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Nov 7, 2018

I'm not crazy! Why Won't Bose Admit They Made A Mistake?!

First off I read the official statement about ANC not being altered just a bit ago. It's wrong. I'm not going to go off the conspiracy deep end and say it's a lie, but the engineers have not done their due diligence. Their assurances do not make me feel better that I don't have the headphones I did three hours ago.

I loved my QC 35 I headphones. Loved them. I've had them for a year and used them constantly. On the bus. At the arcade (I pinball a lot). While doing dishes. Wore them to bed. I loved them so much I bought my girlfriend a pair of QC 35 IIs. She mentioned the Bose Connect app that I had never used and mentioned you could change some settings. "Cool!" I thought and made the tragic mistake of installing it and updating my firmware. It had never occurred to me to check for a firmware update before. I had my headphones off for about an hour. I put them back on and could instantly tell a difference.

The pressure in my ears was different and I could hear my electric fan. I am not imagining this. I could NOT hear my fan with these on two hours ago. I showed this feature off to people I loved it so much. I found the cancellation setting in the app and switched it to off, then to low, then to high. I could hear a difference but absolutely nothing like it is to be.

I scrambled to search and found I was not alone and Bose insisted there were no changes. Maybe there were no intentional changes but there is SOMETHING different. Horribly different. I would not be typing this at 3:30 AM knowing I have to be awake in four hours if I were not absolutely 100% certain that the best pair of headphones I have owned in my life had been suddenly reduced to crap.

As I said. I read the official statement. It's wrong. I'm not crazy. Your other customers with the same complaints are not crazy. Your engineers are overlooking something obvious. If they can't reproduce it they aren't starting with the right firmware or aren't hitting the issue afterwards. This is not a subtle difference. It's a night and day kind of difference. They sound different. They feel different. Nothing has changed in the last few hours except the firmware. It's too late to return my headphones, but I'm planning on returning my girlfriend's pair tomorrow and using the money to test a pair of Sony headphones. I really really really do not want to. I loved my headphones. I just want them back how they used to be.
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Friendly Fanatic
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Mar 7, 2017

Re: I'm not crazy! Why Won't Bose Admit They Made A Mistake?!

a) Nothing changed. 

b) Yes, you're crazy.

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Nov 7, 2018

Re: I'm not crazy! Why Won't Bose Admit They Made A Mistake?!

b) Your title of "friendly fanatic" seems misplaced as that hardly seems friendly.

a) Something had to have changed. When I first launched Bose Connect I didn't have the option to change the level of noise cancellation. During this brief time before the firmware began updating the behavior was exactly the same as it was. After the update I had the option to adjust it from Off -> Low -> High. High is better than Low but it is absolutely not the same as the cancellation was before. I'm telling you it used to be a pressure enducing "hum" that was strong enough to give me mild headaches before I got used to it. Even after I got used to it, it was always discernable and always silenced any white noise in the room. Now that "hum" is a quiet "hiss" that does not cause that pressurized feeling and does not silence the environment around me.

I read an article posted last year that claimed that people saying this were experiencing buyers remorse. How could it be something so stupid if I've owned these for over a year and loved every minute of it? Why would so many people claim the same exact issue independently?

I'm an engineer and I know what it's like to deal with customer complaints you can't reproduce in house. You don't dismiss them if you care about your customers. You work with them as closely as you need to in order to identify the problem and make it right.
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Audible Advocate
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Nov 8, 2018

Re: I'm not crazy! Why Won't Bose Admit They Made A Mistake?!

Hey guys, I don't think anyone is crazy but I do think it's a perception issue - I mentioned this in another thread too but when you start to try and recognize the sounds that get through the ANC you start noticing more sounds naturally, it's like a mental trick.  I have the QC35 IIs and have noticed this myself, imho.

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Audible Advocate
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Jun 7, 2018

Re: I'm not crazy! Why Won't Bose Admit They Made A Mistake?!

Hello,

 

You are not alone...

Exact same story for me, I was able to hear clearly things thats weren't there minutes before.

Same feeling with the strong pressure "hum" that changed to a "his".

 

I opened a feature request, without any success 😞

https://community.bose.com/t5/Headphones-Archive/Feature-Request-unlocked-ANC-while-in-flight-mode/m...

 

I went to Best Buy to try both the QC35II (mine and the one on display) and the Sony WH-1000MX3 and the difference was astonishing.

I swapped my pair of can for a new one in Paris. They weren't surprised by my story... and the new pair wasn't better. Sadly the firmware was already up to date... I miss the pair of can I bought in the first place...

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Audible Advocate
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Nov 9, 2018

Re: I'm not crazy! Why Won't Bose Admit They Made A Mistake?!

Just upgraded a firmware and I completely agree - noise concellation effectively stopped working. On LOW noise cancellation setup an office talk is the same volume as just removed QC 35 II.

 

Now I listen a dropped pen even with HIGH noise cancellation!

 

The only difference - it still cancels low frequency ramble from office air condition system but not people talk and pulse sound.

 

I guess, noise cancellation now stopped working on speech and high frequency range.

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Wistful Whiz
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Jun 15, 2018

Re: I'm not crazy! Why Won't Bose Admit They Made A Mistake?!

Just curious - is anyone able to tell me if the 'issue' people are noticing here with ANC also is manifested in any firmware version of the QC 35 I?  In other words, has someone here had a I and II side by side and if so, did things sound the same in both or different in both?

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Friendly Fanatic
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Nov 7, 2018

Re: I'm not crazy! Why Won't Bose Admit They Made A Mistake?!

I have a I and just bought the II for my girlfriend so I have compared. They are about the same after the firmware update. 

Also I just got my Sony's in and had someone help me do a blind test comparing them to the Bose. Basically I turned both sets on and sat in my room facing my fan with eyes closed. I had the person put one pair on my head and I judged the cancellation as "okay". I asked them to remove the pair and randomly place either the same pair or the other pair on my head and I judged it as "okay". We repeated this exercise a couple of times and the results were pretty similar until my friend says "wait a minute I think the noise cancellation on one of these was off". They made sure they were both turned on and we did it again and suddenly on one of them I said "That's how it should sound! That's quiet!" We kept going and from then on I could clearly tell when they repeated with the same pair or switched to the other. Lo and behold the Sony's were much better - they were the ones that the NC had accidentally been turned off on. 

 
I obviously don't have my original firmware Bose to compare to anymore, but the Sony headphones sound like I remember the Bose sounding before the firmware update. Silences my fan totally except for a soft wind sound where the Bose lets through a louder more mechanical sound. So I'm returning the II's I got for my girlfriend and ordering a second pair of Sony headphones. It's a shame that no one at Bose will acknowledge this issue 😕 I would have preferred to stay brand loyal.

 

Edit: Added a full description of the test in an attempt to demonstrate that this was not imagined. But people will probably dismiss it anyway.

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Nov 6, 2018

Re: I'm not crazy! Why Won't Bose Admit They Made A Mistake?!

You are all completly right this firmware update has ruined these headphones for many people and Sony is probably well aware o this and thats why they are going after bose so hard. Bose has not done anything to try and fix this issue. im still within my return period and think i may just switch over to the xm3. Sony seems like they actually care about there customers!!!!

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Audible Advocate
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Sep 18, 2018

Re: I'm not crazy! Why Won't Bose Admit They Made A Mistake?!

I don't believe anything has changed with regards to the ANC.  However, why doesn't someone just test the headphones with equipment to figure it out and settle this?  Because using your ears, is very subjective.

 

Bose said ANC has not change and I believe them.  What do they possibly have to gain by not telling us the truth?  And why would they reduce the effectiveness of the one feature that is the only reason for the price point of these headphones?  And by the way...the earth is not flat.