"Not the product I expected, but good in its own way!"4.5 starson by Premium-User
Pros: + Noise Cancelation stops Neds on the bus, Stops the indoor water fall in the office...
+ Light-weight and very comfortable
+ Sound Quality is very good
+ Case is great for protecting them
+ Battery life is great
Cons: - Need batteries
- Price is high , but I think they are worth it
Summary: About six months ago I replaced my Bose TriPort headphones with a pair of QC15. The purchase did turn out to make me happy, though not the way I expected.
I chose again a pair Bose headphones, because my TriPort served me well since 2003. While they are still working, they lost their power and audio does not sound as nice as it once did. The decision I had to make was whether I wanted/needed the active noise cancelling. Spending a lot of time on trains and plains, I opted in for the QC15. Over the last six months I have been using the QC15 quite a lot, but never for simply listening to music.
Actively listening to music (not just having it in the background) turns out not so great with the QC15. There is a certain level of static noise when while they are turned on. It is somehow reminiscent of the sound of distant rain: It is not at all intrusive, but can easily overwhelm the quieter parts of music, and especially classical music. Maybe many people might not hear the background noise at all, because it is fairly quiet. But I prefer using a pair of Bose in-ears, which I find superior in a quiet environment.
For listening to audio as an added element of a movie or game, the QC15 are astonishing though: Once audio is element of immersion, there are no headphones I'd recommend more. The QC15 bring the outside noise down to a level that is not distracting anymore. To give a comparison: My fan heater is essentially inaudible even without any audio actually playing. My dishwasher I can hardly make out when listening to, say, a movie. The noise of a laundry machine is a little too much for the headphones when spinning, but they do an excellent job at reducing to noise substantially.
I am not sure how much I can recommend the QC15 for really noisy environments though. On trains and plains a lot of noise is kept out to be sure, but for me the level of discomfort through the noise is only lowered a little. As I am getting used the quieter environment, it seems my ears get sensitive enough for the engine of train or plain to become as unpleasant as it was to the naked ear.
The QC15 are light-weight and very comfortable to have on for extended periods of time. I tend to get headaches from using headphones, because of the force they exert onto my head. Not so with the QC15. They are really comfortable, much more comfortable than my old TriPort.
The status LED flashes when the batteries are below 50% or so. Bottom line, I rarely saw the LED not flash for long, and simply got used to it. The LED stopped being useful.
When the battery does run out, there is a fairly loud, repeated clicking noise. Not at all an impressive feature for headphones of this price range.
Sneezing whilst wearing the QC15 produces a funny clicking, which rather startled me. I momentarily interpreted the clicking that my ears popped for good. Just something to be wary of!
My advice to those that can live with a workaround: get the cheaper AE2 and a pair of earplugs. First put the earplugs in and then the AE2 on top. I did that with my TriPort headphones, the result is really good. This is also the superior solution in terms of crisp audio, because any noise cancelling is passive. But the QC15 are more the more comfortable solution, as there is no need for ear plugs and the QC15 sit better than the AE2.
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For anyone willing to pay premium I can definitely recommend the QC15 for the purposes mentioned above. Here the QC15 really shine.