Thank you very much for reading and for your kind, thoughtful response!
As someone who has suffered for years from the exact opposite problem of having a stupid huge head, I fully sympathize and empathize with you.
I know that designing something adjustable that can fit absolutely every head size is a really tough challenge, but it’s amazing to me how many companies drop the ball in one direction or the other. I’ve wished for years that manufacturers would start producing multiple sizes of headphones, a la the Apple Watch. But I know that would increase material and manufacturing costs.
I still think it would be worth it.
Bose has consistently cut a good balance in their designs between larger and smaller head sizes in the higher-end price range, so I think you’re on the right track to favor the QC35. I can wear them without fully extending the adjustments, which is a rarity for me, and my girlfriend who has a smaller head still finds them very comfy and easy to wear.
I can also sympathize about looking silly. I don’t want to either! Since I usually have to wear headphones extended most or all of the way out, they usually stick out super far from the side of my head…something my girlfriend has dubbed the “Old Telephone Effect.” The first things I look to criticize in headphones are their comfort and whether they make me look silly.
I finally got the chance to try on the PXC550’s myself recently, and I agree with you that they seem a little clunky on the head. I also don’t think they’re worth the $50 price premium over the QC35’s, from my short session with them.
Thanks again for reading, I’m glad my article helped you out! The Bose headphones are a great choice right now, especially with the build quality troubles Sony seems to be having.