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Bose® - QuietControl™ 30 wireless headphones - Black-Front_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.3 out of 5 stars with 1812 reviews

83%
would recommend to a friend

Expert rating

Rating 4.1 out of 5 stars with 8 reviews

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Nice Performance, But Awkward to Use

    Posted
    ryanmcv
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus Member
    • Top 250 ContributorTop 250 Contributor

    As a frequent traveler, I've been longing for a pair of wireless headphones that are compact, lightweight, and have noise-cancelling abilities. I love my Bose QC35 over-the-ear headphones, but they are sometimes a bit bulky to throw into a carry-on bag. I had high expectations for Bose's latest entry into its noise-cancelling lineup: these QuietControl 30 (QC30) wireless headphones, which, as far as I know, are the first in-ear headphones with both Bluetooth and adjustable noise-cancellation. After a week of traveling with and using the QC30s, I find myself torn between these and my trusty QC35s. Here are my impressions: OVERVIEW: - Setup is incredibly simple, especially if you download the Bose Connect app to your smartphone. Simply turn on the headphones, enable Bluetooth on your device, and complete the pairing process. You will hear a voice from the headphones confirm that pairing was successful. - In-line volume, function, and noise-cancellation controls are included on the right cord. You can easily move between songs, pause playback, or even enable Siri with the function button. You can also control all of this through the Bose Connect app. - The QC30s have a horseshoe-shaped plastic band that sits on your neck while in use. My thoughts on this below. PROS: - Nice battery life. Bose claims that a single charge will power the headphones for 10 hours, and that seems accurate to me. However, larger headphones (particularly the QC35s) deliver twice the battery life, so 10 hours seems modest at best. - Nice wireless range. I don't lose connection to my iPhone until I'm almost 40 feet from it. Range should be more than adequate for anyone. - Effective control of noise-cancellation. There are about 12 levels of noise-cancellation to choose from. With it set to the highest level, voices in a coffee shop or other busy areas are essentially indistinguishable. - Great sound performance. Not as good as the over-the-ear QC35s, but there is a good amount of bass and plenty of separation between highs and lows. CONS: - The headphones are lightweight, but I find the neck band very awkward and cumbersome. You might not notice it at first, but after a few hours of use and moving your neck, you'll know it's there. It's not that it's heavy -- it's that it rubs against your skin very easily (unless you're wearing a collared shirt). Furthermore, the cords frequently rub against my cheek when I turn my head. The ear buds simply dangle down your chest when not in your ears. - Because these are in-ear headphones, the noise cancellation doesn't seem nearly as effective as the QC35s. Because of this open design, ambient sound seems to leak into your ears rather easily. On an airplane, even with the the noise cancellation turned all the way up, I could hear much more engine noise compared to the QC35s. These are still 100 times better on an airplane than standard headphones, just not as good as over-the-ear noise cancelling designs. - Using the in-line remote with the headphones in your ears is awkward. The noise cancellation adjustment buttons are so small that I have to work my thumb around for several seconds before I'm sure I'm pressing the right button. OVERALL: I had a hard time trying to determine the intended demographic for these headphones. The QuietControl 30 headphones feature effective noise cancellation and a lightweight design, but I personally can't use them for more than a couple of hours at a time before the neck band and dangling cords start to annoy me. The noise cancellation works well to reduce crowd noise and soft ambient sounds, but it's not nearly as effective as the QC35s. On the other hand, these might be non-issues for other people. The neck band will fit everyone differently, and the noise cancellation should be adequate for many people. That being said, I would recommend trying these on at a store before committing to a purchase. For me, the better noise cancellation, battery life, and overall performance of the QC35s will continue to make those my go-to headphones for traveling. The QC30s will be great for desk work, coffee shops, and office settings.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    Absolute Trash! Do not buy this item!

    Posted
    Todd
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Member

    After doing a lot of research, I elected to buy these because 1) they're wireless and 2) they're noise canceling. Being that they were BOSE, I elected not to get the Best Buy Warranty. I've known that BOSE provides great product support and warranty replacement for some time. What an epic mistake that was! For the first month or so, I was very pleased with the product. Then things started going down hill. The rubberized coating that covers the electronics started to get stretched out around the power button. Soon, the entire covering started coming apart at the seems. The coating on the other side started coming apart as well, so it seems they did not choose a good material for covering these. Eventually, it stretched out so much that I couldn't turn the power on/off. I was past the return date for Best Buy, so I checked with BOSE and they provide NO WARRANTY for any product that isn't purchased directly from them. So now I had a $300 paperweight! Ugh... Seeing I had no ability to return them and BOSE wasn't going to do anything about them, I figured I'd try and I was able to pull the rubber coating back far enough that I could reach the underlying power button, so for a few weeks, I used them in that capacity. Within a few weeks of that, I started hearing static and popping in the left speaker. Initially, it got better if I wiggled the cord, so I assume there was an issue with the wires or their connection. Eventually, wiggling the cord didn't work any longer, so they became completely unusable. I got to use these for approximately 2.5 months before they became completely unusable. I have since searched online and found a very long thread on the BOSE community web site where numerous people have reported this same issue as far back as 2017. BOSE is aware of the issue, yet they are still allowing this product to be sold. It should have been pulled off the shelves long ago. SMH... I won't be trusting the BOSE name anymore. I can't post a link to the BOSE community discussion around this issue, but if you search Google for "Rubber-Cover-on-QuietControl-30", you will find it.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

    Interesting, but very specific use case

    Posted
    TheTechNugget
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Member
    • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

    WHY I spend a good amount of time listening to music every day…at work, in the car, at home, doing yard work…and I also spend a decent amount of time reading and watching reviews on headphones. Sound review is an incredibly subjective thing, and so more often than not, it’s not about whether a pair of headphones’ sound is good or bad. In most cases, it’s a game of business decisions, where the manufacturer is positioning a pair of headphones in a certain market with a certain use case in mind. I have a love for Bose products, from my wireless Bose Soundsport wireless headphones, to my Bose Mini II Soundlink bluetooth speaker, or even to my (VERY) short-lived experience with Bose’s QC35 Acoustic Noise Canceling over-ear headphones. I’m a bit of a brand-snob when it comes to Bose, where in most cases I’ll buy a product just because it’s a Bose product. I’ll admit that while that’s not the strongest case for an objective review, I absolutely won’t buy a Bose product that I don’t need (or feel like I need). And, if we’re all being honest, most of today’s tech goodies are such that a buying decision is at least partly based upon feeling like we “need” them, regardless of whether or not we have a great handle on what “need” means. HOW Thus enters the question—why choose this over anything else? The only reason, as far as I’m concerned, is access to Bose’s Acoustic Noise Canceling technology. Most reviewers argue that this is one of Bose’s best offerings when compared to the competition, even more than sound quality, design and comfort. I will warn you, though: this may not be what you expect out of Bose when it comes to ANC. During my short time with the QC35’s I learned a great deal about what to expect from high-quality ANC. The only problem with those, though, was that they made me motion-sick (it was a very, very sad day; also, it’s not entirely unheard of, do some research about it). So admittedly, I was very curious about how these would fit into my lifestyle, considering they are collar-style ear buds, where the QC35’s are over-ear. There aren’t a ton of mainstream ANC headphones in this price range, but there are quite a few value-priced options that you may not have heard of. The sale here is, does the style and performance justify the price? WHAT The QuietControl 30’s are a collar-style, in-ear headphone with ANC. The collar, undoubtedly, is where the batter and ANC capabilities live, and while I’m not a huge fan of the collar, it definitely reduces the size of the earbuds when compared to the Bose Soundsport buds, which are massive and collar-less. The sound is exactly what I’ve come to expect from Bose’s headphones: great for vocals and acoustics, blending in the mids and highs (one of those subjective things that some people like and others hate), and tolerably little bass. They do a great job from a soundstage perspective considering their size, and the buds are comfortable and secure in the ear. So let’s talk about the ANC. This is one of the weirdest presentations of ANC I think I’ve ever experienced, because not only are they noise-canceling, but the noise-canceling itself is adjustable. Think about what you expect that to be like—got it? OK, good, now forget it—because it’s anything but that. So on the ANC spectrum, when it’s ON you expect that the “white noise” background to be severely muted, in essence amplifying the music being played (if you’re playing music—because these are certainly capable of being worn without playing music, which might be a decent use case for them). But what about when ANC is OFF? Well, my first thought is, they’d be like any other headphone that has ANC that can turn on and off…with it turned off. Basically, like headphones. That is where these are a bit different than the norm. Suppose the “ANC-ness” of the headphones was a number line, where maximum ANC goes off to the left (and thus mutes outside ambient noise); then non-ANC would be right in the middle (at zero, so to speak). What is different about these headphones is that, when the ANC is turned “down” all the way, it actually brings in and amplifies outside ambient noise along side your music. In my number line scenario above, this would be to the right of the center. It’s as if the intention is for the device to bring in that outside noise as an aide to you. But how it does it is tinny and mechanical—the amplification of things you usually don’t hear, like your feet shuffling across carpet, or breathing through your nose, or the rustling of bedsheets or perhaps a light jacket. All of these things enter the foreground in a very unusual and awkward manner, which make these a very unique product. WHO In most reviews, I find the “what” far more important than the “who,” because in most of the products I’ve reviewed I feel that mostly everyone could benefit from the product. Sadly, that’s not the case for this one. The unique way that Bose handles ANC in this product is what I think positions it best for certain people. Those people might be office workers who work in a bullpen environment, who like to listen to music but also need to be able to hear everything else (your boss yelling, the phone ringing, etc). Those folks would also be able to benefit from turning up the ANC to it’s highest, in the event they stay late at work and need to power through to get home before the kids go to bed. (For those curious, I just described myself). Another use case might be for that same person who, after they get home, want to be able to watch that show on their computer or tablet, but need to be able to hear the kids shouting incessantly from their bedrooms that they need one thing or another. These also might be a good product if you’re looking for a pair of wireless headphones to wear at night; even though you have to contend with the collar, the buds are small enough that they may be tolerable for side-sleepers. And, if you found yourself where I was, getting motion-sick with the QC35’s, but still want access to a Bose product with ANC, I’m happy to report that I’ve had no ill-feelings during even extended use of these (although some might say that’s because they’re not as good—which I might be inclined to agree with). But as I alluded at the top end of my review, I don’t know that the use case is prevalent enough to justify this for the masses. That’s ok, it doesn’t have to be everything to everyone, as long as it’s something to someone. Avoid the product if you hate collar-style headphones. If you’re looking for an upgrade to your LG Tone headphones, this could be a good option. Battery life has been in line with the other recent releases from Bose, and the unique approach to ANC is something that certainly sets it apart. If you already have a pair of wireless headphones (that weren’t super cheap), you can probably live without these. I wouldn’t get these as a pair of workout headphones, unless you were focusing on something like weight-training or spinning; the collar would get uncomfortable with high-activity workouts. WHEN If the above descriptions make you think you need this in your life, you should buy it—only because I don’t think this is a product we’ll see on the market for long—nor will we see anything that truly competes with it at the price point. I’d be shocked if Bose releases anything like this in the future or updates this after a generation. Provided the product doesn’t perform well on its release, you’ll probably see some decent sales and discounts, open-box items, and other deals that will help you save some cheddar on your purchase. If you’re curious, maybe wait to see if you can get a deal. If you must have it, you don’t really care about the cost. Recommendation This is an interesting product in a lot of ways—and in those ways it’s almost as if it is tailored to my needs. The bullpen environment, occasionally being able to use ANC at work, being able to hear (or completely shutout) the kids at night, side-sleeping…all of those things together make it great for me. But if you don’t fit into 3 or more of those categories, I’m not sure this is the right product for you. At the end of the day, this is going to get 2 stars—mostly because it requires a very specific use-case to be worth it, and I don’t see it replacing any of my array of other headphones, all of which are very good at doing what I need them to do. And the sound isn’t all that great, either. A unique idea, executed acceptably well, but in my opinion, not worth the expense for a majority of people.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A solid pair of headphones!

    Posted
    BoseRCM909

    1. Sound Quality As with all audio products, the sound quality is very important and often the deciding factor if one has two options to choose from. The sound quality is of decent (if not great) quality. The bass was spot on, the mids were decent however, I felt that the highs were a little lacking. They weren’t as clear as I would have liked them to be but they were acceptable. While I was testing them, I found that the highs were overpowered by the bass at some times, so if you like to listen to music genres with lots of highs, I would not get my hopes too high up. Overall, the headphones do well in creating an environment for the ears where it feels like you are listening to a surround sound system. Considering that the price (at the time of this writing) is around $300, I feel that Bose could bring up the sound quality a little more. 2. Design The QC 30’s are wireless, in-ear headphones with an attached neckband. I found that the neckband is a little bit like a love/hate affair depending on who you asked. The neckband is pretty light and you can barely notice it at all. Personally, I found that that neckband was unobtrusive and was fine with it. However, a few of my colleagues said that they would not use headphones with a neckband. That choice is ultimately up to you of course. No matter what your opinion is on the neckband, there is no doubt that the battery life greatly benefits from the presence of it. On their website, Bose claims 10 hours of battery life on a full charge. I found that my headphones were able to play 9-12 hours. The earbuds are Bose’s StayHear+ Tips and three sizes are included (small, medium, and large). The earbuds are very comfortable and fit nicely in the ear. On the right wire, there is an in-line remote. In my opinion, this in-line is one of the QC 30’s big plus. It has the usual volume up, volume down, play/pause/skip/answer call buttons. However, on the side, there are two different buttons and those control the level of noise cancellation. The buttons have a distinct shape/texture so that allows you to just press the desired button instead of trying to look down to see which one you are pressing. Overall, I really like the design of the headphones. It has great battery life, the earbuds are comfortable, there are large, tactile buttons, and the neckband (personally) is so light, you won’t notice it is there. 3. Noise Cancellation The noise cancellation on these headphones are stunning. One you put these on, the whole world is shut out. A lot of the exterior noise is reduced so that one can barely hear them. (For anyone that has owned the QC 25’s), the noise cancellation of the QC 30’s are almost on-par with the QC 25’s. There is also the added bonus of being able to adjust the level of noise cancellation, which is very useful when you want to quickly talk with someone for a moment. 4. Bluetooth Performance When connected to my phone, I can be one side of the house while my phone is on the other. There is no jagged “stuttering” when I am moving. The same can be said when paired only to my laptop. The problems start when they are connected to both. Bose’s app allows you to connect to two devices at the same time so that you can smoothly transition between them. However, when connected to both my laptop and my phone, the Bluetooth does not function properly. The sound disconnects and the connects back again every single second, which is very annoying. So, if I was listening to a song, I would hear one second, miss the next second, etc. This problem is intensified when you start to move. The sound is on and off so many times at such a high frequency that the headphones are practically almost useless. If you are eyeing these headphones for their “dual-device” functionality, I would suggest to look elsewhere. This problem may be because of my devices but I highly doubt it since I tried it on my family’s and colleagues’ devices. The same situation occurred. Overall, “single device” use is near flawless while the “dual-device” mode needs a lot of improvement. 5. The App (iOS version used for review) Bose offers a free app that goes along with the headphones. The app lets you change the level of noise cancellation, volume, see the battery life, use an auto-off timer, and have a “dual-device” connectivity feature (which I mentioned in the previous section). The app basically functions as an “overview” with a couple of extra features. It’s a nice bonus but not a complete necessity. 6. Small Other Miscellaneous Topics The QC 30’s come with a protective travel case. The case itself is circular and black with the Bose logo in the center. Inside, you can put your headphones and there is a little pocket to carry things around such as the charger. One thing that I missed that was on the QC 25’s and not on the QC 30’s is the power indicator. On the QC 25’s, you could easily tell if the headphones were turned on or not by an indicator light. On the QC 30’s, the power indicator light turns off until you interact with the power button, which was a minor annoyance. The $300 price tag is a little too much I believe. The sound is not quite as good and the Bluetooth performance is not always perfect, which leaves me wanting an (approximate) $250 price tag instead. Sound quality is one of the most important aspects of headphones so falling short in that category is not acceptable. Bluetooth connectivity is obviously also a very important aspect when considering wireless headphones. In my opinion, improving the sound quality as well as drastically improving the Bluetooth connectivity would justify its price. 7. Final Verdict In the end, the QC 30’s are a solid pair of wireless headphones that have a good sound quality as well as decent Bluetooth connectivity. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is look for a new pair of headphones are to anyone who is looking to transition to wireless headphones. Bose provides a solid and satisfying experience that is sure to make anyone happy!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Spectacularly Awesome!!

    Posted
    Maxwell
    • My Best Buy® Elite Member

    If you are like me, you have been on a mission trying to determine the best wireless headphones to purchase. This is especially so if you have upgraded to the Apple iPhone 7 and found that there is no headphone jack for your old wired headphones! I am a longtime user and fan of Bose wired headphones. However, I read so many negative reviews about them that it has taken me about 6 months trying to decide which would be the best investment for my money. If you go to the Apple Store they are going to tell you to buy the Beats Wireless or the Apple AirPods. Of course they would! They make the product. And since I am also a fan of Apple products, I bought the Beats 12hour wireless headphones (I always shoot for the best available. Buy right, buy once.). That's when the drama began. I was impressed with the W-1 chip's performance and aiding with a quick Bluetooth connection to both my iPhone and iPad Pro. However, the headphones were very uncomfortabler to wear. I even tried changing the ear buds but that didn't help. So I just kept wearing them because it was more convenient than using my Bose wired headsets. But, in the back of my mind I kept wondering if the Bose might be better eventhough some reviewers had negative remarks. So, after using the Beats for a little more than 2 weeks, I purchased the Bose Quietcontrol 30's. Admittedly, I have only used them for about an hour. But, the look, feel and initial operation of these headphones far exceed my experience with Beats. Note the following: Comfort: If you have ever worn Bose earbuds, you know how comfortable they are. There are no earbuds that that feel better. These buds and soft and cushiony (if there is such a word). Setup/Bluetooth Connection: It was instantaneous! The headphones themselves talk you through the setup procedure! The Beats were easy too. However, I noticed that I sometimes have difficulty getting them to reconnect. Versatility: The Beats work with multiple devices. Apple is waiving their own flag on this one claiming that the W1 chip (which is not licensed to any other vendor) is revolutionary. I might be. However, the Bose connection method is 10 times better. With Beats, you have to manually disconnect from one device and manually reconnect to the next. With Bose, it does it automatically. I was playing one song on my iPhone, stopped it, and then began playing another phone on my iPad! It switched automatically!!! There was no need for me to do anything. In addition, when I was ready to add my iPad to the Bluetooth link after initially setting up my iPhone, the Bose Connect App asked through my headphones if I wanted to set up and connect to another device. I was flat out floored! And, the connections took just seconds. Sound Quality: First, when I read that some were not satisfied with the sound qualify of the Quietcontrol 30's, I decided that I would risk the $300.00 on sub par ear buds. However, after reading, researching and trying these two headphones I have come to realize one thing. YOU CAN'T EXPECT THE SAME SOUND QUALITY FROM A WIRELESS HEADPHONE THAT YOU GET FROM WIRED ONES!! I believe that some are so accustomed to the extraordinary sound that comes from the Bose wired headphones that they expected to experience the same from the wireless. That is just impossible. I can say that the sound coming from the Bose set is way better than that of the Beats. The Beats have a reputation for delivering heavy bass. However, I played "Shake Your Body Down to the Ground" by the Jacksons to test the two. To my surprise, the Bose "Body Slammed" the Beats on bass! I couldn't believe it. For the record, the sound quality is not as good as my wired headphones but I think the sound is very good.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars