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The Cody Blog: Random Review Tuesday (October 18, 2005)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Random Review Tuesday (October 18, 2005)

New feature for the site -- every Tuesday I'll review a random product, service, restaurant or what not that I'm using. Today's review: The Bose QuietComfort 2 Noise Cancelling Headphones.

Back in June, I started recording music again after a several year long hiatus. I needed a good set of headphones and the woman I was dating at the time had commented that she was going to buy herself the Bose QC2s for when she traveled. So on a Saturday afternoon from the beach (ah, the wonders of technology), after coming across their ad in the NYTimes Magazine, I called Bose and ordered a pair for me and for her.

She got hers first as I had Bose overnight them to her since she was about to come to NYC from her home in LA on Tuesday. Her review was pretty straightforward: "They're great!"

I've been using the headphones when I record and mix my music, and with my iPod when I travel and sometimes when I walk around the city.

The quality of the sound out of the QC2s is phenomonal. I can hear all kinds of intracies in my music as I layer multiple tracks on top of themselves. In fact, the quality of the sound is so high that I can hear the difference in the high quality, high capacity AAIF tracks that my music program originally creates versus the lower quality, compressed MP3 tracks that I convert the tracks into for ease of use.

They're also comfortable enough that I can wear them for hours on end as I re-re-re-record and re-re-re-remix my music.

I also like the way that the cord is detachable. I often catch the cord on my equipment or on the armrest on the plane and it simply pulls right out without doing any damage.

One problem I do have with the headset is that, because they're "active" in that they are battery operated, I sometimes hear a buzz in them when I sit near a bunch of electrical equipment. Though it's rather minor, that's irritating.

Also, the noise cancellation feature itself is not that great. I used to have some Sony Noise Cancellation headphones that were better at cancelling out the white noise of planes and the noise of traffic, etc. They do a great job of cancelling out the sounds when you're listening to music, but when watching a plane movie, you can hear the hum of the engine and people talking and coughing around you.

The only other problem is the size of the headset. It's just big by design and it's not easy to walk around the city with them on.

Overall though, I think my ex's sentiment sums it up rather nicely: "They're great!". I give them a Cody Rating of 6 out of 10.


Blogger BelowTheCrowd said...

Though Bose was the first to commercialize this technology (in a pilot's headset that I used to use back when I was flying regularly) they seem to have fallen behind in the use of this technology both for professional communication headsets and for consumer noise-cancelling devices. In addition, they are way out of line on their prices when compared to similar items.

I have been using and love the Sennheiser PXC 300s for travel. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00079PNU6) Much smaller and lighter than the Bose and also have better ANR for airplanes in my opinion. Unlike the Bose set you have, they will work as normal non-noise cancelling headphones if the batteries die, which always tends to happen in the middle of long flights.

I also like the fact that Sennheiser chose to put the batteries and circuitry in a small module on the cord, rather than putting that extra weight on my head. They fold down into a small case that easily fits in my travel bag.

Just my two cents. The headset I use is a bit harder to find as the brand is less heavily promoted and not as well distributed, but is easily available from Amazon. Noise cancelling headsets from Sony and Panasonic are also alternatives, but I have tried them and my impression was that they both introduced a fair amount of noticable hiss-like "white noise" when the noise cancelling circuitry was engaged, while the Bose and Sennheiser sets both seem to just suck the noise out of the environment.


10/20/2005 02:24:00 AM  

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