Customer Review

883 of 965 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST NR headsets - period, September 27, 2011
This review is from: Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (Electronics)
I decided to cheap out earlier and bought a pair of Sony NR headsets for $30 and change. They seemed pretty good but on flights, the NR wasn't good enough - way too much background noise. Finally I decided to man up and get the real deal. And boy, what a change (for the better)!

With the Bose headsets, NR means NR, they ain't kidding about when they say NR, absolutely no background noise on the flight. My quick thoughts on this so far:

- You haven't heard true HD sound if you haven't heard it on this headset. And the sound is not like bass or treble heavy, it's just crisp and you can hear every water drop and every single instrument being played. And NR works great both ways on this headset - the surrounding noise is almost cancelled out completely for you when you're using the headsets, and the sound of the sound from the headset doesn't carry out of the headsets either. I can listen to music or movies at a fairly high volume and the person sitting next to me won't hear a thing.

- The leather trim around the headsets makes them extremely comfortable to wear. I wear them on 15-hour flights and don't feel any strain by the end of the flight. My ears or head don't hurt because of the headsets and the plastic strap. They truly are made for comfort.

- It comes with airplane adapter so you can turn it from a single 3.5mm audio cable into one that fits in the airplane sockets. The cable is also detachable completely from the headset, which I actually find very useful when I want to doze off and not be bothered by surrounding noise. You don't realize how effective the headsets are till you take them off and realize how much of background noise they were eliminating!

- The only one downside of this headset is that it runs on a AAA battery. So I always need to make sure I have fully charged batteries with me at all times. I carry rechargeable batteries (Sanyo Eneloop are the BEST) with a charger. So if I do run out of battery, I can always charge it on the flight itself. ON a full charge of the Eneloop AAA, I am yet to run out of battery on a 15-hour flight.

Yes, these headsets aren't cheap but they are worth every penny. Bose puts so much research and effort into developing their products, I have absolutely no reason to complain!
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Tracked by 7 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 29 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 28, 2011 9:57:22 AM PDT
Brooke says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Nov 7, 2011 1:50:29 PM PST
Epikeya says:
1) Do you need the batteries all the time, I'm thinking for example in the case you want to use the headphones to take a nap at home...
2) Does it tell you when batteries are running low?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 9, 2011 10:02:21 AM PST
Tailgater says:
1) Yes you need a battery in at all times for this to work. This is the one downfall of headphones, especially if you want to listen to music without the noise cancelling function 'on'.
2) The light on the headphone near the switch will flash when the battery is running low.


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 9, 2011 10:49:05 AM PST
Epikeya says:
Thanks, Mark.

Posted on Nov 13, 2011 3:04:55 PM PST
colstat says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2011 8:57:31 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 13, 2011 9:07:52 PM PST
Colstat, you might have more use for the noise cancelling function than you think. It works great for around the house, helping to shut out extraneous sounds. The QC15s are useful in any environment that isn't perfectly quiet, although they are most effective at filtering out sounds similar to airplane noise - e.g., forced-air vents, dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine, etc. They're not quite as good at shorter, sharper sounds, like barking dogs, etc. Still, I'm surprised just how useful the noise cancelling is, even in places I wouldn't think I would need it.

That said, if you really don't want the noise cancelling feature, you might consider the Bose AE2 headphones. They use the same drivers as the QC15s, only without the noise cancellation. They're built differently, so they won't sound exactly the same. However, they are Bose's top non-noise cancelling headphones, and sell for half the price of the QC15s . Beyond that, there are a ton of other options out there. Good luck in your search.

Posted on Dec 31, 2011 10:54:35 AM PST
scott w says:
"HD" is a marketing gimmick when it comes to audio. A headphone can't be HD. Read up on it from a respected audio forum and not from Monster marketing fluff.

Unless you fly a LOT or plan on wearing them in an area with a lot of background noise, you don't need noise canceling. Just get a good pair of sound isolating headphones. No noise canceling headphone will beat a GOOD non-noise canceling headphone when it comes to sound quality. However if you MUST have it, the Bose QC15's are generally perceived to have the best NC technology... but don't mistake that for the best sound quality. You won't find any Beats/Bose/Skull Candy or other mass marketed headphone in the top 20 of any audiophile headphone list.

Try out the Sennheiser HD25-1 II or Audio Technica ATH-M50 or Grado i60 or i80s. These are just a few options that will provide a better overall and more realistic sound stage. Read the reviews on them to determine which may fit your specific needs, aesthetically and audio-wise. Read the post at audioproheadphones blogspot for more on the Beats gimmick and for more headphone recs depending on your taste and budget

Posted on Feb 4, 2012 1:04:12 PM PST
I almost reviewed these earphones simply based on the demo at a local store. I was trying them out today and they have a speaker that mimics the sound of an airplane (sounds pretty darn close to me). The noise cancelling effect is absolutely stunning. It's almost like my ear stopped working it's so effective--until I hear the music, which I set so low just to prove that I could listen to something quietly, while on a plane, and it sounded beautiful. In the past when flying the only way to get over the airplane noise is to blast the volume. Absolutely not necessary with these.

I did also try snapping my finger and the decibels dropped substantially with the earphone off and on. I am by no means a Bose fanboy, I think their stuff is typically overpriced, as to most audiophiles (which I'm not), but these are really impressive, at least with the demo I tried.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2012 12:23:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 5, 2012 12:46:52 PM PST
colstat says:
Hey, Giacomo. I bought the Bose with a 14-day return, I also had Beats by Dr.Dre (reviewed in last paragraph). Noise canceling is awesome, helps me stay focus. I get more work done when I use Bose.

But, the SOUND QUALITY IS SOSO, NO BASE. It's like pounding on concrete wall vs pounding hollow wood desk. One gives rich echoing base, the other gives a flat base. The mid voice also lacks clarity. It sounded very good at Apple store is because ipod produces better sound somehow.

The earcup is extremely comfortable around the ears, but be prepared for sweats after about an hours. The metal headband were cheaply made, feels like it can break anytime soon.

In comparison, The Beats by Dr.Dre has heavier weight on the ear, it requires TWO 555-battery. It also gets phone interference, you can hear static on left ear when a call comes in, very annoying, sometimes I don't even know where the interference came from. Base and sound clarity are about the same as Bose. But the headband is much stronger. It has sound-isolation, you can still hear noise, not as good. Overall, I recommend Bose.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2012 1:06:03 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 5, 2012 1:08:12 PM PST
I find the bass on Bose to be perfectly adequate. Although I have not heard the Beats, I suspect they are overemphasizing the bass on those, probably to be suitable for bass-heavy music like hip hop. In comparison, the more balanced Bose will sound weak. But with music that isn't hugely demanding in bass (say, acoustic as opposed to hip hop), I find the Bose to be well balanced, and I never feel like I'm missing out on bass when I listen to them.

My greater concern with the Bose are the mids and highs. With some music, they sound great; with other recordings, they sound too bright, and can be a bit grating. Let's be realistic here: despite Bose's marketing claims, the QC15s aren't in a true audiophile league, but they're very good for what they are: easy-to-drive, easily portable headphones with outstanding noise canceling technology. Generally speaking, I'm very satisfied with them, as long as I take them for what they are.
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