in this aspect too?
Yes, to some extent but there are many differences that exist in sound quality.
For starters, both the headphones score high on bass output. This is important because many premium headphones falter when it comes to bass output. But these headphones have an excellent bass response, so instruments like kick drums and guitars get that little oomph factor which makes listening to instrumental a great experience.
The mid-range is good too. The tones are a warm, thanks to the little bumps in those low-mids. The high-mids are clear and this gives vocals and guitars a nice clarity.
Another high point of both these headphones is their noise cancelling feature. In fact, this is phenomenal and has proved once again that Bose is the king when it comes to noise cancelling. Due to this aspect, these headphones are a great choice when you want to calm down and listen to some soft music in crowded areas or while travelling on the train.
You might wonder what is the difference between the two then? Well, a substantial difference is visible only in the high-end notes. Though QC 35 has a crisp presence at the very top, they are not as detailed as QC 25. Part of the reason again is because QC 25 is wired, but also there is some measure of the difference in the overall build that makes these highs so clear and precise.
Another aspect is that QC 25 sound really nice and neutral. Though they will not blow you away with their bass output, you can still hear it. Though this headphone does not really impact you much in beats, you can still listen to it for long periods of time.
QC 35 sounds great too. They have a good bass, which is strong but not overpowering. The treble and high tones are crisp and clear with no distortion even when you listen to the highest volumes. This is great because it gives you the flexibility to listen to your music the way you want. The mid-range tones are good as well.
That said, both these headphones are not ideal when you prefer detail. It is definitely not something you use when you want to analyze or do a critical review of a piece of music because you will never get that levels of detail. These headphones are more ideal for simply listening to music and enjoying the different tones and highs and lows played in it.
One aspect worth mentioning here is that the QC 35 sounds great on Bluetooth, especially when you compare it to many high-end models out there today. They sound pleasant and big when connected to Bluetooth.
Which of the two is a winner here? Again, hard to tell but we think that QC 25 slightly edges out QC 35 because of its warm and neutral tones. Though some of the credit does go back to its design as wired headphones, still QC 25 seems to sound better even when both the headphones are wired.
QC 35 comes with a bunch of extra features that are not found in QC 25. The most prominent of them is support for digital assistant. In QC 35, you can simply say “Ok Google” or “Hey Siri” to activate the digital assistant that will do many tasks for you. That convenience is not available in QC 25.
Also, another downside with QC 25 is that they still use an AAA battery and not a rechargeable one. This aspect is a little bit of a pain simply because you have to replace these batteries often and this could prove to be expensive in the long-run as well. Though the battery life is great and lasts for about 35 hours, you’ll still have to replace batteries often and that’s not a good thing.
Bose has done a better job in QC 35. The rechargeable battery is good and comes for about 20 hours in wireless mode and about 35 hours in wired mode. This is awesome, especially if you’re one of those people who love to put on your headphones and listen to music all day long.
One more thing about QC 25 is that it does not turn off automatically. It is a little shocking that Bose did not think of this feature for such a great headphone as the QC 25. This means, if you forget to turn off your headphone, it will keep playing. In turn, this will drain the battery and you’ll have to replace another pair right when you want to listen. That’s not convenient at all.
A feature that’s worth mentioning is the connectivity. QC 35 works great in wireless mode even if you step beyond the 30 feet limit from your music source. We tried this headphone from different locations and it did work till about 35 feet after which it started dropping sounds. It worked well even when the headphones were not in a direct line of sight with the source.
But, 35 feet is still great and there are no connectivity issues of any kind with these headphones. Obviously, there is nothing to compare with QC 25 because it is wired and has no kind of connectivity problems at all.
What about the call quality? Well, there are both positives and negatives in it. If you’ve ever used QC 25 for calls, you’ll notice that you can barely hear yourself speak, thanks to its advanced noise cancellation technology. It is an interesting feeling when you try to talk to someone through your QC 25.
Thankfully, this aspect is fixed in QC 35 as Bose has put some extra sensitive mics in this headphone and this means, you can hear yourself really well.
Whether it is a good thing to hear yourself while you speak or not is up to you to decide. In one of our test calls, the speaker on the other end could hear everything going on here including noises such as picking up a paper and munching some chips! If you tend to take calls in bust environments, at work or when you are on the go, these headphones are definitely not what you want because they can transmit every single piece of sound.
So, whether this is good or not depends on you, but the mics in QC 35 are super nice and offers crisp and clear sounds to the other person.
Time for the verdict. Who is the winner? This is one aspect where QC 35 wins hands down over QC 25 because Bose has tried to fix many of the complaints that were raised by customers in QC 25, and the results are visible in QC 35.
Now, if you’re not worried too much about the digital assistants, QC 25 is still good. But when it comes to battery. QC 25 fails miserably as you’ll have to change your batteries at least once a week, if not more depending on your usage.
There is a difference in cost. While the difference isn’t huge, both of these are good value for money. The extra money for QC 35 is the price you pay for the comfort of going wireless and this is definitely a decent price for that feature.
Overall, both the products are a good value for money and the upgrade is fairly reasonable as well.
We have listed down the pros and cons of both the headphones to give you a quick idea of what they can do for you and what they can’t.
The pros and cons of Bose QuietComfort 25 are:
|Powerful lows that are clear and audible||Does not come with a rechargeable battery option. You have to replace the AAA batteries and this could get expensive over time|
|Bright high with no distortion whatsoever||Does not turn itself off easily, which means it stays on if you forget thereby leading to considerable battery drain|
|Excellent fit||Slightly expensive considering the features it offers|
|Pleasant sounds, especially the mid-range tones|
Here’s a look at the benefits and drawbacks of using a Bose QC 35 headset:
|One of the best noise cancellation headphones available on the market today||The materials used could have been better. The nylon construction makes it look a little cheap|
|Comfortable to wear especially if you plan to listen to it for long periods of time||You cannot replace the battery and have to take it to the nearby service store|
|Great sounds overall||No aptX|
|Doubles up as a headset for phone calls as well|
|Sound great on Bluetooth|
|Light and comfortable|
We hope that gives you a quick rundown of the good and bad of each headphone.
This is the hardest part – choosing between two high-quality headphones that are similar in most aspects.
Well, for starters, if you travel around a lot or use your headphones when you’re on the move, undoubtedly QC 35 is your go-to headphones. They are wireless and fold down well, so you can carry them wherever you go. Also, these are your choice if you want a digital assistant as a part of your headphones.
However, be prepared to sacrifice a little bit of sound quality for the comfort and convenience that comes with QC 35. If you like listening to music at high volumes or if you like the treble in instruments, you’ll have to stay away from these headphones.
Now, when can you choose QC 25? When sound quality is what matters to you the most and you don’t mind the wire hanging down from your headphones. QC 25 has one of the best sound quality in this price range, so if that’s your priority, your choice is clear.
From the above discussion, we can say that both of these headphones are great, so the verdict is too close to call. Pick the headphone that you think matches your requirements.
If you love mid-fi headphones, then you’re sure to fall in love with Sennheiser’s products. Starting from the 600 series, this company has been coming up with stellar headphones that take listening to new heights. [Read more…] about Sennheiser HD650 vs HD700: Pros & Cons and Verdict
Sennheiser is one of the leading brands when it comes to headphones, and HD 650, as well as HD 600, justify its position as one of the leaders in this segment.