"Excellent Alternative for Bose Quiet Comfort 15 or 3"4.5 starson by CSpeightIQ180
Pros: + Great sound
+ Noise canceling is excellent
+ High quality construction
+ All you need accessories included
+ Case is very durable
Cons: - They make my ears sweat
- Headphones are not very convenient to transport because they are so big
Summary: My wife asked for the Bose Quiet Comfort 15 for her birthday. I'd never heard a pair of active noise cancelling headphones but we travel a lot and the drone of jet engines is a nice thing to escape so I was curious. When I received it, I opened i up and tested it out. This made me curious about them so I started researching for my own set. Why didn't I just order a pair of Bose QC15s for myself? They cost $300 They are overpriced, as Bose product typically are IMHO. Bose is good stuff... they just charge too much and the build quality of them is not what you'd expect for the price.
After researching for my own pair, it became apparent that Audio Technica is a brand that has a full spectrum of active noise cancelling products. They even have a pair that competes on price and (presumably) quality with the Bose QC15s (Audio Technica ATH-ANC9). A small step down in quality (but a very large step down in price) is this product, the Audio Technica ATH-ANC7b. This review is going to be a direct comparison to the QC15s but bear in mind, I paid $114.95 for my ATH-ANC7b. My wife's Bose QC15s cost $300. Even though the Bose cost 2.6 times more than my Audio Technicas, they are actually quite similar in quality except in the following areas:
Noise leakage: This is how well people around you can hear your music while you're listening to the headphones. The Audio Technicas actually leak quite a bit of sound and more than the Bose. However, since you'll wear these in situations where there is a lot of ambient noise, i don't think it will be an issue.
Sound Quality: I'd actually give the much cheaper Audio Technicas the edge here! I'm not an audiophile but they both sound sublime, as any decent around the ear headphones should. I liked the sound of the Audio Technicas a little better. An added bonus is that the Audio Technicas work without noise cancellation on - probably handy if you run out of battery. The Bose don't work without a battery. The sound isn't as good though...listenable but sounds a bit distant. I doubt anybody would run out of batteries, though. Both use 1 AAA battery and the carrying case could store dozens of them with each lasting 40 hours.
Noise cancelling: not quite as good as the Bose but the Bose are considered the best set of headphones for noise cancellation. The Audio Technicas do a great job... just not quite as good as the Bose. AT says these cancel 90%, Bose says their set cancels 95%. Seems hard to quantify such a thing but those numbers seem appropriate.
Comfort: Both are very comfortable but the Bose has a slight edge here too. That said, I have no problem at all wearing either for extended periods of time. Both are nice and light and don't make your ears sore after a long period of wearing them.
Case: Both have a very nice carry case that is rigid so the headphones will be protected. The Bose have a smooth plastic shell case and the Audio Technica uses a tough fabric material like you'd find on a camera case.
Bottom Line: As I said, I'm comparing these headphones to a set that cost 2.6 times as much as I paid. What you have in the Audio Technica ATH-ANC7b is a headset that is a solid 90% as good as the Bose QC 15, but costs 38% of the price of a pair of Bose QC15s. I see the price has gone up to $150 but they are still a steal, even at that price. Even if these had cost $200-250, I wouldn't have had any regrets because I don't feel like I'm sacrificing much of anything by going with these. Excellent product for an excellent value.
For the record, if these had been $300 like the Bose, I'd have given them 4.5 stars and the Bose QC15 5 stars. Since I paid a small fraction of that price for this set of ANC headphones, I give them a very enthusiastic 5 stars.
PS: I suggest check for best deal of the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7B at: www.headphonereviewsbuy.com/buy-audio-technica-ath-anc7b/
I hope my review is helpful, good luck!
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