Speakers On/In Your Ears

I bought some new headphones. But before I get into that, let's take a step back...

The first expensive pair of Bluetooth headphones I purchased were the Beats by Dre Solo3 on-ear headphones, mainly because I like the way the headphones sound, and because these were the first Apple headphones to ship with the magical W1 chip. Overall, they're great! Connectivity is reliable between multiple devices and I love the sound. What I don't like is that the Solo3s are on-ear headphones that literally rest on my ears instead of around them. Over time, I've learned that this style of headphone isn't comfortable for me, mainly because I wear eye glasses. After about 20 minutes, my ears start to hurt where the cup of the headphone meet the top of my ear where the frame of glasses lay behind my ear. Unfortunately, I rarely wear these headphones anymore for this reason alone.

Next up, Apple AirPods. I love them! They are great for general use and for exercising, although if you expose them to sweat, over time the metal mesh on the microphones tend to corrode due to the way they charge in their handy, petite case. I've also experienced some general connectivity issues and problems connecting to different Apple devices on the fly. I generally don't experience this with the Solo3 headphones. The AirPods are also having issues making contact with the electrodes in the case after I wear them. Remember when you used to blow into a Nintendo cartridge to make it work when inserted into the console? Yeah--I need to do the same to my AirPods case. I need to blow into it to make the headphones charge. Perhaps this, in combination with residual sweat, is causing the corrosion on the microphone mesh, but it's all I can do to get the individual AirPods to successfully charge. Outside of these issues, I really like the AirPods, both in terms of portability and overall functionality.


Enter the Bose QC 35 II Bluetooth over-the-ear headphones. After watching many YouTube headphone reviews, I decided to drop the $350 (ouch) and try them out.

They're comfortable. They're very comfortable. The pressure felt on my ears from the Solo3 headphones is gone since the QC 35 II headphones are over-the-ear instead of on-the-ear. They're also pleasantly light weight.

Bluetooth pairing is straightforward and they quickly connect to all paired devices almost immediately after they're powered on. The range on these headphones is just alright. The AirPods actually have great range, while the Bose leave a bit to be desired.

Battery life seems solid. I've been using them every day in the evening for an hour or so for the last week (after a full initial charge) and they're currently at 75% charge.

Sound quality is fantastic when the noise cancellation is on high, which I guess makes sense, but I didn't expect the low end quality to take such a hit when the noise cancellation is off. The volume and play/pause controls are easy to get to and have good tactility, and the dedicated noise cancellation button is fine. The button can also be mapped to work with Google Assistant on both Android and iOS, but I found that I never really used it and it's easier to just long-press on the play/pause button to initiate Siri. Using your voice to initiate Siri also works well. The noise cancellation is really good. Noise cancellation wasn't a priority for me when I decided to buy these, but it's a luxurious bonus.

All this being said, I feel like $350 is a lot for these headphones. Sure, they're at the same price point as Beats and Sony offerings, but I also think those are too expensive! That being said, I'm very happy with them and really enjoy them.