Bose QuietControl 30/QC30 Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

The Bose QuietControl 30 are above-average wireless earphones for most applications, providing satisfactory sound quality. They are decently portable and offer more control over their noise cancellation than other Bose headphones we’ve tested so far. However, the noise cancellation is not as strong, and although they are sturdy enough to work with the around-the-neck design, this is not for everyone.

Design

The Bose QuietControl 30 has a wireless design that is not for everyone, but feels comfortable and well-built. The StayHear + earplug tips and neckband fit ensure stable ride comfort, though sometimes they can get caught in your clothes, especially if you wear many layers. They have an efficient control scheme that allows you to control the noise suppression with two buttons on the side of the inline remote control. The Power / Bluetooth button is a bit too stiff, which slightly compromises usability. On the other hand, they are one of the best wireless earphones we’ve tested, they’re decently portable and come with a sturdy bag to carry them around.

Sound

The Bose QuietControl 30 are above-average sounding closed in-ear headphones. They have a deep, even, balanced and punchy bass. They also have an almost flawless midrange and a decent-sounding heights. This makes them very versatile and suitable for a variety of genres, from EDM and hip-hop to movies and podcasts. Their mids, however, are slightly set back, which lessens the vocals and the main instruments, and their heights are somewhat uneven with respect to the generation of sibilants (S and T sounds). They also have excellent picture quality, but like most other headphones, they do not have a large and overdriven soundstage.

Isolation

Like the QuietComfort 20, the Bose QuietControl 30 hardly licks at high volume levels. This and the above-average noise suppression make it a great option if you do not want to distract your colleagues in the office. They also provide enough isolation to use versatile commuter and travel headphones, though the isolation is not as good as some other Bose models.

Microphone

The inline microphone of the Bose QuietControl 30 has a below average performance. In a quiet environment, the language sounds relatively thin, but rather muted and without details. This could sometimes complicate the understanding of the conversation. They also do not perform well in noisy situations, and have difficulty separating speech from background noise even in moderately loud environments such as a busy street.

Active Features

The Bose QC30 has an above average battery life, but a slightly poor app support. They lasted about 11 hours on a single charge and have an adjustable auto-off timer accessible through the Bose Connect app. Although the app gives you reasonable control over the noise reduction, it still feels a bit poor in features like an equalizer or room effects. It’s an elegant and well-designed app, but compared to the Sennheiser Captune app or the Sony | faded headphones connect app.

Connectivity

The Bose QC30 has a decent wireless connection, which is slightly delayed when watching movies, but provides sufficient coverage for most applications. They support NFC and simultaneous pairing of multiple devices. They have no connection option other than Bluetooth, which may be somewhat limiting depending on the application.

Conclusion

Mixed Usage

The Bose QC30 is a good headphone for most applications. They are comfortable, portable and isolate well in noisy environments. They are decent commuter headphones and sturdy enough to go to the gym. Their low leakage makes them ideal for use in the office or in quieter environments such as a library. They sound good enough to please most listeners, but may not be the ideal headphones for pure critical listening.

Critical Listening

Decent for critical listening. They have good bass, balanced midrange and treble, but due to the small and closed design of the earphones, they do not have the best soundstage. They will sound good enough for most listeners but will not deliver the ambience that some critical listeners are looking for. They also have no customizable sound, which makes them a bit more limited compared to the similarly designed Sony WI-1000X.

Commute/Travel

Good for commuting. The Bose QuietControl 30 are comfortable, easy to carry and well insulated in noisy environments. They also have a decent control scheme that’s easy to use, especially for NFC-enabled mobile devices.

Sports/Fitness

Suitable for sports use. The StayHear + tips provide a comfortable and stable fit that, in combination with the round neck design, rarely causes them to fall to the floor even during intense training. However, the neckband can sometimes catch on garments that pull the earplugs out of the ears, but it is a rare problem that really depends on what you wear.

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