The Bose QuietComfort line has been around since 2000. Since then it has evolved greatly into the QuietComfort 3, and QuietComfort 15. I had bought a pair of the QuietComfort 3 headphones back when they first came out in 2006, and have used them moderately for 6 years. At the time they sounded better, and had better noise cancelling technology than the QC2’s and I personally found them more comfortable. As the years went by (5 years), the ear cushions started to lose their comfort and the battery started to lose it’s ability to retain a charge as well. This was not a deal breaker, because both the ear cushions and battery is replaceable replaceable, but the headphones started to emit a high frequency sound whenever the ear cushions were to be compressed, so that I had to shelve them. These headphones are great from the short term to the mid term (1-4 years), but beyond that, the quality of the sound becomes strained and purchase of a new pair is advisable.
However, as I went talked to Bose about my situation, they offered a trade in program which allows me to trade in my headphones and battery for any brand new quiet comfort product for the additional cost of $100. The Ear cushion and battery would cost me $85 so I decided to get the brand new pair of Limited Edition QC15’s. Getting to use both these headphones I have always been impressed by Bose’s quality in their products. Upgrading from the QC3’s I found the QC15’s to be more comfortable while wearing them for long periods of time. . That said, I was most impressed by the noise cancellation was the ability to cancel out nuisances, such as the sound of babies crying on the plane a few rows away from us. Without these headphones, it would have been a completely different, and likely unpleasant, experience.
Both headphones come with a case that holds everything you need to carry with you on a trip. The QC3 requires a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that comes with a charger. All of this fits in the case in a specific way because it is so compact, so it can be tedious to pack when you are in a rush. According to Bose, the battery is estimated to last about 25 hours, and from mild testing, that claim does seem to hold up – provided you don’t put them on full blast.
The QC15 case has a larger case with more room for peripherals, and because it takes one AAA battery (lasts me about 40 hours) it is easier to pack and take out for quicker easier access. In the future I am hoping Bose will release an add-on that might fit into the connector of the QC15 allowing for wireless blue tooth connectivity. If you look at the headset connector, it seems be large enough to fit some future adapter that will fit inside the headset for a seamless integration. However there seems to be no rumors on this, and because Bose is so successful with their current product line, they do not need to release a Blue tooth solution quite yet.
Bottom Line: the Bose QuietComfort line is a very nice choice for any frequent traveler, casual listener, or anyone who is looking for a great sound experience. The price is definitely disappointment, but the sound quality is near unrivaled in that price range, so it’s safe to say that Bose more or less controls much of the market for middle price range headsets.