Originally Posted by 12danny21
Hello everyone, I am currently considering in purchasing a pair of Bose QC15 within the next 6 months and I am a noob at the audio area. I know people say that Bose is overprice for sub par quality, so I am asking if anyone can suggest a good pair of headphones with pretty good noise cancellation and don't stand out too much (subtle design). My price range could go up to $300 but I can't justify spending 300 for the Bose but if there is something out there for cheaper with the same specs, that would be great. Thanks everyone.
Why not Bose? Because they present artificial brightness at the expense of clarity. With the Bose QC15, there is audible distortion that is more than just 'nit-picking' - it's distracting on a number of CDs I listen to.
The killer test track for me is a lossless rip of John Coltrane's Blue Train (Hoffman/Gray SACD). The title track contains an opening sequence of horns and winds that is very challenging to reproduce without noticeable distortion.
I own sets of all of the phones discussed in this thread:
- Sennheiser PCX-250 - forget these; they don't sound good, the on-ear cups hurt on long flights and the noise cancelling is all but worthless for air travel.
- Bose Quiet Comfort 15 - by far the best comfort on long flights, with the best noise canceling. Despite the downgrade in SQ, I went to these to save my sanity. See below; I was flying upwards of 200,000 miles at my last job.
- Shure SE420 - accurate, clear sound reproduction with warm mid-range, crisp highs and credible bass. And the Blue Train track? I'm listening to it now and after all that time on the QC 15s, I am in heaven. However, for comfort, they fall down; the ritual of putting them in, as well as cleaning off the ear wax, gets really tiring. Plus, on overseas flights, the in-ear-canal buds start to actually hurt.
So, if you don't travel too much, get the Shure SE420s. If you really need the noise canceling and are flying, like, 100K+ miles a year, get the Bose.