“Noise cancellation like never before”
When it comes to making top-notch noise cancelling headphones/earphones, few companies are as reputed as Bose. The company’s earlier model – the QuietComfort 15 – set a new benchmark in noise reduction for on-ear headphones and its successor, the QuietComfort 25 aims to surpass it in both audio performance and sound cancellation.
Price ranged from $280 to 320$. The QC 25 looks very similar to its older sibling, but there are a few noticeable changes. Nevertheless, Bose says that the newer model is an upgrade in all respects, and should surpass the QC 15 in all benchmarks.
Since active noise-cancellation is one of Bose’s strongpoints, the QC 25 is expected to be superb at eliminating frequencies which might otherwise interfere with you listening experience. But, will the sound quality be as good as the one offered by non-noise cancelling on-ear headsets like the Sony MDR-1A and Beyerdynamic T51i?
Design and Comfort
Until recently, most of Bose’s headphones had a very plain grey design. With the QC 25, even though the design isn’t radically different, Bose has opted to swap out the grey plastic for a silvery-black color. Unlike classic Bose sets, it also has sleeker curves which definitely give it a more youthful look. The QC 25 is available in two different colors – a black version with blue accents on the inside and a white version with tan accents. A new folding design makes it easier to fit this headset into a smaller carrying case.
The headband design has changed a bit as well – it flattens out at the top. The inner lining is padded with a material called Alcantara – a synthetic material very similar to suede that is both comfortable and tough. The same material is used in the top-of-the-line Sennheiser 800.
Just like the QuietComfort 15, the QC 25 is very comfortable to wear with its plush ear cups and low weight – just 169g without the cable. Bose has increased the tension on the headband which makes sure that the cans stay in one place – good news for people who want to use it while exercising.
Build Quality and Cable
Compared to its predecessor, the QC25 feels more solid and sturdy. The pivots of the ear cups are made using cast zinc, which should improve durability. All the plastic used in the chassis, along with the metallic back of the cups, are of good quality.
For the QC25, Bose has opted for a standard 2.5mm cable instead of the semi-proprietary system used in the QC15. The supplied removable cable has three buttons and comes in two versions for both iOS and Android compatibility.
When it comes to headphones like the QC 25, two performance metrics need to be considered – overall audio quality and noise cancellation.
When it comes to sound, the QuietComfort 25 performs better than the model it replaces, but doesn’t quite match up with non-noise cancellation models in this price range. In some tracks, you get the impression that the sound is right at the cusp of being a bit too sharp. Underlying notes tend to get accentuated and could end up overtaking the actual song. Because of the increased treble, badly recorded audio files could end up sounding even worse. The older QC 15 was much better at ironing out such flaws.
Obviously, the QC 25 is not aimed at audiophiles. It is a much more exciting headphone than its predecessor, and sounds better with most song genres including rock and classical.
The noise cancellation of the QC 25 is superb. Even though it didn’t quite manage to block all the ambient noise when tested in a loud environment, it did a much better job than the QC 15. But, the ear cups do apply a tiny bit of extra pressure, which could be an issue for people with sensitive ears. The active cancellation is powered by a single AAA battery which can last for up to 35 hours.
Along with the removable cable, the QC25 comes with a compact carrying case and an airplane adapter. The case is as small as it can get for a pair of full-sized over-the-ear cans and even has a diagram which indicates how the headphones need to be placed in it. There are slots for storing the adapter and an additional battery as well.
- Comfortable design
- Clear sound
- Excellent noise cancellation
- 21-30 day Bose money-back guarantee
- A bit expensive
If you are looking for the best sounding headphones at this price range, the Bose QuietComfort 25 is probably not the one for you. But, if you are looking for a premium sound cancelling pair which also sounds good, these headphones are easy to recommend.