Bose is unquestionably a famous company when it comes to audio products and while there are some worthy competitors in this space at the moment, not all people realize that Bose invented a few technologies as well. One of the key technologies that was built in house was noise cancellation for their headphone products. But that did not discourage other companies from rolling out noise cancellation technologies of their own and the efforts paid off as these products worked well and were aggressively priced. The Bose QuietComfort 15 is Bose’s answer to all of this and it does a commendable job in taking its prized technology to the next level.
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Design and Comfort
Bose’s best products usually look sleek and professional but the QuietComfort 15 ends up blending in with the rest of the crowd sporting common features that you would find in a high-end pair of headphones like a cushioned black top, black earcups and silver sides with the Bose logo. The earcups can swivel and fold to make it easy to pack up for travel. If you remembered the QuietComfort 2 which was released more than 8 years ago, the Bose QuietComfort 15 doesn’t look much different. You also get a travel case as part of the package and it looks quite nice.
But as generic as the QuietComfort 15 looks, the most important aspect is what this product does extremely well – comfort. Critics praised the Bose QuietComfort 15 for being one of the most comfortable pairs of headphones of 2009 and even today it still lives up to its name. It isn’t just the cushioning either because the headphones feel extremely light. There is a tiny bit of weight giving you that reminder that you are wearing headphones but it is just because of the AAA battery that is required to power the headphones. On a hot summer day though, you might find that the tight seal of the earcups slightly uncomfortable after a period of time as the heat and moisture on your ears get trapped so you may have to remove them periodically. Listening to your music in an air conditioned environment is most ideal because the noise cancellation is good enough to the point that you won’t notice the noise made by the air conditioner.
Bose’s QuietComfort branding couldn’t be more obvious – it hopes to be very comfortable and quiet referring to its noise cancelling technology. The best thing about the QuietComfort 15 is that it really improves this critical feature. It isn’t exactly clear how Bose does it but there is a microphone found both inside and outside of the earcup. The extra comfort due to the advanced padding could be a contributing factor as well. But what you end up with is an impressive reduction of noise. You can put these headphones on while riding an airplane or train and you’ll hardly notice the ambient noise.
When unboxed, you will also notice that there are no wires attached to the Bose QuietComfort 15 as the cable can be detached. In fact, there are two audio cables included in the package. One audio cable is generic while the other one can specifically be used for Apple devices like the iPod, iPhone and iPad. It has a small set of buttons for remotely controlling the mobile device along with an inline mic of its own.
The noise cancelling technology comes out strong with the QuietComfort 15 but at the expense of a lack of passive mode. This means that when the batteries die out, you won’t be able to listen to anything until you replace the batteries. Fortunately, the Bose QuietComfort 15 is only powered by a single AAA battery and it can deliver around 35 hours of continuous use. Getting a rechargeable battery like the Eneloop AAA battery is recommended and it could extend the battery life too.
The QuietComfort 15 is priced like a pair of headphones for audiophiles and while this Bose pair doesn’t target the same audience, the improvements made to the sound quality are very impressive. You won’t get that same flat response that standard pairs of headphones are capable of doing but you get far better bass response to enable more genres of music to sound very high-end. Just don’t crank up the volume too high as you will notice distortion.
There is a good thing about buying a high-end product like the Bose QuietComfort 15 late and that it is the fact that you can purchase this pair for $270 or possibly even less. Most reviewers mainly knocked on the high price back in 2009 so the QuietComfort 15 the price reduction can be just enough to buy a separate rechargeable AAA battery. With that combo, the Bose QuietComfort 15 is practically unbeatable as its noise cancelling technology is second to none.