The best headphone: SONY WH-1000XM3 vs BOSE QC35 vs Crusher ANC

Clio Alaniz

Clio Alaniz

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August 10th 2020

In this article, I will compare SONY WH-1000XM3, BOSE QC35 and Crusher ANC. Giving you a detail information about these three headsets, which are considered to be the best brand. After the review, I hope you will be able to choose the best noise-cancelling headphone.

Appearance and workmanship

SONY WH-1000XM3

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From the appearance alone, the 1000XM3 has nothing out of the world in it. The whole body is black with the golden LOGO embellishment, which can be said to be very low-key connotation. The two sides of the ear bag are made of skin-like matte material, which distinguishes it from the glossy paint elsewhere.

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 The headrest wrap and ear wrap use black protein leather material, but the elasticity of the filling sponge is different. The sponge at the head beam is very elastic and can play a role of support and ventilation, while the sponge of the earmuffs is very soft, which provides better sealing when worn, and improves the passive noise reduction effect. The appearance of 1000XM3 all uses plastic parts, but thanks to the design of the skin-like coating, the whole headset still has a sense of grade. The bronze-colored SONY logo is very appealing to me, very stylish and retro. The charging port uses a Type-C interface design, which gives a good vibe. The appearance is quite satisfactory in other aspects.

BOSE QC35

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My first impression of the BOSE QC35 headset is that it is slimmer. Upon closer inspection, it turns out that the fusiform (spindle shaped) design of the earmuffs gives me a visual slimming effect. Although black is also used, the detailed design language is quite different from Sony.

The outer side of the earmuffs uses aluminum alloy metal material, adding a touch of coldness. BOSE's LOGO uses a metal polished design, which also adds a touch of movement. The head beam uses the same suede material as the car seat. Although it is more individual at first glance, it is easier to get dirty and difficult to wipe after long-term use. The sponge of the earmuffs is also very soft, and the sealing effect is the same as SONY. The charging port of BOSE does not use the Type-C interface like SONY, but uses the Micro-USB design, which is a bit outdated, but considering that it was launched in 2017, it is understandable.

Crusher ANC

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Skullcandy is also the skull head that fans often say. The brand's genes are positioned as trendy sports headphones, so it will naturally make a lot of effort in appearance. The Cruhser ANC I got is the main black-brown color of the skull. The overall black appearance is matched with a brown leather package, which is more fashionable and dynamic than BOSE and SONY.

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In terms of details, the metal LOGO of the skull head presents a strong taste of fashion brand, and the shape of the skull adds some mysterious and cold feeling. which gives me a trace of the excitement of contacting the fashion brand culture.

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On the hinge of the right earmuff, there is a small detail hidden. It is a longitude and latitude coordinate. I was curious to check it on the map. This coordinate is located at Skullcandy headquarters in Park City, Utah, USA. It is at the foot of the mountain where the Olympic Games skiing event was once held (why is the office environment of other people's homes that is the heartbeat).

Another point different from BOSE and SONY is that the earmuffs support a rotation angle of 180 degrees left and right, while both SONY and BOSE support 120 degrees rotation. Crusher ANC can be more casual when placed on the desktop, and you don't have to worry about the front and back.

Overall, the Crusher ANC and QC35 are exquisite and small, and the 1000XM3 is different in size and work. 

Control experience

Headsets with active noise reduction, generally integrates other commonly used operations like power on and off, Bluetooth pairing, volume adjustment, song switching, making calls, voice assistants on the headsets. If the design is not clever enough, it will cause inconvenience to users. Therefore, the control experience is also a point that I am very concerned about.

SONY WH-1000XM3

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1000XM3 uses a button plus touch operation mode. The two buttons are responsible for the commonly used switch/Bluetooth pairing, and noise reduction/ambient sound switching. Other operations are integrated in the touch area of ​​the earmuffs.

In addition, 1000XM3 allows you to cover the left earmuff with your hand, and the ambient sound enhancement will be automatically turned on. When you want to listen to external sounds, you don’t need to take off the headset, which is very convenient. But if you want to talk to others, it is still recommended to take it off, after all, it involves a question of politeness.

BOSE QC35 

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The QC35's switch button and Bluetooth pairing design is unique, and it is placed on the right earmuff panel. Moreover, it is different from the regular button operation, it uses the left and right slide. Nevertheless, it is also more convenient to operate.

An independent button is set on the left earmuff to set the noise reduction mode and ambient sound switch, while the buttons for volume adjustment and song cut are set under the right earmuff. Although it is also more convenient to control, it has to be said that the QC35's button design is somewhat casual, and the buttons don't look refined enough.

Crusher ANC

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Crusher ANC also uses buttons plus touch. Turn on/off the ambient sound by touching the left panel. This is the same as the 1000XM3's earmuffs covering the ear. Both are for users to listen to the outside world without taking off their headphones.

Each button of Crusher ANC is designed to be very large. The Skullcandy Company itself has the genes for making extreme sports headphones. The large buttons are designed for better control during sports and have a certain tendency. The round buttons are decorated with red and black. Compared with the button design of BOSE QC35, it is still a little more refined.

Comfort level

 The comfort level of headphones is naturally an aspect that I am very concerned about. As mentioned earlier, the earmuff sponges of 1000XM3 and QC35 are the softest, while Crusher ANC is more elastic.

Serious Headphone enthusiast will find that Crusher ANC has one more slider area than other active noise canceling headphones. This is actually Crushers  main feature, bass somatosensory vibration. 

Hardware Configuration

Sony WH-1000XM3

The 1000XM3 was launched in October 2018, and it has been almost 2 years, so it is not surprising to use Bluetooth 4.2, and it is about to be updated.

In addition, the configuration of 1000XM3 is luxurious. Professional noise reduction processing chip, 30 hours of battery life, fast charging technology, battery life of 5 hours on a 10-minute charge, and its own LDAC high-definition audio transmission protocol; make 1000XM3 still the flagship headphone even after two years later.

Bose QC35

Compared with the 1000XM3, the QC35's configuration is inferior, with a maximum battery life of 20 hours and a battery life of 2.5 hours on a 15-minute charge. It was launched in October 2017 and used the Bluetooth 4.1 version

Crusher ANC

The Crusher ANC headset is the latest flagship noise reduction product of Skullcandy in 2020, so it naturally has its own advantages in configuration. Bluetooth 5.0 version, 24 hours maximum battery life, 10 minutes fast charge has a battery life 3 hours and 40mm large dynamic coil design. In addition, the bass somatosensory vibration technology is the flagship quality of Crusher ANC, which can make your body really feel the bass vibration effect, just like standing next to an amplifier at a concert.

Sound quality

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Everyone knows that the sound quality of noise-canceling headphones is out of the world. The experience is very different when the noise canceling is turned on and off.

Sony WH-1000XM3

I used to hear people say that in Sony, we trust, but I have never had the opportunity to experience it myself. This time 1000XM3 let me experience the power of Sony. "Stronger" song of Kanye west is full of volume, and it sounds very exciting; "Hotel California" has a good sense of space in the sound field.

BOSE QC35

To be honest, as the benchmark QC35 has always been compared with 1000XM3, I always thought that its sound quality should be at the same level as 1000XM3. However, the result disappointed me a bit. It sounds better only in tri-band equalization. Therefore, if you like bass than this headphone is not for you. 

Crusher ANC

As a trendy brand headset, Crusher ANC should pursue a young and dynamic feeling. Actually speaking, it is the same as the QC35, which is the main three-band equalization, and the bass is sufficient but not shocking. But don't forget, Crusher ANC also has its own unique skill: bass vibration. Adjusting the adjustment slider to the half position instantly opened the door to a new world for me. The somatosensory vibration that changes with the strength of the bass, when listening to "Stronger", I involuntarily shook my head, as if I was in a bar, and my whole body was feeling the vibration of the speaker. If we find a familiar thing to compare, this feeling is like when we are used to watching a 3D movie when we first go to a 4D movie, the seat will vibrate and shake as the plot of the movie occurs. Let you have the immersive feeling. Yes, that's how it feels.

It is also worth mentioning that our left and right ears have different sensitivity to sound. Some people are born this way, and their living environment affects some. Crusher ANC provides a custom function for left and right ear audio configuration; you can define the most suitable sound configuration for your left and right ears respectively.

As a whole, the sound quality that interests me more is Crusher ANC. This is largely due to the novel experience brought to me by the bass somatosensory vibration. Although Sony's bass does not have the somatosensory vibration of Crusher ANC to give people more intense stimulation, but it is  powerful enough to make the bass sound with its own sound dye enhancement. BOSE QC35 is really not in line with my taste when it comes to the sound quality alone. Naturally, I chose headphones to enjoy a better sense of music atmosphere. The three-band balance is really a bit boring.

Noise reduction

Finally, I talked about the most important aspect of these headphones in addition to the sound quality: noise reduction. At present, the core principles of active noise reduction headphones on the market are the same. The microphone picks up the noise from the surrounding environment and generates reverse sound waves to offset the noise. Therefore, the more regular noises, such as the roar of airplanes, subways, and trains, as well as the various cluttered faint noises in the surrounding environment, the easier it is to cancel out, while the sharper car horns or the screams of children, the sound will not disappear so easily. Therefore, everyone must not fall into the misunderstanding of "Why the Noise is not blocked? It must be that the noise reduction effect of headphones is not good".

Due to the limited conditions, there is no way to go to the airport and train station to personally test the noise reduction effect, so I found the noise of airplanes, trains and subways on the computer to test the performance of these headphones.

Sony WH-1000XM3

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1000XM3 uses a self-developed noise reduction-processing chip, which achieves a terrifying 20-level adjustment in noise control, and can be set to shield the ambient sound and only retain the human voice. When playing the sound of trains, subways and airplanes in my computer, 1000XM3 can be effectively eliminated most the noise. If given a subjective evaluation, about 70% of the noise can be eliminated.

Bose QC35 

Bose's noise reduction is actually divided into three levels: off, low noise reduction and high noise reduction. In the high noise reduction mode, the noise reduction is not better than 1000XM3, and can filter out 60% of the noise. This is indeed inferior to Sony, and the reason for the noise floor is that the external noise is not completely neutralized, and the remaining energy produces new noise.

Crusher ANC

Crusher ANC has two levels of noise reduction adjustment, which are off and on. But from the noise reduction effect, the difference between Crusher ANC and BOSE QC35 is very small, but there are also some gaps with Sony. The disadvantage is also the noise floor, and it is more than QC35.

Through my personal comparison, the noise reduction effect of 1000XM3 is undoubtedly the best among several headphones. Crusher ANC, as a trendy brand headset, focuses on sound quality, and noise reduction is just an additional function of it. The performance of the BOSE QC35 surprised me a bit. Both the sound quality and the noise reduction effect are not as good as Sony. The only thing worth mentioning is the comfort level of wearing.

Buying advice

Through the comparison of these three headphones in many aspects, I believe that everyone has a clear understanding of their performance. However, the purchase of headphones must be based on their own needs. When many people see noise reduction headphones, they subconsciously stare at the function of noise reduction. It seems that as long as the noise reduction effect is good, an earphone is a high quality product.However, The core competitiveness is still sound quality.

Therefore, if you are more concerned about balanced performance and hope that both sound quality and noise reduction are correct, then I recommend SONY WH-1000XM3, although you have to accept the risk that it will still use Bluetooth 4.2. if you are more concerned about Lightweight and comfort and do not care about the performance of sound quality at all, I recommend BOSE QC35. if you want to enjoy the pleasure of music, want to feel the strong impact of bass on the body, noise reduction is an additional function than Crusher ANC is worth a try.

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