After surfacing in an FCC filing last month, Bose today has officially taken the wraps off of its highly anticipated update to the QuietComfort 35 headphones. The new QuietComfort 45 headphones pack a familiar design, with improvements to noise cancellation and transparency modes to rival the AirPods Max and other higher-end offerings.

Bose touts that the QC 45 headphones feature “just two settings,” both of which are powered by a new active noise cancellation system and a new proprietary digital chip. The new “Aware” mode is quite similar to Apple’s popular transparency mode feature, boosting the sound of the environment around you.

Bose explains:

In Quiet Mode, microphones inside and outside the earcups combine with a proprietary digital chip to sense, measure, and respond to more unwanted sounds in mid-range frequencies — those typically found in commuter trains, busy office spaces, and cafés. The now famous “whoosh” associated with Bose noise cancelling technology happens in a fraction of a millisecond to tune out entirely, or enjoy music, podcasts, or movies with lifelike clarity, detail, and no distractions. In Aware Mode, QC45 headphones switch to full transparency, where everything is heard again – just as naturally, clearly, and quickly — without ever taking them off. 

In terms of design, the QC 45 headphones look nearly identical to their QC 35 predecessors, with the notable exception of a USB-C port replacing the old micro-USB port for charging. You can get up to 24 hours of listening time per charge, with quick charge adding three hours of battery life in just 15 minutes. The headphones weigh 238 grams, compared to AirPods Max at 386 grams.

Bose is still relying on physical controls for things like volume, voice assistant interaction, and switching between Quiet Mode and Aware Mode. The left ear cup houses a single button for switching modes, while the right ear cup features the volume buttons, power button, and Bluetooth pairing slider.

The QuietComfort 45 headphones will be available to order black and light gray color options starting on September 23 for $329.95. 

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