Bose is now visiting customers at home to figure out QC35II noise cancellation problems


A few months ago, some owners of Bose’s Quiet Comfort 35 II noise-canceling headphones complained that recent firmware updates haddegraded the effectiveness of that noise cancellation. Sounds that were once eliminated by Bose’s signature NC have been more audible after the update, and this has driven people to downgrade their firmware to restore performance.

In an updateposted to its community forums yesterday, Bose noted that it’s still working on the issue. “Our engineering and service teams remain dedicated to getting to the bottom of what’s going on here,” Bose wrote. But the company is asking affected customers for a bit of face-to-face help. Seemingly unable to get the full picture of what’s happening in its own engineering labs, Bose has scheduled in-person visits with QC35II owners so it can test and observe the headphones “in a live setting.”

Strangely, Bose marked the forum thread — over 150 pages long — as “solved” to “increase visibility” of its latest message, and some posters are now pretty irked about that, too.

Any QC35II customers within “a reasonable distance” from Bose’s Framingham, Massachusetts, headquarters can fill out a survey if they’re willing to let the company come over. The process will start with a phone call, during which Bose will decide whether to arrange an in-person test. It seems like the company doesn’t mind doing a bit of traveling, as even people in bordering states are eligible.


When the problems initially arose, Bose insisted that it hadn’t tinkered with noise cancellation in any recent firmware, and it encouraged customers to go through normal support channels for servicing. But this latest effort at least shows that the company is taking this situation pretty seriously. If there’s really an underlying issue, Bose is determined to find it.

Bose has a new flagship set of very good noise-canceling headphones on the market now,the Noise Canceling Headphones 700. But the QC35IIs remain available for sale at a lower price, so there’s every reason for Bose to keep working away on this.

This continued customer service push comes afterBose discontinued its unique Sleepbudsearlier this month over a battery issue that resulted in unpredictable performance and random shutdowns. The company has said it remains dedicated to producing future products that aid those who have difficulty sleeping.

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