How Good is the Bose QC35 Microphone for Phone Calls?

How Good Is the Bose QC35 Microphone for Phone Calls?

Bose offers the QC35 noise-canceling headphones to deliver stunning audio results. From 2016 to 2018, the company sold Series I models.

You can now purchase the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones Series II models for enhanced audio support.

One of the best features of these headphones is the built-in microphone. You can use the device to take phone calls when paired to a compatible mobile device. This technology also works for dictation, speaking with Alexa, or recording into a DAW.

If you’re thinking about investing in a new set of headphones for work, home, or other needs, the QC35 is worth considering. Both series have the power to create an excellent listening experience!

How Good Is the Bose QC35 Microphone for Phone Calls?

When you use the Bose QuietComfort 35 or QC35 II wireless Bluetooth® headphones, you don’t need an additional inline cable. The headset includes a built-in microphone within the earcup that becomes active when you’re taking a phone call. It delivers excellent audio for the recipient.

If you choose to use the QC35 microphone for your phone calls, it is essential to remember that the noise-canceling feature you get for listening doesn’t apply.

The person on the other end of the line will hear everything happening in the surrounding environment. That’s why you’ll want to avoid using it in high noise areas.

It is helpful that the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones don’t need you to use an external microphone when speaking with someone.

You can even use this technology for your Zoom calls, FaceTime meetings, and other remote conversations.

The sensitivity rating on the microphone is surprisingly high, which means the mic picks up almost everything.

You almost need a 100% quiet environment to use the QC35 mic for phone calls. The Bose headphones are excellent for listening to music, audiobooks, and similar materials, but they won’t deliver conversational results if you’re in a busy work environment.

Since the connection occurs over Bluetooth, you also have the signal quality to manage when using the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones.

If you keep the device in your pocket, there could be interference that interrupts your conversation.

Should you encounter a problem with your QC35 mic, it might help to clear the Bluetooth device list to restore its functionality.

You can do that by sliding and holding the power switch to the right of the Bluetooth symbol for ten seconds.

You’ll hear the headphones say that the Bluetooth device list is cleared.

■ Specs of the Bose QuietComfort 35 Headphones

If you’re thinking about using the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones at home for phone calls, music, and more, here are the product specs to consider.

Wireless Features:NFC and Bluetooth®
Power:Rechargeable USB with a battery life of up to 20 hours
Color:Black, White, or Custom
Product Weight:0.51 pounds
Fit Style:Around the ear (circumaural)
Cable Type:Replaceable 3.93-foot straight cable
Assistive Features:Alexa and Google Assistant support

The Bose Connect app helps to manage the paired devices with the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones to ensure everyone receives a personalized experience.

You get a volume-optimized EQ to balance your audio at all levels, while the dual-microphone system helps to deliver clarity when making or taking a call.

You’ll find that the microphone quality on the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones are a bit better than they are with the QC35 Series I model.

If your primary need is to take hands-free calls while commuting, at work, or staying busy at home, you’ll want to take that fact under consideration.

If you use iOS for your mobile devices, you can use the QC35 to connect with Siri.

How to Charge Your QC35 Headphones to Take Calls

When you use the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones for taking calls, it is essential to remember the Bluetooth feature. You cannot use it while you have the product charging, which means the microphone gets disabled.

If you need to charge the battery for your QC35 or QC35 II, you’ll need to turn the power off to the product. Next, connect a USB cable from the headphones to your charger.

The battery light blinks with an amber color when it is charging. Once it becomes a solid green hue, you’ll be able to use it once again.

It usually takes about three hours for the battery charge, although the actual time depends on the charger you’re using and the overall power levels that remain.

If you leave the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones plugged in overnight, you won’t need to worry about overcharging your battery.

Even when the product remains connected, the power levels must drop below a specific point before triggering another charging cycle.

■ How to Check on the Remaining Battery Life with Your QC35s

Although you can get up to 20 hours of battery life on a full charge with the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones, that outcome isn’t 100% guaranteed. Several factors play into the overall time you can use the product, ranging from microphone use to general audio streaming.

If you’re unsure of how much time is remaining to use your QC35s or QC 35 II headphones, you can check the charge levels by taking the following steps.

  1. When you turn the power on for the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones, you’ll hear the voice prompt announce your battery charge level. The LED indicator also glows for approximately ten seconds to show you its current status.
  2. If the headphones are turned on already, you can press any button on the product to activate the LED indicators to determine its status. They’ll turn off again after ten seconds to conserve your battery power.
  3. When the QC35 and QC 35 II headphones are not charging, a solid green light indicates that you have at least one hour of battery life remaining.
  4. If you see a solid amber light when the headphones aren’t charging, that means you have less than 60 minutes of power remaining. This indicator suggests you should find the charger.
  5. When you see a blinking red light on the product, the battery requires charging to function.
  6. Once you have the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones plugged into a charger using the USB port, a blinking amber light indicates that the product is currently charging. It will turn to a solid green color once you’ve topped it off.

If you have the QC35 or QC35 II headphones plugged into a charger and you see a solid red light, that indicates the system isn’t within an acceptable temperature range for charging.

You’ll need to move it somewhere cooler or warmer based on the conditions you encounter.

What Happens If My Microphone Isn’t Working?

If you purchased the QC35 headphones to take phone calls, there could be times when you try to speak with someone, and the mic doesn’t seem to work.

The most common reason for this issue is a dropped cellular or Bluetooth signal. If your phone isn’t making the connection to someone else, the microphone will seem like it isn’t working.

You can check to see if the headphones respond to other vocal commands to determine if this issue impacts your user experience.

Should your Bluetooth signal be interrupted or have multiple barriers between the headphones and the phone, the microphone might not work. You’d also notice audio interruptions when listening to music or speaking with someone.

When both issues are resolved, and the QC35 mic for phone calls is still not working, you might need to update the firmware, software, or both for your device.

Taking this step often improves the product features and overall stability for the headphones so that this investment continues to support your needs.

You can update the QC35s or QC35 II headphones using the Bose Connect app or connecting the product to your computer.

■ How to Update Your Bose Headphones Using a Computer

If you don’t want to use the Bose Connect app or it doesn’t seem to be working for you, connecting your headphones to your computer can let you install the updates needed for your QC35s.

Here are the steps to follow so that you can have a successful experience.

  1. With your headphones not connected to your device, use a web browser on your computer or laptop to visit
  2. You’ll get asked to view the terms and conditions of using the site. You cannot start the updating process until clicking on the “Accept and Continue” button.
  3. Click on the “Download” button to save the file to your computer or laptop.
  4. Once the file is finished transferring, open it so that you can install the updater. Although the pages should automatically advance, there’s a link that says “Click Here” if you need to manually activate it for some reason.
  5. Now connect your Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones to the computer or laptop using a compatible USB cable.
  6. If you have an update available for the product, you’ll see an overview of what to expect with the new download. You might have an “Update Now” button to click or a request to “Apply Changes” to begin the process.
  7. Do not disconnect your Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones or power them off during the update.
  8. Once you have everything updated, the browser will tell you that it is safe to disconnect the headphones from your computer.

■ How to Update Your Bose Headphones through the Companion App

If you’re using the Bose companion app with your QC35 or QC35 II headphones, you might find that the updating process is a bit easier with these processes.

Instead of guessing at whether an update is available or not, the app displays an icon that lets you know there is something new for your headphones. It appears as a downward arrow on top of your product’s image.

You can also see the downward arrow image appear in your product settings menu when a software or firmware update is available.

Once you see this notification, you can follow these steps to update your Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones.

  1. Tap on the update icon that displays in the Bose companion app. Once you take this step, you’ll see a circular progress bar that indicates the download process’s current status.
  2. After the download is complete, you will want to tap on the “Update” button that appears on your screen. It will have the downward arrow appear next to it.
  3. As the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones start updating, you’ll need to wait a couple of minutes for everything to install. You’ll see a circular loading bar appear around your product, but it is a visual indicator to stay rather than a progress symbol.
  4. When the checkmark appears on your mobile device, you’ll know that the update is complete. You can start using your headphones once again.

If you see an error screen during these steps while using the Bose companion app, there could be an issue with the software or firmware that requires attention.

The first step would be to try an update by the computer first in those circumstances. Should that effort be unsuccessful, you’ll need to speak with Bose about taking the headphones in for repair.

A Final Thought about the QC35 Mic for Phone Calls

I’ve found many pros and cons with the QC35 headphones when using them to make phone calls. Although the microphone presents clearly, my experience hasn’t been as positive as the marketing descriptions for the product suggest.

There are noise-canceling benefits that come through the mic when using the QC35, but they aren’t as robust as what you receive when listening to audio.

Is it better than what someone would hear if you were speaking through the phone directly? Probably.

That’s why it is essential to have realistic expectations when using the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones for phone calls. They’re not going to be perfect, but they’ll do well in most environments.

You’ll just want to avoid high noise areas, much as you would for any call you’d like to make.


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