Welcome to another installment of Editor’s Review from FREESKIER. Each week our editorial staff provides in-depth, honest reviews about the gear they’re testing on a weekly basis. Our goal? To point you towards the best brands and products on Earth so you can trust your equipment whole-heartedly and have as much fun in the mountains as possible. Read up on the two new Bose products, below, then visit us again tomorrow for more awesome gear coverage.
I’ve been testing a load of gadgets lately with a mind for posting a gadget-centric round-up on the website next month. Throughout the testing process I’ve come across a handful of products that are worthy of extended and exclusive review, and the SoundLink Revolve+ Bluetooth speaker and the QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones, both by Bose, are two such items. These beauties stand out to me for their incredibly sleek styling and truly top-notch performance.
First off, let’s talk about the gorgeous design of this portable Bluetooth speaker. The seamless machine looks like it would be right at home on the International Space Station. It looks smooth and it even feels smooth; the rubber material on its top (where the buttons are) and bottom is ultra-soft to the touch. That same material also serves you well if you drop or knock this puppy over. In another nod to durability this product is water-resistant to the point that it can withstand rainfall. It’s portable via its flexible, fabric handle and it boasts true 360-degree sound. And what a sound it is.
While testing other comparable products I was often left dejected, thinking, dammit, get louder! When I fired up this speaker for the first time my thought process was more like, damn, if I crank this any louder I might actually break something, like a speaker, an eardrum or a nearby window. Indeed, it packs an Evander Holyfield-esque punch for its small size. Bose touts this piece as its “best performing portable Bluetooth speaker yet,” with, “deep, loud and immersive sound.” I assert that this claim rings true. We’ve found that if you strategically place this piece next to a wall the sound reverberates around the room in a way that’s almost concert-like, and that’s where that “immersive” effect comes into play.
Additional features and noteworthy highlights include a 16-hour battery life; phone-free voice prompts for Bluetooth pairing and access to Siri and Google Now; a loud n’ clear speakerphone function; a wireless range of up to 30 feet; a threaded universal mount for attachment to tripods, etc; a 3.5-mm auxiliary input; and integration with the Bose Connect app, allowing for easy swapping between Bluetooth devices, the pairing of multiple SoundLink Revolve speakers (Party Mode) for doubly loud sound and Stereo Mode for separation of instruments and vocals for a unique listening experience.
The price tag is on the higher end of the spectrum but I say this thing is worth every penny. The alternative is shelling out somewhere in the ballpark of $200 for a product that doesn’t deliver even remotely the same quality of sound. I was recently listening to Vengaboys’ “We Like to Party” via the SoundLink Revolve+ and, man, it sounded like heaven. A full-fledged dance party ensued in my kitchen. If uncontrollable booty-shaking isn’t your thing, please consider the fact that I was also rocking out hard to country boy Chris Stapleton just hours earlier and was equally happy. Bottom line: This speaker pumps out sound that you’re going to love.
Much like the SoundLink Revolve+ speaker, the QuietComfort 35 (QC35) is categorized as First-Class, through and through. The main attractions here are cushy comfort (you might’ve guessed that based on the name), excellent sound, clean styling and plenty of function, to boot.
These headphones are so light and comfortable you’ll hardly notice them on your head. The QC35’s airy nature and plush fit cannot be overstated; this luxe character is immensely appreciated during long travel days or extended listening sessions at the office, at home, wherever. Pair that pillow-like feeling with noise-canceling technology and you’re talking about something darn special.
If you haven’t experienced the power of noise-canceling headphones, well, then you just don’t know. With the simple flip of a switch, the hustle and bustle of the outside world drops completely away allowing for uninterrupted, pure listening bliss. The way it works: A mini microphone in the earpiece continuously measures ambient noise. Electronics in the earpiece then create a noise-canceling wave that is opposite of, or 180 degrees out of phase with, the ambient noise. You don’t have to wrap your head around the science in order to enjoy the benefits. When you discover the ability to tune-out a crying baby on an airplane or even just the steady hum of a jet engine, your life changes for the better, forever. The idea of shelling out $350 for headphones can be unsettling, sure. But like I said, if you don’t know then you just don’t know.
Save your pennies, place this item squarely at the top of your birthday wish list or just take the leap and put it on the credit card. Once you enter the magical realm of noise-canceling, you’ll never go back. Heck, you’ll laugh at where you once came from. Rest assured that when the noise-canceling mode is enabled and the volume is up, the sound emitted by the QC35 is crisp, clean, loud, warm and inspiring.
Furthermore, the styling is superb. The headband is delightful; it’s wrapped in Alcantara, a covering material typically associated with premium yachts and high-end cars. The around-ear cushions are made of a synthetic protein leather for even more coziness. This product is also constructed of impact-resistant materials, glass-filled nylon and corrosion-resistant stainless steel ensuring it’ll stand up to your abuse.
More to love: A 20-hour battery life provides for all-day listening; connectivity to the Bose app allows for effortless swapping between devices, access to an auto-off timer, volume control and battery readings; and with Music Share (also part of the app) you can connect two Bose-branded wireless headphones to your mobile device, allowing for easy music sharing with friends. Also, for a bit more cash the QC35 is available in nearly limitless color-ways. You can customize your setup by selecting a combination of 37 available colors across nine different parts.
Quit clinging to those old, shoddy headphones of yours. You deserve an upgrade.