Bose Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headset Noise Canceling Headphones

Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headset

Noise cancelling headphones

User Reviews (45)

Showing 1-10 of 45  
BRIAN0882   Audio Enthusiast [May 17, 2010]

GOT IT FREE BRAND NEW!!!! Cant beat that, regardless of the amount of noise it actually reduces!!!!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
hifi-kampy   AudioPhile [Sep 10, 2009]

the good:
The headphones are excellent when travelling in airplanes or being in noisy environment. You can have a good sleep or watch a movie without the need to cranc up the volume to a level of atomic bomb explosions.

the bad:
Unfortunately I am effected by the residual high frequency noise of the noise cancellation circuit. It is above usual hearing threshold, but I notice it quite clearly. (I recon it is the remaining switching noise of a simple class-D amplifier. ... that is sad for that price!) After 10 min having the headphones on, my ears feel "numb". The only way around a numb feeling it is to wear light earplugs underneath the headphones which damp the higher frequencies. (This all dampens the excitement about this new headphones a bit too.)

short summary:
A good buy if you just use them for airplane travel.
A bad buy if you want just a good set of headphones. Neither sound quality, nor the hiss are exiting. After the purchase of the Bose, I am sure that I will get my old pair of Senheiser repaired.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
Richard Madison   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 26, 2009]

Bose over the ear Noise Cancelling Earphone have wonderful noise cancelling ability but the flawed design of the headband can lead to cracks and breakage. This is not uncommon with Bose earphones. My phones are a couuple of years old and have broken.

Seems to be a design error. Two screws go through the end of the headband. The plastic end pieces can crack along the screw channels which, I believe. weaken the end of the headband. If one or both end pieces come apart, the phones cannot be used until repaired.

This is likely to happen after the warranty is ended so warranty repair is no help.

Bose will not repair an out of warranty headband but will offer a new headband at $100.

This seems a little selfish since the cause appears to be design based and the company should stand behind its product.

My headset is broken on one side and has visible cracks on the other side.

I've decided to jump off the Bose ship and look elsewhere for my new headset.

Richard M

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
Derf Esor   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 22, 2008]
Strength:

NONE

Weakness:

Too much money for the sound quality provided which is typical of all Bose products; and the sound cancellation feature is all but useless.

Having heard all the hoopla about these headphones I thought I would compare them with my Sennheiser HD535's. The store had a display with a simulated jet engine noise emitter that was suppose to "prove" that these headphones would cancel about 93% of the outside noise...no way, if they were lucky maybe 20%! I could still hear the jet noise as well as people standing around talking and walking about. I then asked the sales person if I could hear the headphones plugged into a CD player and run a cd by Dire Straits On Every Street. As the music was being played again I could hear people walking and talking fairly clearly at low volumns but pretty much gone at higher volumns. I thought the sound quality of the Bose were just average, a little brassy for my taste. Then I tried my old HD535's for comparison and found that these sounded FAR better then the Bose and even though the HD535's are not noise cancellation they did almost the same thing-could still hear people talking and walking around at low volumn and nothing at high volumn.

Save your money and use the money to buy the new Sennheiser 555...but try several other headphones because just like speakers they are personal choice depending on your ears.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Rudy   AudioPhile [Feb 11, 2008]
Strength:

Solid construction (the currently available units, not the first series). Comfortable to carry and wear. Good noise canceling capabilities. Good sound and response even in lab tests.

Weakness:

A little bit pricey respect to similar products, even though this unit outperforms other brands. Lack of a volume control (like it's predecessor) although it comes with an attenuator for loud plane connections, but has only 2 positions (High - Low).

As a heavy traveler, several years ago, I embarked myself in the research for a good pair of noise canceling headphones. To make a long story short, I bought one after the other one, just to end selling them on eBay. I tried the Aiwa approach, the Sennheiser, also a very rare JVC ones I found on line, even the Etymotic Research ones, which achieves the noise canceling by using the simple technology of the earplugs you normally find in noisy factories. I decided about the Bose QC2 just because they were the next product in my research list. For all the reviews I saw and for what other audiophiles told me, this seemed to be the worse purchase ever. I was plain wrong. From all the headsets I tried (and retried), the QC2 gave me the best performance.

I read several reviews here. Most of them complain about the noise canceling being weak. First of all, let me explain, Bose created this headsets to cancel the airplane rumbling noise, not all kind of outside noise. I am afraid the only thing that cancels outside noise 100% is an Anechoic Chamber (at a cost of more than $1million). If a reviewer here says that this or that brand cancels the external noise completely, he is plain lying. Not even a superb industrial earplug will cancel the outside noise 100%. Of course this Bose won't do it anyway, but it is a very good approach.

Sound-wise, the headset is not even close to a $300 regular headset. For $300, you will get fantastic performance from a regular headset, but guys, this is a Noise Canceling unit. You pay the price for the entire package, not for only sound quality. Even though, I put the unit to test. You will be surprise at the frequency range response (way over 20-20K) with a minimum distortion (less than 0.8% in my measures, within that frequency range). Most likely the distortion comes from the audio unit this headset is plugged to. I normally use it with an iPod and the response is 90 over 100. Most flaws in the sound, according to my tests, comes from poorly encrypted MP3 files (like using less than 44.1 Khz sample rate, what is very common from cheap guys trying to save disk space).

As I was not graced with a regular pair of ear pavilions, most likely I will say they are oversize, the QC2 fits perfect for me, because I can cover my ears completely. That way I don't have any pressure on the cartilage. It is very comfortable even after 8 hours of continuous use (I normally fly very long segments). The wire is long enough for you to have your MP3 player or similar in the seat pocket in front of you, letting you to move around comfortably. Also, Bose introduced the one-side wire, which makes this unit more comfortable than it's predecessor (which has a Y-shaped wire). Battery life is very good as well. I normally use this unit several times a week (flying or not) and the battery lasts in between 3 to 5 months, depending on the use. It runs with only one regular AAA battery, what it makes it even more efficient than other brands I used who needed at least 2 of those batteries (with the associated weight addition to the unit).

I used to have the first series of the QC2 (the ones in silver-champagne color). Those units had a flaw. The plastic on the head band was weak up to the point that after 2 or 3 months of use, it will break into pieces. I had no problem to get the unit replaced from Bose, first with another silver-champagne unit (the only thing available at that moment), which broke as well, and then with the plain-silver unit, which I'm still using as of today. This flaw has been corrected in this version (currently on the market). You can literally twist the head band and it will stay pristine (I tried, though, but I suggest you not to).

Good presentation with a very nice carrying case. The headset folds flat so the carrying case is flat enough to squeeze, anywhere, in laptop case or backpack.

In general a 'good buy' product. Recommendable. I know, is a little bit pricey, but, come on, for a Bose product, it's worth the price.

Customer Service

As usual with Bose, a simple call to the 1-800 number is all you need to fix any problem. As I mentioned in my review, I had problems with the head band falling apart in the old version for the QC2 units and I got the replaced at no charge and no question asked.

Similar Products Used: Aiwa HP-CN5, Sony MDRNC6, Panasonic , Sennheiser PXC250, JVC HA-NC80, Etymotic ER6.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
davidmaxon   AudioPhile [Jan 11, 2008]
Strength:

Very Comfortable, noise reduction works well in loud environments (not 100% of course)

Weakness:

Too expensive, Poor Sound Quality (For Price), Poor Durability

The Bose noise canceling headphones are great on their own. The noise reduction feature is great while traveling (Aside from the "White Noise") . The headphones are VERY comfortable and fit very well. When compared to others they are less great. The big downfall of these headphones is the price. For $100 these would be great but there are a few reasons I consider the $300 price tag a rip-off. For one the audio quality is not audiophile quality as you would expect from a $300 pair of headphones. The bass is good (for headphones) but the highs are terrible. I am a fan of many types of music but cannot stand to listed to Beethoven or many other classical artists on these due to poor sound quality. Piano and violin just sound dull. The second big downfall is the build quality. After using these headphones for about 3 months one of the plastic sides broke (From stretching headphones over your head, never happened with any other pair before). Then a month later the other side broke. They are still usable and adjustable but I must keep tape, yes tape, on them to keep the earpieces from falling off the base. Overall, your money would be better spent elsewhere in my opinion.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
David Maxon   AudioPhile [Jan 10, 2008]
Strength:

Very Comfortable

Weakness:

Not built well, break easily. Poor sound quality. Price FAR to high.

The Bose noise canceling headphones are great on their own. The noise reduction feature is great (Aside from the "White Noise") while traveling. The headphones are VERY comfortable and fit very well. When compared to others they are less great. The big downfall of these headphones is the price. For $100 these would be great but there are a few reasons I consider the $300 price tag a rip-off. For one the audio quality is not audiophile quality as you would expect from a $300 pair of headphones. The bass is good (for headphones) but the highs are terrible. I am a fan of many types of music but cannot stand to listed to Beethoven or many other classical artists on these due to poor sound quality. Piano and violin just sound dull. The big second downfall is the build quality. After using these headphones for about 3 months one of the plastic sides broke (From stretching headphones over your head, never happened with any other pair before). Then a month later the other side broke. They are still usable and adjustable but I must keep tape, yes tape, on them to keep the earpieces from falling off the base. Overall, your money would be better spent elsewhere in my opinion.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
Carol   Casual Listener [Apr 10, 2007]
Strength:

Background airplane noise is gone. The units are comfortable. Battery life is exceptional. The carrying case is very protective.

I bought 2 sets of the QC2 for my husband and me. The purpose was for a long trip from the east coast of the US to Australia including a 13 hour flight over the Pacific. The noise reduction was phenomenal and the audio quality when plugged into the airplane system was excellent. The headphones were very comfortable for the entire flight. None of the negative comments I had read happened to either of us. One battery lasted for the entire trip out (approximately 26 flying hours) and back (approximately 21 flying hours). We look forward to using them on every flight we take in the future.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Bela Szabados   Casual Listener [Jul 17, 2006]

I was hoping for total silence and found that in Noise cancelling mode it cuts noise by about 50%. That is not what I was hoping for. I have no opinion on the sound quality given that I bought it for only the reason of cutting off outside noise. I dfo not recommend it and I might send this one back before the 30 day quaranty expires...

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Jeff48   AudioPhile [Jul 17, 2006]
Strength:

Noise cancellation is better than any of the 5 competitors tested.
Light weight
comfortable
long battery life on a single AAA battery (about 30-40) hours
nice carrying case

Weakness:

Cost
too much bass boost

I was first introduced to these headphones during a layover in Denver. I thought that they were amazing but who needed to spend $300.00 on something like that. I was told I'd have 30 days to check them out and if I didn't like them I could return them or if I wanted the new QC3 units, I could trade up for full value. I passed.
By the time I got into St. Louis I was already second guessing my decision and wished I had succumbed to the impulse buy. I set up the laptop and went to Bose.com where I discovered that there was a Bose store in St. Louis at the galleria. After a good night's sleep I was off to the galleria where I tried 4 other brands of noise cancelling headsets. I purchased the Bose content knowing I could return them if they were less than satisfactory. While at the store I realized I wanted the available cell phone acessories ($39.00). I actually love the headphones at work and when the top in down on my car, the sound of the music is outstanding and the noise cancellation is first rate. I was having trouble however with the cell phone accessory and started thinking about dumping the whole shebang. The I discovered another brand of headphone that claims noise cancellation and excellent cell phone ability when driving in a convertible. I called to ask if they offered a 30 day money back trial period and they did. I recieved the other brand in less than a week. In less than 48 hours they were on the way back to the OEM for refund. They had less noise cancelling ability and the sound quality for music was noticeably less accurate. In addition, the microphone had problems of its own and was less understandable to people I spoke with than were the Bose's. The one thing I did like was that they included a wind screen for the microphone, something Bose forgot. Once I rigged up a windscreen for the Bose's mic, I had no further complaints.

All in all $300 skins is a bunch of money, but if you want noise cancellation and good quality (not excellent or exceptional just good) music reproduction AND cellular communication in a convertible....you get what you pay for

Customer Service

Excellent so far

Similar Products Used: 5 ANR competitors ranging in price fro $160 - $300.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Showing 1-10 of 45  

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