The Bose QuietComfort 45 steal a feature from Sony’s famous WH-1000XM4 headphones

A woman wearing a pair of Bose QuietComfort 45.
(Image credit: Bose)

If you’re among the many workers heading back to the office this month, listen up: Bose has announced a new pair of noise-cancelling headphones called the Bose QuietComfort 45 that will drop on September 23 for $329 / £329 / AU$499.95. 

The QuietComfort 45 will be a direct sequel to the Bose QuietComfort 35 II that came out a few years ago and are among the best noise-cancelling headphones on the market. 

That said, new to this year’s model are an improved battery life of up to 24 hours, as well as a beam-forming array microphone that will isolate your voice during phone calls. Last but not least, there’s a new Aware mode that will allow you to pipe in outside audio – a feature that Sony has offered since its original MDR-1000X headphones that came out four years ago. 

Bose says that the headphones will use Bluetooth 5.1 to connect wirelessly to your mobile devices, and that you’ll be able to use Bose SimpleSync to pair the QC45 with compatible Bose Soundbars for seamless transition when coming home from work.

The Sony WH-1000XM4

Using the ambient audio mode on the Sony WH-1000XM4 is as simple as pressing and holding the right earcup. (Image credit: Sony)

 Analysis: A direct rival for the Sony WH-1000XM4 

While there are dozens of good noise-cancelling headphones available right now, the two best models are the Sony WH-1000XM4 and slightly older Bose QuietComfort 35 II - which makes sense why Bose wants to release a newer model. 

In terms of price, both headphones are similar - the Bose QuietComfort 45 is $329 / £329 / AU$500, while the Sony WH-1000XM4 launched at $349 / £349 / AU$549 in August of 2020.

The price point and noise cancellation performance already put these two headphones head-to-head, but add an incredibly similar feature-set and now it might be really hard for consumers to know which one to buy. 

Unfortunately, until we test them for ourselves in September we won’t have any definitive answer for you, but based on the last four previous models we’d wager that the Sony headphones will sound better while the Bose headphones will offer slightly better noise cancellation performance. 

Because both sets of headphones integrate with other products in the same family, your decision might just come down to which soundbar or sound system you have and if you plan on taking advantage of Sony’s spatial audio technology, 360 Reality Audio. That said, whichever model you end up choosing, be prepared for a very quiet experience.

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.