First impressions of Bose QC35 II

I have been considering a pair of Bose QC35 II for quite some time and decided to start looking for some when I was in Chiang Mai.

I often work from cafés and they can get overwhelmingly loud and distracting. I've been using normal earbuds up until now but they do little to block out the sound.

Thailand is well known for having high import taxes and even though it's possible to get a 7% refund, the cost of them is about $100 more than anywhere else. I also found it hard to find a pair for sale so that idea went out the window anyway. I knew I was coming to Kuala Lumpur and with it being a capital city, I was pretty sure I could find a pair somewhere.

In Kuala Lumpur, it felt like everywhere was out of stock, probably due to Christmas, but I eventually found a pair for sale. They cost me 1559RM, which comes out to about £297. That's £30 cheaper than Amazon in the UK so I'm pretty happy. Back in Thailand, I was actually considering buying a pair in the UK and getting my dad to ship them out to me.

I've been using them for the past 24 hours and I've got to say, I'm very impressed. I'd only used a pair momentarily before, when I asked a friend to see what they're like.

The carry case is superb. Not only does it protect them well but it has pockets inside and outside for carrying extra items. They come with a short USB cable to charge up and a 2.5mm to 3.5mm cable for using in devices with no Bluetooth support.

The build quality is excellent. The ear pads have a huge area for your ears to fit in and they don't squeeze my head -- an issue I'd had with headphones many years ago.

They came with about 60% battery. Reports say they last about 20 hours wireless and 40 hours wired. That's with the active noise cancellation on. Pairing them with my phone was straightforward and the mobile app is simple but there isn't really a need to add any other features. They can also pair over NFC but my phone doesn't have that built in.

I have the action button set up to adjust the noise cancellation level but I've just left it on high so far.

The noise cancellation is crazy good. Of course, it's not perfect but it blocks out all the low pitch sound and the higher pitches are made much quieter. In practise, that means all that coffee shop white noise is gone but if someone is loudly speaking next to you, you can just make out a noise. However, if you play some music, you hear nothing anyway.

You quickly get used to the "cabin pressure" feeling. The only problem is when you quickly take them off to respond to someone, the loud environment outside feels super loud. My friend says his girlfriend has to tell him when she's coming back into their apartment, else he won't hear the door close and gets a shock seeing someone moving around... Haha!

I have used them for a WhatsApp call and they give a tiny amount of feedback so it makes the call feel more natural instead of having your voice feel outside the bubble.