Apr 8, 2020
Hi, I share the same concerns. I bought a new QC35ii three weeks before in Germany. Everything was working fine. After few days installed the connect app on ipad pro which updated firmware of my headphones to 4.5.2. Soon after that the ANC performance of "Voices" degraded (not of noise and music) and there is no difference now between Low and High NC.
Apr 8, 2020
At first thank you Bose for your investigations.
But guess what. It IS worse than before.
Yes you are right. The Noise-Cancelling is working and the High and Low Mode has a difference.
But have you ever tested different Frequencies?
When I have this Headphones on and my gf talks to me. I cannot hear a single word on high mode. But when she is listening to her audiobook through her Smartphone. I can hear all of it. Every single word is coming through.
It wasn't like that before.
Same to my Mousewheel. Before the update I couldn't even hear a single thing of the scrolling noise. After the Update, I hear it all the time. For these kind of noises there is absolutely NO/ZERO/NULL difference between high and low noise-cancelling mode.
Maybe it is a hardware defect. Who knows. But it first appearance was immediately after the update.
I was on Version 3.x.x before (stock Version). So the downgrade to 4.3.6 worths nothing to me. Because it Proofs nothing. Maybe it was defect even before 4.3.6.
On the other hand. Lower tones are filtered perfectly. My neighbour was mowning the lawn and I haven't even noticed till I put the Headphones off. I instantly tested the low mode and there was a huge difference between High and Low so I think it is working somehow but as I said, not for every frequence.
Maybe you could investigate that a little bit more.
Just a thought.. could it be that since Bose changed components to support AR function on their newer version QC 35ii with serial number ending in AZ, that the NC on QC 35ii with serial number ending in AE which does not support AR function, affected both models with their firmware updates?
Bose recently exchanged 2 of my limited edition QC 35ii triple midnight out of warranty free of charge due to this issue and I immediately sent them back as even with a stock firmware, they came out of the box with the same ANC issue. Findings or no findings, the proof is in the pudding. Something is wrong with the QC 35 ii and Bose needs to get a handle on this before they lose more customers.
They're sending me NC 700 for both to compensate for not having the triple midnight version on stock anymore.
I must say that I am happy that I got upgraded but for most of us here, I hope that Bose get a handle on the QC 35 ii problem before they lose more customers. I am a big fan of Bose and love the QC 35ii comfort. I already have the NC 700 but the QC 35ii comfort is much better and that is why I am keeping my Silver Version with 3xx firmware which I used for comparison when my exchanges came in. I've since deleted my Bose connect app to make sure they don't get updated automatically to this debacle of a firmware.
As much as Sony having a better NC than Bose now, ( I know as I own a Sony XM3 as well) the sound quality of Bose is what's keeping me as a customer... so keeping my fingers crossed that they find an actual solution rather than trying to shut up a mass of people via "their findings" who are trying to help the company improve their product by voicing out their concerns on this community instead of ditching them .
Apr 8, 2020
I've read the report, made all the inspection (cover, etc etc) and did the downgrade. Nothing changed and the problem still continues. It is a loud "rain", continuous and constant which i can hear when paused and even when listening music with low volume.
It seems more than just the firmware...
I have my BOSE QC35II for less than 2 weeks. I'll go to the store to see if they replace them, and if the problem persists, probably I'll be forced to buy from another manufacturer.
Sep 26, 2017
At least i guess the only expectation left is release a 4.7.5 which has a poorer NC at low than at high which is anyways poor. The difference at least should be substantial.
Apr 8, 2020
My QC35 II headphones are a mid-2019 build with version 4.3.6 firmware. I have nothing with which to compare them, but they don't block out external voices to the degree I hoped they would, based on reviews I read prior to my purchase. I'm reticent to attempt a firmware upgrade based on all the problems reported.
I'm not an audio engineer, but in reading through the pages of the posts discussing the problem, I do see a pattern. In the earlier versions of firmware, people reported a significant "cabin pressure" effect, which caused some individuals discomfort. As the firmware matured, the cabin pressure was apparently reduced but the reports of impaired noise cancellation increased.
If there exists an inverse relationship between perceived cabin pressure and noise cancellation, perhaps Bose could update their app and firmware to allow users to select their preferred operating profile. One could set amount of cabin pressure with which they're comfortable, achieving the highest level of associated noise cancellation.
As promised, here is some additional info from our engineering team around the questions @atropos and others have asked regarding our testing!
"The short answer is that our measurements do include data across the full range of human hearing. The same dBA calculations shown in the report with airliner noise were also done using speech noise, with no changes to the conclusion. Additionally, we used a more precise test method that focuses on firmware changes more directly by electrically monitoring the signals with firmware 3.1.8, 4.1.3, and 4.5.2 as one of our first steps in the Engineering Deep Dive. We found that all of these firmware versions produced identical results. For full details, please read below:
For this investigation, we took thousands of measurements, many of which are considered proprietary. Our report focuses on the most meaningful results to directly address the question of firmware function and to understand the customer headphones retrieved from the field. The purpose of showing the performance of the 10 customer headphones in the report is to correlate the perceptual performance that customers were experiencing with objective, quantitative measurements. For these headphones, the insertion loss was measured using methods described in standard ANSI S12.42. This provides the reduction of noise for most frequencies across the range of human hearing. The graph shows the result of applying this attenuation, frequency by frequency, to the noise spectrum of a typical airliner, then A-weighting the spectrum and integrating across frequency to get a single level, in dBA SPL, under the headphone. This was then subtracted from the A-weighted level of the airliner spectrum itself to get a single number representing the noise reduction of each QC35 tested in this noise environment. While not shown in the final report, the same calculations were done using an average speech noise spectrum rather than airliner shaped noise, with no change to the conclusions.
We could have shown before/after graphs of insertion loss for each earcup as you suggest, but this would have taken many graphs and would also make it more difficult to see patterns in the data. The method we used simplifies such comparisons and is consistent with methods in another standard, ANSI S12.68. Using A-weighting emphasizes mid-frequencies, such as those in the voice band, and is widely agreed to represent how loud or annoying sounds are to humans. That is to say, changes in the voice band will be more prominent in the results when using A-weighting than changes occurring only at very low frequencies.
However, if we are looking to target measurements of the firmware functionality in isolation, there are more precise methods available to use than acoustic measurements. A better method is to electrically monitor the signals within the noise cancellation circuitry. With this technique, we can look directly at how an input from a microphone translates to an output at the driver. If the firmware were to affect the signal path, we would be able to directly observe it.
Indeed, this was the first set of measurements we performed in the Engineering Deep Dive, testing firmware revisions 3.1.8, 4.1.3, and 4.5.2. The results showed that all of these firmware versions produced identical results at all frequencies. This test was repeated multiple times, with multiple headphones, updated with multiple methods. As a test of sensitivity, we intentionally modified the calibration settings for the noise cancellation system to verify that this test would detect the changes. When we remeasured, we detected the exact changes that were introduced. This validated that the test was capable of detecting any differences from firmware in the electrical path. As this is a purely electrical test, any hardware issues such as microphone or driver component damage, physical acoustics defects, earcushion attachment, or mechanical system integrity would be excluded from this test, which is an advantage over acoustical testing when looking for firmware differences."
So this explanation openly admits that Sony have actually overtaken Bose in ANC technology. Even my Sony XM2 performs better in terms of ANC than the QC 35iis because of this “firmware update not the cause of ANC problems”. My Sony XM3 is far more superior in Noise Cancellation than the QC 35 ii and is $60 cheaper.
As per my previous comment, Bose takes the sound superiority but even with a QC 15/25, if sound is all you’re after, then QC 35 ii are just a waste of $$ if the ANC does not function as expected. I am pretty sure that all the people who commented since the problem first started are not delusional but rather just wanting to get what the product promised.
Bose can keep posting that the FIRMWARE updates findings have nothing to do with the ANC problem people are experiencing will cause long time loyal customers to start jumping ship.
Apr 8, 2020
I should have bought Sony as Christmass present for myself. I am slowly regretting my action which is an agony.
I have admired Bose since the 90's, and the more they try to disprove everyone experienced the more I dislike them already....thousands of customers are complaining....
Cub0002, you’re still under warranty. Have them exchange it. If the exchange is still not up to your expectation, request for a refund and buy your Sony 😊. If everyone who has this maybe does this, BOSE will find a solution instead of trying to disprove everyone who experienced the problem.