Pros Strong Noise Reduction
Cons Lower High Frequency Response (to music)
Summary I have used the Bose QuietComfort QC-2 headphones for about a year, and have traveled to Asia over 5 times with them, and domestic travel as well. About 120 hours of air time. Never took them off. Vastly reduces my jetlag. A pleasure to own and use.
On an impulse buy, I bought the QC-3's after a demo at the local Bose store. 30-day return policy. Compared them side-by-side... both on the airplane, home, with and without sound.
My impressions (your mileage may vary
The QC-3 has impressive noise cancellation, I think it's incrementally better than the QC-2. Perhaps it's a little too 'aggressive'. Let me explain. I feel a little uncomfortable from a (perceived) pressure on my ear. Note: this is not physical pressure from the ear-pieces, nor is it air-pressure, but rather a physco-acoustic result of noise cancellation. I felt this only slightly with the QC-2's. Bose did an amazing job of noise cancellation given the challenges of an "on-the-ear" design which offers less physical noise isolation due to lack of cups. Everyone has a different tolerance to this pressure, the only way to tell is to try them out. Vote: QC-3 for noise cancellation, QC-2 for comfort (again, will vary from person to person).
Using MP3's encoded at 192 kbps, and CD audio, the difference in the two headphones is clear (excuse the pun). The QC-2's are brighter sounding with adequate bass. The QC-3's are a little heavy on the low-end, to the point of sounding muddy. Vote: QC-2.
Some have complained about the QC-2's breaking at the stem that attaches each earpiece. I never had this problem, but I am also very careful, especially given their cost. I did notice a person break a QC-2 on the plane trying to turn the earpieces to hard. The build quality of the QC-3 is about the same, the stem may be somewhat narrower, so they could be more prone to breaking, however I do not think it's an issue if you treat them with respect. Vote: equal.
The QC-3's are lighter, but I still prefer the "over-the-ear" type of headphone. They feel like they stay in place better. I would be upset if the QC-3's fell off my head while loading luggage in the overhead bin, only to have someone step on them. I never felt that could happen with the QC-2's. I also would rather have a little physical pressure around my ear, instead of on my ear. Vote: QC-2.
The battery on the QC-2 is a LiION rechargaable that has approx 20hr. operation time. The QC-3 simply takes a AAA battery and lasts over 30 hours. The low battery light is also brighter and easier to see on the QC-2. QC-3 extra batteries cost over $50 USD. Vote: QC-2
The QC-3 has a less complicated jack that attaches to the headphone (it's detachable, just like the QC-2's). The QC-2 has a hi/low volume control on the jack stem, while the QC-3 has no adjustment and is adjusted somewhere in between (which is why they are not quite as loud as the QC-2's, given the same volume setting from your MP3, DVD, computer, or stereo). The airplance adapter does serve to attenuate the audio further, if needed. The QC-3 carrying case is a little smaller than the QC-2, but not a significant difference. The covering on the QC-3 case is smooth, which I prefer over the QC-2 case. I do not like the way the QC-3's fit in the case, the ear-pieces do not sit firmly where they are supposed to go. With the QC-2, you know exactly how they fit in the case, it just seems like a better fit. Vote: averages to equal.
I hope this quick review is helpful. I elected to stay with the QC-2. Rgds, GregUpdated
The power paragraph above has QC-2 and QC-3 switched on the first two sentences. It should read:
The battery on the QC-3 is a LiION rechargaable that has approx 20hr. operation time. The QC-2 simply takes a AAA battery and lasts over 30 hours. The low battery light is also brighter and easier to see on the QC-2. QC-3 extra batteries cost over $50 USD. Vote: QC-2
"Good headphones, but if you're looking for nice headphones for your mp3 player, try Sennheiser 280s."on by saxplaya13
Pros These headphones have a great new battery feature along with a sleek new design for those who don't like the over-the-ear headphones.
Cons Price is outrageous. Basically, the only thing new is the design.
Summary The new Bose design (which is pretty much the only new feature) has the price raised to $350. Bose is absolutly crazy asking for this price. I personally have tried these headphones, and they aren't much different from the Sennheiser 280 Pro's. Bose goes through tons and tons of experiments and advertising to promote and create these headphones. That's why the price is so high. They overcharge you about $200, which is a waste of your money. As an added downside, these headphones feel cheap. They're very flimsy and bendable, so they feel as though they could break. I'm not a critic of Bose, because they do make wonderful audio equipment. In this case, this product is NOT worth your money. Don't listen to people promoting these. Most of them have never tried some of the other cheaper headphones out there in the market. So no wonder they think that these things are great. They've never tried any others!!! I have Sennheiser 280 Pro's and they are at the top of my list. They cover my ears, which I like. They are also sturdier than the Bose QC3, but are nonetheless foldable. The 280 Pro has noise cancelling also. They are about $200-$250 but worth your money IF you buy them from the right place. DON'T buy them from bestbuy or from Sennheiser directly. I got mine from shipdog.com and they were $72 plus about $20 for 3-day shipping. It's a great buy. I love shipdog and I wouldn't recommend going anywhere else. (By the way, shipdog doesn't carry Bose QC3 - I already checked.) Even those who frequently ride on airplanes wouldn't really need these. You can get 32dB of ambient noise reduction on the 280 Pro's, which is WAY more than anyone needs. So if you are looking for some inexpensive and durable heaphones for your iPod or mp3 player, go with the Sennheiser 280 Pro's. The new Bose QC3 are not worth your hard-earned 350 bucks.
"Strictly for those who live their lives for full-bodied noise cancellation everywhere"on by vesther
Pros First Supra-Aural Headphones to be closed-air, rechargeable battery, suitable for MP3 players, ergonomical earcups, memory cushion for enhanced noise blocking
Cons $350 is rather expensive for a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. The "No-Power, No-Sound" Syndrone is still there. Plus you have to take really good care of them as well.
Summary I tried these headphones and compared them with the Bose QuietComfort 2 Headphones. The Bose QuietComfort 3 headphones, once you give them a chance, blocks out noise as much as, if not, then better than the QuietComfort 2. Not only that, but the sound quality of the QC3 might be enhanced over the QC2 SE. While the headphones itself are kind of overpriced and while the headphones aren't low-profile, ideally the Bose QC3 should be used in airplane flights, but can also be used in a variety of applications as well related to sound listening. I really don't like the price of the headphones, but the new rechargeable battery makes the Bose QC3 more environmentally safe than the QC2. However, for those who live their lives mainly for active noise cancellation, not for the world of passive noise isolation, these are the headphones. Finally, given peoples' past beefs with the initial TriPort Headphones release, you really have to take very good care of it, but hopefully, the durability of the headphones are as good as the QC2 SE's. It may not be suitable for audiophile use, but an average user probably would benefit from Bose's proprietary Acoustic Noise Cancellation feature for better audio, game, even movie listening.
Pros Styling (slimness vs. QC2), rechargeable battery
Cons Price, bulky travel case, decreased treble response, borderline loose base response
Summary I just got through doing my own side-by-side comparison of the QC3's to the QC2's. Bose is close to getting it right, but the QC3's aren't a significant improvement over the QC2's from a noise cancellation or sound quality viewpoint.
The treble response on the QC3's was more muted than the QC2's. The base response was more noticeable in QC3's, but seemed to be on the verge of becoming sloppy. This was especially evident when selecting a bass-boost setting on the music source. For those of you who can't do a side-by-side comparison you probably won't miss the performance difference from the QC2's. But there is a negative difference, in my opinion.
The QC3's, being an on-the-ear design, tend to become more noticeable after extended listening sessions. I can wear the QC2's for at least an hour before I really start to notice any discomfort. I get that same feeling after wearing the QC3's only after about 10 minutes.
The travel case really negates any benefit in size reduction with the new styling. The QC3 case is only about 3/4" less wide and about 1/2" less tall than the QC2 travel case. Both are about equally as thick. However, where the QC2 case has a nice zippered mesh pouch for adapters, cables, etc., the QC3 case only has a pre-formed felt covered mold that has a slot for an airline adapter, the battery charger, and a spare battery (should you have the desire to toss out another $50), with the 1/4" stereo adapter not having a designated storage slot. The adapter will fit into one of several nooks/crannies but has the potential for becoming a lost component fairly soon. If you buy the QC3's then I recommend you removed the 1/4" stereo adapter and store it in a safer place (next to the stereo?).
I store an iPod Nano and cable splitter along with the QC2's and associated accessories in the QC2 case; you'd have to remove the battery charger in the QC3 case in order to do the same. Of course, if you did that and wound up having the battery die without packing the charger with you then you got a pretty expensive pair of non-functioning headphones. At least with the QC2's you can buy another AAA battery at the airport.
And my biggest beef is the price. The QC2's are overpriced to begin with, and the QC3's are just plain ridiculous. I'm kind of a gadget freak and usually don't have a problem spending money on new electronics, but the QC3's leave me feeling like I've been ripped-off. Fortunately, I am going to return these about 4 days into my 30-day trial so this will be only a temporary feeling.
Pros Good noise cancellation, good form factor, acceptable sound quality
Cons Uncomfortable for long use, carrying case design is not optimal
Summary I have used noise cancellation headphones from other brands and by comparison, this QC3 performs pretty well overall. I like the fact that there is no additional electronics dongle or box to worry about when wearing the headphones and also not hvaing to worry about the soft earbuds disappearing on me, making the earphones useless.
However, this headphone can certainly improve to make this the best choice possible.
The headphones do not sit well inside the carrying case and that's a bit annoying when putting them back in place. However, due to enough space the case allows, it's not critical to sit components inside the case exactly, I found out. Bose should redesign the insert inside the case and allow for a pocket to put the extra cables, adapters and etc separately, allowing better fit for the headphones in a bit larger fitting holes.
After using the headphones for more than a couple of hours, my ears felt a bit uncomfortable and it's not from the pressure in the ear drums but physical discomfort around the ear caused by the pressure from the headphones. Senheizer headphones didn't have such discomfort, although QC3 performs a little better with noise cancellation. But, I would still choose QC3 instead of the other one simply because I don't want to have to deal with the additional noise cancellation circuitry dongle.
QC3 is a pretty good product but not at the $350. I only got it because it was free after exercising my credit card reward points. If I had to spend my own money, I would have seriously re-considered in-ear headphones again instead, especially at that high price level.