After months of rumors and leaked documents from the Federal Communications Commission, the Bose QuietComfort 45 are coming soon. Whether that will be in a few weeks, months, or even next year remains a mystery, along with other key information on Bose’s unannounced noise-cancelling headphones.
Now, keep in mind that it’s easy to dismiss regulatory documents, especially since they divulge very little, if any, details. However, this FCC document doesn’t just name the headphones, it also shows photos of the apparent design, which resembles the critically acclaimed Bose QuietComfort 35. Furthermore, a CNET reader recently discovered the QuietComfort 45 in the Bose Music app, basically confirming the product’s moniker.
Bose hasn’t responded to any of these reports, nor has it made an official announcement. Until then, we’ve created this hub to help you stay up on the latest updates. Here’s everything you should know about the QuietComfort 45, including price, release date, and special features.
Bose QuietComfort 45 release date
We’re looking at a few scenarios here. The FCC filing could already hint at when the QuietComfort 45 will drop, showing a short-term confidentiality agreement between Bose and the FCC that is set to expire on January 12, 2022.
It’s possible that Bose may end up revealing the QuietComfort 45 on that same day. On the other hand, the company might launch the cans a few days earlier, something we saw happen with the Sony WF-1000XM4.
Bose’s past release schedule should be taken into consideration as well. Past flagship headphones like the Bose 700 and QuietComfort 35 (I and II) were launched between June and September, so it wouldn’t come as a shock if the QuietComfort 45 hit store shelves before the end of Summer or early Fall.
Bose QuietComfort 45 price
The QuietComfort 45 probably won’t replace the Bose 700 as the company’s flagship noise-cancelling headphones, but they will certainly replace the QuietComfort 35 II as the series’ top option. That likely means the 45s will have a launch price similar to its siblings: $350.
Keep in mind that Bose could get greedy and slap a $400 MSRP on its next-gen headphones, the same way it did the 700, which are currently marked down to $379.
Bose QuietComfort 45 design
Judging by the leaked photos, the QuietComfort 45 may be a near-replica of its predecessors. We’re talking the same minimalist, matte finish, over-the-ear design with the control modules, power button, and ports remaining intact.
The QuietComfort 45 should be as versatile and portable-friendly as the previous QC models. That means you’ll be able to collapse and toss the cans in either the bundled carrying case or any backpack. Remember that the 700 had a unibody design that didn’t allow for such seamless transportability. This next-gen version may also have dimensions close to the QuietComfort 35 II: 7.1 x 6.7 x 3.2 inches and 8.2 ounces. It all depends on the hardware that Bose chooses to stuff underneath the hood.
While the photos aren’t the clearest, it looks like the QuietComfort 45 may come with more mics, as indicated by the additional grilles positioned around the earcups. This would enable better call quality and voice recognition.
If Bose does decide to switch up anything, it’ll likely be the color selection. The leaked photos show the QuietComfort 45 in a tan color, but the model in question could just be a prototype. Signature colors that we’ve seen the QuietComfort series adopt are Silver, Black, Rose Gold, and Triple Midnight. There is also the Bose customization program, which was previously offered for the QuietComfort 35 I and II to create your own exclusive colorway for a premium, but it seems to be shut down right now.
Bose QuietComfort 45 specs and features
Looking at the FCC photos, the QuietComfort 45 has an audio jack on the left earcup for optional wired use. The regulator’s documentation also states that a 1.5mm audio cable will come with the product. Another detail worth mentioning is the Action button, which all but ensures digital assistant support. Bose might reprogram the button or make it customizable via the Bose Connect app to perform other actions (e.g., playback, toggle listening modes). However, we suspect it will remain assigned for activating Google Assistant or Alexa.
Any other info on the QuietComfort 45’s specs and features is scarce. That doesn’t mean we can’t go based on what Bose has shown us recently from other popular, top-selling releases.
Active noise cancellation is a hallmark of the series. Therefore, it’s a given on the QuietComfort 45, along with Transparency mode. Whether these features will be minor enhancements of what was featured on the QuietComfort 35 II or take on the all new, more advanced noise-cancelling circuitry that was developed for the 700 remains unknown. Our guess is it will be somewhere closer to the latter, meaning 10 levels of adjustable ANC, but with a less powerful mic array.
Something we might see is hybrid ANC, which was featured on the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds and blends noise cancellation with Transparency mode. It’s an awesome feature that helps make ambient noises more distinctive and less harsh to gain greater awareness of your surroundings.
Bose QuietComfort 45 battery and charging case
Battery life on the QuietComfort 35 series has been disappointing at 20 hours with ANC on. Sadly, the 700 shares the same playtime. Whether the QuietComfort 45 will be any better is anybody’s guess, but a small detail from the photo leaks indicates an upgrade is coming, at least with regard to charging.
Gone is the outdated micro-USB port in exchange for a USB-C port. Bose previously made this transition when developing the 700, and the QuietComfort 45 will likely follow suit.
It’s unknown whether quick charging will be improved. The QuietComfort 35 II produces 2.5 hours of listening time on a 15-minute charge and the 700 generates 3.5 hours in the same charging time, which we can totally see the QuietComfort 45 achieving.
Bose QuietComfort 45: What we want to see
The QuietComfort 45 will be one of the most highly functional noise-cancellers on the market, and we feel confident saying that despite the lack of info available. In hopes of what’s to come, we put together a wish list of potential features and upgrades we’re hoping to see when the product becomes finalized. Let us know if we’re missing anything.
A Unified Communications edition: The 700 was given the UC treatment, which comes with a USB dongle that boosts connectivity and voice quality, and comes optimized for work business communication platforms (e.g., Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom). We’ve also seen some of the other best wireless headphones do the same, like the Microsoft Surface Headphones 2+. A QuietComfort 45 UC release seems ideal for today’s times.
Faster connectivity: More headphones are supporting Bluetooth 5.2 and Google Fast Pair for instant pairing with Android devices. Both are no-brainers.
Enhanced sound: The QuietComfort 35 II is a much better sounding pair of headphones than it gets credit for, as well as the 700. That doesn’t mean they can’t be improved on the audio end. Stronger drivers combined with spatial audio and a more in-depth, customizable EQ would be huge.
More features, please: ANC, ambient listening, and voice assistance aren’t enough. Bose needs to add more features and get creative with some of them. The Sony WH-1000XM4 has LDAC codec and NFC support. Rivals like the Apple AirPods Max (“Hey Siri”) and JBL Tour One (“Hey Google”) come with better voice activation. Budget models like the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 have a soundscape mode. Even the 700 comes with multipoint technology and Bose Music compatibility. Give us more, Bose.
Portable and wireless charging: We love the charging case that Bose released for the 700, granted it costs extra. To keep the headphones secured and charging at the same time sounds awesome. As far as wireless charging, well, it’s been done before (reference the Marshall Major IV). Who’s to say Bose can’t do this with its latest creation?
Touch controls: If the 700 showed us anything, it’s that Bose could create the perfect marriage between physical and touch controls. Not offering the latter on the QuietComfort 45 would make these headphones look too old-fashioned.