The Bose QuietControl 30 Wireless Headphones are typically Bose: Well crafted, sounding good and feeling fine. The adjustable noise reduction does what it’s supposed to and the package includes three pairs of StayHear+(QC) earmolds in S, M and L, a USB charging cable and a pretty large carrying case. Yet, it’s the neckband that doesn’t really convince me, because it’s big and incredibly visible, and seems almost awkward in its size. Ultimately, this alone will dictate your decision.
The Bose QuietControl 30 Wireless Headphones primarily offer what you expect from Bose earphones: Excellent sound and a good fit, thanks to the StayHear+ ear tips.
The highlight of the QuietControl 30 is certainly the noise reduction. This is adjustable with either the Bose Connect App or with a rocker switch, which is embedded at right angles to the usual rocker switch on the banana-shaped remote.
External acoustics can be gradually suppressed in twelve stages, each supported by a beeper. On the whole, this also works very well and the low frequencies are wiped out – a bicycle tour with a headwind only allowed the high noise components of the airflow through when the function was switched on; rumbling trams or the hum of a ceiling fan disappeared. A flight should, therefore, be much more pleasant because turbine noise is reduced, and for coworkers who need to focus in a bustling open-plan office, they should also be good.
If, on the other hand, you intentionally dial the noise reduction back, you get more of your surroundings again. For example, you might want to understand loudspeaker announcements, to work with someone, or simply to have the feeling that you are not completely alone in the world.
The rest is quickly covered: Bluetooth and NFC provide a fast and reliable connection to the player – without cables.
The sound is, as I have already mentioned, balanced with pleasant transparency. The basses hum nicely and the mid-range sounds full. Additionally, the trebles are shown to full advantage. However, something certain to disturb the audiophile listener: A very clear background noise can be heard during operation when the music is off and the noise reduction is set to a low level. This is because the lower the noise reduction, the lower the signal from the external microphones used for phase cancellation, and this means more microphone signal gets through to the ear and causes a “rustle”.
Haptics and Wearing Comfort
The remote control on the right ear cord is Apple-compliant and everything is fine, especially as the extra rocker does not impose at all, so let’s get to the neckband and the question: “Is the design really that great or is it somehow… odd?”
From an engineer’s point of view, the rather bulky neckband is certainly a revelation, as it accommodates relatively large batteries, which, according to the manufacturer, supply the QuietControl 30 with up to 10 hours of music. In addition, this design ensures that the earplugs can be made smaller, because all the technology, except for the microphones, can go into the neckband.
When you wear the neckband, it disappears quite quickly from your perception, because – pleasantly rubberised – it neither rubs nor sticks when you turn your head. Nevertheless, after some time, the ring does twist uncomfortably towards one ear or the other, causing tension on the opposing earplug.
If you look in the mirror, you have to admit that this huge ring looks very strange – Star Trek sends its regards and a Red Dot Award in 2017 hasn’t made the neckband any less obvious.
If that doesn’t bother you, then don’t be influenced by the aesthetics. Personally, I’m torn, but – fortunately – alone often enough that I don’t have to suffer the stares of the general public who, quite rightly, would be wondering what on earth this curved thing around my neck could possibly be good for.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Weight with cable28,4 g
What's in the box
- 3 pair of ear-tips (S, M, L)
- USB charging cable
- Transport case