Sony WH1000XM3 vs. Bose QC35 II: Which should you buy?

We’re a virtual company made up of tech experts from across the globe. While Android is our passion, we also know that a great pair of headphones is the perfect companion to any phone.

Sony WH1000XM3

Our pick

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$348 at Amazon

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality
  • “Only Music, Nothing Else” noise canceling
  • Up to 30 hours of battery
  • Fast charging via USB Type-C

Cons

  • Heavier and larger than the QC35 II

The WH1000XM3 are Sony’s latest and greatest headphones ever. Along with excellent sound, noise-cancelation, and the same design of the WH1000X2, you’ve also got 30 hours of battery life and a newer USB-C port for charging.

Bose QC35 II

Smart headphones

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$349 at Amazon

Pros

  • Bose’s top-notch sound
  • Customizable noise canceling
  • Up to 20 hours of playback
  • Google Assistant + Alexa built-in

Cons

  • Charges with older microUSB port

Bose’s QC35s sound great and have one of the best designs in the business. You’ll find around 20 hours of playback per charge and have access to the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built right into the headphones.

If you don’t care about having the Google Assistant or Alexa built into your headphones, the Sony WH1000XM3 take the cake with better sound, noise-canceling, and battery life. Also, finally having a USB-C port for charging is a godsend.

Why the Sony headphones win this fight

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When it comes to noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones, the Bose QC35 II have long been considered as the unstoppable king. The QC35 IIs offer a winning formula of fantastic design, great, balanced sound, jaw-dropping active noise canceling, and stupendous battery life.

The QC35 IIs are still phenomenal headphones and are absolutely worthy of your attention, but Sony’s recently released WH1000XM3 offer a few serious upgrades that make them the overall better purchase.

While the Bose QC35 II offer great sound quality and noise canceling, the WH1000X3 are even better. The sound is more powerful and customizable and Sony’s active noise canceling is simply magical. Also, while battery life on the QC35 II is already great at 20 hours of use, the WH1000X3 go a step further with a 30-hour rating.

When it eventually comes time to charge up, the QC35 II do so with the older microUSB standard. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, microUSB is becoming a bit long in the tooth in 2018. With the Sony WH1000X3, charging is handled with the newer USB Type-C port and provides five hours of playback after just 10 minutes of charging.

Active noise cancelation ✔️ ✔️
Customizable EQ settings ✔️
Battery life Up to 30 hours Up to 20 hours
Charging USB Type-C microUSB
Voice assistants Via connected phone (Google Assistant and Siri) Built-in (Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa)

That’s not to say the Bose QC35 II should be completely forgotten, however. Sony’s headphones do offer some serious improvements, but only Bose’s offering comes with the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built right in. Furthermore, the design of the QC35 II is still more comfy and lightweight than the WH1000X3 — a big win for people that frequently have their headphones on for long stretches of time at once. If you want that smart capability, this is a pair for you.

Keep an eye out for the Bose 700

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While the Sony WH1000XM3 may be the clear winner over the Bose QC35 II, things get a bit murkier when you pit Sony’s cans against Bose’s new Noise Cancelling Headphones 700.

For the steep price of $400, the Bose 700 bring a much more modern design, 11-level active noise cancelation, a powerful microphone array, and USB-C charging. They’re a much closer competitor to the XM3, but do they do enough to dethrone them?

Find out in our comparison.

Sony WH1000XM3

Our pick

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$348 at Amazon

Best all-around package.

Sony’s WH1000XM3 are among the very best headphones you can buy right now. The sound is amazing, noise canceling is fantastic, and you get outstanding battery life with charging taking place over USB-C.

Bose QC35 II

Smart headphones

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Built-in assistants are a nice touch.

$349 at Amazon

The WH1000X3 are newer and better than the QC35 II, but thanks to the lightweight + ultra-comfy design and your choice of two built-in voice assistants, Bose’s headphones are still worth a look.