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4,140 of 4,267 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bose QC15 vs. Sennheiser PXC 450 vs. Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7b
Bose QC15 vs. Sennheiser PXC 450 vs. Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7b

Disclosure: I have tried all these on an airplane. I am not an audiophile. Noise Cancelation is the most important attribute to me.

The Carrying Case: All three are quite durable and stiff.
1.) Bose- the smallest, a low profile, room for an Ipod, accessories too.
2.) Sennheiser-...
Published on August 23, 2011 by Joshua Brooks

versus
411 of 449 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overall a good product, but...Noise canceling? Quite contentious....
I'm a typical potential user for a noise-canceling pair of headphones. I'm a frequent flyer (36 flights in 7 months from this year's start) and when in office I work in a busy environment with people constantly talking on the phone.

Since I'm a tech and music geek, I was longly agonizing about the type of headphones to buy, and the process included extensively...
Published on July 25, 2012 by Ferdinando Scala


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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very satisfied for office use, August 16, 2011
By 
Mark "purplie" (Sunnyvale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (Electronics)
Pros:

* Great noise reduction, completely satisfies my need for isolation in noisy office.

* Lightweight for its size.

* Long cord.

* Nice firm-shell carrying case.

* Includes an iPhone cord with microphone.

* Battery in earpiece (not in a separate clunky module).

* Sound is good. I'm no audiophile, and my hearing isn't that great, but even
I can tell there's a huge improvement compared to earbuds. I can understand conversations a lot more easily.

Cons:
* The iPhone cord microphone is in the wrong place (it's up by your ear). Listeners tell me I sound a little faint.

* It doesn't breathe around the ear (you can get hot or sweaty). This may be unavoidable for the desired level of noise elimination. I got used to this pretty quickly and it doesn't bother me much any more.

* Stationary, there's no problem, but if you're walking and stepping heavily, and if the battery is low, it might crackle or cut out for a moment. I think this only happens when the battery is low.

* If you're outside and there is any wind, it will make a whistling noise.

Overall: better than anything I've tried previously, for noise reduction and sound, for use in the office or relaxing at home.

P.S. I would wish that at this price point it would include Bluetooth and Airplay but it doesn't.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 26, 2014
This review is from: Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (Electronics)
Noise cancelation works perfectly. I can't hear a word my wife is saying. Thank you Bose.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can be the best, depending on your needs, November 16, 2011
By 
This review is from: Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (Electronics)
I did a LOT of research before buying a pair of acoustic headphones, and these were the second pair that I bought. First, I bought Bowers & Wilkins P5 headphones (not noise cancelling, by the way), and I highly recommend them. I actually spent a lot of time comparing the B&Ws and the QC15s side-by-side. My conclusion: if you are in a reasonably quiet room, the B&W P5 headphones have slightly better sound -- the highs are ever so slightly crisper, and the lows every so slightly more true. However, the B&Ws let all sorts of outside noise in to your ears, and allow your music / podcast / whatever out to the ears of other people around you. If there is a television on in the background, or a train whistle, or people conversing, you will hear it.

Environments where there is a lot of background noise is where the QuietComfort 15s are unmatched. I have used them when using a leaf blower, lawn mover, and power tools. I have used them at a pro football game, and on airplanes. I have yet to find a situation where I cannot hear my audio source without a problem (though in the loudest environments I do have to increase the volume a few clicks). I tried to use the non noise-cancelling B&W P5s in these situations and they were completely overwhelmed by the background noise.

It is too bad that this class of headphone has come to be known as "noise cancelling" -- "noise reducing" is more accurate. You can still hear people talking, engines running, or the sound of a television. It is all just brought down to a level that it is much less distracting and that you can focus on the sounds you want to hear.

So, my B&Ws give me the purest, sweetest sound, but my QC 15s are far more versatile and almost match the B&W sound quality. If I could have only one, it would be the QC 15s.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Money Ever Spent!, January 18, 2012
This review is from: Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (Electronics)
Okay... here is how my Bose story goes.

I first really wanted the QuietComfort 3's.. mainly because of their sleek and compact size.. I tried them on in the Bose store as well as the QuietComfort 15's. I thought both were comfortable, but I ended up choosing the QC3's (even after the store clerk tried to convince me to buy the QC15's!) The clerk told me there have been complaints about pressure on the ear and side of the head. I literally laughed thinking that it was a ridiculous remark.."how much pressure could they possibly put?..these are top of the line! people complain too much."

I got home and unwrapped my QC3's excited as ever! I put them on thinking "Ah, I'm so glad I got these..."

I wore my headphones for about 2-3 hours that night.. (I'm headed to Australia with a 14 hour flight coming up, so I needed to make sure I could wear them for long periods of time...yes I would take breaks as you are supposed to do with ANY headphones). All I need to say to sum up the rest of my night is that I had a horrible headache down into my neck and shoulders. I didn't know what it was really, and I convinced myself it was from stress at work!

The next few nights I tried the same thing. Horrible headache and pain, one night I even went to bed kind of dizzy. I kept on convincing myself it couldn't be these $300 + headphones!

I finally admitted to myself that I need to get the QC15's. I exchanged them no problem at the Bose store (within 90 days), and got the QC15's, and an extra $50 reimbursement for the price difference of the 3's and 15's. The pain is gone, the noise cancellation is EVEN BETTER and I am just overall so much more comfortable with the QC15's. The (SINGLE AAA BATTERY) lasts much longer than the charged battery for the QC3.

I truly think the QC 15's are Bose premiere headphones. While I still think the QC3's probably look a LITTLE bit better and more sporty, you absolutely cannot compare the comfort level between the QC15's and anything else. You trade just a little bit of looks and a little bit of size for a MUCH better product! The case is literally the same size as the 3's .. possibly a quarter of an inch bigger.. but that's it!

My Advice: Really truly listen to the clerks' recommendations in the store (They didn't even push the more expensive headphone on me), take your time trying them on, there is no rush for a purchase this major! Last but not least, most definitely don't be shy about returning or exchanging if you feel you have to! Be honest with yourself about the product you buy! ENJOY : )
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50 of 63 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor engineering, April 5, 2012
By 
Peter Watje (San Francisco, California United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (Electronics)
After owning one for about a year the plastic deformed enough that you cannot get the AAA battery out making it useless. This is the second Bose product that I have bought that suffered from poor engineering. Pretty much not buying from them anymore.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've owned Beats, and these are better., October 12, 2012
This review is from: Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (Electronics)
There's a lot of talk regarding these lately and how they match up to the beats. I've owned or used a pair of most types of Beats by Dre. Generally, I'm pretty positive on the sound quality of the Beats Studios and I proudly owned them for a bit. I had the matte silver ones so they looked a little less flashy for more conservative environments. Recently, however, I made the switch after a long and drawn out internal debate. I do not regret switching to the QC 15s, and I'll go into some detail why.

I'm 32 and an academic, and I have had this difficult time getting past the feeling that I'm too old for Beats. They are, after all, very much geared toward a younger 24 and under crowd. Bose, in my opinion, is not just more mature, but I believe they are a brand that crosses all age groups. Bose is a brand of sophistication, not really bold fashion; sophistication can look amazing too, and these do.

Between the Bose and the Studios, I can most honestly say that I cannot tell a lot of difference in the bass except for the Bose sounding a bit more clean. These reviewers stating that the QC 15's have no bass I can't help but think they got a defective pair. I listen to many, many different types of music ranging from dubstep, ambient, and symphony and I believe that Bose offers the all around best and most accurate bass. Combine that with the clearer acoustics, percussion, and everything else you could possibly think of and you have a significantly better sound. As for how they sound in hip hop...I can't stand hip hop, but I have listened to it for the purposes of comparison. Bose still sound better, and there's more than enough bass to satisfy the biggest rap nut.

As for appearance, I stress that Beats create a look for fashion, and Bose go for a look of sophistication. Beats seem to be best worn around the neck as far as I can tell. Like I said, they are a fashion accessory. Bose QC 15s are meant to be truly worn, and when you put these things on you feel...well, sophisticated. They look extremely classy.

Lets discuss the feel for a moment. Beats Studios, I'll admit, feel great. I have absolutely nothing bad to say on their comfort. Bose QC 15's are significantly lighter, and the ear cushions envelop the entire ear a bit more spaciously than the Studios. Also, I don't believe the hold in as much heat in the ear cushions as they Studios, but neither one is extraordinarily hot. Also, I wear glasses, so sometimes ear fatigue can be a problem with headphones in general. Neither the Studios or QC 15s caused me any issues, but I was much more prone to forgetting I even had the QC 15s on. They just feel so incredibly light, and part of that is they are made of high grade plastic. Regardless of what you might hear or read, I feel these things are very, very sturdy. The Studios always felt like their folding hinge was going to be a problem at any given time.

Noise cancellation? QC 15s have no equal, and the Studios are a joke in comparison. The QC 15s will put you in your own world with your music, and with perfect clarity. The noise cancellation in the Studios creates a low volume static white noise that is very noticeable when listening to lower volume music, especially orchestral symphony and ambient. QC 15s are almost magical. I will forever be shocked by these. Oh and by the way, don't trust the quality exactly from the demo units you see in chain retail stores. Your actual pair sound significantly better, especially the noise cancellation.

I won't go any further for fear of droning on, but I will say this: I would buy the QC 15's many times over than get another set of Beats or even Beats Studios. They sound better, the noise cancellation is unrivaled, and their sophisticated appearance are difficult to "beat."
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great sound, poor durability, December 10, 2011
By 
This review is from: Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (Electronics)
Never again. I got a pair as a gift. After two years, the wiring to the right earphone went bad. Called Bose --"No can repair. We'll sell you a reconditioned set at a discount" ($200 instead of the new price of $300.). Never mind. I bought a used pair on Amazon. The on-off switch was already out of whack and hard to set in the "on" position without jiggling. Then I dropped it on the carpet -- not the hard floor, a thick carpet. One plastic post that holds the right ear cup broke and the cup was left dangling. At this price, construction should count for something, right? I got a pair of Koss Quiet Zone phones I am so far very happy with. No more Bose phones.Love their computer speakers and Wave table radio/CD player. But no more head sets.
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101 of 133 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I guess I'm the only one who found these uncomfortable to wear, March 6, 2012
This review is from: Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (Electronics)
I've been looking for noise canceling headphones for a while now and after much research and hemming and hawing, I purchased these from the Apple Store in Grand Central Station in New York. After less than a week of owning them, I returned them. My overall thoughts:

* Noise cancellation - 10/10 - First, people have to understand what you can expect from noise canceling headphones and what you can't. "Noise canceling" is probably a misnomer. The whole industry should probably call them "White Noise Canceling" headphones. Noise canceling headphones will NOT get rid of all noise. It gets rid of the hums, buzzes, vibrations...the noise that you forget is there but is there. These headphones do a great job of getting rid of those sounds. It also does an adequate job of limiting voices around you, but that's probably just due to the fact that these are over the ear phones and not because of the noise canceling. If you want headphones that will simply reduce the overall decible level, you're probably going to want to look into what Etymotic has or Direct Sound EX29, which as the name implies supposedly can drop the decibel level by 29.

* Durability/Quality - Don't know, but I would bet against it. - Sorry, I walked into a Best Buy and their display model had the leather of one of the ears completely off. That simply didn't sit well with me. And their warranty is only for a year and you have to pay for shipping both ways. Sorry, if you pay $300 for a set of phones, the LEAST they can do is warranty the thing for two years and pay for shipping if there are any problems. I mean, after all, the assumption is that if you're charging your customer $300 they're getting a superior product in every way and they shouldn't have to worry about poor quality, right? If you're going to give me the same warranty that I can get for a pair of $25 phones, then what am I paying for?

Let's put it like this. My friend has a pair of AudioTechnica's and I don't feel the Bose give you anything more in terms of quality.

* Sound - I thought the sound quality overall was good but it wasn't like I was blown away. I felt that nothing was accentuated. If you're looking for super base, these are not the headphones for you. The good thing is that you can set the volume at 50% or lower and hear everything great because of the noise canceling. But the sound quality itself didn't make me feel that I got my money's worth.

* Sound leakage - At 50% volume, you *can* hear sound coming out of the headphones, but nothing that would disturb anyone in a quiet room. It's nothing to worry yourself about. If you have the volume at 100%, well you have bigger issues, like your ears being assaulted!

* Comfort - 0/10 and ultimately why I returned them - YMMV and you may want to take my opinion with a grain of salt here, but no matter how I adjusted these things, I felt uncomfortable downward pressure on the top of my head. Let's put it like this. I returned them around 7:15pm EST today and right now my laptop says it's 11:15. Four hours later AND I STILL FEEL PRESSURE ON THE TOP OF MY HEAD! When I mentioned this to my brother-in-law, who also has a pair, he said, "Oh, you have to tilt them forward a little more." So he obviously has noticed it as well. Bottom line, however, there's simply no position I could find that made wearing these headphones comfortable. By the way, although the padding seems buttery soft, once the padding is compressed you can feel the hardness of the headband QUICKLY! The hardness of the headband was what I was feeling, no matter how much I tried to loosen them. I actually don't get that, because I wouldn't expect that.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for my noisy office, October 11, 2013
By 
J. Rhoderick (Frederick, MD USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (Electronics)
After nearly a year of using these headphones almost every single day -- sometimes for as much as 8 hours a day -- I am absolutely in love with them. They are awesome, awesome, awesome. I am a software developer and I work in a cubicle. I am very sensitive to certain, uhh, "environmental" office sounds. Namely, a few of my co-workers have terribly noisy habits: they drum on their keyboards, they habitually sigh or yawn loudly, they have loud telephone conversations, and they giggle at YouTube videos of cats doing silly things. I simply can't focus with all of this noise around me. I would sometimes stare at my screen, blood boiling, waiting for the cacophany to die down so I could focus. It wouldn't be fair of me to demand silence of everyone around me (and it wouldn't have been nice, either). And I definitely wouldn't want my co-workers to feel judged or uncomfortable working around me. So, as the old Buddhist parable goes, why try to cover all of the world in soft leather when you can just wear shoes? So I decided I needed a pair of "shoes." Those shoes are the Bose QuietComfort 15.

To block out these random office noises, I first tried my pair of trusty Sennheiser earbuds while listening to music, but I had to keep the music so loud that, by the end of the day, I felt that I had damaged my hearing. And loud music is almost as hard to tune out as the annoying noises. After trying half a dozen different brands of headphones, I had still found no relief. They all dampened sound somewhat, but the breakthrough sounds were still loud enough that I had to keep music levels too high for me to concentrate. Then I decided to give the QC15s a try, and it was blessed relief at last. Granted, they don't block all sound. As others have pointed out, they are best at blocking low-frequency sounds, like air handlers and airplane engines, but they do an amazing job combining passive and active noise cancellation, meaning that they are excellent at blocking random office noises, most of which are outside of the optimal range for active noise cancellation. While wearing the QC15s, I can still hear muffled converations and some sounds, but it's so muted that adding a tiny bit of music -- the right kind of music, preferably without vocals -- is more than enough to obliterate all annoying office sounds and to leave me in a quiet bubble of bliss. These headphones have improved my producitivity and my morale so much that, if I could quantify it, my employer might have happily paid for them.

NOISE CANCELLATION: By far the best I have ever experienced in over a year's worth of trial and error. In short, I'm regularly blown away by these headphones, even after owning them for almost a year.

COMFORT: These are also the most comfortable headphones I have ever worn, bar none. And I have rather big ears, which means most headphones leave my ears sore after only an hour or so. I can wear these for hours with no discomfort. They somehow manage to achieve great isolation without making you feel as though your ears are in a humidor. As with all headphones, I remove them occasionally due to demands of the job or nature, and this is more than enough to keep me feeling comfortable all day long.

SOUND QUALITY: I am no audiophile, and I don't have the most developed ear, but frankly: if it sounds good, it is good. And the QC15s sound awesome. I would much rather listen to music on them than any other speaker in my home or my car, with the sole exception being my Sennheiser earbuds.

BATTERY USAGE: I was originally concerned about battery usage, but it just isn't an issue. I wear these, on average, about four days a week, for at least four to six hours a day, sometimes more. I change batteries about once a month. I bought a discount pack of batteries at a big box store almost a year ago and I still have a few remaining.

BUILD QUALITY: I don't understand why some reviewers have criticized build quality. Yes, these headphones are light, and that's part of what makes them so comfortable. I don't equate light with low quality. I generally take very good care of my gadgets, so maybe I'm not the best judge of durability, but I have dropped them a few times, and I have accidentally pulled the cord while pushing myself back from my desk. Still, I have had no problems. I have owned heavier, bulkier, thicker headphones, and I certainly felt it when they were clamped onto my head like little vices, but I wouldn't say they were higher quality because of it. Yes, the cord is thinner than most, but I prefer it this way. The only thing worse than having a cord dangling from my head is having a bulky cord dangling from my head. Overall, I have experience no rips, tears, breaks, or scuffs in nearly a year's worth of daily use. That, in my opinion, is excellent.

In short, if you have ended up considering shelling out $300 for a pair of headphones, there's likely a dang good reason: there is either a sound or a cacophany of sounds that you depserately want to escape from; and if that's case, buy these headphones now. You won't regret it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good points, some bad ones, September 12, 2014
By 
Peter V. Brown (Woodbine, Maryland United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (Electronics)
Both a friend and I bought these `phones, so this is a combined review. I will discuss three areas of the headphone performance. The Bose QC-15 is excellent in noise reduction, but only fair in sound quality and comfort. Those shortcomings can be corrected, resulting in an excellent headphone.

Noise cancellation: The Bose QC-15 was excellent in reducing external noise to near silence. My friend said that when he wore them on his riding mower that it sounded as if a neighbor 300 feet away was mowing. He set the music level when the mower was off, and didn't have to raise it while mowing. I used them on two airplane flights, and the noise reduction was considerable, allowing me to listen to quiet Enya music at normal levels. At home, contrary to other reports, I found that the headphones attenuated TV sound (music and conversation) enough that I could enjoy the silence, or listen to music.

Sound quality: The Bose QC-15 headphones have fair sound quality, but it can be improved with a little work. Out of the box, the phones had flat bass down to about 33 Hz, better than any other phones I have had. The bass sounded as though it had a Q of 0.7, which is tighter than a ported speaker, but not as good as a sealed speaker with an ideal Q of 0.577. The response was pretty flat through the vocal range, but had 1 dB dip at 2KHz, and a big 3 dB peak around 3KHz, and several ripples in the higher response. Consequently, the phones sounded harsh. This can be somewhat corrected by using the equalizer in the mp3 player to reduce the peak around 3 KHz. More accurate frequency compensation can be done using a computer to pre-equalize the music prior to recording it to the final file. The curve I used is shown in the list below, and it makes them sound much closer to audiophile headphones.

The headphones have an input impedance of over 1 megohm, due to the electronic circuitry, and thus are not affected by the output impedance of the source. So no audiophile headphone amp is needed.

The headphones are fairly insensitive to wind. I found only minimal interference with winds of 10-15 mph. Other noise canceling phones do much worse. I was able to listen to music outside on breezy days with no problems.

Comfort: The Bose QC-15 was not comfortable for me. I found that the headband pressed hard on the top peak of my head, making it sore. The phones are built for someone with a relatively broad, flat head, and mine is narrow and more pointed. I added tapered foam pieces at the side, which distributed the pressure more evenly over my skull, and that fixed the problem but ruined the styling of the headphone. On the other hand, my friend had no trouble with comfort at all. So I suggest you buy these phones from a place that will refund your money if you cannot make them comfortable.

Out of the box these are three star headphones, but the fixes make them much better.

Frequency compensation:
<30 Hz +4dB
33Hz +3dB
40Hz +1dB
60Hz +1dB
100Hz 0 dB
130Hz +2dB
150Hz 0dB
1.6KHz 0dB
2KHz +1.5dB
2.7KHz 0dB
2.9KHz -3dB
3.9KHz -3dB
4.5KHz 0dB
5KHz 0dB
6KHz -2dB
8KHz 0dB
9KHz - 20KHz +3dB
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Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones
$299.99
In stock on January 3, 2015
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