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Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #3 in Noise-Canceling

Posted

Pros: Naturally sounding, very comfortable

Cons: Price

I purchased these because my Sennheiser PXC450 were getting too big to carry around once I purchased a larger netbook.  So this review is more a comparison of it and the QC15.

 

The striking difference is the size - the PXC450 are just massive.  The QC15 on the other hand have cups that just fit around the ears, and are lighter.  The sound quality on both are excellent, but my personal opinion is the QC15 produce a much more natural sound.  I have also tried a friends Goldring NS1000 (which is a lot cheaper) and while its noise cancelling is good, the sound is a lot more punchy than that of the PXC450 and the QC15.

 

The PXC450 and QC15 both come in a carry case which does its job, and have a handful of helpful accessoires - airline plug adapter, compartments to put extra batteries).  One thing I do not like is that Bose puts in 'business cards'.  Not only do I find this smug, but I'd rather they dont do this and reduce the price of the headphones.  I ended up taking the Bose cards out and putting my own cards in.

 

I only use the QC15 during my frequent travels, so my review emphasizes more on the noise cancelling aspect.  As a frequent traveller in Europe and Asia, I get to fly on a variety of aircraft types, and here is a list (of the most common types) of what I think:

 

Boeing 777-200ER (rolls royce trent engine - and old one so rather loud):

PXC450 - whilst it does cancel out a lot of noise, the low freq engine rumble is still noticeable - although in a very reduced manner.  The large cups makes them very comfortable over long haul.

QC15 - similar to above, it does cancel out a lot of background noise, but engine noise is still noticeable.  The sound seems to be more natural than the PXC450.

Panasonic RP-HC55E-S - I have a pair of these in-ear noise cancelling earphones, and they do cancel out more engine noise than the other two.  However, there is a design flaw on these earphones that I really would not recommend you buying these.

 

Boeing 747-400 (P & W engines - old and loud, even on newer models of the 747)

PXC-450 & QC15 - the background noise is determined by seat position.  The closer you are to the nose/tail of the aircraft, the less background noise is present (in my opinion).  Both headphones perform at similar levels in terms of noise cancelling with QC15 having an edge in natural sounds.  Over extended (10+ hours) flights I prefer the comfort of the QC15 over the PXC450.

 

Boeing 737-700 (CFM engines)

PXC-450 & QC15 - both do a decent job of cancelling out noise.

 

Airbus A312 and A320 (CFM engines)

These newer types of aircraft use 'quieter' engines (according to brochures etc).  While this may be true, this does not seem to matter much when it comes to the PXC450 or the QC15.  Both do an excellent job of cancelling out noise, but you can still hear (low frequency) engine rumblings in the background.

 

I think these are the most common aircraft types.  I've flown with many more (such as small regional carriers Embraer series aircraft) if anyone is interested in what I think of them.

 

To compare the PXC450 and the QC15, they both do a good job of noise cancelling.  I'd give the edge on the QC15's in terms of sound quality.

 

 

Posted

Pros: Superior active noise canceling ability, light and comfortable

Cons: filmsy cable, only play music with noise canceling on.

Why I ever considered buying this? My office is now noisier than before, so I don’t want to crank up the volume too much with my closed phones. My office phone is now AKG K271s. While I like its balanced sound, the overall comfort is not ideal.

 

I demoed the QC15 at Bestbuy. The noise canceling is better than others (tip: just wait till the demo music stop), and most importantly, it is very comfortable. So, I wonder if Bose QC15 can serve in my office setting. If this plan didn’t work out, I can still use QC15 for my long cross pacific flight.

 

First, some quick facts:

QC15 does not play music without noise canceling. It only came with 3.5mm plug. The cord is thin and long, you better be careful with the cord.

 

NC and comfort:

The noise canceling is amazing in the demo setting. It is not perfect anyway. I use different noises in my place for simulation. You can still feel the active air purifier running on HI setting, hear the speaking from radio clock close to you, and hear the lawn mower and chain saw running outside the apartment.

 

Is this a big let down? Well, open-back phones are simply useless in this kind of environment while my closed-back phones cannot block those noises out effectively for really enjoy the music. In this setting, QC15 does its job to minimize the noise enough for you to enjoy the music. In fact, it is more efficient than my old in-flight music listening solution: Peltor H10A Professional Noise Canceling Earmuff which I found is better than the old Bose NC phones I demoed before. What actually surprises me is its efficiency in a moderate noisy environment like running air conditioning. You literally feel total tranquility. This leads to an easily enjoyable listening even compare to other closed-back phones. (You can mentally block out the noise by turn-up the volume, but you don’t have to with QC15 in such an environment. This is a big plus.)

 

It is very comfortable on the head. This stands out from my two other closed-back phones: Sennheiser HD-25-1-II and AKG K271s.

 

Sound:

So now, the key question is: how does it sound? How does it compare to the other closed-back phones I own?

 

The answer actually depends on the common issue of noise canceling phones: the slight pressure you can feel when NC is on.

 

You can always feel the pressure. Sometimes I feel OK with it, and sometimes I feel a little bit irritated by that in a quiet room. I listen to classical and especially orchestral works. If all of sudden I’m irritated by the pressure, I will have trouble finish a movement in a seriously listening mood. What happen is that the NC lets you hear the quietness of quiet part, but you will still feel the pressure in your ears. You will appreciate this under a noisy circumstance, but you will feel a little bit awkward in a quiet room. This issue is not really related to what music I’m listening to, but more like randomly depends on my where attention goes.

 

On the other hand, when I feel OK about the pressure issue, the sound is a good back roll seat sound in a large concert hall. It is not as detail as HD-25-1-II, and not as balanced as K271s. But QC15 has its niche to me. As for large scale orchestral work, HD-25-1-II suffers from its overall small sound stage. The sounds are clear and beautiful, but you can feel that the concert hall is smaller than it should be. QC15, just like K271s, gives you a proper back roll seat feeling. So at least you know where you are in a more realistic concert hall. However, QC15 is not as balanced as K271s in large orchestral works. It has a little bit too much mid-bass (designed for coping the air plane noise escape from NC). While the sound of K271s is recess in a more balanced way, the sound of QC15 sometimes is not equally back-roll seated. In the non-classical recordings, QC15 offers a little more fun than K271s does.

 

Overall, compare to the other two closed-back phones I have, QC15 is sitting in the middle. For serious listening of small scale recording, I would lean to HD-25-1-II. As for large scale recordings, I would lean to K271s. QC15 sits in the middle while it can be the second choice in either case given that I’m not irritated by the pressure.

Concluding remarks:

 

It is a good choice as a secondary phone. Nowadays I rely on GS-1000 as for most serious listening. As for main gear, I would prefer some specialists if it cannot deliver the overall satisfaction like GS-1000 can. The lack of overall balance and the occasionally pressure issue makes QC15 not a good choice as a main gear for serious listening.

 

However, for me, listening music in the office is more for relaxation. The lay back sound of Bose is not a bad thing for that purpose. The noise canceling works like a charm in moderate noisy environment. Actually, it works so well you don’t even feel the noise is there. Along with QC15’s superior comfort level on the head, the listening experience is actually difficult to beat by my other two closed-back phones. Am I going to ditch my K271s as the office phones? Probably not. But I do project myself putting up Bose QC15 more often than K271s in my office.

 

Testing setup:
Portable: Cowon D2
Office: Aune mini USB DAC/AMP MK2 with its 3.5mm-6.3mm adapter.
Home: Grace m902 with Grado 3.5mm-6.3mm adapter.

 

----

Previous review focus most on the music quality, now I have some updates after my cross pacific flights....

 

QC15 delivers!

The noise canceling really works as it is designed for.

The engine noise is reduce to a slightly strong blow from someone next you, not annoying anymore.

In terms of volume reduction, I have to admit that it is not as good as ear muffs plus ear plug.

But QC15 is way more comfortable.

With ear muffs and ear plugs, I need to take off ear muffs every couple hours otherwise my skin around ears would be irritated.

On the contrary, I simply wear QC15 almost all the way (4hrs + 13hrs + 3hrs including toilet time!).

The battery life is as promised (40hrs), one spare in the carrying case should be enough for most people.

 

Overall, I have to say Bose really delivers "Quiet" and "Comfort" with this QC15.  If you're a frequent flyer, I would say as for the noise canceling it worth every penny even without playing the music.

Posted

Pros: The Noise Isolation is Like No Other

Cons: Some say the sounds isn't that great. I think it's good/great

When I go to a busy restaurant during lunch with my headphones, I feel like I'm by myself with the QC 15's.  They work fine with your iPhone but if you get an Amp, you can change the setting on the headphone jack to Lo.  Then, you can crank the Amp and you get some pretty good sound when you are at home.  In my opinion, if you listen and get used to their sound, you'll be happy with the sound.  Also, they fit well on my head, which I like.  I felt like the other headphones (Parrot Zik, UE9000, UE6000 and others) moved around when I would walk.  I don't recommend this, but they are GREAT to workout at the gym.  I bring my iPad and can watch a TV show in a busy, noisy gym without having to crank it. 

 

Don't get my wrong, you will hear sounds from the outside world, but they are sounds like someone talking or a siren.  These headphones take out the background noise.  Also, you can get these for under $200 used since they've been out for years.  You won't get the Apple cord, but you can get that online.  You will lose a little sound with the cord not from Bose, but it works and it's so nice to adjust volume, skip songs, etc.

Posted

Pros: Noise Cancelling, Comfortable, long term wear comfort

Cons: unusably long cord, music quality is nothing special.

Alright so this is my first review, but ill try to just lay down the facts and keep it simple. These headphones do an amazing job of taking all outside noise away. just flipping the switch on them even without music playing, makes you feel like you entered a vacuum where all sound disappears. Its really something to awe at. If you're going to buy these headphones, it should be for that reason alone. 

 

The cord is long.. verrry long. If the headphones are on me, and connected to my phone in my pocket, the excess cord hangs almost to my ankles.. Its between 6-7 foot in length, which is pretty ridiculous. The cord does come with 2 cords of same length, one for apple, and one without controls. so if youre like the norm out there using Android, you'll be out of luck. 

 

The sound is alright, it has strong bass, sometimes unwelcomed, but overall the sound is "alright". I definitely wasnt blown away, and for nearly $300 I would like to be. 

 

Last point to mention, is theyre very comfortable, they dont move or budge if you shake your head, or "rock out" wearing them. in fact, when you include the superior noise canceling, its quite easy to fall asleep wearing them. Which is very welcomed in any headphones. 

 

Overall theyre a great pair of headphones for the $150 range, but for $300 I would say theyre not worth it. 

If you need noise cancellation, theyre unrivaled by anything else around however.

Posted

Pros: Great noise cancelling with *good* sound, works extremely well out of an ipod

Cons: Lacks some overall fidelity, unnatural bass

Just a quick note about these. My point of comparison for Audio Quality is Senn HD650 / LCD3 / Grado 325is / ATH-M50.

 

Comfort - Amazing. Gets slightly warm after really long listening sessions, but they mostly rise to that level where you forget you have them on. The cups are like pillows. Personally, after a couple of minutes I don't feel the "pressure". They are probably my most comfortable headphones... The Senn HD650 is close but the clamping is a little excessive on those. 

 

Sound quality - Decent. They are a little muddy. The clarity isn't quite there. Specifically the bass is muddy, sometimes overemphasized, rarely as clear as it should be. The mid bass hump is ever-present.

 

Great Unamped - They work extremely well out of an iPhone. I find that amp / dac add essentially nothing. 

 

Design - I find them ugly, personally. I love that they include a functional case. 

 

These should be seen as companion headphones for when traveling / out in public, you should not be primarily using these because they rob the music of fidelity.  I use them either when travelling or when neighbours / roommate are being loud. They do what they were intended to do reasonably well.

Posted

Pros: Noise cancellation

Cons: Can't listen without noise canceling

A nice headphone with consumer average quality of sound(not headfi average). The noise cancellation is too good to be true, but it is true! haha. cant here anythin with music on. It's pricy and i had a problem when doors were closed in a car i was in and the noise cancellation glitched, also happened when i jumped up one time, or if it gets hit by somethin. Other than that it was a it was alrite buy for easy listening and even some pop, rap, and dubstep/electronic music. I also had alright experiences with rock(the real type of rock not contemporary rock). I recommend this to people who need noise cancellation and are willing to give a little money for it. Usually an avid traveller. Since I'm not a traveller and I like good sounding headphones, I returned them

Posted

Pros: One of the best if not the best N.C. HP out there. Blocks out almost everything when the music is up.Decent mids and highs.Decent Detail.Great comfort

Cons: Part from the N.C. and comfort , nothing special, really.

Decent sound, Great Comfort, one of the best noise cancelling headphones out there. I think it's not worth the $299 price tag tho.

Posted

Pros: noise canceling, comfortable, lightweight, battery life, travel accessories

Cons: decent sound quality, price, won't function as standard HP w/o battery power

I received the Bose QC 15 in the mail today.  My previous ordered was canceled by the retailer for some reason.  I went back to re-order and the price was marked down to $229 shipped.  Probably a Black Friday deal or something.  The headphones were well packaged and the box included a travel case, 1x AAA battery, detachable cable, headphone adapter for passenger airliners, operating instructions (many languages) and warranty registration card.  Anyway, I just plugged them in and gave them a quick listen (Bob Marley - Africa Unite).  Sounded pretty decent off the bat.  It was a bit heavy on the bass, but still sounded pretty good.  Noise canceling was great.  Blocked out a lot of noise in the house (running water in the kitchen, washer and dryer downstairs where I was, etc.)  So initial impression was that SQ was decent and NC was excellent.  I'll also add that they are very lightweight and comfortable to wear.  I plugged in my 225i that was nearby to just give it a quick sound comparison.  I'm no audiophile, so I probably have a higher tolerance for what some of you would consider "noise".  No question the Grados killed the Bose in SQ, with the Bose sounding muddy after switching back.  However, I did not find the SQ to be so frightfully distasteful to completely rule them out as a travel companion.  I do a lot of traveling at times (planes, trains and automobiles), so the NC is a big plus for me.  I can tolerate the mediocre sound as I suspected it would not be up to snuff with what I was used to listening to anyway.  It simply was not purchased for that purpose.  Another thing I should mention is that these will not function as regular headphones without battery power, so you're SOL if your batteries go belly-up.  Just be sure to pack spares in the handy travel case these cans come with (loses a star for design in that regard).  The Bose have been put away until its time for me to make my next trip (don't forget to remove the battery).  I figure if I stop moving around as often as I do I can always put them up for sale on ebay and probably make back most of what I paid for them.  Overall, not disappointed about this purchase and I'll be keeping them for as long as I need them.  Now back to jamming out with my Grados...

Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones
By:
Description:

The headphones that pioneered an industry are now even better. QuietComfort 15 headphones feature exclusive Bose advancements in noise reduction technology. You hear less noise than ever before, and even more of your music and movies--with the quality sound you expect from Bose. And their lightweight fit stays comfortable for hours. It's a combination of benefits unmatched in the industry. Quieter than ever before Bose was the first to introduce noise cancelling headphones over 20 years ago, for use specifically on airplanes. And the company has continuously improved the technology since then. QC®15 headphones significantly reduce even more noise across the full spectrum of human hearing. Advanced electronics now use microphones both inside and outside each earcup to sense and reduce more of the sounds around you. The headphones also feature improvements to proprietary Bose ear cushion technology, further reducing unwanted noise. New cushion materials now block more noise before it enters the earcups, delivering an even quieter listening experience and a comfortable fit. Concert hall sound--or peaceful sanctuary QC15 headphones also have proprietary signal processing and audio reproduction technology for quality sound--including deep low notes--from small, lightweight earcups. You enjoy well-balanced and detailed audio, all made clearer by advanced noise reduction. Even when not listening to music, you can use these headphones to quickly leave the noise behind--and relax. For travel, work and home When you fly with QC15 headphones, engine roar fades even further away. When you listen at home or at work, fewer distractions get in the way. When you're on the move, an optional mobile kit lets you use these headphones with a cell phone, too. What's in the box --QuietComfort 15 headphones --Detachable audio cable --AAA battery --Airline adapter --Carrying case

Details:
DetailValue
BrandBose
EAN0017817513463
FeatureIdeal for frequent flyers
Height7.5 inches
Length3 inches
Weight0.46 pounds
Width6.5 inches
LabelBOSE
List Price$299.95
ManufacturerBOSE
Model322403-0010
MPN322403-0010
Package Quantity1
Product GroupMusical Instruments
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
PublisherBOSE
StudioBOSE
TitleBose® QuietComfort® 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® Headphones
UPC017817513463
Batteries Included1
Is Autographed0
Is Memorabilia0
Special FeaturesCarry case
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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