Bose is a name that has come to be associated with good quality sound products. Whether it is the sound system or headphones, Bose has carved a niche for itself.
In this post, we will review two headphones from Bose, namely the Bose QuietComfort 25 and QuietComfort 15. Both these headphones have the signature Bose sound and are some of the best ones available in the market. Audiophiles in general love Bose headphones and these two are the favourites for a lot of people world over.
Now, if you have to buy one of these two products, which one will you buy? This is exactly the question that we aim to answer in this post.
Table of Contets
- 1 Bose QuietComfort 25 vs 15: Pros & Cons and Verdict
- 2 Bose QC15 vs QC25 – Final Verdict
Bose QuietComfort 25 vs 15: Pros & Cons and Verdict
Every headphone comes with its own unique aspects. While some may be good in design, others will score high on comfort. This is why we will compare these two headphones across different criteria and will rate them in each category, so you can make your choice accordingly.
The design of both the headphones is quite good and pleasing to the eyes. The ear cups of QC 15 is round whereas that of QC 25 is oval. Both have a metallic finish on the outer side of the ear cups. QC 15 is white in colour overall and comes with mustard coloured ear pads. The design is aesthetic and looks good.
QC 25 is equally good too. They come in black and its variations with a metallic finish and this kind of gives it a richer look when compared to QC 15 that scores high on elegance.
Bose has aimed to fix some of the flaws that were pointed out by users in QC 15, in their QC 25 model. One such drawback in QC 15 is that it was hard to identify which ear cup was for which ear. In QC 25, that flaw is fixed as it comes with clear markings for both the right and left side ear cups. There is an “R” and “L” printed on the inner side for this indication.
When you compare the weight of both the headphones, you’ll be surprised to know that QC 25s weigh heavier. In today’s trend of going light, you would think that the subsequent version of a product would weigh lighter, but that’s not the case here. Though the difference does not impact your comfort or listening in any way, it is still something to make a note of because it is unusual.
One cool aspect about the design on QC 25 is that they are of a solid build, and at the same time, they can also collapse into a comfortable package. This flexibility is truly priceless, especially if you move around a lot and would like to take your headphones with you all the time.
Both the headphones come in a nice-looking case, though QC 15’s case is better than that of QC 25. The case of QC 15 is not really a case, rather it is a Velcro pouch. But it is super convenient to store, as you can keep the headphones in any way and it will be fine. QC 25s, however, comes in a hard rectangular shaped case. To fit the headphones into this case, you have to fold it in a particular way and that is painful. In comparison, QC 15’s case is much better.
Lastly, let’s look at the chord. The chord of QC 15 feels cheap and flimsy and it almost looks like it will break down any minute. QC 25, on the other hand, has better chords, They are sturdier and thicker and as a result, less prone to damages.
Another aspect when it comes to cables is that QC 15 uses two proprietary cables, which means, if your cables are damaged, you’ll have to buy them from Bose. There is no option for fitting generic cables. QC 25s are better in this aspect too as they come with a 2.5mm jack on the ear cup end which means, you can fit an adapter at the end for some measure of flexibility.
That said, they are still proprietary and you have no flexibility in this aspect.
Now, time to decide which of the two is better in terms of design. With respect to design, both are good. While one looks more elegant, the other looks more professional and rich. You can pair these headphones with any costume and you’re sure to look good.
With respect to the case, QC 15 is better while QC 25 is better with a cable. So, considering all these aspects as well as the convenience of having markings for ear cups, we can say that QC 25 slightly edges out QC 15, but only by a small margin.
Bose is known to spend a considerable amount of time, effort and money in the comfort aspect of headphones, and rightly so because as a user, you only what something that doesn’t hurt you.
And because of the resources that Bose puts into the comfort aspect, both these headphones feel super comfortable.
QC 15s feel soft and comfortable because they are made of good quality pads on the ear cups. They have a great fit too and sits nicely on your head without making you feel uncomfortable.
However, one aspect that is a point of bother is that these headphones cause a weird pressure feeling in your ears and this makes them uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time. It is hard to explain this feeling, but it is definitely not something you can wear for more than a few hours.
QC 25s, on the other hand, are super comfortable. The headphones are light and make it easy to carry them around wherever you go. The clamp feel is also just right on the ears. If you have the habit of wearing your headphones around your neck, QC 25s are great for you as they do not press down on the neck area.
The ear pads are made out of the best materials available as they are soft and give a cushioned-feel to the ears. The soft leather combined with a memory foam cushion on the outside makes for a wonderful feeling of comfort. Also, the ear cups are large, so they fit well into ears of any size and this makes it more usable and versatile, especially if you are used to sharing your headphones with other members in your family. This means, you and your kids can use the same pair of headphones and both of you will feel comfortable wearing it.
There is a significant difference in the materials used for headband too. The headband of QC 15s has a faux leather type of padding. While this is comfortable, the material used in QC 25’s headband is much better and softer than the ones used in QC 15. The material used in QC 25 is called Alcantara and this is the same material used in some high-end sports cars. It contains about 68% polyester and 32% polyurethane, and this makes it feel comfortable overall.
Coming down to the verdict. Which of the two is better. Though QC 15 is comfortable to wear, it is the QC 25 that shine in this category. They are just extremely comfortable and the feeling is hard to describe. You’ll have to experience this comfort to understand what it is. Obviously, you can wear a QC 25 for any length of time without feeling any sense of fatigue at all.
The final word? Hands down QC 25 because its padding and fit are way more comfortable than QC 15.
3. Battery Life
Both the headphones require AAA battery to run. The noise cancelling feature specifically can consume more amounts of battery for you.
Though this use of AAA battery may seem a little outdated considering the many advanced rechargeable batteries that are available today, some users still prefer these batteries because they can use the headphones whenever they want without having to wait for the rechargeable battery to get charged.
We can argue that AAA batteries offer some measure of convenience, but for the most part, they are a real pain because you have to replace them often. Also, you always need to keep a set of batteries, especially if you’re a frequent user of these headphones.
Of course, this will also add to your costs as you’ll have to buy batteries and replace them say once 10 days or two weeks depending on how much you use. Generally speaking, each pair of battery comes for about 35 hours in both the headphones, provided you don’t turn on the noise cancelling feature. if you do, then the number of hours comes down.
In this day and age of the rechargeable battery, it is surprising that Bose preferred AAA batteries for both these models. That said, there is no winner in this category because we believe rechargeable batteries are the way forward as they are simple, convenient and are better for the environment when compared to AAA batteries that end up in landfills after they are drained. Bose could have averted this environmental issue with some diligence.
4. Sound Quality
The sound quality in both QuietComfort 15 and QC 25 are great. In fact, they are one of the best in the industry.
That said, there is a world of difference between how the same piece of music sounds on these headphones. In a way, it is a little surprising because QC 25 is supposed to be the next version of QC 15, so you’ll not be expecting such a substantial difference in sound quality. But that’s the way Bose has made them and it could also be because Bose wanted each headphone to have its own sound signature!
QC 15 is slightly a toned down version of QC 25. It offers balanced and smooth sounds that make for a pleasant listening experience. There is nothing too jarring and out of place and everything blends well together in a nice way. There is nothing significant about the lows, highs or the mid-range tones. These tones simply sound the way they should and this is why you hear the right note for every sound.
The bass exists, but again it is not something that is prominent. There are many headphones that ruin the experience of listening by going heavy on the bass. QC 15 does nothing of that sort, it simply relays back great sound, just like how the original sound was made.
If you’re expecting something outlandish or bright, then QC 15 headphones are not the ones for you.
QC 25 has an amazing sound quality as well. Every detail is well-captured and there is a degree of crispness in every note. All the sounds are crystal clear and it truly takes listening to new heights.
One of the complaints about QC 25 is the lack of bass. Once again, like QC 15, bass exists but it is not strong or overpowering. You can hear bass for average listening.
Another aspect about QC 25 is the highs are not as clear as they should be, especially when you listen to it at high volumes. At times, you can notice sharp transitions at highs. But everything in the middle and lower notes are to the point and make for an enjoyable listening.
Overall, QC 15 have a more “fun” aspect to their sound quality, and they also sound better in genres that require bass. So, if you like bass heavy genres, QC 15 is the choice because they really enhance the listening experience.
On the other hand, QC 25’s clarity in the mid-range and lower tones, as well as the lack of white sound, make it ideal for genres such as acoustic, jazz, pop, Indie and other forms of laid-back music, as they have a balanced sound output.
Out of the two, which is better? The verdict is too close to call because both sound great. QC 15 has an edge in bass output, so they are ideal for genres that have heavy bass while QC 25 is more detailed and is therefore ideal for laid-back genres. The choice totally depends on what kind of music you prefer listening to.
|QuietComfort 15||QuietComfort 25|
5. Noise Cancelling
One of the signatures of Bose headphones is their noise cancelling feature. Over the years Bose has perfected it so well that today Bose is the leader in the area of noise cancelling technology. And this expertise reflects in its headphones as well.
QC 15 was one of the first headphones to come with noise cancelling technology. When it was released, QC 15 was the go-to headphone for anyone who wanted to listen to good music in a noisy environment. But today, it is not one of the best headphones though some die-hard QC 15 fans will not agree to it! This is because newer models have made use of technological advancements to provide a better noise cancelling.
The perfect example of that would be QC 25. It is considered to be one of the best noise cancelling headphones available in the market today. When you turn on the noise cancelling mode, about 85% of the surrounding noises fade away and you can hardly hear anything except the music that’s playing in your ears. This aspect makes QC 25 the perfect choice for noisy environments. It is ideal if you travel by public transport every day or if you have to take calls in public places or just about anywhere else that tends to be noisy.
You can even choose to sing along with the music, and the best part – you’ll not be able to hear your own voice, only others can! That’s how awesome the noise cancelling feature is in QC 25.
To top it, the QC 25s have both active and passive noise cancellation, especially at the lower frequencies. Though the same feature is available in QC 15, there is a strange noise that comes out of the headphones when you turn on the active noise cancellation feature. Thankfully, that noise is eliminated in QC 25.
The winner in this category is quite obvious. It is QC 25. They are simply one of the best noise cancelling headphones among all the different models across different manufacturers that we have tested so far.
Both headphones are on the expensive side when it comes to cost. This higher cost of QuietComfort 15 can be attributed to the fact that the manufacturer does not make these headphones any more.
Which is better? Well, both are expensive considering the features they offer. But if you have to choose, QC 25 is definitely cheaper and more readily available than QC 15.
7. Bose QuietComfort 25 vs 15 – Pros and Cons
Every product comes with its own set of pros and cons. Though these aspects don’t make a product wholly good or bad, it is still good to know what they have and what they don’t, so you can decide based on it.
Bose QuietComfort 15 Pros
The good aspects of Bose QuietComfort 15 are:
- Super comfortable to wear.
- One of the first noise cancelling headphones.
- Long battery life.
- Crisp and clear sounds.
Bose QuietComfort 15 Cons
The shortcomings of Bose QuietComfort 15 are:
- On the expensive side.
- Not wireless, so portability is tough.
- Quality of music is impacted when battery life goes down.
Bose QuietComfort 25 Pros
The pros of Bose QuietComfort 25 are:
- Great sound quality.
- Excellent noise cancelling headphones.
- Powerful lows.
- Bright highs that come with no distortion whatsoever.
- Crisp sounds.
- Comes with many colour choices.
- Great fit.
Bose QuietComfort 25 Cons
The drawbacks of Bose QuietComfort 25 are:
- Not wireless.
- Uses AAA batteries that require to be changed often. Noise cancelling consumes a substantial amount of battery power.
- Not compatible with Bluetooth.
We hope these pros and cons give you a quick overview of what each headphone has to offer.
Bose QC15 vs QC25 – Final Verdict
Now it is time to know which of the two is better overall.
For starters, QC 25 is the next version of QC 15, which means, it is created to overcome the defects of QC 15. Though not all the drawbacks were fixed, a substantial number of them were and this is why QC 25 scores high in many aspects. Bose could have done more, but maybe it did reserve the remaining changes for subsequent editions and models.
Added to it, Bose has discontinued the manufacture of QC 15, so QC 25 is the only one out of the two available now. This also makes QC 25 the obvious choice.
When all these aspects are taken into consideration, QC 25 is the better of the two, so go for it by all means.
|Headphones||QuietComfort 15||QuietComfort 25|