* Prices may differ from that shown
I think the first thing to mention about these headphones is the great storage case they come in. The case is sort of round/oval shaped which is actually the perfect shape to store headphones in. These sit in here very nice and snugly and I know they are protected really well in here. The case is made of fabric but has a hardish shell so they are also protected from any bumps or if you drop them too which is great. Inside the case there are two little pads which fit inside the cushions of the headphones and so also keep these really well protected too which is nice. This also helps with knowing how to put the headphones in the case properly which is good. The case has a zip 3/4 of the way around so its easy to get in and out of.
So, now on to the headphones themselves. My husband bought these for us to use as a family as they are quite expensive at nearly £250 a pair but then he does like his electronic toys so I let him get on with it, and besides, they are a really good pair of headphones. These headphones are specifically for use with either an iPod, iPad or iPhone and as we have all three of these, we have lots of different devices we can use these headphones with.
In my opinion, the headphones are really good looking and do not look as big and as awkward and heavy as some big headphones do. In fact, I would say they are fairly compact and are not heavy on my head and ears at all. I think this is because they have been designed to be really comfortable. There is a padded section at the top of the headband so when they sit on top of my head they are really nice and comfortable. Then each ear piece has a padded bit on so when you put them on your ears this padding really covers the ear and makes them extremely comfortable to wear. I can wear these for over an hour and I do not get that rub or pain like you can get with other headphones.
I think the padding also works to help cut out noise. WHen I just have these on and haven't even started the music yet the sounds around me are really muted out and I can hardly hear anything of the outside world with these on. Sometimes its nice to just put them on and cancel out the noise of my children screaming the background, ha ha, not really but what nice idea. Once the music is on the sound quality is great. It's really clear and crisp and I get no interference from the outside which is great. I don't have to turn these up really loudly either which is another great benefit as I don't want to damage my ear drums!
The headphones run on AAA batteries and according to the information you get about 35 hours of use which is a really long time when you only listen to them an hour or less each day. The headphones come with two audio cables, one with mic/remote for iPhone/iPod control and hands-free iPhone calling.
I really like these headphones and would recommend them if you are looking for some good sound quality and a nice, comfortable look.
Having had the QC2 noise cancelling headphones, the only gripe I had with them was they were too big and cumbersome for everyday use. They are on the large side and not suitable for portable use.
So, these should do the trick then. They're a much more portable version of Bose's noise cancelling headphones, they're actually an on ear design like the OE2i model. Looks wise, they're fantastic. Slimming them down means that the AAA battery as in the QC2 doesn't fit, so Bose made their own rechargeable Lithium Ion battery. It comes with a charger too, which is handy, its rather small so can be tossed into your bag for charging at work or wherever you're travelling. Battery life is excellent, I can go over a week of heavy use between charges. You must remember, unlike other brands noise cancelling headphones, you must have the noise cancelling switched on to hear your music at all (other, cheaper ones tend to work with noise cancelling disengaged as well, although the sound quality suffers).
The sound quality is the usual Bose fare; it's excellent, if a little bassy, although not so bassy that it dominates too much, like Beats. The mids and highs are still very audible; I'd put the QC3s on a par with the Bowers & Wilkins P5s in that respect. My little headphone test was successful here; I could hear Robert Plant banging and shaking the tambourine in Whole Lotta Love (poor quality headphones don't show this).
The major selling point of these is noise cancellation on the go. The QC2 was brilliant for noise cancelling, but as I mentioned, too big to be a portable pair of headphones you could use when commuting. These solve the size problem, and despite the on ear design, which in theory should let in more outside noise, and leak your music out, the noise cancelling is superb, although it must be noted not quite as good as the around ear QC2s, but due to the design this should be expected. There is a very small amount of sound leakage; when coming in from work, my girlfriend said she could very faintly hear what I was listening to; thankfully it was nothing embarrassing!
All in all then, they're a great effort from Bose to bring their legendary noise cancelling technology to portable headphones. On the whole it's a success, although the noise cancelling isn't quite as good as the bigger model, this is offset by how portable they are. The only sticking point is the price, the RRP is £350, £50 more than the QC2 model.
These headphones are BRILLIANT!!! i firstly saw these headphones when looking in the Bose store, when i saw they cancel out all noise i thought rubbish, impossible to cancel out all sound! Oh how wrong was I.
firstly dont let the cost of them put you off, they retail at around £299, which is what i paid for them from the Bose.co.uk website, however i did then pay £10 for delivery making the total £309. either way still very expensive but very worth it, especially if you listen to music whilst in loud environments such as on the train or if you want to listen to something in the living room whilst someone else is watching TV, these are perfect! the main reason you are paying so much is due to the noise cancelling function, i dont think there is anything you would be able to hear whilst your music is playing however quiet or loud you want to play it. They cushion your ears very well and are so comfortable to wear, you forget you have them on! they are well padded and fit perfectly around the ears, which i guess is what makes these headphones so effective to cancelling out the noise, they leave no gaps for sound to get in. they are extremley comfy soft pillows for your eyes with the added bonus of music!!
The sound quality of these headphones is also truely brilliant which after paying £300 is what you would expect but i feel these still exceed expectations. You can really feel and hear the bass and every instrument within the song. it also gives a great effect of surround sound instead of just music pumping into your eyes.
Overall a great set of headphones, stylish, comfortable and does what it says - Cancels out sound around you.
I travel alot and therefore decided to treat myself to a pair of noise cancelling headphones, i have to say I AM impressed with these, I bought them at the airport where i saved a bit on the recommended price and decided I had better charge them quickly before the flight, so we found somewhere to sit and i charged them for approx 2 hours. They lasted happily the 7 hour flight to new york. They are beautifully made and I very much like the travel case, it feels solid and you could stuff it in your bag without risking damage to the headphones. The cable is very thin, i was concerned this would break, but so far so good, its flexible and not brittle.
The earphones themselves are excellent, maybe they push on your ears a bit after a very long flight but not enough that you would need to remove them. To be able to drown out most noise, especially the
aircraft engine drone is a excellent reason to buy them. It truly did change my travelling experience.
the battery life is excellent, the kit i got came with a world adapter kit for the plug, which is very useful and also a spare battery worth about £40. i havent needed it yet as the original battery is super.
Also, two people actually stopped and asked me about them!
To start with, I would like to point out that these headphones are absolutely brilliant.
Firstly, sound quality - These headphones are the only headphones I have ever owned that sound like I am sitting in the middle of a live concert. The treble is perfect and the bass is so powerful that I often think I have my speakers on in my room and am not wearing a pair of these!
Secondly, noise-cancelling (What you are supposedly paying so much money for). They do as they say on the tin, they cancel external noise out and when music is playing, you would find it extremely hard to find a noise that you could hear (even aeroplane engines) however, with music off, they really are not that effective. However, when you switch these on, the sound experience that you receive makes you forget all about this small problem.
Thirdly, Comfort - These headphones are a joy to wear, as they have a think layer of comfortable material on both earpieces. The 'on-ear' design is excellent.
After owning a pair of these, I would NEVER EVER even look at another headphone brand. Nothing compares to Bose, or even comes close.
At not less than £300 that too with such high degree of low high frequency response, it is just ruthless exploitation of brand reputation and popular trust. Simply coercion, but please just have the patience of going through the review. Yes these people can afford to do that, the reason is once you have a feel of it you really won't rue your wallet getting thin. I would not be at all surprised if somebody come and says that why Bose QuietComfort 3 and not Sennheiser, they are tinier and still cheaper even their noise-canceling technology is not bad. That is the crux of Bose's pride and arrogance. In fact these guys has excellent customer feedback network and they have assimilated the massage and has come out with Bose QuietComfort 3 to establish that they can do it even better and proved beyond doubt that people who look for quality are prepared to pay the price. Bose has gone a step further by coming up with an add-on adapter (around £20) just to ensure that people can use it like a hifi stereo headset for multimedia cell phones (Nokia N91 to N97, while using with N97 just a bit of thinking is required and why not use it those Palm Treos).
If you want to compare QC 2 and the QC 3 both weares that intelligent looking fold-flat design, both come out with those carrying cases as extra protection just that later one is wee bit smaller than its predecessor with the now famous two-pronged adapter for air travel. Infact they have not even forgotten to provide you that extra bit cord for obvious reasons.
It must be underlined that QuietComfort 3 is definitely smaller and lighter than the QC 2. The designing has got a lot of thinking in it since the company had taken care to make it point so that it is supra-aural meaning on-ear and not going over the ear (check out with QC 2, probably this all due to their feedback network) which makes it superbly comfortable. The foam makes it sit snugly giving you cushy and cozy feeling.
The best part of this aspect is the design itself to say the least since those memory foams, as soft as pastries, has been very cleverly used shutting the surrounding noise and kicks the possibility of sound leaking out to a large extent. It should be mentioned that the noise-canceling circuitry has been tucked inside the headphone and not attached within the cord which to my mind is a dumb idea. Cute things should be cute. But then you cannot have it all, may be in summer and especially in tropical countries it is a bit of a botheration, just that much.
MP3 encoded at 128kbps gives excellent quality but a bit cloggy on the high frequencies otherwise if one considers the whole audio spectrum the performance must be rated at 9 out of 10, that's my personal rating.
A big surprise compared to the QuietComfort 2 is the lithium-ion battery of the QC 3, grab it out of the headphone tuck it right into a compact travel charger fitting into most sockets available, no embarrassing and messy ware connections.
Although it claims a battery life of 20 hours but my experience is 14 hours atmost, while on travel back-ups are there at a price but that ease of putting in a standard AAA cell that was possible in QuietComfort 2 is done away with although additional chargers are available which complies with different voltage requirements.
MY MOST ANNOYING FACTOR:
If you want hear music with this gear has to have itself charged. The juice goes and the music dies. Damn annoying. But I will always be with it.
I think Bose has done the pricing in such a way that it has become an advantage rather than a disadvantage.
(This review was first published at ciao.co.uk)
I already reviewed the QC1 and QC2 headphones, yes I liked them so much that I also bought the QC3 as well!
I really liked my QC2's, the comfort on your ears was superb. When the QC3's came out, the big difference seemed to be that they were actually smaller (and shinier).
How they've managed to achieve the reduction in size is by making them so they don't surround your ear anymore, they sit on the ear instead, the headphones contain some kind of 'memory foam' that means they sit comfortably on the ear. These aren't the kind of headphones to form some kind of vacuum seal around your ear (that would be horrible), the sound quality is not affected, it's still as good as the previous models.
The new design is still comfortable, my ears don't get quite so warm after wearing them for a few hours. I find that my ears can get kind of tired though, from having the pads resting directly onto them. This doesn't mean I'm rushing back for the QC2 pair though, it's not such a problem.
The reduced size has allowed Bose to make the case a tiny bit smaller, but only a tiny bit. In amongst the cables and connectors something else has snuck into the case, a charger. Previously you needed an AAA battery for the QC2, but now it comes with a rechargable battery. Battery life is longer (20 hours is the claim), but if you happen to be crossing an ocean in the middle of a flight you're going to have a hard time recharging it in good time. It was handy just to be able to pop in a new AAA battery, now I have to be sure to charge it before I go away. Bose do now include a second battery I understand, so it is at least possible to have a spare, initially they weren't shipped with this.
Sound quality is great again, I don't just use these when travelling, they're normally attached to my laptop when I'm listening to music or watching movies. Being smaller than the previous models I think these are more likely for everyday use, but I still prefer earphones for that.
All in all they are my preferred headphones, I love the smaller size but have to give my ears a little break from time to time. Only having the one battery is the biggest annoyance for me, I'm glad that they are now sold with two.