Bose isn't the only name in noise-cancelling headphones, but it's got sufficient mindshare and marketshare to make the brand's QuietComfort series near-essential kit for the business traveller and frequent flyer.
All that's been missing from the mix is the option to go wireless – and that's overdue, considering Bose' strong track record with its popular SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speakers and SoundLink II headphones.
No surprise, then, that the 2016 line-up of Bose headphones borrows this Bluetooth tech and shrinks it down into ear-friendly size to give us the QuietComfort 35 and QuietControl 30 noise-cancelling cans, as well as the new SoundSport earbuds for wireless workouts.
Bose QuietComfort 35
The QC35s are essentially a wireless version of the QC25s.
Same compact, collapsible and super-comfortable design which makes them perfect for long flights; same superb noise-cancelling tech to slam away unwanted cabin and engine noise, although they also perform earth-bound wonders on the train or bus, in the office or around the house.
But those over-the-ear muffs now contain a tiny Bluetooth radio to connect to your smartphone, tablet or laptop sans cable, and a rechargeable battery that's good for up to 20 hours on a single tank.
And if a flat battery catches you out, just hook up the supplied headphone cable and you're back in action, although without noise-cancelling of course.
(You can also revert to the cable to significantly boost battery life, as this automatically shuts down the Bluetooth radio.)
The QC35s also pack an NFC chip for fast and easy pairing with NFC-capable devices (primarily Android phones and tablets), voice prompts for setup, caller ID and battery status.
Bose QuietControl 30
The QC30s offer a new twist on the earbud design of the QC20s, with the battery, Bluetooth and the rest of the tech rolled into a neckband.
This can sit proud around the back of your neck or be concealed under your shirt, although as it's not adjustable some people will find the collar becomes more of a choker, in a rather too literal sense.
So why is this a QuietControl 30 rather than a QuietComfort 30? You can adjust the degree of noise-cancellation to suit your environment – dial it down to hear more of the outside world or max it out to escape into your own little QC30 cocoon – without fiddling with the music volume.
Those controls are on an inline remote dangling between the collar and one earbud, although you can also access them via a new Bose smartphone app for Android and iOS.
Bose rates the QC30's battery life at 10 hours, with a fast-charge system which gives two hours of juice from a short 15 minute charge.
The QC30 will land mid-September at $399.
Rounding out the Bose 2016 headphone range are the SoundSport Bluetooth earbuds.
They're not noise-cancelling, but fit sufficiently snug in your ear (and should stay there, thanks to soft flexible silicone and clever ear-hugging design) to block out most external sound while you run, lift, climb or row.
Battery life is upwards of five hours, with the basic SoundSport model retailing at $249 from mid-September and the heart-rate monitoring SoundSport Pulse at $299 from mid-June.
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