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623 of 645 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2013
Alright, so after having the opportunity to own both Quiet comfort 3 and 15 headphones, I thought I'd give my opinion on each to help those deciding between the two.

Size: The QC3s are an entire size smaller than the QC15s. QC3 wins in terms of portability, but both headphones come with a carrying case and I don't think the QC15s are more of a burden to carry around. The smaller QC3 is an on ear design compared to the QC15 which is an over the ear design.

Battery: QC3 comes with one rechargeable battery that lasts maybe 25 hours or so. I recommend buying another battery from amazon or ebay so that you can have one to use when the other battery dies. QC15 runs on AAA batteries and should last for 35 hours. I recommend buying eneloop rechargeable batteries and a charger so you're not buying batteries every two weeks. Buying an additional battery for the QC3 can be relatively cheap if you get an off-brand battery or buy it used (~$10-$20). 4 eneloop batteries and a charger to use with the QC15 is around $20.

Design: Major design difference is that the QC3 is on ear and the QC15 is over the ear. Both are very comfortable, but I personally thought the QC3 felt better on my head, maybe because it's lighter. The audio cable is also designed differently on both. QC15 has a volume control switch on the cable that you can change to high or low. This part goes inside the earpiece, so you'd have to remove the cable to adjust it. QC15 and QC3 also come with a cable that has a remote and microphone that you can use to take phone calls.

Noise Cancellation: I'll probably be in a minority when I say this, but I didn't notice a difference in noise cancellation between the two headphones. QC15 allegedly has the best noise cancellation, but it didn't block out the sound of people talking or even birds chirping outside without music playing. QC15 is supposedly great at blocking out airplane engine noise, so maybe you'll get the most benefit from these if you're a frequent flier. Both these headphones are great at reducing sound, but you'll still be able to hear outside noise. Also, the QC15 gave me a major headache within ten minutes of usage due to the noise cancellation technology. You may want to consider trying these out before you buy because the noise cancellation in the QC15 can cause dizziness and headaches in some people. I didn't encounter this problem with the QC3 though.

Sound Quality: This was the deciding factor for me in choosing which headphones to keep. The QC3 sounds so, so, so much better. I'm not an audiophile, but the difference between the two was night and day to me. I have a pair of Sennheiser HD202 headphones that cost me $20 and sound better than the QC15. If you have never owned high end headphones before, you might be satisfied with the QC15, but it's seriously lacking in bass and treble. I thought I was listening to a $10 pair of headphones and not a $300 pair. On ear headphones do tend to sound better because the speakers are closer to your ear, but over the ear headphones shouldn't be so lacking in sound quality if you're paying $300 for them.

Pricing: Would I personally pay $300 for the QC15 or $350 for the QC3? Absolutely not. I had the opportunity to own either set at a discount (~$120) which is the only reason I currently own the QC3. I'd pay $150 max for the QC3 and I wouldn't buy the QC15 at all. I'm not the kind of person who wants to spend a whole lot on headphones, so this is just a reflection of how much I would pay and not how much I think they're actually worth. I honestly haven't tried any other brand of high end headphones, so I can't objectively say if the retail price fits the quality on the QC3.

Bottom line: QC3 is the better set in my books due to the QC15s so-so audio quality. The only reason the QC15 is $300 is because of the noise cancellation. I bet the QC15 wouldn't even sell for $30 if it didn't have noise cancellation. Bose may tell you that the QC15 are the best headphones they have to offer, but I found the QC3 to be superior. I can't recommend the QC15, but I think the QC3 are the best sounding headphones I've owned and they do a decent job at reducing noise. I highly recommend trying out several pairs of headphones that are comparably priced before settling on Bose though. $300 isn't really chump change (for the average person anyway), so you want to make sure you get the best for your money.
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144 of 158 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2012
I have had mine for almost 2 years. They are so effective that the quiet may bother some people. I live on a busy street
And the noise can be bothersome when sitting on my deck. These headphones eliminate all but the very loudest motorcycles.
even those few are very muted. If I lost these today I would buy new ones tomorrow. I have never given 5 stars before this.
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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2013
Having read quite a few of these reviews, it is clear many owners were as ignorant as I of the lifetime replacement guarantee. Regardless if your complaint is wear and tear over time or if the dog ate the headphones, Bose promises to replace them ~ no questions asked ~ for $99. Yes, you do expend more money but if your set is worn out or eaten, it's nice to know one can get a completely brand new set of an invaluable item at a greatly reduced cost. I'm certainly glad someone told me; hope this helps.
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110 of 128 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2012
I have owned my QC3's for quite some time now. They were a costly purchase and I wondered how good an idea it was at the time. The QC3's proved in performance during a lot of "back-end of the plane" travel that they are superb. I have been known to also travel at the front of the plane, where the impact is less, so I can truly attest to my next comment - QC3's are like an upgrade to business class. Get your own music and your QC3's and you can survive a 5 hour trip in economy without batting an eyelid. The volume on the ipod can drop from 90% to 50% with the same clarity!
I can recall before my QC3's the inevitable headache that would come from my monthly 14 hour each way journey. That all disappeared with the purchase of the QC3's. Just wonderful, and something that really works. I also find them incredibly comfortable and would strongly recommend the on-ear to the over-ear versions. You can't sleep so good (on your side) in them, but I have still done it (for many hours on the seats in various airports across the world).
I have shure se530 earphones, as well as Grado SR80i and Audio-Technica ATHESW9A headphones so I know the the Bose are no slouch in the sound department too. But their gift - simply - is a quiet background.
I think the reachargeable battery system probably adds $50 to the value of the package too. It has just been great.
Great job Bose, great headphone QC3!
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47 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2013
I've researched for about 6 months before buying. Checked beats, sony, etc... Purchased them for a red eye flight and was between this one and the qc15. You can pick one or the other they are awesome and just the difference is the battery tech, one rechargable the other AAA. Yes they are pricey but last like for 5 years, if you are getting into long flights, then go for them.

===Update after 6 weeks with them=== this thing is awesome, I've been using them for 6+ hours international flights and also in the office (When I need to get 'in the zone') this has to be one of the best investments I've made
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157 of 195 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2012
I've owned Bose QE for about two years now.
Noise cancellation is excellent.
Abnoxious sounds like plane engines are virtually eliminated while you can still hear people speak.
The sound quality is ok but missing the low range.
Taking them off, produces a loud feedback squeal.
Last year I had to replace a battery pack because it was holding charge for only 30 minutes.
That's another 50 bucks.
I don't use them very often, mostly on planes or hotels while I travel.
True, I wore them to bed a few times, but It still doesn't justify how quickly they got so worn out.
Thin plastic covering ear paddings is peeling off and showing through the fabric underneath.
I guess I expected a lot from Bose at $350 price tag, but got mediocre.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2014
I originally purchased a pair of QC2, the sound and noise cancelling was great. After about 12 months the plastic on the head/arms disintegrated. I took them into Bose in the UK while I was over there and was told it was a "manufacturers fault" and they would be replaced for free, great! At that time I upgraded for £50 to the QC3. Amazingly after another 12 months the plastic on these started to fall apart. I took these into Bose in New York and was told it was my problem. The sound was great but the build was crap. I live in NZ and decided to take these into the Bose store over here, again I was told it was my problem. I paid $100 to get these fixed. Two years later nearly all the plastic on these things has disintegrated again. Never again will I buy Bose headphones!! Take it from me, please don't waste your time I'm so disappointed with them. I am not anti-Bose! I have a pair of 301 Speakers that are great and an Acoustimass 15 speaker system that I love, but their headphones are rubbish. If you're like me and read the reviews then please take notice of this. I never write reviews, but I always read them for recommendation for purchases. I have nothing to gain or lose, this is just me putting my word out.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2013
Verified Purchase
A friend of mine turned me on to these headphones. I thought at first, a little pricey for a set of headphones. But after listening to his headphones, I was hooked on the audio quality. I was so impressed I bought both me and my wife each a pair for our recent trip to Ireland. That's when we both discovered the "Noise Cancellation Feature". It filtered out the jet noise on the plane and the background noise in the international airports, but yet allowed you to carry on a conversation without removing the headphones! So if you're exposed to a lot of background noise on a daily basis and/or love music, then these headphones are the ticket!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2013
Verified Purchase
If what you are looking for is something to hear the sound of a conversation or the music perfectly while you are in a plane or in your work place surrounded by several partners that are not quiet enough, then these are the best headphones for you. No complaints. They are confortable and isolate you perfectly. The battery last plenty of time and does not take to much time charging.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2013
Verified Purchase
Love the noise cancelling -- the sound of the big air conditioner next to my back deck was GONE. How cool is that. But, as with other devices, Apple rules the accessory market. I have a Galaxy S4 smartphone. I can hear a call coming in, answer it with the remote and have a conversation. But the controls (volume, pause/play) do not work with my media apps.

The device comes with 2 cords -- one strictly for media listening, with no remote control and one with iPhone/iPod controls. I asked BOSE if there was a cord available for a Samsung Galaxy and they said NO. Please, someone make one for me....
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