* Prices may differ from that shown
First of all - they really work. They shut out low and high frequency sounds almost completely when you click on the sound cancelling switch on the headphones. Even when you first put on the padded headphones you get the benefit of the noise reducing qualities that are built into them. They are also very comfortable and can be worn for as long as you need to wear them, ( I have fallen asleep wearing them).
The pair I have was given to me by my Dad, to try as I live in a noisy flat, I have had them for about 6 months and use them every day. I think you can buy them for about £220.
Example of how I use them -
I can hear people talking next door, and footsteps upstairs, and it is very windy outside - I put the headphones on, and click the button and all I can hear is the sound of the headphones producing the noise cancelling soundwaves, which is very soothing.
This is most effective when the battery is new, but you can use rechargeable ones like I do, and it takes only 1 AAA battery . This lasts for several days, depending on how often you use it and what type it is ( cheap). The green light flashes when the battery needs replacing.
Other points are - the sound quality from the headphones is the best I have heard from any headphones, it is very loud though, so if you buy them , turn it almost off first and slowly turn up the levels , as I have my stereo on about 1 and it is loud !
My Dad kept telling me how good they were, and I said I was worried about the battery costs and also that my neighbours were so loud it would not make a difference. The battery issue has not been a problem at all, I have not changed it in 2 weeks, and have newly charged ones and spare new ones in case I need a really powerful 'silence' ! It has reduced my stress knowing I can just put these on when things get noisy.
First of all, it's worth noting that these are not exactly cheap. Some say that Bose charge top of the range prices for middle of the range (if that) performance. I'm a bit less sceptical, and judge each product individually. Some Bose products are overpriced for what they are (the original in ear headphones, for instance, while great as an eBay bargain, were not worth even half the original RRP of £120), but it was well worth the £600 to get a Bose system installed in Dad's Audi.
And so, the QuietComfort headphones. Brand new, these bad boys cost around £300, which, while steep, isn't actually the most expensive set of headphones you can buy (check out Sennheiser HD800s, over £1000 a pair!), but they are Bose's most expensive headphones, save for the more portable QuietComfort 3s.
Bose build quality can be hit and miss; a set of TriPort in ear headphones I had broke fairly easily, but the mobile headset variant I have now is pretty solid. These are also very well made, but you'd expect this for the price. They are battery powered, and take an AAA size battery into one of the ear cups. Third party rechargeable solutions are available, but the AAA battery is the simplest, easiest method of doing things. Bose claim around 35 hours of battery life. I usually poo-pah manufacturers battery life claims, as in most cases, products struggle to get half that. But Bose were pretty much bang on with these, an hour on the bus each way to and from Uni last year, and they lasted a little over a month. And this was with a supermarket value brand battery; I reckon it could have gone on for longer using something better.
Of course, buying headphones at this price, you want sound quality. My girlfriend was the complete opposite of an audiophile, and genuinely couldn't tell the difference between Apple's bundled iPod headphones, a 99p Woolworths (remember them?) special, and my JVC cans, costing around £90. But even she had to admit that these were in a different league to anything else. The bass, like all Bose products, is plentiful, but unlike Beats headphones, where the bass drowns out everything else, you can still hear very clear mids and highs. One little test I devised for all prospective headphone purchases is to stick on Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love. On the second time round of the chorus (after the ah, ah ah from Plant, and the guitar solo), Robert Plant is shaking and banging a tambourine. The better headphones pick this up, and poorer ones do not. Testing them in the shop against Beats Studio headphones, the tambourine was extremely clear on the QC2s, but not at all audible on the Beats Studio. The only headphones I own that don't produce the tambourine sound are the freebies bundled with my iPhone, and a pair of Gumy earphones bought nearly 10 years ago for a fiver, so that says a lot about the Beats Studio.
The main selling point of the QC2s however, is the noise cancelling functionality. I have had noise cancelling Sennheiser earbuds before, and all they did was simply make everything louder to drown out the sound, which distorted it, plus they had a box with an AA battery in halfway up the cable.
With the QC2s however, the battery is smaller (AAA) and housed in the ear cup. On the outside of the ear cup, you have a power switch; you must turn this on for listening no matter what; they will not work without Noise Cancelling functionality engaged. That means when the battery dies, so does your music.
Even without any music playing, once you flick the switch, the rest of the world seems dead to you; it's pretty much complete and utter silence. My girlfriend tried them on as well while we were in the shop, and despite it being quite busy with lots of ambient noise, she couldn't hear a thing, and could only just, very faintly hear me asking how they felt to her, despite being around 12" away. Bose say that you can just put them on without music playing and relax; and I'll testify to that. They're brilliant when it's 2AM, there's drunk people outside shouting, and my flatmate has brought a girl back. The only issue I have with them is that without anything playing, they do seem to put pressure on your eardrums, almost like you're in a plane and they're about to 'pop'. That said, Bose say that these are extremely useful on flights, and use this heavily in their marketing. I've not had the chance to fly with them yet, but I'll bet the eardrum pressure is reduced up in the air. Furthermore, once you turn the sound on, the pressure seems to disappear, but will instantaneously reappear when the sound goes off.
The noise cancelling, unlike my old Sennheisers, is done by having microphones on the outside of the ear cups, which detect ambient noise, and then play something called anti-noise which drowns out everything. It's wonderful, but as I said, feels like it's putting pressure on the eardrum.
If you are going to use them simply to relax, the cable detaches completely, but as the power source is in the ear cup, you can still have total silence. This detachable cable is another added bonus, as I'm always rendering headphones useless when the cable goes on me; the 'phones themselves will be fine, just the cable is broken, but as I don't have the soldering skills to fix it, a new set of headphones gets bought. Here, if the cable breaks, you simply ring up Bose, pay a few quid and they'll send you a new one. There's even a Made for iPhone version, with the 3 button inline remote/mic.
In conclusion then, these are probably the best Noise Cancelling headphones you can possibly buy, no matter what you think of Bose. The only reasons you wouldn't buy them is the price, or because of their bulk; they are on the large side. But now Bose sell the QC3, which has all the noise cancelling tech, but is a more portable, on ear model in similar vein to their OE2i model. It is however, in most cases the same price, maybe a few quid more.
I have owned a pair of Bose QC2 headphones for just over 12 months and they are, quite simply, the best pair of headphones that I have ever used. Personally, I have always preferred the over-ear style to on-ear style headphones, but even for over-ear these are supremely comfortable. You really do forget you're wearing them, and can go hours and hours without your ears getting too hot or uncomfortable - a problem I have found with previous over the ear headphones.
Sound Quality is wonderful, if you have spent your life listening to music through cheap £10 earbuds as I had, using these will feel like you're listening to an entirely different music collection! The bass is deep and rich and there is serious power behind them if you want to crank the volume up!
The noise cancelling feature is invaluable for listening on the go and is far superior to the noise cancelling on a pair of Sennheiser headphones I owned previously. Train and Airplane journeys are now far more enjoyable with background noise all but eliminated - even screaming babies!
The carry case is sturdy and well designed as well as the adaptors for use on planes that you would expect at this price. They are expensive, but are truly a joy to use. You won't regret purchasing a pair - I promise you.
The QC1 were a fantastic set of headphones providing everything you could ever need. These are no exception. They are packed with features, are very comfortable and provide amazing sound. However, they are expensive, but you get what you pay for with brilliant build quality.
First, the packaging is really good as it keeps the product safe, and also provides clear information. It is easy to open. Inside, there is a instruction booklet which provides everything you need to know. You also get a carry case for the device, which is nicely design and fits everything in, while also protecting the product. You also get lots of cables which can be used to hook the headphones up to ports, such as on an airplane. However, I did find that the included adapters don't cover some of the newer planes, as the airlines change to try and continue charging for headphones.
The design is very nice and simple. With the removal of the box that contained the battery and switch, the device is more streamlined and smaller, with everything contained in the headphones themselves. They are lightweight, and small, which means that can be taken places easily. The earphones rotate so that they can be flat-packed. The earphones are very comfortable to wear, and they won't hurt your ears after a few hours of use.
The device takes 1 AAA battery, which lasts a very long time. However, apart from the indication light on the outside of the headphones, there is no way to tell if the device is low on battery. This means that they will suddenly stop working, with no beep or alarm to warn you.
The sound quality is very good, better than comparable devices. The sound is crisp and clear, and similar to a set of good quality speakers. The noise cancelling also works really well, and you need to be in a noisy area to truly appreciate the standard of the headphones. However, they don't completely cancel out the sound, which is good as you can still hear part of the noise, such as if somebody needs you attention.
The build quality of the device is superb. Brilliant materials have been used, and it feels like the product will last. The design is hard waring, and the hardware can be trusted due to the Bose brand.
However, the item is very expensive. It is worth it though for the high quality of the build and the superb quality of both the sound and noise cancelling.
Overall, a brilliant set of headphones for somebody who is the market for a set of noise cancelling headphones.
I fly frequently and was drawn to these headphones due to their sound cancelling capabilities. I was not disappointed. These are the best headphones I have ever owned. Having used them on dozens of flights over the last few years they consistently block out the noise of the aircraft (and a large amount of noise from the ubiquitous screaming child). The reproduce treble crisply on most music types and films and give a strong level of bass. They are comfortable, sitting over the ear, and may be worn for hours at a time. They fold into their own case making them portable and come with attachments for different audio devices (including those annoying two pins that you need for a plane). Despite these headphones being extremely good, though expensive, they do have a small, long-term drawback.
After a couple of years the plastic on the headband started to deteriorate. Over the next 18 months the plastic of the headband became more brittle and fractured. The sound quality remained unaffected but the headphones were nigh on useless as they would no longer sit on the head as the headband was broken. This was not covered by warranty as it was over 2 years (EU limited warranty is 2 years and under). However, to Bose's credit, they did offer a trade in for the new model (the QC 15) for a discounted price.
In sum, truly excellent sound quality with particularly crisp treble but over the long term whilst the sound quality remained the headband disintegrated rendering them useless. I would still highly recommend these headphones.
I was admittedly excited when Bose released their new premium noise cancelling headphones, so I thought I'd give them a go.
As with all speakers, I tested them over five tracks of varying audio: classical, spoken word, pop, metal and electronic- these provide a good range of pitch types and dynamic changes. These headphones were exception, as I expected from Bose. The classical track gave the great bass and treble response I expected and I was delighted with the quality of the spoken word track. The other tracks were good as well.
Design and Noise Cancelling:
The first thing I noticed when I put these on was the extraordinary comfort they provided, it almost felt like there was nothing on my ears at all! So if you are looking for the most comfortable headphones on the market, look no further than here.
The second thing I noticed when I put these headphones on was the isolation from the outside noises. "Wow", I thought, "This is great noise cancelling". Then I realised that I had not even turned noise cancelling on! Then, I really did have a shock. The best sound came to my ears- silence, absolute silence. Then I played the music while only hearing the audio- this is much more pleasant than without noise cancelling.
Sadly, this technology comes with two downfalls:
1) This requires a lot of power to cancel out noise, so batteries are used. Bose say the total battery life (per AAA battery) is 35 hours, so this is long enough.
2) The price. At £115 this isn't too cheap either, but it is cheaper than some other similar headphones- so don't be too put off.
As far as headphones go yes these are not the most discreet headphones you will ever see or wear but very few of the smaller versions will give you the same sound quality.
These are probably one of the most expensive head phone sets on the market and in my opinion yes they are too expensive.
The sound quality is like i say, second to none and these head phones also have a noise cancelling ability which you basically turn on and you sit in complete silence with all noise from around you cancelled. I must admit I do not travel extensively via air which is really the only place I could see this being useful. Also the cups are quite big and if you did use this to relax and fall asleep you would soon wake up when you rolled onto your side and onto the cup.
All in all if you want great sound quality coming from your mp3 player and cost is really not an issue then go for these.
I had previously bought some of the QC1 headphones as a gift for a friend and been impressed and surprised at the quality and genuine noise reduction that they provided. When Bose later came out with the QuietComfort2 I bought them straight away.
The QC1's had a couple of little features to improve on, they looked kinda ugly and they had a box in the cable to switch them on and off (and contain the battery). With the QC2 they moved the contents of the box into the headphones themselves, so you just have much sleeker and nicer looking headphones and a cable.
Well, I say you get a cable, you get lots of cables with gold plated connectors and adaptors to ensure that whatever plane you're on or stereo you own you're able to access the entertainment (unless you're on some very old plane with a pneumatic entertainment system, haven't seen one of those for 20 years!)
Another great bonus of the QC2's is that they pack flat (well, as flat as they're going to go), the bits that go on your ear rotate and pack neatly into the provided carry case. I also found that my good old 2nd gen iPod (those weren't small!) would fit in the case too.
The headphones take a single AAA battery, I couldn't tell you exactly how many hours they last but I could easily cross the Atlantic a couple of times without needing to replace them. A flashing light by the on switch will tell you when replacement time is approaching, but it is kinda hard to see it when you're wearing them!
As with the QC1's the comfort is wonderful, nice padded headband and padded bits around your ears. The noise cancelling is also superb, you really need to try it on a plane to fully appreciate it. Even if you don't want to listen to music, you can pull the cable out of the headphones and just enjoy a bit of calm.
The only downside is if you fall asleep with them on, it's kind of hard to lie your head down with these things on your ears.