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Please help decide: Bose qc 15, V-Moda M80, B&W P5

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hi, I'm new to this forum. I'm struggling to choose a set from Bose qc 15, V-Moda M80, and B&W P5 based on some threads I read from this forum and cannot decide.

 

I mostly listen to pop music (I like Adele, Coldplay, Taylor Swift, etc.) and some podcasts on my phone, ipad or PC. I spend one hour on the subway daily and do not take flights frequently (maybe on average once every quarter)

 

I've tried Bose QC 15 and V-Moda M80 (on my iphone) for a short time each; I'm not audiophile, but these are my thoughts:

 

Bose QC15 is very light and feels very comfortable on my head. I feel I can wear them for long period of time without discomfort. The bass seems to be strong. There is a little pressure from the noise cancelling but not bothering me very much when the music plays. However I don't feel much emotion in the sound. I feel some natural noise of the voice (which I like) is filtered out somehow.

 

For V-Moda M80, the bass is not bad either, and singers' voice seems to be more "true" and more crispy than Bose.

 

I don't know much about headphones, so the above are just my feelings.

I'm including P5 just because they have been recommended by others for iphone users and they look good to me.

 

Could somebody give me some advice? Thanks!!! I'll not consider other headphones, just not to confuse myself any further.

 

By the way, price is not a factor for these three.


Edited by Jwill - 8/23/12 at 7:42pm
post #2 of 24

The bass on the Quiet Comfort 15 is indeed heavy, and makes female vocalists sound chesty. For a sound that is still rich without over emphasis on bass, go with the P5. It's smoother than the M80, and more comfortable to me as well, though not quite as much as the Bose.

Also: The P5 has better materials and build quality, as well as replaceable cabling and pads. I've heard and felt all three more than once, and I'd choose the P5 for sound and build quality, even though it sacrifices a small amount of comfort and some noise reduction when compared to the Bose. If price were a factor, I'd say the M80 is the best value, sound quality/dollar.

post #3 of 24

I would go V-Moda M80, but only because you aren't considering any other pair of headphones.

 

Bose QC15 is not a bad pair of headphones, but when you run out of battery, the isolation effect is completely taken out, and you'll be left with a mess rather than a song. It's also cumbersome because you have to constantly charge the battery depending on how often you listen to music.

 

B&W P5... now... I'm not sure how anyone can love those headphones. I love a dark and laid-back sound signature, but the P5 was downright... muffled to me. Cymbal sparkles and female vocal high notes were no longer there. It just felt like someone plugged my ears. Very very unnatural. Sure, it's less fatiguing, but it makes most music sound fake to me. IMO, you should go out and audition them before you make a decision.

post #4 of 24

I really didn't care for the B&W P5 either.

 

If you already know you like the BOSE and the M80 don't pick the P5 because someone tells you it's good with iphone, atleast not without trying them first.

I guess the BOSE are sort of everywhere so it wouldn't be hard to make another audition to see if you like it. I'd think they would be the best considering your listening enviorment, being an audiophile or not really doesn't matter in this case.

 

Cheers!

post #5 of 24

Maybe it's because I always have BBE MP turned on with my Cowon player... Thus the clarity, as the MP process makes the treble more bright. I can see how, with a warm source, the P5 may sound too muffled. To me, its sound reminds me of a PortaPro, though without as much metallic sounding treble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill-P View Post

B&W P5... now... I'm not sure how anyone can love those headphones. I love a dark and laid-back sound signature, but the P5 was downright... muffled to me. Cymbal sparkles and female vocal high notes were no longer there. It just felt like someone plugged my ears. Very very unnatural. Sure, it's less fatiguing, but it makes most music sound fake to me. IMO, you should go out and audition them before you make a decision.

 

@Lovely Lady: I don't think anyone with an iPhone has told him that at this point. Maybe you are talking about a review online?

post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenswall View Post
...

@Lovely Lady: I don't think anyone with an iPhone has told him that at this point. Maybe you are talking about a review online?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwill View Post
...

I'm including P5 just because they have been recommended by others for iphone users and they look good to me.

...

Not talking about a online review, replying to original post.

 

Cheers!

post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenswall View Post

Maybe it's because I always have BBE MP turned on with my Cowon player... Thus the clarity, as the MP process makes the treble more bright. I can see how, with a warm source, the P5 may sound too muffled. To me, its sound reminds me of a PortaPro, though without as much metallic sounding treble.

I plugged the B&W P5 into my iPhone and MBP for the audition. Those are hardly warm sources, and if I have to grade them, they are neutral with some slight tendency to go bright.

But the B&W P5 sounded muffled out of both of those. It really felt like someone plugged my ears.

Perhaps I'm spoiled by the brightness of my DT880 and Audio Technica headphones... but I enjoy the flatness in frequency response of those better cans a lot. It makes music sound much more natural to me. I couldn't enjoy anything out of the P5 because it was way too clumped together... and muddy...
post #8 of 24
Just to point out, the QC15 cannot re-charge - they consume AAA batteries; the QC3 is the rechargable (and on-ear) model. The QC15 gets the nod if you want to go with Bose headphones though.

Regarding more thoughts:

I agree with the "lack of emotion" criticism of the QC15 - they're fairly polite and well mannered, no clash-trash top-end, no mud down low; they don't really do anything "wrong." However they don't really do anything "right" either - they're kind of ho-hum and soul-less at the end of the day. I think for what the ANC is, and the other compromises associated with picking them (comfort, mobility, etc) that flaw can probably be overlooked in given contexts, but there are probably better alternatives otherwise (especially if you don't need the ANC, which can cut some bucks off the top and keep you from buying batteries so often).

I haven't heard the V-MODA.

The B&W P5 are a fairly good on-ear headphone, but don't offer the isolation of the QC15 and (imo) get a little warm on the ears. Otherwise they're comfortable, and sound good enough. The aesthetics are certainly not for everyone.

Now, I know you said "you shall not consider" other models, but I'm going to suggest them anyways, because I think you're potentially looking in the wrong direction (either in terms of how much you're setting out to spend, or other paradigms). First, I would STRONGLY suggest you take a look at in-ears - they are substantially better for what you'd like to do, as they will get you better noise isolation than any on-ear/around-ear headphone (depending on model - I'd suggest Etymotic), and are much easier to lug around with you (even with the carrying case, the QC15 are an ordeal, not to mention that both the QC15 and P5 just scream "mug me"). The other model I'd like to suggest is a non-ANC closed-back set from Sennheiser, the HD380Pro. They cost about half of the P5 or QC15, offer at least as good isolation as the P5, and sound pretty good if I say so myself (the angled drivers do help this a lot methinks). They aren't as soul-less as the QC15, and seem less colored than the P5, but are still a good listen nonetheless.

If i had to decide between the P5 and QC15, I'd basically weigh isolation versus sound quality. The P5 get the nod for SQ imho, the QC15 take isolation. But the HD380Pro (at half the price), and various Etymotic, Denon, Monster, etc IEMs (at half to a third the price) will offer competitive isolation to the P5 (or better than the QC15 in the case of some of the Etymotics), be easier to carry around (the IEMs), etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill-P View Post

Perhaps I'm spoiled by the brightness of my DT880 and Audio Technica headphones... but I enjoy the flatness in frequency response of those better cans a lot. It makes music sound much more natural to me. I couldn't enjoy anything out of the P5 because it was way too clumped together... and muddy...

This a common criticism of non-bright/aggressive headphones when compared to some of the real burners out there. DT880s are *far* from flat. I'm not saying you're wrong, just that it is very likely that you have habituated to a very upward-tilted presentation and headphones that don't provide that sound foreign or unnatural.
Edited by obobskivich - 8/25/12 at 7:36am
post #9 of 24

IMO, the V-Moda has the BEST sound of the three you mentioned.  Music comes through clean and natural without any hint of frequency bump.  For $199, it's a bargain.  Be sure to order the Audio Only cable as well.

Reply
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiGuy528 View Post

IMO, the V-Moda has the BEST sound of the three you mentioned.  Music comes through clean and natural without any hint of frequency bump.  For $199, it's a bargain.  Be sure to order the Audio Only cable as well.

I concur. B&w P5 is way too dark and muffled for my tastes although they do look nice and with the exception of the cord have a good build quality. I neverl cared for he Bose. V-Moda is a terrific portable and is a perfectly suitable home can, although not reference quality by any means. As of yesterday Amazon had the Shadow version for $150, which is an incredible bargain IMO.
post #11 of 24

$199 is a good price, but $150 is a crazy deal and you are missing out if you don't buy it.  Seriously, it's the BEST headphones at under $250 range.

Reply
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

This a common criticism of non-bright/aggressive headphones when compared to some of the real burners out there. DT880s are *far* from flat. I'm not saying you're wrong, just that it is very likely that you have habituated to a very upward-tilted presentation and headphones that don't provide that sound foreign or unnatural.

 

I agree that the DT880 is not flat at all, but perhaps I should have used the word "neutral"?

 

I'd describe the P5 as an extreme example of an anti-V-shaped-signature headphone rather than a non-bright headphone.

 

"Non-bright" implies that the P5 lacks treble, but I also find the P5 to lack bass. I often listen to rock and jazz music, sometimes a little dubstep, and whenever there were cymbal or drum, I could neither hear them. Cymbal could not ring out and fade like they do in real life, and drums could not express their authority.

 

I admit that vocals sound good on the P5... if nothing else, but vocals alone don't make the whole music.

post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill-P View Post

I agree that the DT880 is not flat at all, but perhaps I should have used the word "neutral"?

Nope. Not neutral either. They're bright, analytic, sterile, etc. They are not neutral, flat, etc.
Quote:
I'd describe the P5 as an extreme example of an anti-V-shaped-signature headphone rather than a non-bright headphone.

So in other words, it's an n-shape with a dark signature? Yeah I'd buy that.
Quote:
"Non-bright" implies that the P5 lacks treble, but I also find the P5 to lack bass. I often listen to rock and jazz music, sometimes a little dubstep, and whenever there were cymbal or drum, I could neither hear them. Cymbal could not ring out and fade like they do in real life, and drums could not express their authority.

I admit that vocals sound good on the P5... if nothing else, but vocals alone don't make the whole music.

I'm really getting bothered that "bright" is the only word that is used to describe all sound across the board (this is carrying over from another thread, not directed at you). Seriously, this recent German obsession with BRIGHT AS THE SUN cans and telling everyone that's what "neutral" or "flat" sounds like, it's getting old.

The P5 are dark and sort of n-shaped (they aren't a true N though), they're very pleasant and easy to listen to over a long period of time. I think saying you cannot hear cymbals or drums is a little unrealistic - they are not a bandpass. They don't have the clash-trash top end that a lot of modern "audiophile" headphones have, and they're certainly more of an n-shaped, dark leaning, easy listener, but you still get the entire FR. Does it sound absolutely natural? Not really, but it sounds good (I seriously could not care or despise less the whole "as the artist intended" claptrap), especially to live with long-term. It's about as un-natural as the ultra-boost treble that "audiophile class" headphones have - neither is really accurate or correct.

I have not heard the V-MODA, but if HiFi says they're good, they're probably not half bad. I still stand by the P5 being ahead of the QC15 for SQ, and one of the better options for what they are. But honestly, for true mobile use, IEMs should be considered first, and there are less expensive closed-back models that sound nearly as good as all of the above for about half the cash too. FWIW.
Edited by obobskivich - 8/25/12 at 1:33pm
post #14 of 24
Deleted
Edited by Darknet - 6/22/13 at 7:57pm
post #15 of 24

Get the m100s they are out in a week or so heres the link..www.head-fi.org/v-moda

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