Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones

overall rating:



Chloe Cho
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While Bose does need improvement in the recyclability of their products, it appears they are doing well in the social impact goals for ESG initiatives. Their social impact and internal structure seem to be the most heavily factored in their ESG initiatives rather than environmental impact from their products. They are making steps towards reducing their environmental impact by including carbon emission levels, comparisons, and goals in their sustainability reports, but they could also do more to educate their consumers on how to dispose of their products post-use or design methods to better encourage recycling practices for their products. Pro: Provides quality audio experience and offers information on their sustainability progress within their supply chain process and company initiatives. Con: The recyclability of their products post-use may be difficult to understand for consumers who do not readily know about recycling centers and the proper disposal process for their headphones and batteries.

What it's made of:


The Bose QuietComfort headphones’ body is made with alcantara, leather, metal, and plastic. While the lithium batteries appear to be recyclable, they need to be brought to a specific recycling center in order to properly recycle the batteries. The actual headphones can also be recycled, but they need to be brought to a recycling center which may not be easily accessible or known to the consumer. The materials for the headphones are also described in the user manual as potentially toxic and most meet the minimum limit requirement with a few that contain higher toxicity potential than the minimum regulated limit. These materials that have some toxicity are lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent, polybrominated biphenyl, and polybrominated diphenylether. Although Bose provides a list on the potential toxicity of its headphones’ composition, it doesn’t specify the actual material composition on its website and had to be searched for in the user manual they provided online. They also mention the recyclability of the lithium batteries and headphones, but the accessibility of these recycling centers and how consumers can reach them are unsustainable as it requires consumers to locate specific recycling services which may not be easy to determine or known to consumers.

How it's made:


It is not entirely clear how the Bose QuietComfort headphones are made based on the website’s product description since the manufacturer location and facilities are left out. Bose’s production facilities are located globally in the United States, Mexico, China, and Malaysia; however, the specific production of the headphones is not disclosed on either the product website or in the user manual. While Bose mentions it imports and manufactures their products globally, it could provide greater transparency on where their specific products are produced as well as their supply chain processes. Since it is vague on its supply chain processes, it is unclear whether their supply chain utilizes ethical practices and standards, especially in their international manufacturing facilities.

Who makes it:


Bose manufacturers the headphones as well as many other audio equipment. They are a well-known audio equipment company that specializes in high-performance audio delivery and experience with their products. Bose does mention they have sustainability goals for their products, but it is very vague on describing their environmental initiatives for their products. However, they do provide data about the environmental impact from their production as well as corporate goals to improve on internal social values and management practices. They also are implementing various programs to encourage sustainable practices among their employees and manufacturing partners to improve their supply chain processes and environmental impact from production. It appears they are doing well to move towards sustainable goals in their supply chain processes, but it could do better to improve on how consumers deal with the product once it reaches the end of its life cycle and detail its supply chain processes more transparently. Otherwise, they are also taking steps towards giving back to the community through various social programs and providing new opportunities to encourage sustainable action and design thinking in their employees.