After months of leaks, Bose has officially announced its newest pair of wireless headphones today: the QuietComfort 45. They are the direct successors to the QuietComfort 35 II (last updated in 2017), and Bose basically updated everything about them — except the design, which remains mostly the same. You can preorder the QuietComfort 45 today and they'll be available everywhere on September 23. They will come in Bose's familiar black or white finishes. And they cost $330.
There are couple big upgrades with QuietComfort 45 over its predecessor. The new cans have much-improved noise-cancellation and transparency modes. Specifically, they'll have two modes — Quiet and Aware — both of which take advantage of Bose's new active noise cancellation system.
The Quiet mode is better at blocking "more unwanted sounds in mid-range frequencies," such as found when commuting on trains, working in a crowded office or eating at a loud restaurant. The Aware mode is a full transparency mode which allows you to hear everything as if you weren't hearing headphones.
The second big upgrade has to do with call clarity. Bose has added a new beam-form microphone array and combined it with its new noise-cancellation system. The result promises to make your voice sound clear on calls while blocking out all the noises around you. Basically, you'll sound better on FaceTime or Zoom calls.
Finally, the 45s are the first QuietComfort cans to have a USB-C charging port. You'll be able to fast charge them — fully charged in two hours and a 15-minute charge will get you three hours of playback. And they have a 24-hour battery life (with noise-cancellation turned on), which is a decent upgrade over the 35 II's 20 hour-battery life.
Bose didn't change the design much, other than smooth out some edges of the QuietComfort 45. They still have a foldable design. They still have the simple physical button controls (no touch gestures). And they are still poised some of the lightest and most comfortable headphones you can buy. If you want a more modern design, you'll have to go with the Bose Headphones 700 (released in late 2019), which have a completely new-age design and a more expensive price tag.
With the launch of the QuietComfort 45, Bose will EOL (end-of-life) the QuietComfort 35 II, which Amazon is selling at $299 right now, but you can expect that price to go down as they look to clear inventory. The $330 price point of the QuietComfort 45 is also notable because makes them the most affordable pair of QuietComfort headphones at launch (previous models started at $349).