To the test – Bose’s QC 15
by Keris Lahiff
Frequent travelers have long been in search of the Holy Grail of noise-suppressing technology to dull in-flight irritants – from babies crying to persistent coughing, all underpinned by the endless thrum of turbojets. Bose’s Quiet Comfort 15 Noise Cancelling Headphones prove a hardy addition to Bose’s already excellent range of headphones and could become a favourite traveling companion.
Has sound ever been clearer? Even well-known songs can be rediscovered, pitch and bass accentuated through the propriety audio reproduction technology encased within each earpiece. Speaking of bass, regardless of how loud you turn it, sound distortion is not a problem, as is often the case with many speakers on the market. Of course, the danger of this is ‘Wow, the sound is so amazing, I’ll just turn it up slightly’. Before you know it, you’re basically standing ear-to-speaker at a nightclub.
With noise-cancelling technology, not only is sound clear through the headphones, external noise is almost completely blocked out. Through advanced electronics, Bose have integrated microphones inside and outside the ear cups to sense and reduce the sounds around you. Even when you choose not to listen to music, the earphones deliver a level of white noise, which blocks external distractions. And, boy does it! The noise-cancelling sound makes external noises distorted as if underwater.
Unfortunately, for some, the feeling of being underwater won’t be restricted to sound. The pressure on your ears caused by the white noise is similar to the sensation while scuba diving – some users will be susceptible to motion sickness, nausea or dizziness. But for those that experience these side effects, this will be common among all noise-cancelling technology, not limited to Bose. Before purchasing, check the refund policy at your store, in case you experience these side effects.
Sure, the white noise can cause nausea and motion sickness but sacrifices should be made for sound clarity this great.
As for the design, the cushioned earpieces, with a patented acoustical seal, remain comfortable for hours. The bad news is due to the all-over-ear covering, you may become subject to sweaty ear syndrome. But this is a minor against the major leagues.
To the bad points – they aren’t collapsible which means portability isn’t as easy as your flimsy in-ear buds. Schlepping them around is made slightly easier with the Bose carrying case which comes with purchase but it can still be a bit of a handful.
Another complaint is the fact it is battery-operated. When the power dies, so do your fully sick beats. While one AAA battery offers a good 35-hour lifespan, for long haul flights backup batteries are essential.
For some it may seem absurd to spend almost as much money on the headphones as the MP3 player (as they retail for approximately $300), but for music-enthusiasts Bose’s QC15s are the perfect product for those who love good tunes. If you value your music, Bose’s QC15s are the perfect way to tribute your music library in style.
Published on: Friday, July 22, 2011