Bose and Beats headphones have gained a great high-quality reputation over the years. Bose has decades of expertise on their side, having been in business since the 60s. They make everything from audio products met for commercial recording studios to personal home use. Given their reputation and premium quality, Bose products can be quick and expensive. For this reason, Dr. Dre created Beats headphones to bring recording studio quality at more affordable, (yet admittedly still premium) prices. When put to the test do Beats outperform Bose?
There are many different types of headphones and earbuds offered by both companies including wireless in-ear headphones, wired earbuds, and wireless Bluetooth earbuds. We will be focusing on their wireless on-ear headphones. When comparing the Beats Studio3 vs. Bose QC 35 II the following was found.
Beats headphones are heavy on bass and they tend to be louder than Bose headphones. Bose has a built-in equalizer that makes audio smoother and has a clearer mid-range. This clear mid-range does come at a drawback as Bose’s bass and high ends are not clear. It ultimately comes down to your individual preference in terms of audio quality is. Beats is bass-heavy while Bose is clearer in mid-range but therefore lacks in other areas.
When using Beats wireless headphones if you have a sensitive hearing you can pick up on white noise when the Pure ANC (noise cancellation) mode is on. This usually only occurs when music is not playing so it may not be that important to everyone. With the Bose wireless headphones, you can turn the noise cancellation mode on and off as well. Outside noise is greatly reduced when music is not playing, unlike Beats headphones where not all the outdoor noise will be completely tuned out. Bose also allows the noise cancellation to be adjusted in most cases, so you can choose how much background noise you would like to hear or not.
The Beats includes a rechargeable battery that lasts 22 hours. If you turn the noise cancellation off, the headphones can last for up to 40 hours. If you use the included wire it can last even longer. The Bose headphones can last up to 20 hours and up to 40 if you use the included wire. When it comes to battery life, the Beats are the clear winner.
The Beats headphones have relatively small earcups, meaning that most people’s ears will not be snug inside them. Some customers have also reported that the earcups can peel after about six months of use. The headpiece is adjustable so that it can fit anyone. Although they provide a tight fit preventing them from falling off, compared to the Bose headphones these Beats are a bit heavier. After prolonged use, this can make them uncomfortable.
Compared to the Beats headphones, the Bose headphones are much lighter and comfortable. The ears are cupped comfortably and do not feel squished making them wearable for hours. This comes at the drawback of having audio leak out of them if you have them tuned up to a high volume.
In terms of style, Beats provides nine color options whereas Bose is only available in silver or black. Ultimately which ones look better to come down to personal preference. The Bose headphones appear more reserved and classic whereas the Beats are more vibrant and noticeable.
Are Beats better than Bose? When it comes to sound quality, Beats are heavier on the bass whereas Bose headphones are stronger when it comes to mid-range. While sound preference on this is highly subjective, I believe the Bose wins in this case. Through their built-in equalization, the mids are a lot clearer than with the Bose. If you are someone who values details over bass then Bose is the pick for you. If you prefer bass then Beats would be the choice for you.
With noise cancellation, it is a close comparison but Bose wins a slight margin due to the fact you can adjust the level of desired noise cancellation. Beats trumps Bose with their 22 hours battery life and a total of 40 hours if the ANC is turned off.
The Bose headphones are far more comfortable than the Beats headphones. The earcups on the Beats can also deteriorate after several months of use. In terms of style, they have far more variety than the Bose headphones with a total of nine colors compared to Bose’s two options.
Overall which ones are better is highly subjective. They are both high-quality products that provide a different value. Beats has greater battery life and a variety of styles while Bose has greater sound quality and noise cancellation. Personally, I believe that Bose wins and would rate the Bose QC 35 II could be one of the best Bose wireless headphones out there.