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Bose QuietComfort 15 Noise Cancelling Headphones review

Bose QuietComfort 15 - Hear Only the Good Stuff

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Overall rating 9/10
Very comfortable to wear
Good audio performance
Significantly cancels out cabin/droning noise
Sounds 'processed'


Frequent Flyers' Respite

On a whole, we are very pleased with the Bose QuietComfort 15. Acoustically, the QuietComfort 15 is very strong and has the signature “Bose sound”, and so it sounds very smooth, well rounded, and powerful. Like other Bose products, it sounds impressive on first impressions, but after spending more time with it, we found cracks in its armor. But first, here's a quick summary of the QuietComfort 15's performance.

Summary of Audio Results
Test Type Scores
CD 8.0
MP3 8.5
Movies (DVD) 8.5
Overall Audio Performance 8.5

On lossless tracks, we found that the highs weren’t handled as crisp and there was also significant roll-off causing the QuietComfort 15 to sound less bright. Oddly, this wasn’t apparent when playing MP3 material. Also, because the QuietComfort 15 has that typical “Bose sound”, it also means that if you listen to it for extended periods or even critically, you’d find that it the overall sound is very processed and feels manufactured. Whether you like the “Bose sound” or not depends very much on the individual, but we would certainly prefer a more natural sound signature. Nevertheless, overall, the Bose QuietComfort 15 excels aurally and is a very decent, if not good, sounding pair of headphones.

We were also impressed by its active noise-canceling performance, and the ear cushions did a good job of passively isolating noise well too. Also, they are very comfortable to wear as well, such that even after a day of listening in the office, we didn’t feel fatigued.

However, despite being an entry-level Bose headphone, the QuietComfort 15 still comes in at a considerable price of S$599. The question, therefore, is the QuietComfort 15 worth it? If you are a frequent traveler and you find it difficult to sleep when flying because of the engines’ incessant whirring, then yes. The QuietComfort 15 will help a great, great deal in attenuating cabin noise, which could possibly help you catch a bit of shut-eye. In that respect, the Bose QuietComfort 15 comes highly recommended as it offers a neat package of audio quality, noise attenuation and comfort.

On the other hand, if what you are looking for is a regular set of headphones for everyday use, S$599 can easily net you better sounding gear. Furthermore, the active noise-canceling feature works best only on consistent and low-frequency sounds, which means it’ll won’t be able to mute out your mum’s never-ending nagging or save you from your colleague’s inane chatter.