Some people dare to criticize the sound quality of the Bose QuietComfort 15 headphones , but it is an unfair criticism. It is true that active noise cancellation technologies are not perfect. It is not a magic bullet and some frequencies are attenuated during the removal of external noise. That is why it is not fair to compare the quality of noise canceling headphones with that of traditional headphones.
It is about checking if they sound good, and especially if they fulfill their mission when it comes to isolating the user. In this field, these Bose headphones far outperform models offered by other manufacturers, such as Sennheiser or Creative. That is why it can be safely said that they are currently the best noise canceling headphones on the market . And to achieve this, the manufacturer has made a great effort to improve on previous models such as the QuietComfort 2 or the QuietComfort 3.
Perhaps the best decision is the incorporation of a second microphone in the noise cancellation circuitry . The QuietComfort 15 has a microphone inside and another outside the ear cup, so that the measurement of ambient noise is much more precise and, consequently, the fastest and most accurate response. And this has an added advantage: the sound suffers less deterioration .
In addition, Bose has changed the materials of the pads , so that the active noise cancellation is joined by the isolation provided by the headphones themselves. There is a significant improvement in both the high and low frequencies. Ambient noise is effectively eliminated, and there is also that slight high frequency sound that seems to be the hallmark of many active noise canceling headphones.
Bose plays all its products with two tricks. The first, the sound quality and electronics, and the second, the design. They are not too big, open headphones, with TriPort technology , that surround your ear, and that offer active noise cancellation. It is not exactly a cheap product, since it has a recommended price of 350 euros, but if we take into account the efficiency with which they work and the comfort they offer, it is not an excessive investment either.
The design is a bit classic , with slightly oval cups to better adapt to the shape of the ear, with two solid but very light ear cushions , and a headband that does not press the headphones excessively against the ears. In fact, they can be worn comfortably even with glasses. This helps to wear them for long periods without appreciable fatigue. As they are active, they require electrical power for their operation, and this comes from a small AAA-type battery . They are not rechargeable like other models, but it is true that you can use a normal, alkaline or rechargeable battery without problems.
The battery is inserted into the right cup , where there is also the power button for the headphones . When they are off, they only provide passive isolation. With them turned on you get noise cancellation, even when not connected to a music device, and music when plugged in. To transport them more comfortably, they come with a flat cover , and the cups turn on themselves so that they are in the same plane as the headband, and can be inserted into the case with the cable and other devices without difficulty.
Connectivity and compatibility
As standard, they are equipped with two cables and an adapter for use with the audio system of an airliner. The first one is a normal cable so that it can be plugged into any device. They can be used when traveling, but also at home, on the street or in noisy environments such as an office. This first cable has a small volume control , and it is especially recommended for use inside an airplane. By the way, using that knob has limiting effects on the sound, but not on noise cancellation.
There is a second cable , specifically designed to work with Apple products . It also has a small volume level knob on the connector that is directly plugged into the cup. This second cable is characterized by incorporating a discreet remote control in the middle of the cable with three buttons that allow the volume to be raised and lowered, as well as answering and hanging up phone calls. This cable is compatible with iPod Nano 4th generation, iPod Classic , iPod Touch 2nd generation and later, iPod Shuffle 3rd generation and later, iPhone 3GS , iPhone 4 , with alliPad and with MacBook and MacBook Pro computers , as long as they are after the year 2009. Of course, the end-of-hook button only works when the headphones are connected to a phone. The knob also allows you to change songs.
These two cables can go in the flat sleeve along with the headphones. Finally, the set includes a specific adapter to connect to the aircraft entertainment system with its special plugs.
If you do a test comparing it with other equivalents on the market, you realize that it is the most effective active noise canceling headset . And this applies both to continuous noises such as the hum of aircraft engines, or the hum inside the cabin of a car or bus, as well as episodic and random noises such as traffic passing through a busy street. Many users have found that it is slightly less effective at canceling somewhat higher frequencies, especially some female voices, but it reduces annoying conversations in an office or public space to a barely perceptible noise.
The sound is excellent and deserves to get into hi-fi definition , even if it falls short of good studio headphones. The comparison is not relevant, as we pointed out before. They behave well with all types of sound sources and with all kinds of musical styles, and also with the soundtrack of the movies that they put on planes and buses. The sound is balanced , although the noise cancellation sometimes causes the bass to unravel slightly, nothing that cannot be solved by adjusting the equalizer of the equipment that is used as a source.
As traveling headphones or for users who need peace of mind in noisy environments , they are an essential investment that, thanks to their comfort, can be worn for many hours without fatigue, and which will provide countless hours of enjoyment. They are not recommended for use plugged into a high-priced hi-fi system, because that is not their mission.
|Signal to noise ratio||120 - 20,000 Hz|
|Sensitivity||100 - 112 dB|
|Connectors||1 general cable|
1 specific cable for Apple
1 airplane adapter
|Feeding||1 AAA battery|
|Dimensions and weight||191 x 152 x 38 mm|
|Target price||350 euros|