Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bose QC3 headphones

Qc3 si lg

Its very rare that you buy something that does exactly what its supposed to do, and does it so well that it blows all your expectations away. One such device is the Amazon Kindle; does what its supposed to do, and consistently. I'd like to add another to that (very short) list; the Bose QC3 headphones.


Yes, they are very expensive at $350. Yes, they only work when they're powered (i.e. the proprietary battery is charged). But oh yes, they are gorgeous and comfortable to wear (even for hours at a stretch). And oh yes, they sound amazingly neutral (which is rare these days). And oh yes, that battery lasts for ever (more than 16-18 hours). 


It comes in a beautiful hard case (which frankly doesn't look like it'll last very long if you don't care for it), an airline adapter (for those stupid airlines that don't have a standard headphone jack), a charger and a set of "world" adapters that will make the charger work just about anywhere. The only fiddly bit is the cable, which comes either as a standard wired cable, or as an Apple-compatible control set of buttons. On the plus side, its detachable, and on the minus side, they really should consider making these things wireless. Cables, while great for quality, really suck in real world use.


It really is surreal how the minute you put these on and switch the button (there is mercifully only one button on the whole thing), it sounds like all the air has been sucked out of the room and its eerily quiet. On the audio quality front, I can only reference these to the Klipsch Image X10i's in terms of quality and trueness to the recording; if anything, these are slightly bass heavier, but not distractingly so. Mid's and trebles are fairly treated, and overall quality is sublime. They don't get terrifically loud, but because of the design seem to focus the sound into your ears as opposed to bleeding out. And they're open backed, which means a much more neutral sound that doesn't eliminate external noises if they're loud enough.


Are they worth the price tag ? Audio quality and comfort are so subjective, its hard to comment without real-world comparisons. These are so good that comparisons are only for academic purposes, not necessity. it would be interesting to compare these with a pair of AKG 490NC's, which are roughly a third less. The Harmon equivalents that I have tried were so bass heavy (as were the Monster and Beats equivalents), whereas the AKG's are more supposed to be more neutral.


But these Bose; awesome!