Bose QuietComfort 25 Headphone Review

Build Quality
PRICE $300

The best noise-canceler, period!
Headphones can play after batteries are drained
Light and very comfortable
Sound quality isn’t stellar

"The QC25 widens Bose's significant lead in noise-canceling technology, though it trails some other competitive 'phones on sound quality."

The QuietComfort 25 (QC25) is the latest model to join Bose’s massively popular noise-canceling headphone lineup; it replaces the QuietComfort 15, the best noise-canceling headphone I’ve heard, till now.

Weighing just 6.9 ounces, the QC25 is one of the lightest full-size models on the market, and its oh-so gentle ear clamping pressure makes for an extremely comfortable fit. This one will spoil you to the point that other headphones will be unbearable to wear for more than a few minutes!

The outer shells of the QC25 ear cups are metal, build quality feels sturdy, and the ear cushions are user-replaceable. Thanks to Bose’s clever folding mechanism, the QC25 collapses into a smaller bundle than the QC15; the new headphone comes with a 8.25 x 5.75 x 2-inch carry case. One nitpick: I found the 58-inch-long cable (user-replaceable) a little too long, so I stuffed some of it in my pocket. The QC25 headphone comes in a black or white finish, both with blue accents.

The headphones are designed for use with Apple iPhones and offer limited compatibility with Android, Windows, and Blackberry phones, so some inline control features might not work.

The headphone runs on a single AAA battery, but unlike previous generations of Bose noise-canceling ‘phones, the QC25 will continue to play music (without noise-canceling) after the battery is drained. You can expect an average of 35 hours of use.

It’s an odd coincidence, but the very first tune I played on my iPod Classic was “Love and War” from Neil Young’s Le Noise album, and the QC25 instantly quelled the screeching, metallic racket of the New York City subway. I found the QC25 sounded best when played at volumes lower than levels I usually choose in noisy environments.

After the subway ride, I went to a city park, and just as I sat down on a bench, a big truck parked on the street, about 30 feet away. I popped on the QC25, and it silenced the truck’s engine rumble. I was facing away from the truck, so after a few minutes, I thought the truck had moved on. But it was still there with its engine rumbling away; the QC25 made it disappear! At home, I cranked up my bedroom air conditioner to simulate the whoosh of a jet plane cabin, and the QC25 vanquished the noise.

I was curious to see how the QC25 compared with one of my favorite headphones—the NAD Viso HP50—in a quiet room. They’re both closed-back designs and retail for the same price, but the Viso HP50 isn’t a noise-canceling headphone. The NAD sounded more neutrally balanced, bigger, and spacious. When I switched over to the QC25, first in “passive” mode with the battery power turned off, there was a hollow and diffuse character to the sound; switching on the noise-canceling restored some of the missing detail and resolution. With Sera Una Noche’s Segunda CD, hand percussion slaps and low-bass hits sounded fine, but a quick return to the Viso HP50 was a wake-up call—the players soft and loud dynamic shadings came alive. Voices sounded more natural. I did these comparisons in my quiet living room; in a noisy environment, I’d have to play the Viso HP50 much louder to block out the din.

As much as I admire the QC25’s state-of-the-art noise hushing and comfort, I’m less impressed by its sound. The QC25 is good, but better-sounding headphones are available for the same price. So I guess it comes down to how much of your listening time you spend in noisy environments. If it’s a lot, the QC25 is highly recommended. If it’s only a small percentage of the time, you can do better than the QuietComfort 25.

Type: Foldable, closed-back, on-ear, noise-canceling
Weight (Ounces): 6.9
Batteries required for noise-canceling: 1 AAA (for up to 35 hours playing time)
Accessories: Carry case included

jared41's picture

Its amazing head phone and i had old one but i going to buy newone