It can’t be denied that headphones have become a mainstay in everyone’s lives.
However, I understand that finding the right pair to suit your music needs can be difficult.
Bose is one household name that promises excellent sound quality and state-of-the-art noise cancellation technology.
This popular manufacturing company offers Bose Quiet Comfort, which is popular for its two products: Bose Quietcomfort 15 (QC 15) and Bose Quietcomfort 25 (QC 25).
Both are well-known for their functionality and features, but which headphones are superior to the other?
Bose Quietcomfort 25 Overview
In terms of comfort, I can tell you that the Bose QuietComfort 25 headphones do NOT compromise. By using these headphones, you can expect:
- Earpads made of soft leather combined with memory foam cushion for a superb sense of relaxation for laid-back music.
- Slightly larger ear cups for better accommodation of any ear size.
- Light and portable material for easy carry.
But apart from the luxurious listening experience, what more can Bose QuietComfort 25 offer?
I’ve listed these additional features for you:
The Bose QuietComfort 25 promises better sound quality, with spot-on midrange and lower frequencies.
I love how it has enough bass to ACCURATELY capture what’s happening in the song. This can take your listening experience to a whole new level!
But if you’re searching for enough bass to rattle your eyes, you won’t find it here.
Another thing I love about these Bose headphones is their noise-canceling feature.
If you’re making a call in a noisy environment or want to sing along to a song, you WON’T encounter any problems!
You can block out around 85% of the background noise, meaning you won’t even hear your own voice, so you can relax knowing the surrounding noise won’t be heard.
This set of Bose headphones has an in-line mic/remote for managing music and calls on Apple devices.
ne thing I wasn’t happy about with this model is it does NOT carry any Bluetooth features with it — however, it can be used with a Bluetooth adapter.
The Bose QC 25 offers two variations of colors: black and white. However, these options might not be exactly right for your personality.
If you’re quite picky with the color of your headphones (and have extra bucks to spare), you may cover the headphones in your desired color for an additional $100.
Something that immediately caught my eye was the metallic finish, which gave the Bose QuietComfort 25 a luxurious vibe.
This might sound shallow to some, but I also love the convenient ear markings on both the right and left side ear cups, making it easy to tell which ear cup belongs to which ear.
Another thing I wasn’t happy about with these headphones is they don’t use rechargeable batteries.
This is unexpected, given how popular rechargeable batteries have become in recent years.
Bose QuietComfort uses a AAA battery and has a passive noise-cancellation feature. This means you can use your headphones with or without the noise-canceling mode.
Unfortunately, since it operates on a AAA battery, it works with LIMITED battery life.
When the battery dies, you can sense a significant difference in the sound quality. Apart from this, the noise-cancellation feature is also affected.
TIP: You are prone to incur more costs by choosing products that operate on a AAA battery.
- The style is luxurious and available in a range of colors.
- Passive option on noise cancellation mode
- Lightweight and pleasant to wear
- Sound of exceptional quality
- Mids and lows with a lot of punch
- Compatible with a wide range of Apple products
- Long battery life
- There is no Bluetooth connection available.
- Only uses AAA batter and not a rechargeable battery
Bose Quietcomfort 15 Overview
Now, let me give you an overview of the QC 15:
Bose QuietComfort 15 is one of the FIRST to grace the market with a noise cancellation mode!
This is your top pick if you wish to have a pair of headphones that works well with a wide range of music, especially those with bass-heavy genres.
Just like any Bose product, the comfort component in the Bose QuietComfort 15 was properly incorporated into the model.
Once you buy it, I guarantee you can expect A-grade ear cushions and headband padding to keep a relaxing and enjoyable listening experience for an extended period of time.
While Bose claims this to be one of the best noise-canceling headphones in town, what REALLY sets the Bose QuietComfort 15 apart from the competition?
It has a balanced sound output with a powerful bass and piercing treble.
Additionally, there is minimal sound distortion even while listening to music at high volumes. This ensures more clarity in the listening experience.
These headphones are ideal for noisy environments. The noise-canceling circuit is buried in the right ear cup, with a button to turn it on.
When you turn on the noise cancellation mode, it cancels out 80% of the ambient noises (e.g., air conditioning hum, outside wind, high-end sports cars, and so on).
It left me with just a slighthiss that doesn’t really bother the quality sound experience.
Bose QuietComfort 15 comes with the following products when purchased:
- Airline adapter
- Two audio cables (one with in-line remote control for Apple products and hands-free iPhone calling)
- Carrying case
Similar to Bose QuietComfort 25 headphones, it sadly doesn’t have any Bluetooth features.
This pair of headphones does not offer many variations in terms of design.
But they still offer quality sound while looking fashionable!
Its earbuds have a circumaural design that can wrap around your ear and seal shut. It also has leatherette ear pads that are soft and block active noise.
Like the QC 25, Bose QC 15 headphones do not operate on a rechargeable battery. It also uses AAA batteries.
But fortunately, a AAA battery has long battery life. In fact, it can last for 35 hours if used regularly and without the noise-canceling option.
- Easy to wear
- Noise-canceling headset
- Long-lasting battery
- The plastic structure is durable
- Pads made of leatherette for added comfort
- Even at high levels, the sound is natural and high-quality.
- Two audio wires are included.
- The sound quality degrades as the battery drains.
- On the pricey side
Bose QuietComfort 15 vs. 25: Noise Cancelling Headphones Performance Review
To help you decide which headphones are the right pair for you, let’s try to compare Bose QuietComfort 15 vs. QC 25.
Build and Design
I really love how both models feature an elegant appearance with a glossy finish on the outside edges of their ear cups.
The QC15 headphones have an overall white color scheme with mustard ear pads.
Meanwhile, the QC25 has a more classy appearance with its metallic touch and variations in color.
In terms of the ear cups, QC15 has round-shaped headphones.
This is a feature that Bose has improved on in QC25, which now adopts oval-shaped ones to snuggly fit in your ears.
Another factor to consider is that the QC 15 headphones use two proprietary cables.
Sadly, using generic cables is not a possibility in this model. This means you’ll have to purchase replacements from Bose if yours are broken.
So if this feature is quite important for you, you can try the QC 25 instead.It has a 2.5mm jack on the ear cup end, allowing you to plug in an adaptor for further versatility.
However, they’re still proprietary, and I’m not exactly happy that I don’t have many options in this area.
If you are particular about the storage of your headphones, let’s now look into the cases.
I’d say the QC15 has an advantage since it has a Velcro pouch rather than a genuine case. This can give you better storage space since it can fit everywhere.
Meanwhile, the QC25 headphones come in a sturdy rectangular box that takes up a lot of room and would be quite difficult to transport — especially if you love to be on the go.
Looking at all the factors mentioned, QC25 headphones are the best headphones in terms of design.
Both headphones are regarded to be the BEST in the market when it comes to sound quality. However, Bose made sure that each model had its own distinct sound.
Starting off, the QC15 has a smoother vibe than QC25.
- I found that it has a softer and warmer sound with a focus on the low-mid range and can bring all notes together and blend them well.
- Trying these headphones makes you feel like each sound is heard in the way it was supposed to be.
However, I wouldn’t recommend these headphones if you’re seeking something intense.
On the other hand, each note is accurately captured by QC25.
- It has a sharpened quality that makes each sound crisp.
- But it is NOT designed for high levels and instead focuses on the middle and lower notes.
So, what’s my verdict on sound quality?
When it comes to genres, I’d recommend the QC15 if you’re into bass-heavy music.
However, QC25 is the set for you if you prefer jazz or indie music since it has greater clarity in the mid-range and lower tones.
Bose’s noise-canceling technology has advanced SIGNIFICANTLY over the years. It’s no wonder the business is now largely considered the industry leader in this field!
While both headphones have a commendable noise-cancellation feature, I’d say QC25 is the obvious winner here.
Despite the fact that the QC15 was one of the first headphones to provide this feature, it has grown out of date in the face of newer, more technologically advanced models.
In fact, I’d argue that QC25 has SURPASSED the noise-canceling capabilities of QC15 today.
Because it blocks out 85% of the ambient noises, such headphones are suitable for highly noisy locations such as public transportation, working out in the gym, accepting calls in public, and so on.
QC25 headphones also offer active and passive noise-cancelling capabilities.
While QC15 has the same feature, I notice that extra hubbub can still be heard when the active noise cancellation feature is turned on.
Generally speaking, if you’re someone who’d love to MAXIMIZE the noise cancellation technology of your headphones, QC 25 is the one for you.
When the QC25 was first introduced in 2014, it cost around $300.
While it seems pricey, the cost of QC15 is higher since it was discontinued meaning buying one would mean you’ve added something “rare” to your headphone collection.
But if you’re not an avid collector, you might want to pick QC25 since it is less expensive and a more readily accessible option.
Frequently Asked Questions
After reading through this guide, you might be curious to know more about the two pairs! Here are some extra questions that you might be asking yourself.
What is the Difference Between Bose QuietComfort 15 vs. QuietComfort25?
To put it simply, QC 25 is the successor to QC 15.
Being the successor, the QC 25 was built to address QC 15’s flaws. Though not all of the issues were addressed, most of them were.
As such, it’s not surprising why QC 25 received good ratings in several areas!
Also, because Bose has ceased production of the QC 15, the QC 25 is now the only one of the two models available.
As a result, QC 25 is a convenient choice, but those who have their own headphones collection might prefer QC 15 more.
How Do Noise Cancellation Headphones Work?
Noise-canceling headphones use powered technology, which means they require energy (such as a rechargeable battery) to function.
However, it is good to note that even if you don’t have access to electricity, merely wearing the headphones will ALREADY give you the physical advantage of noise reduction.
But when you switch on the noise-cancelling feature, that’s when the technology begins to work!
So what’s really the process behind this?
- These headphones listen to your surroundings and filter out unwanted music sounds before reaching your ears.
- When the soundwaves meet, little microphones in the ear cups or earbuds listen to the frequency response and create the opposite signal, effectively canceling out both sets of sounds.
However, acoustic engineers believe it’s a little more complicated than that because the overall “noise canceling” system includes battery power, signal processing, and sound blocking.
But you see the bigger picture, don’t you?
Alternatives to Bose Quietcomfort 25 and 15
If you’re not yet convinced about whether Bose QC 15 and QC 25 are the perfect pairs for you, there are a bunch of alternatives out there you can check out.
Here are some of the options I recommend that you can choose from:
1. Bose QuietComfort 35
If you’re looking for a more SOPHISTICATED version of the Bose QC, the Bose Quietcomfort 35 is a good option!
It has a world-class noise cancellation technology that blocks out all ambient noise, making the room quieter and the music clearer.
Wireless headphones are more convenient since they eliminate the need for wires to connect your headphones to your phone.
I also like that the Bose QuietComfort is Bluetooth-compatible, allowing for wireless communication between the headphones and the music-listening device.
Unlike the QC 15 and QC 25, which use non-rechargeable AAA batteries, the Bose Quietcomfort 35 has a rechargeable battery that provides up to 20 hours of listening time on a single charge.
If you find that charging is not possible, you may use the audio cable wired mode, which will provide you with up to 40 hours of listening time.
2. Sony WH1000XM3
The Sony WH1000XM3 wireless headphones are a popular alternative to the Bose QuietComfort.
When I first touched this headset, the first thing I noticed is how LIGHT it is, especially given all of the great capabilities it offers.
It also features a USB-C charging port, so you won’t need any AAA batteries to get it up and running.
All of the cushioned parts are composed of ultra-soft material to provide a luxury listening experience.
The WH-1000XM3’s frame is made of plastic, but that doesn’t mean it’s weak!
The plastic is sturdy and durable, capable of withstanding a variety of accidents.
The microphones that accomplish the active noise cancellation job are located toward the top of the earcups.
However, the padding on these Sony active noise-canceling headphones shows signs of wear and tear after a lengthy period of use — both the ear cup cushions and the headband pads begin to thin down.
3. Sony WH-1000XM4
The Sony WH-1000XM4 model provides strong noise-cancellation and voice-calling capabilities.
I was also impressed with the multipoint Bluetooth connection, which lets me connect two devices at once!
- If a call comes in while you’re working on your computer with headphones on, the audio will shift to your phone when you answer it.
- This is perfect if you’re someone who loves to multitask!
The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 offer a little edge for voice calls, but the 1000XM4 headphones are undoubtedly more comfortable.
It also features an upgraded noise-canceling mechanism, making it an excellent all-around choice.
And they are more affordable too! They were originally $350 but have recently been lowered to $278. So keep your eyes open for these on sale!
Final Verdict: Which Headset is Better for You?
That wraps up this headphone comparison guide!
So, what’s the final word?
When all factors are laid down on the table, one obvious winner emerges; the BOSE QC 25!
This headphones model provides the BEST convenience, sound quality, and noise cancellation technology.
It allows you to listen to music even in a busy environment. Also, because of the extra cushioning and precise fit on your head, they are also more comfortable!
However, I don’t discourage you from trying QC 15 or other alternatives! You can test out each headphone first and find which works best for you.
November 28, 2022 – minor formatting edits