Bose quiet comfort 25 headphones review
Bose Quiet Comfort 25
Lot of comfort
Terrifying noise cancellation
Very light weight
Mediocre sound quality
Sound quality is rock bottom when noise cancellation is off
Feels very cheap physically
We reviewed a pair of in ear headphones some time ago from Bose in their Quiet Comfort line up. The headphones performed extremely well and came with active noise cancellation circuitry. The sound removal was great and so was the audio, although not as great as some of the awesome over-ear headphones from Bose. Fortunately, we do have a new product from Bose; Quiet Comfort 25.
It is a pair of over-ear headphones with superb comfort level and wired and wireless options. There is active noise cancellation working in it to provide you with an ultimate music listening experience. At $299, Quiet Comfort 25 stands high among all the other headphones in this range.
Bose Quiet comfort 15, the previous version of the QC25 headphones was well regarded for its amazing active noise cancellation feature, but no so much for the audio performance. Bose claims that the QC25 will definitely boost audio performance and raise the comfort level to a higher standard. Along with that, they also claimed to improve the active noise cancellation even more. Let us evaluate this product and see whether it is really worth buying or not.
The entire physical design of the Quiet Comfort 25 is very similar to Bose Sound True that we reviewed sometime ago. The first thing you notice about these headphones when you hold them in your hand is that they are very light weight. You can put them on your head and be comfortable for hours together without realising that they are still on your head.
To get such a light weight design, the body is made from plastic. The material used is quite strong and it does bend a lot. But be assured that it wont break so easily. The entire headphone has some complex folding mechanism which allows the user to tuck it in the carry case provided. Bose has paid particular attention to very small details. On the circumference of the ear cups, there is rubber all the way round. This is to prevent the two ear cups from brushing against each other and creating scratches when folded.
From an overall perspective, the QC25 looks cheap with all bare plastic body and no leather or foam anywhere (Except the ear cups). The Audio Technica M50X will look much more sexy and solid in comparison to the QC25 any day.
Another thing to hate about the QC25 is the cable. The connector that attaches to the headphones is custom designed. The end pin is of different size and not the regular 3.5 mm. The cable also tends to retain the bends with time and that can cause it to tangle.
One of the key features of QC25 is the comfort. Most of the headphones out there have a very shallow depth in the ear cups. The drivers are located at a very shallow level and they can press against your ears causing some discomfort. The drives on the QC25 are deep and provide a lot of space for the ears to breathe. Additionally, this extra space for ears also help in improving the sound quality.
Being light weight, the bare plastic headband does not seem to put any pressure on your skull. So, its all good when it comes to comfort. Oh, not to forget the soft ear cushions that are crucial to provide comfort to your ears.
The noise cancelling feature is the reason why these headphones are so expensive. With the Quiet Comfort 15, there were some issues with the noise cancellation circuitry. It was unable to cancel low frequency sounds thereby reducing that “quiet” effect. With the QC25, Bose has fixed the issue somehow and you get a completely silent experience with active noise cancelling turned on.
It is a great feature to have when you are travelling on aeroplane and you want to listen to music throughout the flight, but there is this constant chattering and engine hiss that is drawing your attention. The noise cancelling circuit is so well designed that you will feel like you are in a completely silent environment. Even when you feel that the environment is very silent for example in a forest, you will get that “ultra” silent effect when you turn on noise cancellation on the QC25. In short, you will become aware of those tiny sounds that are around us but we fail to realise. Eventually, you will not be able to live without your QC25.
The only problem here is that the noise cancellation does not work that great at the highest end of the audible bandwidth.
QC25 works great only when noise cancellation is turned on. When it is turned off, it sounds like some cheap chinese headphones. The mids are muffled and the bass is virtually non-existent when noise cancellation is off. The true magic comes to life when you turn it on.
The bass is still a little bit rolled off and you do not get that “sub bass” effect. At this point, it kind of saddens me because bass is something that brings life to western music and lacking bass in a $299 headphone is absolutely ridiculous. The drivers in these headphones give clear, sharp mid frequencies while again rolling off quite early in the treble band. Therefore, we get a rounded frequency response with the drivers. Nevertheless, all of this is corrected with the internal DSP chip that has an equalizer and many other DSP functions to make audio sound better to us.
In better words, the Bose Quiet Comfort Sound quality does not stand up to the high Bose standards.
The QC25 requires 3 AAA batteries to make it work. The DSP and the noise cancellation circuit operate on the power provided by the battery, although you can use the headphones without power but you will get crappy sound as mentioned above. Batteries can provide 28 to 35 hours of usage time depending on what volume you play your music and what kind of battery you have used.
For such a high price of $299, you are not getting the desired performance from the Bose Quiet Comfort 25. This fact in itself is very depressing for an audiophile since, buying this headphone will be a complete waste of money.
You could instead buy the QC15 and get a very similar performance for a lower price, or you could opt for better headphones in a much lower price range such as the HyperX Cloud II.
I think I am keeping my QC 15
I was disappointed with the bass sound clarity of the QC25 compared to the QC15
Sound is not as bass heavy as I would personally like
Sound garbage when you turn off NC
- Height: 7.5 in (19.1 cm)
- Width: 6 in (15.2 cm)
- Depth: 0.9 in (2.3 cm)
- Weight without cable: 6.9 oz (195.6 g)
- Active noise cancellation
- 35 hour battery powered usage (Alkaline battery)