or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Which noise cancelling headphones - Bose QC15 or Sennheiser PXC 450 or something else? Please help!!!!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Which noise cancelling headphones - Bose QC15 or Sennheiser PXC 450 or something else? Please help!!!!

Poll Results: Bose QC15 or Sennheiser PXC 450?

Poll expired: Jul 28, 2011  
  • 20% (1)
    Bose QC15
  • 60% (3)
    Sennheiser PXC 450
  • 20% (1)
5 Total Votes  
post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 



I am new to the forum here. I thought I'd ask this question to the group here to get some feedback. I am in market for a noise cancelling headphone (again!) and want to know which ones to get.


I travel quite a bit; almost every week and mostly cross country. Right now from CA to MI (and some times to IL). I purchased Bose QC15 a year ago and used it quite a bit. The QC15s were great; especially Noise Cancelling. It made the engine noise pretty low and the music sounded great. The important thing was I was able to listen to music in low volume.


Unfortunately, I lost my QC15 a few weeks back in Phoenix airport. Not sure if I left it in my flight or if fall from my bag. It is gone; I tried to trace it, but no luck :(


I have been putting off buying another headphone for about 4 weeks now. But in the last 4 weeks of travel, I have realized how much I miss noise cancelling headphones.


The question now is: which one do I get? I loved Bose, but a few concerns:


1) It cause pressure in my ear, that I was never able to get used to.


2) I have not tried any other Noise cancelling headphones so not sure if QC15 is the best option.


3) Apart from noise cancelling, I also would like to get a headphone that sounds good.


I did a bit of research and found that Sennheiser PXC 450 may be the best bet in terms of noise cancelling and sound quality. I know beats is becoming quite popular, but it does not have noise cancelling.


Can you please let me know which one I should buy? Have any of you tried both and compared the two?


Should I buy the QC15 again or Sennheiser PXC 450? or is there something else better?


Please let me know!


Thanks in advance.




post #2 of 18

If the Sennheisers are considered the best in terms of both sound quality and noise cancellation, then there is really only one choice to make.smily_headphones1.gif

post #3 of 18

I believe the Bose have the best noise cancelling, but mediocre sound at best. If you liked the way they sounded though I'd just get them again

post #4 of 18

For what its worth coming from another newbie...I am currently using the Qc15's and, like you, I am in search for an alternative.  I had been using in ear headphones (Etymotic ER4P's) but can no longer use them per doctor's orders.  I bought the Bose to try as well as a pair of the Sennheiser 310 Noise Cancelling with BT.  By far, the Bose is WAY BETTER at active noise cancelling.  This is stated just about in any review you find.  Something about Bose technology just makes them more effective.


I found the Senn's noise cancelling to be very weak (granted the 310's sit on the ear rather than over).  It was difficult to tell much of a difference between them being turned on and off.  Of course, the benefit is better sound qaulity than Bose and that you can use them if the battery dies.


With the 450's you are looking at, you get the full over the ear which should help a bit in isolating additional noise compared to the 310's but every review I've seen states that the active noise cancelling is not as good as Bose (so you may be disappointed).  However, the sound qaulity is supposed to be incredible for an active NC headphone.  And, along with the great sounds, they are supposedly one of the most comforatble headphones.


I didn't try the 450's as I was concerned about the size of them (much bigger than the QC15's).


My quest to find a good reaplcement from my ER4P's has led me to this site and I've received at least one response from a member that has me looking away from active noise cancellation and towards a closed headphone.  My three current top pics include the Audio Technica M50, the Sennheiser HD25-1 II and the AIAIAI TMA-1.  Most of these will offer passive noise isolation which may be enough (at least for me) to cancel out most of the bothersome noise around me. Plus, they all offer incredible sound (supposedly).


That is where I am looking right now...hope this helps and maybe gives you some other ideas.

Edited by mpkelley20 - 6/13/11 at 9:38am
post #5 of 18

If I had to choose noise cancelling headphones, I would probably go with the Senns, budget be damned.


But, in reality I would choose any number of non noise canceling, good sealing, closed cans.

post #6 of 18

Might I suggest the Denon NC800? If you're looking purely at noise cancelling effectiveness, I don't think anybody has beaten Bose on that front. If you want a comfortable, good sounding NC headphone though, the Denon is more comfortable and sounds WAY better than the Bose, and unlike the Sennheiser, it's good to go straight out of a portable. The Sennheiser has a high 150 Ohm impedance, and while it's "fine" unamped, you're not really getting the most out of it.

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the response everyone...


Looks like if noise cancelling is key (which to me is), then Bose is the way to go...


However, as I indicated in my original post, I really haven't compared the sound quality of QC15 against any other noise cancelling headphones. So I really don't know if QC15 is good or bad in comparison to other noise cancelling headphones. What I do know is that noise cancelling is pretty good. I also know that it did not sound as full as some of the ear bud headphones I have tried.


What I can probably do is try both and see which one is better. 


What I really like about Senn are 3 things 1) I can use the headphone even if battery dies; 2) the "Talk through" feature, which lets you press and button and listen to the PA or others talking; and 3) Volume control in the headphone.


I wish Senn's noise cancelling was as good as QC15 or at least good enough to block most of the engine noise.


Thanks again! 


If someone has owned both and can let me know which one (in your opinion) is better, I'd greatly appreciate it.




post #8 of 18

Hmm...thought I posted a responseon your question above but guess it didn't get posted.


Anyway, I've tried both the QC15's and a version of the Senn NC headphones, the 310 with Bluetooth.  Here are my two observations on the two main things I believe you are asking about.


1.  The Bose NC capability is light years ahead of the Sennheiser.  In fact, I had trouble deciphering between the Senn's being on and being off.  With the Bose, the effect is dramatic.  With the Senns...could hav left it off and I wouldn't have really noticed.  So plus 1 for Bose.


2.  Sound - The 310's were light yeares ahead of the Bose in sound quality.  I can only imagine that the 450's are even better than the 310's so I'm guessing sound qaulity compared the QC15's would be like comparing mono to stereo.  Plus 1 for Sennheiser.



So in the end, what's more imprtant?  NC or sound quality?  The 450's are most liekly better than the 310's for NC due to the full ear piece size but every review I've read states the NC is not "up to 90%".  If you were happy with the sound of the Bose, I wouldn't try the 450's because you will be shocked at how much better it is.


On some of your other comments.


1.  Using the senns after the battery os dead  -Awesome! 


2. Talk through - useless!  It sounds very echo like and would be hard imo to us it for a conversation.  I would prefer to just pull one earcup to the side.  This was a huge disappointment for me.


3. Volume control on headphone - in order to get loud enough volume on my Ipod without the use of an amp, I had to have the voume up all the way on the headphone.  I got tons of static....not sure why!  Anyway, with an amp, it was tolerable but the static issue was the main reason why I returned mine.  Perhaps they were bad??


I really like the idea of a closed headphone and if my current attempt at using my ER4P's with different tips doesn't pan out, I plan on getting the Senn HD25-1 II.


Hope this helps from someone who has tried both technologies

post #9 of 18

QC15 is the ONE for noise cancelling.

In your situation where noise cancelling is most important, you'll regret to sacrifice NC on the plane for SQ off the plane....



post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for your help...


It looks like QC15 as NC is definitely very important for me. I travel every week and in many cases, I will just turn the NC on and not listen to music so I can sleep :)


Hate to spend another $350 in less than 14 months, but it is what it is :(


Thanks again everyone, especially mpkelley20 for feedback on direct comparison between Seen and QC.




post #11 of 18
I've had both. The QC15 do have better NC, but the Senn PXC 450 is adequate. It won't cut out as much noise, but it does cut out a bunch. The comparison above was with a different Senn model and it may not be as good as the PXC 450. A good thing about it is that it doesn't create the ear pressure that the QC15 does. The talk-through feature is great and I used it several times each flight.

Also, if you shop around, you can get the Senn PXC 450 for less than the QC15.

I have a write up comparing the two in another thread that is currently on the first page of this forum.
post #12 of 18

In terms of noise cancelling, the PXC 450 and QC15's are about the same.  The main difference between the two is that the PXC450 is a bit more bulky, has a talkthrough function, and works when the battery runs dry.


However, recently I've started straying from both of these for the CXC 700 and the Panasonic version, the RP-HC55.  The reason is simple - in long haul flights (I regularly do the Heathrow - Seoul and Paris - Singapore routes) and I cant tilt my head to sleep with either the PXC 450 and the QC 15!  Noise cancelling earphones do help out with this 'ailment' :)

post #13 of 18

I have the ATH-ANC7b, and it is a really good alternative to the Bose QC2/QC15. However, I stopped using them once I got my Etymotic ER6i IEMs (and later the ER-4P). With foam tips, they disappear into your ears and provide much more isolation than any ANC (active noise canceling) headphone I've used to date. They are also more travel-friendly because they fit in your pocket. You can get the HF5 for under $150 (it sounds *almost* as good as the ER-4).

post #14 of 18

I am in the market for a set of NC headphones as well and have been doing my homework on this at the $300+ cost. Today I stopped at ABT in Chicago and tried all of these headphones on while using my personal iPod. While the PX 450 had better mid and high freq sound the QC15 had better low end. The sound was just a bit "different" but you had to listen very hard to notice the sound quaility difference.


However, on the NC function the QC15 had a much noticed difference from the PX 450. This was noted with just people talking around me as well as when I took the two headphones over and used the Bose Airplane noise demo system . This has a speaker that puts out airplane white noise. This clearly showed the Bose advantage. Again I used my iPod on the same musci to test.


I did try other models by Sony, Phillips, etc but nothing came close to the QC115 and the PX 450.


In summary, I fly a lot and NC and good sound are primary so QC15 is the choice. If I was buying for home use or less flight time I would consider the PX 450 as the best.


Hope this helps, it was nice that ABT had the ability to demo all of the headphones at this price point.

post #15 of 18

As the poll indicates Bose is not well thought of here. They are expensive for what you get and the sound is just so-so, however, when it comes to noise cancelling Bose is far superior to all other brands.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Which noise cancelling headphones - Bose QC15 or Sennheiser PXC 450 or something else? Please help!!!!