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Review: Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

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From out of the many shades of awesome, comes a pair of noise-cancelling headphones that would appease just about any customer, the QuietComfort 25 (aka QC25), by Bose. We have covered such a large number of headphones throughout the years and have broken them down to the specific niches they performed best for. One niche that has become quite popular due to some wonderful technological advances, is noise cancellation.

For those looking to get away from the noise of their surrounding environment, it can sometimes be hard to find the perfect pair to deliver such bliss. At this moment, we have found our favorite and it found itself winning this year’s Editors’ Choice award in its category.

The QC25 is the successor to their QC15 headphones, which were already a good pair to listen to. They took it upon themselves to make the upgrade between the two more than noticeable, while also wiping the floor with their competition. The QC25 bring with them a level of sound quality that covers most listeners expectations while balancing the needs of comfort, design and function.

The design of the headphones doesn’t appear to be any different from other Bose models until you put them on. Mostly plastic and doesn’t quite feel worth the price, material-wise. However, they are extremely flexible, allowing them to shape to any head no matter how wide, small, oblong or abstract. This also allows them to fit well within a small space for travel, such as the small case it comes with. They feel terrific on the head, even for long hours of use, without causing any kind of exhaustion to the user. The ear cushions are super soft leather and sit very well on the ears.

The QC15 model followed the same path of comfort for the most part, but it wasn’t completely balanced everywhere else. This is something hard to find because headphones usually excel in one of more areas, but fail in others. Such as Klipsch’s M40 headphones that we received once. They sound great and offer a really sexy look to them. However, the active noise-cancellation was no more than an amplification of the sound with a slight hiss during silent moments where no audio is playing. They also had a stiff fit that compressed the sides of your head causing discomfort after long usage. They were great headphones when it came to style and range, but not in comfort and noise cancellation. Bose found a way to touch on all of these areas.

The dynamic range that these headphones have to offer is superb. Everything you throw out it sounds great, with such a wide range of everything down to your lows that offer a good amount of bass. This allows for relaxed jazz sessions that you can sink into the couch with or escape into an embarrassing dance in public while listening to your favorite Skrillex tracks, without even bothering to notice the looks from people around. Maybe some acoustic Chris Cornell or Eagles’ Hell Freezes Over. The range you get out of the QC25 is similar to the Sennheiser Momentums we have bragged about in the past.

Now for noise-cancellation. Imagine yourself sitting on a long flight squeezed between two passengers, one of which is snoring quite loudly while the other is breathing from the mouth as though they were hyperventilating. Or you find yourself in a store where a woman is surrounded by ill-mannered children who are loud and distracted, but no nearly as much as her voice as she is yelling a them, which can be heard from the from the other side of the store. Now place the QC25 headphones on your head, turned on. All of that noise, all of that headache–gone. Like a giant vacuum or cone of silence (Get Smart anyone?), everything simply disappears around you. One of the moments when you pick up a product in the store, hit a button and instantly realize that you need to buy this product, *now*.

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The top performing noise-canceling headphones we have ever tested here at Poc Network. We were really pleased by how they performed, and they quickly made their way around the office gaining support from everyone who put them on.

All it takes is one AAA battery which can last up to 35 hours of noise cancelation. If the battery runs dry, the headphones will continue to work but you will lose the effect and the range becomes oddly compressed. 35 hours is more than enough and AAA batteries are more than small enough to carry a few extra in the case (it even has a spot for them).

Inside the box you find (outside of the headphones) a 56-inch cable with inline remote and microphone. There is also an airline adapter for use on planes. You have the carrying case and a AAA battery so that it is ready to go. Now all you need is a BTunes adapter to make them wireless and you’re ready for anything.

There are two flavor to choose from, black and white. The black model (which we tested) comes with a black/gray design with teal inside the ear cushions. A nice balance of color. The white looks both elegant and yet odd due to the cable. They are white with sandy brown cushions, including the underside of the center of the band. This looks great, until you see the inside of the ear cushions are teal on these too as well as the cable. Just seems to a slight clash in color. There is also an “all black” model as well that is referred to as “triple black”, but not all stores carry it for whatever reason. Everything is black on that model, including the cable.

The only thing we can complain about is price. At $269, these are expensive and that causes most people to walk away when they see that. These would make a killing at less than $200.Let’s say the $149 range. Competition wouldn’t be able to survive without stepping up their game.

Our Conclusion

These headphones sound terrifically good. Such a wide, smooth range to them and feature a good amount of bass. Noise-cancellation is perfect and works well for all noisy environments and last for hours and hours on a small AAA battery. Comfort is spot-on as you can wear them all day (just keep an eye on your volume so you don’t kill your hearing). They aren’t audiophile quality, but they sound pretty close at times. Over-all the perfect all-in-one headphones. Price was the only thing that affected the score. Winner of this year’s Editors’ Choice award for their category.


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Our Rating

9 / 10 stars           

Average Price*

$269.99

*Average price is based on the time this article was published

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Specifications:

Dimensions/weight without the cable

  • Headphones:7.5″ H x 6″ W x 0.9″ D (6.9 oz)
  • Length of cable:56 in
  • Carrying case:8.25″ H x 5.75″ W x 2″ D

In the box

  • QuietComfort® 25 headphones
  • 56 in (1.42 m) QC®25 inline remote and microphone cable
  • Airline adapter
  • Carrying case
  • AAA battery

 

Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.

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About Author

James

Designer, Editor and Reviewer for Poc Network, ProAudio and Mobile Nations. James enjoys spending most of his time as an audio engineer and technician for the live music industry when he isn't running around the office here juggling an intense workload. He can also be found frequently in the nearby mountainous ranges, scrambling rocks and rappelling down large sections.

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