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Bose® QuietComfort® 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® Headphones(Old Version)
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- The best Bose® headphones reduce more noise across a wider range of frequencies
- Enjoy your music and movies even more, with clear and lifelike Bose sound
- Comfortable, around-the-ear fit
- AAA battery: 35 hours average life
- Ideal for frequent flyers
There is a newer model of this item:
From the Manufacturer Bose - Better Sound Through Research Dedication to research and excellence. It's been the Bose approach to better sound since Dr. Amar G. Bose founded the company in 1964. Since those early days, Bose engineers have kept their focus on creating better technology. You'll find that focus exemplified in the QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones, with advances that ensure premium performance and convenience. The headphones that pioneered an industry are now even better. QuietComfort 15 headphones feature exclusive Bose advancements in noise reduction technology. You hear less noise than ever before, and even more of your music and movies--with the quality sound you expect from Bose. And their lightweight, soft-cushioned fit stays comfortable for hours. It's a combination of benefits unmatched in the industry. Quieter Than Ever Before Bose invented noise cancelling headphones over 20 years ago, for use specifically on airplanes. And the company has continuously improved the technology since then. QC15 headphones reduce even more noise across the full spectrum of human hearing. Advanced electronics now use microphones both inside and outside each earcup to sense and reduce more of the sounds around you. The headphones also feature improvements to proprietary Bose ear cushion technology, further reducing unwanted noise. Soft, new cushion materials now block even more noise before it enters the earcups, delivering an even quieter listening experience and a comfortable fit.
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Top Customer Reviews
Sound Quality: As odd as this may sound, I feel like I haven't ever listened to any of my songs! This headset completely revamps every song. You will hear things in some of your favorite songs you haven't heard before. As it says in the title, this is an acoustic headset so don't expect loud and powerful base. If you like a lot of base then this isn't the headset for you.
Noise Cancelling: I find that I can still hear people talking while I am on a plane but most of the background noise goes away. I would describe the sound as if you are underwater or plugging your ears, to give you an idea of the sound. When you play some light music in the background, all the people talking tend to dissappear. I take up anywhere from 50 to 100 flights in a year and now that I own a Bose headset, I couldn't imagine not having it with me.
Comfort: The headset is extremely comfortable with leather around the ear and the leather on the top of the headset. This makes it very comfortable for long periods of time. I used to use ear buds and found that my ears started to hurt after 30 minutes. The only thing I will mention is that your ears do get a bit hot a sweaty after a while so it is good to give them a breath of fresh air every hour or so.
Carrying Case: In this box comes with a carrying case to help protect your Bose headset. This was a huge selling feature for me because with all the travelling I do, I was worried about ruining my headset. This allows me to put the case in my bag and not have to worry that I am crushing it. Great addition Bose!
Cord: Although this headset isn't wireless, it has a detachable cord which I find very useful.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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- Square shape, low profile, however not a lot of room for anything else in case.
3.) Audio Technica- Nice big case if you want to carry extra stuff (Nintendo DS, ipod, etc).
1.) Sennheiser- you can tell this is built VERY well. Strong plastics, good components, thick cord. Top notch. You feel like you are getting something really high quality.
2.) Audio Technica- Nice solid construction, appears durable.
3.) Bose- If this had a Sanyo logo on the side, I would not have flinched. How can something $300 be so incredibly cheaply made.
1.) Bose- as far as over the ears go, these are pretty small.
2.) Audio-Technica- mid-sized.
3.) Sennheiser- These are big. No question, but they store flat.
1.) Sennheiser- Very comfortable, will fit almost any size ears. Keep on for hours.
2.) Bose- Also comfortable. I did not experience "highs" discomfort.
3.) Audio-Technica- Perfectly satisfactory. Larger opening than previous AT model.
1.) Sennheiser- I actually wore these at home too, simply to hear parts of songs I had never heard before. Astounding. My 10yr old music collection sounded totally NEW.
2.) Audio-Technica- Well balanced, good sound.
3.) Bose- Great sound, but very heavy on the bass. I listen to a lot of rap and pop, so it was mildly annoying. I ultimately had to turn my treble settings up on my ipod to balance the sound.
1.) Sennheiser- nice cord, push to talk button (temporarily mutes NC and sound which is great for interruptions on airplanes).
2.) Bose/Audio Technica- just the basics. Bose simply an on/off switch.
1.) Audio Technica- $150 to $225 depending on how you shop.
2.) Sennheiser- $200 to $275
3.) Bose- Hard to find below $300+.
1.) Bose- No question here, far surpassed the other two. Best Noise Cancelation.
2.) Audio-Technica- Good Noise Cancelation.
3.) Sennheiser- Not sure what happened here. Incredible sound, satisfactory noise cancelation.
I ultimately kept the Bose because I was only using these for flying and the Sennheiser's (as much as I loved them) let me down in the Noise Cancelation department. The Sennheiser's had by far the most superior sound, but the Bose Noise Cancelation was night and day. The Bose are made very poorly for a $300+ product, it was disappointing.
Audio-Technica- best balance of value for money
Sennheiser- Best sound and comfort
Bose- Best Noise Cancelation
I've owned both QC-2 and QC-3 headphones for for a couple years, and their predecessor before that. My home is in a rural area that over time has become increasingly noisy with automobile traffic, chain saws, weed whackers, air travel, boats, etc, so have become a great fan of noise-cancelling headphones, which for me provide respite against all this sonic assault.
When I read the specs of the QC-15, I thought, if these are an improvement over the QC-2, I'll have to try them. This in the face of feeling sheepish about blowing another $300 for what I feared might be a trivial difference in quality.
I needn't have worried. When I turned on the QC-15, it was like shutting off the world. The loud rushing sound emitted by the air filter running 15 feet away became nearly inaudible, the low rumble of distant boat, air, and automobile traffic disappeared altogether. The background hiss generated by the QC-15 is noticeably quieter than the QC-2, and the noise cancellation, as Bose advertises, covers much more of the audio range. My QC-2 headset doesn't do nearly as good job at cancelling the white noise from the air filter as the QC-15, for example.
As for sound quality, the QC-15, to my ear, has better response in the deep bass, from 25-35 hz, and les resonance in the 80-150 hz range. The bass is generally tighter as well. If you're used to the mild boominess of the QC-2, as I was, it might take you a bit of listening to appreciate the difference. In higher frequency ranges, the QC-15 seems comparable to the QC-2. My 64 year-old ears cut off arount 8 khz, so I'd defer to the judgement of younger listeners in this area.
All-in-all, I'm very happy with the improvements manifest in this new version of the Bose headphones and feel that even at $300 they're well worth it.
The only negative criticism I can make so-far is that the headphones emit a rather loud click when you turn them on, compared to the QC-2. This is not a big deal- I just make sure to throw the ON switch before putting the phones on my head.
By the way, many users of Bose (and other) noise-cancelling headphones complain , sometimes bitterly, about he sensation of "ear pressure" when the noise-cancelletion is activated. This is an illusion that arises because actual pressure on un-equalized eardrums (as when climbing or descending in an aircraft) has the effect of reducing the low frequency response of the eardrums. That loss of low-frequency sensitivity is read by the brain as pressure, which, in the case of altitude change, it actually is. Noise cancelling headphones drastically attenuate ambient low frequency sounds, many of which we register unconsciously. The brain interprets this as pressure on the eardrum, even though this is not actually the case. The sensation of pressure produced by noise cancellation is actually an indication of just how much very low frequency background sound we tolerate under normal circumstances. Research indicates that such low-frequency sounds can actually be a source of low-grade anxiety. Hence you may find that these headphones attenuate your nagging anxiety along with the background rumble generated by the pervasive combustion of fossil fuel all around us.
15 months - still using the QC15's several times per week and they are still holding up well. No fit or finish issues what so ever. I do keep them in their case when not using them and when they are in my laptop bag. Ejoying them even more with my new WP7 phone.
After 4 months of daily use these Headphones are holding up very well (especially the headband and earcups which were crap on the QC2's). I am still super pleased with this purchase.
- I highly recommend these headphones.
- Good in any situation where you need to concentrate. I could have really used these when I was in college for studying in dorms, libraries, etc.
- Battery life is excellent. I am pretty sure I have used them more than 24 hours on the original battery that came in the package and it is still going.
- Music sounds great. I have just started running thru my mp3 library but have hit on several songs that I know push the drivers pretty hard and they sound pretty damn good.
- Detachable cable. If you just want the noise cancelling, you can detach the cable and be cable free.
If you want to know why I am giving such a positive review after only having the headphones for 6 days, read on.
I spent a long time (weeks) researching Noise Cancelling headphones after getting moved to an office across from a computer lab with over 1000 rack mounted servers and right under its very large ceiling mounted HVAC unit. I tried a friend's QC3's for a day and things were better (I could concentrate and not get headaches), but I found the on-ear not as comfortable and not as good at blocking the sound as I had expected for the money. Then last Wednesday, I happened to read a Gizmodo article about how Bose was updating its Headphone lines and the 15's were arriving in store on Thursday. So first thing Thursday morning I dropped by the local mall and tried out a pair. I was sold after five minutes of wearing them and went straight to work to put them to work. After installing the battery I turned them on without the cable connected and put them on. Ah, quiet - Even the high pitch whine of the server fans was reduced by 90%. I was able to play some background music at a very low level and I now I could hear no environmental noise what so ever. I was still feeling guilty about spending $300; however I fell ill on Friday and had to be hospitalized. I was placed in a room that was right next to the nurse's station (great for service, awful for noise levels). Luckily I had brought along my Zune and my QC15's. I spent most of my three day hospital stay listening to E-Books in blissful silence. No bells, whistles, intercom pages, visitors talking, next door neighbors coughing, etc. Needless to say, it's the best $300 I have ever spent.
On to the review:
I went on a little shopping spree and bought the JVC HA-NC250, Klispch Image S4, and these guys (QC15) to compare them. I don't consider myself an audiophile, but I am really picky about electronics purchases... even to a fault. I am a medical school student, and obviously don't travel extensively, but I want to be able to study at home without being distracted by my wife's music/tv/neighbors/etc, so I was in the market for some noise cancelling/isolating headphones. The reason I chose these three headphones: JVC were cheaper noise cancelling with decent reviews ($[...] now), the Klipsch Image S4 ($[...]) got AMAZING reviews on CNET for sound quality, so I had to see if they blocked noise sufficiently, and these were the "top of the line" headphones that I wanted to try to see if they were worth the money.
Regarding the comfort of these headphones... ohhh baby. The material that they use for the earcups is AMAZING. No clue what it is, but it is extremely plush, without being obnoxiously huge and pillowy. I have worn the headphones for 3+ hours listening to music while studying with no discomfort, although my ears do get a little warm. It is not really uncomfortable to me, but I could imagine if I were in a really warm room, it might be a nuisance. I have used multiple types of earbuds, on ear headphones, and over ear headphones, and these are by far the most comfortable I've tried. Klipsch are earbuds, and fit VERY securely, but after a while they just annoy me (30+ min). JVC are more comfy than the Klipsch, but get destroyed by the Bose. QC15 win, hands down.
Sound quality: In my opinion, the Klipsch earbuds sounded the best, but I think that is partly due to the extremely secure fit and tight base that is produced as a result of having them jammed in your ear canal. The obvious downside is that those bug the crap out of me after 30 minutes of use. JVC sound quality is NOTICEABLY worse when the noise cancelling is off, and good when it's on, but I found the base kind of shallow (the battery compartment is not a pain to access like some people seem to complain about... unless you have gorilla hands). Bose sound quality seems VERY balanced. Exceptionaly clarity, responsive/tight base, and no hissing in the background. I did notice a little hissing when I was listening to classical music at near max volumes, but who listens to classical music at really high volumes... and it was most likely due to the sound quality of the song (download from Itunes) and not the headphones. Overall, outstanding sound quality for the QC15.
Noise cancelling: Bose > JVC > Klipsch. Obviously the klipsch aren't designed to eliminate sounds, just muffle them, and they do that well, but not well enough, and as I said before, I find earbuds slightly uncomfortable. The JVC headphones had notably worse sound-cancelling than the Bose. It is partially due to the fact that they are on-ear instead of over-ear headphones (bose). With the same song at equal levels I tested out both headphones while vacuuming (obviously VERY loud sound). JVC probably knocked out about 50-60% of the sound. The eleminate LOW frequency/pitch sounds very well, but ALL of the high ones that aren't muffled from wearing the headphones get through. As a result, I could hear the whine of the vacuum extremely clearly. QC15's easily eliminated 80+% of the noise. All of the low frequency sounds were dropped, and the higher frequency sounds were noticably reduced, but not gone. Of the 3 headphones, the bose is the clear winner.
While I know these are obnoxiously expensive ([...] bucks for headphones is ridiculous...), I have been very impressed with these headphones. Only gripe other than price is that noise-cancelling technology in general is unable to reduce high frequency sounds as much as I would like. With that said, I believe that these Bose headphones provide OUTSTANDING comfort, exceptional sound (aparently some audiophile people complain that they don't match up to their 500+ dollar shures, but w/e), and among the best noise cancelling money can buy. Also, it's wonderful that they changed over to a AAA instead of the stupid proprietary bose battery. If I were a frequent flyer, these headphones would be a no brainer.
Kept the Bose, and the other two got the boot.
(Quick side note... I have a pair of Sennheiser CX300's [earbuds], and for < 20 bucks you WILL NOT find a better pair of headphones. Comfortable by earbud standards, amazing base, clear mids/highs, unbeatable price. I use those for running, and the Bose when studying)
Performance improvements, per the PC Magazine and C/Net reviews: noticeably better noise cancellation (several db better suppression of an AC unit is my only test to date), tighter bass. I believe the rated battery life is better. There does seem a tad more negative pressure.
Certainly not a huge upgrade over the already excellent 2, but noticeable. If you can find a new home for your 2, no downside to upgrade. If you are a first time Quietcomfort buyer, a no brainer, at the same price, and superior to the 3 in my view: less comfortable to wear and I see rechargeable as a real negative - when you get on the plane and find your headphones need recharging - especially when the 15 lasts over 30 hours on a single AAA. I always carry a couple of spare AAAs in the case.
Hot Tip: I am now using my 2 on my treadmill. My issue is my LCD TV doesn't have a headphone jack, only line out (RCA). I researched headphone amps and they are expensive to very expensive and volume control is of course on the amp itself. Bose makes an RCA to 3.5mm jack extension cable for their Wave unit, that includes volume control at the headphone end. $15. Works perfectly! Product code: 029100. Style code: HSACQA. Our local Bose store said they are in short supply, so if you like the idea, buy now!