Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones Reviews

“Great Sound, Very Comfortable!” on April 10, 2011 by S-Hiebert (3 reviews)

Pros: + Build Quality Is Pretty Good
+ Incredibly Comfortable
+ Sound Quality Is Fantastic
+ Superb Noise Cancellation
+ Uses 1 AAA battery
+ No cable required

Cons: – You will only get sound when the battery is installed. If you take the battery out or if the battery is dead, the sound is dead
– Not include a 1/4″ adapter
– Case is rather big for frequent travelers
– Bulky when stowing

Summary: I have owned two other pairs of Bose headphones and I have been using Bose products for over 15 years. This is my fair opinion on the QC15’s.

I bought them from Bosedotcom and used their 12 month interest free payment plan. Do this only if you don’t want to put the three hundred down up front. If you can spend the three hundred right now, buy them from B&H, Crutchfield, Amazon, etc. because Bose will charge you sales tax because I think they have operations in almost every state.

The reason I bought these was because I heard them in a Bose demonstration area at a Best Buy. They had all the Bose headphones on display. As I put these on, I was blown away by the demonstration. They sounded better than my old Triports. They were more comfortable, and the noise cancellation seemed to work really well. I immediately put the old phones up on eBay and bought these.

First Impressions:

Build quality is pretty good. For the price, I would have expected better materials considering there is a lot of plastic here and if you simply rub off the Bose name, these look like $50 cans. The first thing I noticed was that these are incredibly comfortable. The old Triports made the top of my head hurt and they made me hot because the headband was stiffer and was made of a harder material. The Triports seemed to squish your head while the QC15’s just sit on your head. I can keep these QC15’s on for a long time and feel comfortable. The wider foam headband is very soft and the ear cushions feel great over your ear. The single cord is also a nice feature and I like how you can disconnect it and use them strictly as noise-canceling headphones. Bose includes an airplane adapter and they give you a case but I think the case looks cheap and bulky and awkward. The case should be more form fitting and sleek. The less-expensive Bose on-ear Triports have a very nice sleek case. I was also very surprised that for the price, Bose does not include a 1/4″ adapter. My Triports came with an adapter. I’m sure if you buy these at a Bose store, you can get them to throw in an adapter for free but then again you will get hit with the sales tax thing. Bose also includes 10 product information cards so you can give them to people who inquire about your nice QC15 headphones.

Sound Quality:

I bought the old Triports when they first came out around 2003 and I was incredibly happy with those. I never knew headphones could sound like stereo speakers. The only reason I got rid of those is after I heard the QC15’s at the Best Buy. The QC15’s actually sounded better and they are noise canceling.

Sound is better because the bass seems deeper. Also noise cancellation is not just for using it in an airplane. Noise cancellation really does help make the sound more focused because it blocks out more ambient noise. In other words, the noise cancellation is not just for canceling out loud obnoxious sounds, it actually enhances the music because there is less outside noise to color the sound. I don’t know the proper technical words to evaluate sound quality but I can just tell you that there is a difference between these and the Triports; it’s something you can pick out right away.

One thing to keep in mind is that you will only get sound when the battery is installed. If you take the battery out or if the battery is dead, the sound is dead. I don’t get this but I guess Bose wants you to only listen to music when the noise cancellation is on. If you don’t have batteries, these headphones become an expensive paperweight. There is a little zipper compartment in the headphone carrying case and I highly recommend you keep two extra AAA’s in there.

Noise Cancellation:

The Bose demonstration station at Best Buy simulated the sound of jet engines from inside an airplane. The demo asks you to press a button to start the audible sound and then to put the headphones on and listen to some music. Assuming the demonstration was not rigged in any way, the QC15’s did drown out the engine roar and I could hear the music without any distraction. I was impressed. It’s actually a weird feeling, the noise drowns out as you are putting these on your head and the closer they get to your ears.

Now here’s where you might be surprised –noise cancellation does not mean that it eliminates all ambient noise. I can put these headphones on and turn on the noise cancellation and if somebody screams my name from across the room, I can still hear that. I think the noise cancellation is strictly for much louder environments like inside an airplane and things of that nature where the circuitry “senses” the noise and sends a signal to counter it. Noise cancellation is not 100% cancellation of ambient noise. The noise cancellation works really well when it is being used while playing music but when used by itself I would not classify them as “isolation” headphones.

Also, I did notice that once the noise cancellation is on, it does put the slightest bit of pressure on your eardrum. Not pain or discomfort or anything like that, it’s just a sensation you get that tells you something is there. I think it feels good actually. Some people say it feels like you are on the bottom of a swimming pool.


Overpriced like every other Bose product. Considering the amount of plastic on this model, they really look like $50 headphones. You are paying for 1. The technology/patents/etc., 2. The Bose name. Considering Bose is at the top of the noise canceling market, you are paying for that accomplishment. Don’t let price necessarily deter you. Bose is one of the few, if any, audio brands that has excellent re-sale value. If you don’t like them after a year or so, put them up for sale and you will get back almost all of your money. People say Bose spends way too much money on PR and advertising but their reputation, as a result, speaks for itself.


I like them. As far as sound, they sound great. If I was a frequent traveler, I would like them even more. I find myself using the noise cancellation in the library to help me concentrate. I decided to keep them because I do use them a lot and they did sound better than the Triports I previously owned and they are more comfortable. They are pricey and not worth the advertised price IMO. Really assess whether you need the noise cancellation or not. My guess is most people will not. Honestly, unless you are a frequent traveler, I don’t think you will be blown away with the noise canceling when used on a daily basis. Try before you buy them and remember that if you are not happy with them, if you sell them, you will not lose a whole lot.

Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones