An opinion piece by this author appeared on the Inquisitr in October and predicted the Bose QC 30 wireless headphones would become Bose’s best-selling device ever.
“The QC 30s may not be for extreme audiophiles, but just about everybody else will appreciate them. It’s safe to say that with the QC 30s, Bose has a huge winner on their hands, and you can expect Sony, Sennheiser, Bowers & Wilkins, and other companies to put their own version of the QC 30s out within a year.”
The release of the Bose QC 30 headphones was without any type of quality control. [Image by Daryl Deino]
The hands-on review was based on spending 15 minutes with the headphones. When actually spending more time with the QC 30s one week later, cracks were shown in what was supposed to be a groundbreaking pair of headphones, which are really earbuds wired together for an in-ear noise cancelling experience. One Reddit user named “Sshroot” described the problems a lot of people were having.
“I’ve had the QC20s for a year and just got the 30s on Monday. The noise cancellation is noticeably better on the 20s. I take a fairly loud subway to work and it’s upsetting how much weaker the QC30s are from my 20s. I can also concur on the microphone issues. Absolutely useless. No one can hear me and all people can describe is the environment around me.”
The user added that there was also too much Bluetooth choppiness and that noise cancellation took too many steps. The biggest issue seemed to be the microphone, which nobody in their right mind would use to make calls. It was a disappointment because the headphones were well built.
After so many complaints, Bose finally quietly recalled their new wireless headset. Some people were given a pair of QC 20s (the wired version of the 30s) as a consolation until the QC 30s were fixed. Finally, in December, the QC 30s started showing up again. There was a major improvement in the mic quality. Still, the Bluetooth issues persisted and the sound came across as a little bit muffled.
One week ago, this author was sent a Bose QC 30 set that had a production date of January 2, 2017. Before putting the earbuds in, it was important to update the firmware to version 1.2.8. After using the new headphone set for the last week, it’s safe to say that these are different headphones. Not only is the sound more clear (the highs were lost in previous version), but the microphone for voice calls has turned out to be one of the best this author has ever used.
Then, there is noise cancellation. It is slightly better than the October version but still not as good as it is on other Bose headphones such as the QuietComfort 35 set. Still, you can set the noise cancellation at 12 different levels. The lower levels actually makes you hear ambient noise easier — this is great when taking a walk or jogging in a busy neighborhood. It can almost operate like a hearing aid.
The eight-hour battery life isn’t the best, but it is good enough. If you turn off the headphones during the day when not in use (which is something you should always do in the first place), you won’t have to lug around a charger everywhere you go. Then, you can just leave the QC 30s charged overnight, unless you want to use them as a sleeping aid to block out your noisy neighbors — it does this very well.
As mentioned earlier, the sound has improved on the QC 30s, and it’s unknown whether that is because of the hardware or the software update. But these headphones now have solid and warm lows with bass that is prevalent but not overwhelming. The highs are still hidden a little bit, but come across stronger than in previous versions. If you liked the sound of the QC 20 headphones, which most people loved, you’ll like the sound of the QC 30s.
Bose would have been wise to release the current version of the QC 30s during the holidays. But later is better than never, and the QC 30 wireless and noise-cancelling headphones are certainly worth the $300 price tag.
[Featured Image by Daryl Deino]