When comparing Sennheiser HD 800S vs Bose QuietComfort 35 II, the Slant community recommends Sennheiser HD 800S for most people. In the question“What are the best headphones?” Sennheiser HD 800S is ranked 24th while Bose QuietComfort 35 II is ranked 45th. The most important reason people chose Sennheiser HD 800S is:
The highs are very clear and revealing, so you will be able to hear even the minute details from the audio that you simply will not be able to pick up with lesser headphones. The mids are also clear and have nice warmth. They are slightly recessed, yet voices and mid range tones will come out full, so the sound is not lean in any way. The bass is not boomy but still has enough power for a satisfying thump. Also, due to the bass' tightness and speed, there is no bloat from the lower frequencies.
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Pro Extremely detailed highs, warm and clear mids with tight and accurate bass
The highs are very clear and revealing, so you will be able to hear even the minute details from the audio that you simply will not be able to pick up with lesser headphones.
The mids are also clear and have nice warmth. They are slightly recessed, yet voices and mid range tones will come out full, so the sound is not lean in any way.
The bass is not boomy but still has enough power for a satisfying thump. Also, due to the bass' tightness and speed, there is no bloat from the lower frequencies.
Pro Highly detailed sound with one of the widest soundstages
These headphones sound very immersive. Aside from the highly detailed sound and powerful yet tight bass, the soundstage is very wide, which only a few headphones can match , if any at all.
Pro Relatively lightweight
Despite the massive size of the headphones, Sennheiser was able to keep the weight down by using a special material called Leona, which is very light yet has metal-like toughness.
Pro Very wide sound stage
The HD 800S has one of the widest sound stages of any headphone today. There is excellent separation and you can easily identify where various sounds are coming from and can be very immersive.
Pro Solid build quality
These headphones do not make unnecessary creaks or flex when moved or held. Aside from the use of Leona on the ear cups and headband, the size adjuster is made of lightweight metal, with fine yet durable stainless steel mesh covering the drivers.
Pro Comes with two high quality cables
Out of the box, you get a balanced XLR cable and an unbalanced TRS cable. If you have a balanced headphone amp, then the XLR cable will allow you to maximize your amp's performance with these headphones without the need to buy a different (and expensive) cable.
Pro Really comfortable to wear
The ear pads feature high quality memory foam as cushions with the surface being premium quality velours. This material combo is also used on the headband. They feel really soft and conform to the contours of your head. Due to the fabric material, some air can move through the pads, minimizing heat and sweatiness.
Pro Great sound performance, effective noise cancelling, long battery life and Google Assistant smart features in a compact package
Most full-sized, wireless over the ear headphones are quite heavy and bulky. The QC 35 IIs on the other hand are relatively compact and light, yet still deliver great performance, battery life and top notch noise cancelling.
The integration of Google Assistant is also a first in headphones, and gives you a host of smart features like notification reading, quick music searches and call making using voice commands and many more.
Pro Great active noise cancelling
Bose's noise cancelling tech is quite effective at blocking ambient noise. This will help you fully enjoy the music by virtually eliminating outside noise.
Pro Fairly balanced sound signature with slight boosts to the mids and highs
Bass is full and punchy. While the sub-bass is not pronounced, there is good and fast bass extension, and this is what gives the music punch and a sense of tightness.
The mids are full and slightly forward so vocals and guitars can be clearly heard.
The highs are clear and do not distort at high volumes. There is a peak on the upper treble which helps to add more detail and clarity to the music, but some may also find the high frequencies to be quite harsh at times.
Pro Very good Google Assistant integration
These headphones are much more convenient to use and functional thanks to the Google Assistant upgrade. Press the long, flat button on the left ear cup to activate the feature, and you’ll be able to make voice commands to search for music, start calls, set reminders, get weather updates and many other features. This addition makes the QC 35 II one of the best travelling headphones you can get today.
Pro Has wired and Bluetooth connectivity
Aside from Bluetooth connection, you can also connect the QuietComfort 35 II to a source using a 3.5mm cable. This makes the headphones usable even with the battery depleted.
Pro Ear cup buttons allow easy control
You can easily control playlist functions using the buttons on the right ear cup. These functions include volume control as well as the play, pause, next track and previous track commands. The on/off switch for the headphones is also on this ear cup.
Pro Very good battery life
The QC35 IIs can play music continuously for up to 20 hours. This should cover most of your trips' duration before needing to recharge.
Pro Mic produces great voice quality
Multiple microphones are strategically located on both ear cups, allowing for great voice quality when taking calls. The noise cancelling also helps to clean up the voice quality that goes into the headphones.
Pro Built in mic allows hands-free calls
You can simply press a button on the right ear-cup to answer a call. This reduces the hassle of having to remove the headphones to take a call.
Pro Not straining on the head/neck
Despite having internal batteries, these headphones are still fairly lightweight, coming in at under 300 grams. This makes the headphones really easy to wear for extended periods, even when you are on the go.
Pro Feels soft and comfortable
The QC 35 II's ear cups and headband feature quality memory foam material which are soft and supportive so they do not pinch on your ears or apply too much pressure to the top of the head. These contact points are also covered with a quality leather material which feels nice and smooth on the skin.
Pro Great for on the go use as they are wireless
With these, you won't have to deal with long and dangling cables that can be difficult to manage.
Con A decent amp is needed to power these properly
These headphones are quite power hungry and will not produce optimal sound or volume when plugged directly to your phone or laptop. You will need to invest in a separate, fairly powerful amp to get the best sound out of these.
Con Leaks a lot of sound
Only a very fine mesh piece covers the large headphone drivers from the outside. These are basically mini speakers so others can easily hear what you are listening to.
Con Can be picky with DACs/amps
Your choice of amp and DAC can have a noticeable effect on the sound of the HD 800S. You may need to do extra research as to which audio equipment can bring out the best sound from these.
Con Noise cancelling may cause ear discomfort
Some experience a feeling of extra pressure into the ears when noise cancelling is on. Many find this to be unpleasant.