(I was gifted Sony NC500 headphones and used them for a while but I have nothing good to say about them so I won’t bother unless someone asks)
Then I read about QC25 and a long 22 hour flight was coming so I had to make a decision…let it be a miserable flight with noisy babies and passengers or trust the frequent flyers around the world and buy Bose.
Other Active Noise cancelling headphones were out of the question because they just cannot compete on comfort and noise reduction. The question was of sound signature and and improvements.
To keep things short, Bose QC25 are probably the best noise cancelling headphones if one takes all factors into account including Sound quality.
Design : Understated grey design fits my personality instead of ‘look at me’ design of Beats and other effeminate headphones.The minor blue color detail goes very well with greys. The swivel earcups really reduce the size profile and very easy to stow in the pockets of the coach class seats. They are very light but yet feel very solid.
They never feel fragile and have not prone to scratches on the earcups.
there is no such thing as a kit for these headphones, its just the hard case and the headphones. There is a small slot for Airline adaptor and extra cell.
- Cable has inline remote that works perfectly with my new iphone 6 and macbook pro but does not work with my Lumia 920.
- Extremely comfortable without a doubt and slept like a baby in the flight by using them as earmuffs.
- Works without battery as normal headphones also in case of emergency but sounds like a $10 chinese headphone in that mode. They should def include Bose QC25 in the next Transformers movie.
Performance: I have been using these since 30th October when I received them from Amazon and today is 14th November and even after using 80% of the time on my New York to Singapore flight via Dubai, they are still running on the same AAA battery.
I was told that when 7 hours are left on them, the non-eye piercing green LED starts blinking but its still static.
The biggest anxiety I have with rechargeable headphones is not knowing when battery will run out. But with Bose QC25, the replaceable battery feature really is an improvement and you will appreciate it.
Note For QC15 Owners: The Hi/Low feature still exists but it has been moved to the airline adaptor. This means that the airline adaptor used with single 3.5mm pin acts as an impedance adaptor. I have used it on my speakers output and it does work.
- They definitely benefit a lot of amplifier, with iBasso D2 Boa plugged into my macbook pro, the bass and dynamic range benefitted but then the sound also became a bit too forward for long duration listening.
Noise Cancelling performance: To give you an idea, I was in A380 and when I put them on and switched them on, I felt like I was in alaska with 2-3 people talking in the next house. Could not hear any ambient noise at all. This was a very strange feeling for me as I have never used Bose on a flight. Its as if their entire R&D team has rented a lab next to Airbus factory and know exactly what frequencies need to be cancelled.
Sound Quality: Definitely a big improvement over QC 15 in terms of midrange and highs have lot of more details and being a bit more forward, you never feel you are missing out on some frequencies.
the bass is laid back in the beginning but I will get back to it in a while.
I have now tested Bose QC 25 with Sennheiser HD600 and Westone 3 side by side with some of my favorite tracks and some popular poppy music.
(All songs were 320 Kbps Mp3 and played out of Macbook Pro 15 inch and Cowon J3 in between)
Song: Bright Lights - Gary Clark Jr.
Every minor detail in the background is captured including some other sounds in the studio and friction on the guitar string. No distortion. Good stereo imaging and the DSP’s add a good feel of soundstage. The snaps sound very good even when compared to amplified HD600 but of course there is a lack of dynamic range in the output (I am not sure how the driver system works in Active NC but this is the main weakness)
Song: Maps - Maroon 5
Definitely the bass comes out here but the recording is so terrible that there is hardly any dynamic range in the song and everything sounds at same level even with HD600. Adam Levine you should be ashamed.
Song: Ain’t no Love in the heart of the city - Bobby Blue Bland
Very accurate stereo separation of vocals, drum kits, strums. The dynamic range is definitely lacking which constitutes to poorly perceived weight of bass but vocals sound very clean with very low sibilance.
They are forgiving on sibilance when Westone 3 only harshly reveal sibilance in recordings.
Song: Sail - Awolnation
The highs are there but never fatiguing. Stereo imaging is accurate, the different basses are differentiated and no muddiness. although vocals sound more laid back than HD600 or Westone 3.
Song: TKO Remix - Justin Timberlake
the dynamic range is slightly better on this song and seems like they do well with other Justin Timberlake songs as well..strange.
- Big improvement in Sound quality and simple but thoughtful design (much like BMW, everything is understated)
- Designed with frequent flyer in mind at every instance but been enjoying them at home as well due to never ending battery life.
- Not as bassy as beats but good separation on different low end frequencies and with EQ they became very good for bassy music.
- Dynamic range is lacking that gives those eargasms but with headphone amplifier that also improves a lot.
- Noise cancelling is impeccable and had the best sleep on my flight even though it was a very noisy flight overall.
- Put them on and you are in your own private soundroom.