By: Hillel Fuld (@hilzfuld)
Let me start this post with a short story/disclosure. A while back I traveled across the world and stopped over on the way for a few hours in Italy. While the pizza there looked delicious, I found myself wandering into the electronics store in the local airport. There, in the middle of the store were the Bose QuietComfort 15 Noise Cancelling Headphones. Now, a little background. I am no audio expert and so I never owned any fancy earphones in the past. My older brother, however, is. He loves him some good sound and his house is lined with Bose everywhere you look.
All I knew of Bose as a company was that it must be great products if Doni was using them. OK, now back to the story. I tried the headphones on and they felt great. Then I switched on the noise cancellation and “nice” quickly turned into “Holy freakin cow, how do they do that?”. The background noise, which I literally did not notice before, was gone. Completely.
Then came the music. I turned on the music, which admittedly, was music chosen to amplify the amazing audio capabilities of these headphones. At that point, there was no question, I was sold or the headphones were, and I was the buyer. Except, my travel companion, the wife, did not share my enthusiasm and given what I said above, namely that I am not a real music guy (I had been using the headphones that came with my iPhone till now), the wife vetoed that decision.
I figured it was time to choose my battles or more accurately, choose between the headphones and sleeping on the couch. I chose my bed. But then I boarded and I will give you three guesses what headphones the guy sitting next to me was using. Skip the first two. Yes, he was using the Bose QuietComfort 15 Noise Cancelling Headphones. Now, any logical human being would conclude that this was a sign that I was supposed to buy these headphones. The wife is apparently not logical. Who knew?
Fine, I moved on. The flight was great and the guy next to me let me use the headphones during takeoff to see just how effective the noise cancellation was. Show off! Anyway, I wanted these headphones and as any normal internet freak would do, I decided to announce that on Twitter.
— Hillel Fuld (@HilzFuld) June 21, 2012
Well, it wasn’t long before Bose saw my tweet, followed me, and reached out thanking me for the nice plug. But they didn’t stop there. The Bose PR team reached out and it wasn’t long before the email from Fedex arrived telling me the Bose QuietComfort 15 Noise Cancelling Headphones were on their way. For free. I might have screeched like a little girl. NO, not really. Sheesh. (Bose did not require me to write this post, all they asked was if I do, to disclose that they gave them to me.)
OK, now to the headphones. I have been using them for a month now and um, if I sum up this post with the word “Wow”, will you get the point? No, but seriously, the only way I can describe them is that I feel like I have never experienced music the way it was meant to be experienced, till now.
Now, the headphones are not perfect. The battery, which is supposed to last for months, based on the dude on the plane, lasted me till yesterday. Now to be fair, I don’t think I have turned off the noise cancellation once in the last month. OK, slight exaggeration. I have but I use the headphones a LOT.
Also, I would like to be able to use the headphones and listen to music without the noise cancellation activated, in case my battery runs out. That is not possible. My last complaint is that if you leave the noise cancellation on by accident, it does not automatically turn it off after a few minutes in the case. That would have been a cool feature.
Now, putting aside my nitpicking, like I said, I am no music or audio expert so I am not going to compare these headphones to other high-end $1,000 headsets out there (these are $300), but I will say that the sound that comes out of these bad boys is just ridiculous. The clarity, oh the clarity.
Also, it comes with a built-in microphone for phone calls/Skype. I found that to be a little strange with noise cancellation activated since, as you can tell, I like to hear myself talk.
Anyway, when you wear the Bose QuietComfort 15 Noise Cancelling Headphones, you can literally not hear anything around you. Nothing. Yea, don’t wear them while driving (although I would assume a person with a half a brain would know that without me saying it).
Everyone I demoed the Bose QuietComfort 15 Noise Cancelling Headphones to had the same response and it did not even involve words. The jaw automatically drops. The experience of listening to music with these headphones is just different than anything you have experienced before. That is all I can say.
If you travel a lot, enjoy focusing on work or tasks without interruptions, or if you just like the finer things in life, you owe it to yourself to pick up a pair of the Bose QuietComfort 15 Noise Cancelling Headphones. Changed my work flow, changed my appreciation of music, and I would be willing to bet it lowered the stress in my life.
Thank you, Bose. You might have sent these headphones for free, but I can assure you, your responsiveness online and your willingness to let me try these headphones have guaranteed that I will never ever even entertain the idea of buying another brand’s products for my music listening needs.