Headphone Showdown in the Air: Sony WH-1000 MX3 vs Bose QC 35 II

Sony WH-1000 MX3 vs BoseQC II

I’ve been using the Sony WH-1000 MX3 headphones since January. After many long haul and local flights, I started wondering if there are lighter headphones out there. I love them, but I started getting a slightly sore neck after a few hours.

After doing some research, it seemed the closest competition is the BOSE QC 35 II. According to multiple reviews, ANC (noise cancelling) and functionality are similar, but the BOSE is 1 ounce lighter and more comfortable. Today I tried them on a flight to Sydney (1.5-hour flight) and wow — was I surprised.

The Sony’s are in a completely different league! The noise-cancelling on the BOSE is ok at best, but aeroplane noise, announcements and fellow passengers chatting come through loud and clear, relative to the Sony. I also noticed the compression and decompression in my ears as we flew and was surprised by how good the Sony’s are in comparison. The BOSE are more comfortable, but marginally so. Not enough to swing me over to BOSE.

The Sony’s are a 10/10 for ANC vs around a 6 out of 10 for the BOSE. I now also appreciate the ear pressure control of the SONY. Super comfortable and better quality all round.

The weak point of the Sony is for making and receiving calls. The outbound call quality is inferior. The Bose wins hands down here.

My verdict: I’m sticking with the Sony.

The reason: Sound and noise-cancelling is next level and the reason for buying these headphones in the first place.

CEO / Founder at Exponentially. Working to help innovators build The Right It using Pretotyping. 4 startups, 2 sold, 2 lessons. Love Tech. Board Member.

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