Bose’s QuietComfort 35 II headphones are among the most comfortable noise-canceling headphones ever made, so it’s not surprising that Bose has converted them into a gaming headset, with the addition of a “noise-rejecting” boom microphone and PC desktop controller. What is a little surprising is that Bose didn’t make its new QuietComfort 35 II Gaming Headset sooner as a lot of other audio companies have already jumped into the booming esports market. It’s available for preorder now for $330 or $30 more than the list price of standard QuietComfort 35 II headphones. (There’s no word yet on UK and Australian pricing or when the headset will be released in those countries).
Bose calls this its “first two-in-one gaming and lifestyle headset” and you can use it as a Bluetooth headphone just as you would the QuietComfort 35 II. The boom microphone is removable, but with a lot of people working from home, it would also come in handy for making cellphone calls and videoconferencing.
Read more: Best PS4 gaming headset for 2020
You can use it as a wired headset with PCs or PS4, Xbox and Nintendo Switch consoles, and wirelessly with PCs, smartphones and tablets. However, most people prefer to play in wired mode on PCs to avoid any audio lag with Bluetooth.
The desktop controller allows you to lower or raise the master volume and cycle through four levels of mic monitoring, which lets you “self-regulate the sound of your own voice,” Bose says, “and avoid shouting at your teammates.”
The headphones offer 40 hours of battery life in wired gaming mode and up to 20 hours in wireless mode; 15 minutes of quick-charge gives you up to 5 hours more for wired gaming and up to 2.5 hours more of wireless listening.
It’s true that $330 is a lot to pay for a gaming headset, but the idea here is that the QuietComfort 35 II Gaming Headset can do double duty as your everyday headphones (the newer Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are Bose’s current flagship noise-canceling headphones). Alas, Bose says that it currently has no plans to release the microphone and desktop controller accessories, which would allow current QuietComfort 35 and 35 II owners to convert their headphones into gaming headsets. Other headphone companies, like V-Moda, sell a $30 boom microphone accessory for PC gamers.
Bose’s new Noise Cancelling 700 Headphones live up to…
If you subscribe to only one Bioreports newsletter, this is it. Get editors’ top picks of the day’s most interesting reviews, news stories and videos.
Update, 1:22 p.m.: Added more analysis and context.