In the realm of audio, the name Bose is synonymous with excellence. Their goods are desirable, and they frequently deliver near-perfect listening experiences. The Bose Quietcontrol 30 appeals to audiophiles as well, but is the audio quality it offers sufficient to justify its outmoded appearance and hefty price?

Design: It's functional, but it's not very lovely

The design of the Bose Quietcontrol 30 is a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the earpieces themselves are remarkably light for wireless earbuds due to careful positioning of the many heavy components in a neckband. The downside is that you'll have to wear an unusual jewellery. The Quietcontrol 30 is substantially bigger and heavier than comparable wireless earphones, weighing only 63 grammes. They are, however, significantly smaller and lighter than noise-canceling headphones. They're probably best thought of as a cross between headphones' audio quality and noise-canceling and earbuds' portability.

Although the neckband adds to the heaviness of the headphones, it also allows them to be worn around the neck when not in use. This setup is especially beneficial when you need to rapidly remove your headphones from your ears and don't have time to put them back in their case. Unfortunately, the earphones dangle and bounce about while you're wearing them and they're not in your ears. It would have been a huge improvement if the earphones could be clipped to the neckband.

Bose Quietcontrol 30

The Quietcontrol 30 is quite durable in terms of durability, however the design makes it seem a touch fragile. Fortunately, the Bose Quietcontrol 30 comes with a sturdy hardshell cover that will keep you safe while on the road. The case also has an accessory compartment where you can keep the accompanying USB charging cord and extra pairs of earphone tips of various sizes.

The power and pairing button is on the inside of the neckband and needs a lot of strain to use. While using headphones, it's also a little more difficult to reach. This design, on the other hand, protects it from being mistakenly pushed. A soft plastic door protects the charging port from moisture and dirt. This will ultimately wear out, based on my experience with comparable port coverings on my Bose Soundsport headphones.

Another minor problem, especially given the earphones' high price, is that the Bose QuietControl 30 uses an outmoded Micro USB interface rather than USB-C. Micro USB connectors aren't reversible like USB-C connectors, thus Micro USB transmission and charging rates are slower.

Process of Setup: Connecting is simple

Getting the Quietcontrol 30 up and running wasn't difficult. I turned it on and was able to link it with my phone and register it with the Bose Connect app in a matter of seconds. If you don't already have a Bose account, you'll need some extra time to set one up.

Comfort: It's as though it's made for you

The Quietcontrol 30 latches into your ear in a secure and shockingly comfortable manner. Even though the earphones are so light and delicate that you can nearly forget they're there, they lock in place and refuse to slip out by accident. Even though the fit was a little snug for me, the neckband should be extremely comfy for most people. That's mainly because my neck is 19.5 inches in circumference, so unless you have a neck as broad as mine, the Quietcontrol 30 should be acceptable. They'd be perfect for a daily commute.

Sound quality is almost perfect

The Bose Quietcontrol 30 is undeniably high-quality audio, and it's not only for in-ear headphones—they're compatible with a wide range of high-quality headphones. I was pleased by how broad the sound stage of these earbuds were when listening to Thunderstruck by 2Cellos, which I use as a standard for assessing headphones. They also reproduce sounds quite uniformly, with no emphasis on the mids, highs, or bass. As a consequence, you'll be able to listen to a wide range of music.

When I shifted from the lovely sound of cellos to the powerful rock sound of Goodbye June's Charge Up the Power, I realised how versatile I was. The boisterous voices, strong guitar, and pounding drumming were all well defined by the Quietcontrol 30. Billy Talent's Afraid of Heights was very enjoyable to listen to. The Quietcontrol 30 delivered a fantastic energetic depiction of this concert, with extremely clear high notes.

Mr. B the Gentleman Rhymer's throbbing British beat of Sheltoes or Brogues revealed that these headphones can handle hip hop just as well as classical or rock. Then I moved to Hawkwind's Cottage in the Woods, which had odd electronic sounds and soaring guitar solos, demonstrating the very high end of the Quietcontrol 30 once again.

I next played John Denver's Windsong, which has quiet instrumentals. The ambient noises, acoustic guitar, and Denver's distinctive voice were all well-defined in this song. Thank You for Being a Friend, a famous song by Andrew Gold, was equally enjoyable to listen to. Unfortunately, the call quality was quite poor. My voice was audible, however those I spoke with through the headphones complained of poor audio quality and strange interference. On my end, I observed a burst of white noise whenever I began to speak.

Bose Quietcontrol 30's active noise cancellation (ANC) is very impressive. It was able to suppress outside sound to a whisper even in noisy surroundings. I also didn't feel the pain I usually get from aggressive noise cancellation. This great noise cancellation comes with a big catch: the ANC can't be turned off, and it's always making a faint white noise. 

When listening to music, this isn't an issue, but it's obvious between songs and when listening to audiobooks. Outside noise may be allowed in by setting the headphones to pipe it in through the microphones rather than eliminating ANC. It's worth mentioning that this white noise may appeal to certain folks. My brother suffers from chronic tinnitus, and the Bose Quietcontrol 30 entirely eliminated the ringing in his ears. This isn't to imply that they are the secret cure for tinnitus, but they were really successful in his instance.

Battery life is adequate but not exceptional

The promised 10-hour battery life was true, albeit not spectacular. I would have anticipated a larger battery given the broad neckband. The battery life might be better if the active noise cancelling could be turned off, but it's still decent enough to get me through the day. Given the battery capacity, the three-hour charging time seems too long, and this is most likely due to the old Micro-USB charging connection.

Wireless Range and Capability

I found the Bose Quietcontrol's stated 33-foot range to be accurate yet lacking, especially for such high-end headphones. They fall approximately five feet short of the range of my Bose Soundsport earphones, which are substantially less expensive. Having said that, the range is suitable for everyday usage.

Software: User-friendly interface

The Bose Connect app is well-designed and simple to operate. The noise-canceling settings, which change the amount of noise cancellation, are prominently visible. As previously stated, this just reduces or disables the amount of outside noise piped in through the microphones, not noise cancellation.

The battery level is also shown, and there are two buttons for Bluetooth settings and music sharing. There's also a menu where you may access other options like the standby timer and voice prompts. The software is straightforward but effective.

Frustrating music sharing features

The Bose Quietcontrol 30's music sharing feature has a lot of potential, but it's difficult to use and only works with a small number of Bose devices. My Bose Soundsport earbuds worked OK, however my Bose NC 700 headphones wouldn't connect. To be honest, passing your headphones to a friend is easier than fiddling with wireless sharing.

The price is justifiably high

The Bose Quietcontrol 30 has an MSRP of $299, so it's not a cheap purchase. However, their high price tag is readily justified when you consider the excellent audio quality, exceptional comfort, and highly effective active noise cancellation. Its shortcomings, on the other hand, are well worth considering. Much less priced headphones outperform it in terms of range and battery life.

Bose Soundsport vs. Bose Quietcontrol 30

The Bose Soundsport is a good alternative to the Quietcontrol 30 for a third of the price. For over three years, I've been using the Soundsport on a daily basis, and I adore them for their comfort, sound quality, and dependability. However, their audio and comfort aren't nearly up to the Bose Quietcontrol 30's standards, and they don't feature active noise cancellation. The Soundsport, on the other hand, provides superior call quality and is tiny enough to fit into a shirt pocket.

The Final Word

Despite a few flaws, the Bose Quietcontrol 30 excels in terms of sound quality and comfort. The Bose Quietcontrol 30 is unquestionably worth its hefty price tag thanks to its excellent audio and incredibly comfy headphones. They aren't perfect, though, and I found the inability to use them with simply passive noise cancellation to be quite aggravating. Overall, they're remarkable, and their flaws may easily be forgiven if sound quality is your major concern.