Bose QuietControl 30s are the new in-ear noise-cancellers that are wireless and aptly named QuietControl due to the fact that they allow users to control the exact amount of outside noise they want to hear. These cancellers sport a neckband that’s connected to both left and right earbuds, and sits around your neck as you use the headphones. While the QC 30s are light enough, if you are one of those (myself included) that are bothered by extra weight hanging around their neck all the time, then these will take some getting used to.
In terms of control, there’s a power button located on the underside of the neckband and an in-line remote near the earpiece with buttons for volume up and down, play/pause/skip, and noise cancellation level controls. It is a lot to have in such a small space and really takes a while to get a hang of, especially since these controls cannot be seen. The on/off switch also doubles up as Bluetooth pairing button on long press.
When the QC 30s are turned on, it tells about the battery level and the device they’re paired with in words. The downside to this button is that there is simply no way of telling whether pressing the button turned it on or off, forcing you to put an earbud in your ear to confirm whether you turned the headphones on accidentally. We feel that an on/off slider would have been a more convenient choice here.
The QC 30 comes bundled with a micro USB charging cable that can be connected to a snap-shut compartment on the inline remote control and three pairs of differently sized earbuds that are actually labelled small, medium and large. Bose stands good on its promise of 10 hour battery life and during our tests we were able to use it for much longer periods between charges; needless to say, the battery life may vary as per usage, volume levels etc.
The free Bose Connect app (for Android and iOS) allows you to control a number of features ranging from deactivating voice prompts to adjusting volume of the ambient mics to hear both music and surroundings without one ruining the other. This feature was very effect when we used the headphones in Dubai Metro where we did not have to remove the earbuds for train arrival or stop announcements.
When talking about the QC 30s sound performance, the bottom line is… these are not the best-sounding headphones in the world. Though the level of noise-cancelling offered by the QC 30s is very impressive, the overall sound quality leaves a lot to be desired. That is not to say that sound output is bad but we would hardly recommend these to music enthusiasts. The bass and mids come through loud and clear but the high notes are not as impressive. When the volume is turned down, bass was enhanced making the music merely acceptable. The QC 30s do offer a great stereo sound experience but in general the sound quality is not that great.
Another thing that we were unhappy about was the unavailability of a wired option. Should you run out of battery on these headphones, there is no option to physically plug them into a headphone jack.
The QC 30s have a beautiful design that snugs comfortably around your neck and perfectly into your ears but can hardly be called stylish when they fight for space with your collar or scarf. The neckband-style design may also be a deal breaker for some but these lightweight in-ears offer a great battery life, best available noise cancellation and intuitive voice notifications. From an audio standpoint, these may not be the first choice for music enthusiasts but for daily use, barring their price, there is nothing that one can complain about.
Price: AED 1199