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You see these things advertised on the pages of in flight magazines so much that you'd assume something was wrong if you didn't see it. That level of advertising always makes me suspicious of how good something can possibly be, especially when you never used to see anybody wearing these on a flight.
Well I eventually bought some of these for someone as a gift many years ago and they allowed me to try them out. When switched on you get a strange sort of hissing noise through them, but with some music coming through them the quality is superb.
But where these things really come into their own is when you are flying. They do a great job of cutting out all that engine noise so that you don't have to deafen yourself with extemely loud music through your headphones. They really do make a huge difference.
Be aware, great though these QuietComfort headphones are, they've been superceded by the QuietComfort 2 and QuietComfort 3. The QC2 and QC3 models did away with the annoying little on/off box attached to the cable and are much smaller, particularly in the case of the QC3.
I had been in the market for a pair of headphones for a long time as in the past I have tried all sorts without success. Basically I love listening to my MP3 player but I really dont get on with ear buds - they fall out of my ear constantly and if I wear them for any length of time they really hurt my ears. I worked out that this was probably due to the constant pushing of the buds into my ears.
I tried some standard open backed on ear headphones but these I found let too much sound in and as a result I would listen to my music at too high a level.
In the end I decided that I should invest in some noise cancelling headphones which would give me the best of both worlds.
I demo'd the Bose Quiet Comfort 3 and have to say that I decided to purchase some as I found them quite amazing.
Firstly they look really cool. They sit on your ear and have a stunning metal outer and a lovely padded headband. The inside of the cans is a luxurious leather - you could wear these phones all day without suffering any discomfort.
Build quality is good, with adjustable headband and the cans fold inwards for storage, portability.
They come with two lengths of wire, and also the wire only plugs into the left side which means you feel quite free of the wire when on the move.
They run off a rechargeable battery , which once charged for around 3 hours will last for 20 hours of playback. The charger and battery are included.
You also get an airline adapter and a sturdy plastic zip case which has room for a thin MP3 player inside.
So anyway, what about the sound? Bose are renowned for preferring a good bass response and these don't disappoint. You will hear sounds in your music that you haven't noticed before. This is largely down to the Noise cancelling properties of the headphone. I wear these on public transport and they block 80% of the outside sound, in the office you cant here air conditioning units, conversations or phones ringing. And now the best bit - you can listen to your music at much lower volumes as a consequence meaning that your ears stay healthy! This is really important to me and probably the main reason for me buying them.
Overall I would recommend provided you have the spare cash, even better try and get a factory renewed set at a Bose outlet store and save on the price.
The pictured Headphones are the original Quietcomfort.
These have been replaced by the Quitecomfort 2 and the range has been futher expanded with the Quitecomfort 3. Together with the Triport range these are the offerings from Bose.
I do not own any of these but have demod them extensiveley over the last few years. I earn enough to be able to afford what I want and even £200 for a pair of headphones could be accomodated.
The situation is that most people will walk into a Bose store or outlet with only minimal research and rearely if ever will take in a quality comparsion headphone.
If you are used to listening to stock earbuds or Panasonic/ Sony headphones up to the £50 mark then the Bose will sound good.
They do not work at all when the battery runs out.
Build quality is poor and only 12 month waranty.
Sound is average, for half the money you can find headphones that offer better imaging, dynamics, separation. They have an over warm bloated presentation and when driven hard tend to get confused and even more muddy. On several occasions I have demod faulty units which have been on display.
If you want these, fine, go ahead, enjoy, but unless you compare them with the real deal you will never know.
My comparisons have been with Grado SR60, Sennheiser HD280 pro, Sennheiser HD202, Sennheiser PXC 300, all of which offer a musical sound for much less money. All of these can be found on line for less than £90
Who would pay that sort of price for headphones?, was what I thought to myself every time I visited the Bose shop near my home. I only really went into the shop so I could tut at the prices! Little did I know that one day I would walk out with a set of the crazy priced headphones!
I have owned a pair of Bose Quiet Comfort 2 headphones now for over a year and I have to say that even at £215 they are one of the my best buys. I bought the headphones in a Bose factory outlet in Belfast where all the features were demonstrated to me by the well informed sales assistant. I was amazed at how they could cancel the sound simulation of an aeroplane and how clear the music was.
I use the headphones daily to listen to music and watch DVDs. The quality of the sound whilst watching DVDs is amazing. I actually think it is better than being in the cinema!
The best feature has to be the acoustic noise cancelling capability! Recently I flew from Belfast to Los Angeles and used the headphones on the plane to watch the on flight movie and listen to my own music. I have never had a more enjoyable flight in my life. As soon as I put on the headphones to watch the movie I was in a different world. The constant droan of the plane's engines was gone and I could hear in pristene detail the music and sounds of the movie.
The headphones are extermely comfortable and can be worn for hours and still feel comfortable. The headphones also come with a handy case and all necessary appliances such as an aeroplane connection.
The only annoying thing about my bose headphones is that they require one AAA battery to operate. Without this battery the headphones will not play music and the acoustic noise cancelling does not function. This is a nuisance as I always seem to need new batteries which are quite expensive. When the battery if running low the headphones indicate this by a red flashing light. A good battery such as duracell or energiser last s for around 40 hours. However as I use the headphones so much I must have gone through around 30 batteries!
9 months after I purchased the headphones I noticed that the plastic on the headband was starting to break off. I was alarmed by this as I never expected this to happen to a poduct that i had paid £215 for! I took the headphones back to the store where I had purchased them and talked to the staff. Thankfully I was told that the headphones came with a one year guarantee and that it was no problem to have them sent off to be repaired. I was told that this usually took 2 weeks.
5 days later I got a package delivered to my home and much to my delight not only was it from Bose but it was a brand new set of headphones and an apology for any inconvenience !