Dec 15, 2019
I order the triple midnight qc35 ii. Which comes with 3.1.7 and OMG the ANC is way better than the first two pairs I had both with 4.5.2.
The triple midnight was a limited edition and stop in late 2018, so it comes with the earlier firmware.
Hope this helps someone.
As you can see even if you just look at some of the posts in this thread, the 'issue' is not universal and we don't know what the 'proportion' of the QC35's will exhibit the issue (especially since there is an 'unbalance' here - most of the people who come here do so because imho they have a problematic QC35ii). I can tell you that I received my unit in Dec 2018 and have upgraded to 4.5.2 twice - both ways - Bose Connect and via a browser and my HIGH and LOW are still quite distinct. I do not believe I am having the issue.
What perhaps is taking so long is that the cause has not been pinpointed (or perhaps Bose has determined the cause and has not yet figured out a fix, if any). It is not the firmware alone or we all would have had the issue and it is is not the upgrading process alone. It is more complicated and probably a combination of things.
Since last summer I have been suggesting that it could be hardware related - and some here have tended to agree. Inside of the QC35ii, there are many chips that provide various functions controlled by the firmware. The chips sometimes are 'sourced' from different places but still are supposed to be guaranteed to be functionally equivalent - i.e., they are supposed to all behave the same way when controlled by the firmware. I believe that some of these chips may behave differently and the firmware does not anticipate different behavior. That could explain why some units work and some do not.
If that is indeed the case and Bose establishes it as so, they are left with two options: (1) change the firmware if possible to anticipate this different behavior (even if it is improper/wrong) and still provide the correct functionality. That would be the only way to 'fix' a unit with the issue or (2) determine that the chips have malfunctioned and offer an 'exchange' for them (since Bose does not 'fix' units - it is more economical just to replace them). Now if this is the approach, then they would likely follow the same course as they did for the "QC-I turning itself on" scenario also discussed in this forum. They would not issue a recall and offer free replacement only for those within waranty. Otherwise, they offer a 'discount' and you would have to sufficiently 'complain' to reps and supervisors to get a free exchange even out of warranty. That again, is just my guess.
Also, if Bose goes for option (2), they have to be totally sure of which sourced chip function properly and which do not. Otherwise, they can not be sure that the units they give you will function properly.
Hi, yes I agree; you've added more good detail to what I've previously Posted. If Bose don't have detailed control of the Suppliers of these different sub-components (across all the different Bose Products) then tracing and identifying the suspect 'batch(es)' used in the QC35ii's which exhibit this faults/may prove impossible to fix.....especially without risking breaking the ANC on QC35ii's which are currently ok! Based on some recent Posts by other people in this Community, my guess is that the only and cheapest solution for Bose is they give replacement Units or offer (reduced cost, paid for) Upgrades to 700's to those people who phone-up to complain. Imo, that's the route everyone should to take.
The problem is Bose is not willing to admit the problem. The faulty firmware is still up for the users to update which should be pulled when users started complaining and they should have just replaced the affected units or pushed a new firmware(if possible) to fix this. Leaving 4.5.2 is just adding more fuel to the fire.
For units that have the 'issue' - I don't think it is known exactly how many versions back one needs to go to get firmware which seems to work with the unit. And from reading posts here, units with the issue may also not be consistent on which firmware work and which do not. So even if Bose were to allow downgrades there would still be the problem of how many firmwares needed to be made available, users/customers could have to downgrade multiple times, and Bose would have to 'support' (whatever that means and that meaning is rather 'subjective') all the versions available for downgrade.
But one thing we do know which is highly unlikely to change - Bose will not support nor make available downgrades. You either:
(1) have to purchase or exchange for a unit which 'works'
(2) go with a non-supported, not recommended (and arguably illegal depending on who you are) firmware that works, or
(3) wait for Bose to replace 4.5.2 with a new version.
(1) people/customers/users are already doing (2) with success based on what they downgraded to and how their unit performs
(2) 4.5.2 came out last Jun (2019). We know Bose has been working constantly on identifying the cause of the 'issue' and then coming up with a solution. Previous firmware upgrades were in 3 to 6 month cycles. We don't know if they will be able to fix the issue with firmware. As I previously checked in, they may decide should and when they have identified the cause, that the only viable or most economic solution (for them) is to 'quietly' support exchanges for units with the 'issue'.
I can understand Bose not allowing downgrades but the general consensus by this thread, news reports and some videos on youtube testing the noise cancelling links to 4.5.2 being problematic and it still being up for users is kinda beyond my understanding if Bose actually cares about this issue. On a side note/example apple did role a problematic firmware for AirPods pro which had issues and kinda ruined the nc on those earphones and they pulled it following as it started hitting news sources. So if apple can backtrack on a problematic firmware why not Bose? they could easily pull 4.5.2 that would lead to 4.3.6 being the latest and I don't recall that firmware getting this much heat.
And waiting for Bose to do something is like waiting for aliens to visit the earth. They could surprise us tomorrow with a fix or we just have to wait for eternity and hope they might do something.
Jan 27, 2020
For what it's worth, the unit I just received was manufactured on September 5th, 2019, and came with firmware 4.3.6. I can tell a big difference between low and high noise cancelling, so think I'm not affected thankfully. Voices still get through even on high, but from what I've read that's to be expected from ANY noise cancelling headphones.
Apr 30, 2019
Well, I made my move to the Sony xm3..
This gives me the NC experience I expected, basically the same as the Bose before 4.5.2 gave as well.
The QC35 is more comfortable. but I'll live with that.
Pity, but no more Bose for me this way.
Hi, I've been following this Thread for a few weeks now and agree with a lot of what you and others on here have said Re: if, after best part of 12 months, Bose haven't issued a Fix or Removed 4.5.2 then the chances of anything useful happening get slimmer each week - especially if there's a new (700) model to sell. It is possible to Downgrade the Firmware but understand it's totally at your own risk. My view is that it depends largely on your starting point today:
1. If your headphones are on 4.5.2 and still in Warranty then get a new pair at no cost via Bose Customer Service
2. If your headphones are on 4.5.2 and out-of-warranty then it's still worth trying Bose CS and haggling
3. If you're not 1. or have tried 2. with no joy then the risk associated with trying to down-grad the firmware on a 'bricked' or less than useless set of CQ35ii's i.e. they're stuck in a draw and not used or make you unhappy when you do use them (compared to how they were before 4.5.2) the risk is maybe worth taking? The decision is yours - I'm trying to describe my own decision-tree around this topic.
[Edited by Moderator]
With all due respect and not trying to be argumentitive (too much 🙂 ), I have been reading the posts on this topic from before this one started when 4.5.2 came out last June. And I have seen Bose replies and status posts here as well.
1. keeping in mind they have made a corporate policy back in 2018 not to downgrade or support multiple firmware releases, imho it is highly likely that will change.
2. in line with their corporate approach to support things only going forward, they have been actively looking (based on what we read here) at determining the underlying cause of the ANC "issue" since at least last June. The fact that we have no heard much from them lately about this does not mean they have stopped looking or have given up. Though like you and others, it would be nice by now for an update to be kept in the loop. However, I believe they have not communicated in the last few months because they have no updated information to share. (I still believe as stated earlier the issue could involve quality issues with the chips used in the some of the headphones)
3. they will eventually come up with something - even if they give up I believe (again my opinion) they will have an unannounced exchange program. But what we will never see is any formal announcement or product wide 'recall'/exchange. When is anyone's guess - we have no reason to yet assume that this situation will culminate somehow in 2020.