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What do you think about Bose Quietcomfort 15?


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Hi,

i'm new in the world of audiophile. Recently i tried the Bose QC 15 and I have noticed the enormouse difference with my 20€ in-ear headphones, so I wanted to buy them, but first i thinked to hear more opinions.

Do you have any suggestion for me?

PS: I primarily want to hear flac audio 96khz/24 bit.

Thanks in advance.

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I'm not an audiophile ... just a dabbler. I think you will find most in this community don't think much of any Bose products. There are several makers of excellent headphones in the QC-15 price range ($300 US) with what is viewed as significantly better audio quality. That said, I have a set of QC-15s which I bough for relief from the acoustic stress of air travel. The noise canceling functionality of the Bose in an aircraft environment is EXCELLENT and makes all the difference in the world on long flights. I'll let others comment on their audio quality.

-----

i7 Mac Mini > USB > iDSD Nano > Audioengine A5+

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Noise-cancelling headphones might not be an audiophile-approved product, but as Cal says, make a huge difference for air travel. I have a friend who wears them over Apple's in-ear $70 headphones for the best of both worlds.

 

You will need something other than an iPod for 24/96 flac playback.

 

People are suspicious of Bose because of their heavy use of psycho-accoustic DSP and that you pay for all the hype.

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For travel, especially in airplanes, they are excellent. You can actually enjoy inflight films.

 

For home listening, comfort is critical, and this is something you will have to try yourself. To me any Sennheiser is very comfy and Grados make grimace, but to others it might be the other way around.

I am a big fan of their sound too, from the $80 280 Pro to the HD800.

 

I would recommend going to a store to try a few. Pro Audio, DJ gear and hifi stores usually have a bunch to try.

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The QC15 suffer one problem when travelling on coaches, buses. If you hit a pothole or rough patches on the road, the external microphones seem to overload and the music drops out, it's annoying and not recommended for road travel.

 

 

Air travel is fine. Currently using Audio Technica ATH-AN7b.... The bottom end is not as pronounced as the QC and it rides through the bumps on coaches quite well. Top end needs some EQ from the player. Will take delivery of Senn PXC 450 next week, prefer a neutral sound and the on off button on the ear cup is great for planes.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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I like the noise cancelling but i think i will use the headphones i'll buy more at home. I've read of very expensive dac, amp and audio players (also several hundreds of dollars) but i'm trying to find the right, the best composition and combination of that things to hear very well flac audio at a reasonable compromised. So what i have to look for? For example i read good review on sansa clip+ player but i'm worried if very good headphones like sen hd 650 or others will be wasted with it. I hope you can clear my questions.

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Headphones are very different one from another, regardless of the specifications which don't really tell you how they will sound. I have four "nice" over ears headphones and they are all different from each other yet all very nice. I recommend you find a place that will let you listen to a selection before purchasing or you may not like what you end up with (although others may love them). So much of this is personal preference.

 

I have the Harman Kardon NC noise canceling headphones and like them a lot for travel. They are not as quiet at the Bose (which are the best at actual noise canceling by all accounts) but they have two nice features: first, I like the way they sound at home or in the hotel room; second, if the battery runs out, they still work fine (they have a switch that lets you use the noise canceling or not so all you do is switch them to passive). So if you forgot to charge them up before a trip, you are still fine. They charge via USB, by the way, which is nice, too.

 

But for pure noise reduction, the Bose are the way to go.

 

Best,

John

Positive emotions enhance our musical experiences.

 

Synology DS213+ NAS -> Auralic Vega w/Linear Power Supply -> Auralic Vega DAC (Symposium Jr rollerball isolation) -> XLR -> Auralic Taurus Pre -> XLR -> Pass Labs XA-30.5 power amplifier (on 4" maple and 4 Stillpoints) -> Hawthorne Audio Reference K2 Speakers in MTM configuration (Symposium Jr HD rollerball isolation) and Hawthorne Audio Bass Augmentation Baffles (Symposium Jr rollerball isolation) -> Bi-amped w/ two Rythmic OB plate amps) -> Extensive Room Treatments (x2 SRL Acoustics Prime 37 diffusion plus key absorption and extensive bass trapping) and Pi Audio Uberbuss' for the front end and amplification

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I'd suggest the Bose QC 20 instead. They are much smaller than the QC 15, VERY comfortable and have excellent noise canceling They have a clever arrangement so that the ear tip sits comfortably on your ear canal but without having to be inserted in it. This makes them very non-fatiguing. I think the sound is significantly better than the QC15 (I own them too). I bought the QC 20 after a very favorable review on Inner Fidelity, not a site known as big Bose fans.

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Consider a headphone that simply has an acoustic seal to mechanically block external sound.

 

The most effective is the "intra-aural" type that fits into your ear canal like an ear plug.

 

The alternative approach is the "supra-aural" type having cushioned pads that surround your ear and fit tightly against your skull (not against your ear).

HQPlayer (on 3.8 GHz 8-core i7 iMac 2020) > NAA (on 2012 Mac Mini i7) > RME ADI-2 v2 > Benchmark AHB-2 > Thiel 3.7

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I like the noise cancelling but i think i will use the headphones i'll buy more at home. I've read of very expensive dac, amp and audio players (also several hundreds of dollars) but i'm trying to find the right, the best composition and combination of that things to hear very well flac audio at a reasonable compromised. So what i have to look for? For example i read good review on sansa clip+ player but i'm worried if very good headphones like sen hd 650 or others will be wasted with it. I hope you can clear my questions.

 

The Senns 600/650 are nice, they were designed awhile ago and at that time there weren't many sources/amps/dacs around for headphones at reasonable prices...like today. So, I think one of their design considerations is a slight lack of transparency. Meaning they will cover up some bad attriubutes of a less than great source. They are a little slow, lumbering and filled with love ;)

This is all good if you are going to play them with a variety of sources or start out on the inexpensive side with plans to upgrade later. The one thing they do need though is power, a decent low impedence amp with 500mw is a start, pushing toward 1-2W @ 32 ohms will get the job done well. I find them very comfortable and a great place to start with high(er)-end headphones.

 

As others have mentioned personal prefernce on fit and type of sound is paramount so a good dealer or headfi meet in your area will answer many of these questions.

Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not." — Nelson Pass

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Thank you but i don't know almost anything about amp so can you give me some names of good amps like what you say? For example the fiio e11 is good?

Ps there is a lot of the difference between the hd 598 and 650?(the prices are 220$ and 480$)

t

The Fiio e17 may be a better choice for the 600/650 as it has more power and is made to be more of a home/desktop amp...no battery

Anything from Schiit..Magni starts at $99

LHLabs GeekOut 720 or 1000...very nice sounding dac & amp combination approx $250

ALO Audio amps

Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not." — Nelson Pass

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I've worked vey closely around operational aircraft all my entire life. While my hearing is still somewhat okay (with a minor high frequency drop in one ear) I'm one of those people that background noise contaminates whatever I'm listening to so much so that I can't understand it. Using cheap headphones on an airplane sounds like the adults in the Charlie Brown cartoons talking. Wha wha wha wa wa.

 

I have a pair of QC15 and they are best in the world at what they do. Even though it's overkill I carry a set of Sony MDR-V6 with me too. I can hear pretty good with them on a plane however I use them for music in the hotel room and the QC-15's on the plane.

 

That being said the QC-15's really sound pretty good. The thing I don't like is once the battery dies you are done. I learned that the hard way a couple times. Rechargeables don't seem to work well for me in them. I work for the government and travel occasionally in military transport aircraft like C-130's and C-17's. There is absolutely no way in the world I could watch a movie on my iPad without the QC-15's in those conditions.

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Soundtrack,

My go to headphone set is the HD600. I use it with a Channel Islands Audio headphone amp that's in a stationary set up. When I'm mobile, I use the FiiO X3 player. It has a decent High Gain circuit which supplies as much volume as I ever need. It also plays up to 24/196 files. I also use the FiiO as a hi res transport in my home system. Good luck in your search.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I TOTALLY disagree about Bose, I find their Noise Canceling to have a weird/irritating sound. Not silent! I thought they were defective and a replacement pair did the same thing...

 

I prefer the Parrot Zik, completely silent noise canceling and really cool app for customizing the sound.

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I TOTALLY disagree about Bose, I find their Noise Canceling to have a weird/irritating sound. Not silent! I thought they were defective and a replacement pair did the same thing...

I prefer the Parrot Zik, completely silent noise canceling and really cool app for customizing the sound.

No, the noise cancelling is definitely not silent.

I'm surprised that the Zik is (or at least, is to you) because I recently read a number of reviews comparing the Zik to the QC15 and none of them mentioned this - they all said that Bose's noise cancelling was still superior.

 

I like my Bose QC15 very, very much on a plane or train. I don't like them so much when at home or in a quiet environment as the noise cancellation gives me strange feeling of being under water.
Yes, active noise cancelling really only sounds good when it is required. If you're in a quiet environment, a good pair of regular headphones will sound better.

 

I really like the QC20 though, and can't recommend them highly enough if you are listening in a loud environment.

They are significantly smaller than any of the other noise cancelling headphones, have a more neutral frequency response than most other Bose products, and more effective cancellation.

 

Because they only seal your ear canal rather than creating a large seal around your ear, they largely seem to avoid this "underwater" sound (also a problem with typical in-ear monitors) or pressure in the ears.

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For $300 new, my top headphones to check out would be

 

sennheiser momentum

NAD HP50

 

Both are wonderfully easy to listen to. They are very sophisticated performers.

Roon ->UltraRendu + CI Audio 7v LPS-> Kii Control -> Kii Three

Roon->BMC UltraDAC->Mr Speakers Aeon Flow Open

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What do I think of them? I try not to ;-)

 

Seriously, you can do a lot better at that price point. Try the Sennheiser Momentum or HD 26 Pro, or the Beyer DT 1350 or T51p, or the B&W P3 or P5. Or try to find a pair of lightly used Audio Technica ATH-ESW9. Something from that list is likely to grab you.

 

If noise reduction is a real priority, try a good set of universal IEMs. If you can afford $450, the Noble 4 is fantastic. Or try the Ultimate Ears UE 900 or Etymotic ER4.

Office: MacBook Pro - Audirvana Plus - Resonessence Concero - Cavailli Liquid Carbon - Sennheiser HD 800.

Travel/Portable: iPhone 7 or iPad Pro - AudioQuest Dragonfly Red - Audeze SINE or Noble Savant

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If noise reduction is a real priority, try a good set of universal IEMs. If you can afford $450, the Noble 4 is fantastic. Or try the Ultimate Ears UE 900 or Etymotic ER4.
Personally, I can't stand IEMs. There are few which provide a good enough seal for serious noise isolation, but those which do, I find to be incredibly uncomfortable to wear - the Etymotics in particular.

The UE900 looks even less comfortable than the UE700s I used to own.

 

With IEMs, isolation tends to "internalize" a lot of sounds, and a lot of noise is usually transferred through the cable.

External sounds often seem as though you are underwater.

 

The QC20i provides good isolation (about 25dB across the whole frequency range) without this uncomfortable "underwater" feeling, and without having to be jammed into your ear canal - the fit is very low pressure, yet secure.

 

If you find IEMs comfortable to wear, the models with a high degree of isolation are certainly going to offer better sound quality than the Bose QC20. The frequency response is reasonably flat though.

 

Source: InnerFidelity

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Personally, I can't stand IEMs. There are few which provide a good enough seal for serious noise isolation, but those which do, I find to be incredibly uncomfortable to wear - the Etymotics in particular.

The UE900 looks even less comfortable than the UE700s I used to own.

 

With IEMs, isolation tends to "internalize" a lot of sounds, and a lot of noise is usually transferred through the cable.

External sounds often seem as though you are underwater.

 

The QC20i provides good isolation (about 25dB across the whole frequency range) without this uncomfortable "underwater" feeling, and without having to be jammed into your ear canal - the fit is very low pressure, yet secure.

 

If you find IEMs comfortable to wear, the models with a high degree of isolation are certainly going to offer better sound quality than the Bose QC20. The frequency response is reasonably flat though.

 

Source: InnerFidelity

 

I went through a long journey with universal IEMs and was never fully satisfied, so I hear ya. Once you go custom, you'll never look back. If you want my UERMs, talk to the executor of my estate.

Office: MacBook Pro - Audirvana Plus - Resonessence Concero - Cavailli Liquid Carbon - Sennheiser HD 800.

Travel/Portable: iPhone 7 or iPad Pro - AudioQuest Dragonfly Red - Audeze SINE or Noble Savant

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