Wireless Bluetooth Headphones














December 2, 2017
I purchased these and the Sony WH1000XM2 to compare the two. Cnet says they both have a "9" for sound quality. I would agree, they both sound excellent. The Bose won the test for its noise cancellation, performance talking to people on the phone, comfort on my head, and sound processing.

Phone performance:
I compared how the Bose and the Sony sounded when recording and playing back my voice with a fan running in the background. The Bose sounded like I was holding an old fashioned handset and talking in a quiet room - intimate and zero background noise. The Sony sounded like I was on speaker phone, and I could hear some background noise. (As a control I also recorded using neither and it sounded like I was on speaker but also I could hear more background noise.) This feature is important to me since I spend a lot of time on the phone and prefer my clients to not hear any background noise.

Sound quality
The Bose and Sony both have excellent sound quality for playing music. I personally prefer the sound the Sony produces. The Sony iphone app lets you choose your levels on an equalizer, and I like that. However, the Bose hears what type of music you're playing and automatically optimizes the sound, and it does a really good job. While I would prefer to be able to set the levels if I so choose, I also appreciate that Bose is making it all easy for me, so I can truly listen to my music on random and not have to fuss with levels. The Bose iphone app doesn't do very much at all. It does let you "find your headset" similar to the "find my phone" app, and it will apply firmware. (I'm hoping Bose will add an equalizer into its app in the future.)

Noise cancellation
The Sony occasionally made me aware that noise cancellation was going on (with a whitenoise effect). The Bose on the other hand just stops the noise. There is no delay, no white noise, just quiet and your music.

Controls
The Bose controls are intuitive to find and to use. I like that the on-off control is a switch to flip on and off (rather than a button to find). Also, you can use this button to switch between devices, for example between your phone and ipad and your TV amplifier. The right earcup has three small buttons in a row together, and they control a lot of things. Volume, pause, and skip, rewind, answer/decline calls, etc. The left earcup only has the google assistant button, which I programmed to instead control the amount of noise cancellation (high, low, off). Song playback sounds much better with noise cancellation on high, and I don't think that has to do with noise (I was in a quiet environment); the bass sounds enhanced with noise cancellation on for some reason. (In comparison, the Sony lets you swipe the earcup itself to control volume, pause, play, skip, etc. This seems great in theory, but in practice if I bumped the earcup adjusting my glasses or whatever, the music would pause. I found the Sony to be somewhat buggy in that regard. It would stop playing at times and I had to pick up my phone to get the music re-started, which is annoying.) I found the Bose controls to be more intuitive and consistent. Also, when you switch them on a voice tells you how much battery you have left, which is handy.

Comfort
The Bose QuietComfort truly is comfortable. The earcups are soft, there is not a lot of clamping, and the top band is padded so it's less annoying on the top of the head. (In comparison, the Sony do have more clamping which was uncomfortable over glasses.) I am a pilot and wear a similar headset, so I'm familiar with how headphones feel after a few hours. On-ear are not going to be as comfortable for long term wear as earbuds would be, but I was wiling to make that trade-off to get superior sound quality.

Style
The Bose are more streamlined to my head. the Sony are bulky and look geeky.

Conclusion
Even though the Sony produces superior sound, the litany of other features (superior noise cancellation, intuitive controls, comfort, style, & phone performance) won me over to the Bose.
January 23, 2018
These are amazing and Bose is great! I purchased these headphones for their noise-cancellation abilities. I am an application developer and wear them at work because I am easily distracted. I don't even listen to music with them... they just cancel just about all background noise, including random chatter from the annoying marketing department. I also use them for WebEx and Skype calls with clients. The built-in microphone is great and the noise-cancellation is helpful during those calls as well. Battery life is extremely good. I can go an entire week without having to charge the headset. It comes with an 1/8" cable that will allow you to listen to music even when the batteries are dead. An added feature is that the bluetooth feature will allow you to connect to and hear audio from two sources at the same time. This is great if you want to connect to your iPhone and laptop at the same time.

After a month of use, the headphones button would no longer work to pair to a new device. It would still power on and off, just the pairing didn't function. Bose support was difficult to deal with. At first the support technician didn't think there was anything wrong with the headset. After a frustrating conversation, he relented and sent me instructions for sending them back to the manufacturer. This would mean that I would be without my precious headphones for at least two weeks. The next day prior to dropping the headphones at UPS I came across The Bose Store at Tysons Corner Mall. I had the headphones with me so I decided to speak to one of the employees there. After a very brief conversation, and even though I purchased these through Amazon, he walks over to a display, gets me a brand new set of headphones and proceeds to exchange my defective ones for the new set. No other questions asked. He just said "We like to take care of our customers". I wish customer support would have been as easy to deal with... but, things worked out.

































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