Pros 1) Excellent sound quality - No brand can come anywhere close to Bose in sound quality. 2) Good noise canceling - The noise canceling works very well for low frequencies. I use my QC2 during my daily commute on the Metra train in Chicago. The headphones
Cons 1) Do NOT expect the noise cancelling to put you in a vacuum. It works very well, but you won't be transported to your own private world. You will still hear some noise, although it is vastly reduced. 2) The price tag on the QC2 is a bit too high. I thin
Pros Extended highs and natural bass extension. Excellent resolution and soundstage presentation
Cons midrange transparency can be improved
Summary The noise-reduction benefits aside, these are overall excellent headphones any which way you cut it. From an audio perspective, (which by the way, I once wrote reviews for an high-end audio equipment journal), they rank among the top headphones on the market today. Trust me, I have bought and tested countless number of headphones. For comparison here, I will use my Shure E5c inner-ear headphones (costs $500), my Audio-Technica CM-7Ti ear-bud headphones (costs $300), and my $120K reference high-end stereo system with both Wilson Watt/Puppy VI and Martin-Logan loudspeakers. So how good are the Bose? Both the top-end and the low frequencies are very extended with excellent resolution, even when you compare it to my 120K reference system. In particular, the mid and lower bass (the area where the Shure E5c also does a god job but the Audio-Techica CM-7Ti is extremely lacking in)is very natural although it's a little too exagerated and could be tauter. Soundstage presentation is excellent and you could hear the placement of musicians clearly in good recordings. Where the Shure E5c presents a more intimate soundstage, the Bose are big sounding, and you could even hear the width and depth of the musical venues in good live recordings. But most importantly, the mid-range, where most of the life and energy of music is contained, is also natural but a touch laid-back and could be fuller. Comparatively, the Audio-Techica is forward sounding while the Shure E5c is the most natural and correct sonically. The Bose is also slightly lacking but not very noticeably when it comes to overall transparency, especially in vocal projection. Voices are natural but just slightly veiled when compared to the other three but still far, far superior to many other very good headphones you can buy out there. The tonal balance is a touch towards the dark side of neutral. Relatively speaking, the Shure E5c is the most neutral while the Audio-Techica CM-7Ti is on the bright side compared to my reference system. In the areas of rhythm and control, the other two headphones have better pace than the Bose, and this I suspect is caused by the fact that the active equalization in the Bose headphones does something to the timing of the music. Overall, Bose made an excellent headphone. No, the Shure E5c is still my overall reference as far as headphones is concerened, but they are more expensive then the Bose. The Bose does most things right and some things amazingly well, and with noise cancelling an added benefit, they are a steal at $300. Highly recommended.
Pros Fantastic sound quality, effective noise cancelling
Cons Plastic earpiece supports break! Pricey.
Summary I'd rate these headphones as a "10" without hesitation if not for the substandard production standards obviously in use @ Bose.
Several reviews here refer to poor construction of these phones. I agree. I was at Logan airport, awaiting a flight to Shanghai when I pulled my trust 1+ year old Bose headphones out of their (nice) custom case. When I went to place them on my head, however, the right earpiece fell off in my hand. The plastic support for the ear piece had cracked and broken at the point where Bose embossed the model, patent and other information on the interior of the support! Fortunately, I was able to borrow about 6" of packing tape from a local TSA agent, so I wasn't totally deprived of their use en route China.
Bose tech support was pretty good, however. I was initially told I'd have to pony up $100.00 for a replacement set of headphones because my 1-year warranty had expired. The following week, however, when I chose to deliver my headphones to Framingham, MA directly, the friendly customer service person told me I was eligible for a free replacement set, because my problem was caused by an obvious manufacturing defect.
It's obvious by several posts here that mine wasn't an isolated problem. No doubt Bose has received several calls/complaints about the same issue. It boggles the mind that a company with Bose's reputation wouldn't go all out to resolve it.
Pros great noise reduction, good sound with dynamic bass comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. long battery life
Cons expensive and a little bulky for travel
Summary Bit the bullet and decided to try the Bose QC2 headphones for an upcoming European Biz trip. Lots of time in planes, trains and automotbiles was spent. Besides if they did not perform as advertised I could return them within 30 days.
Well, I'm back now, but these headphones will not be returning to Bose. I cannot imagine how I have been traveling without them. My world is a quieter place. $300 is a bit steep, but worth it for me.
I have used other NR headphones and earphones. (Sennheiser, Sony, Shure and Plane Quiet) all reduced noice to some degree, but none were close to the QC2 performance IMHO. The Bose are just superior for combination of sound quality and noise reduction. Here is my observation for each use situation.
Plane ride: immediate and significant reduction of engine and wind noise to less than half the the level. airline movies and music sound quality was the best I have ever experienced. Human voices and baby crying nearby very muffled and hardly noticeable.
High speed train: totally quieted the noice to low levels. if it was not for the vibrations you would not know you were moving. MP3 player sound was great.
Auto: stopped nearly all wind and outside rumble from road. Sound quality was again great on MP3 player.
Street noice: while sitting outside in street cafe, most auto and other street noices greatly reduced. Sirens and horns were muffled ( by ear cups mostly) but very low level to still enjoy music play.
Yes the Bose QC2's are high priced and other models are much cheaper, but you should still try them to judge yourself. The 30 day money back guaranted makes this possible to use in your real-life situation. You may decide to return them, but I am keeping mine.
Pros Sounds like real music played live.
Cons Takes at least 120 hours to burn-in properly and sound their best thereafter.