Best headphones for travelling (Bose versus others) | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Best headphones for travelling (Bose versus others)

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Nizar

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Hi everyone,

I never used to do that much travel (maybe a simple return to CGK/SIN three times a year) but did a fair bit this year and plan to do alot more over the coming few years starting with a big trip in april which will involve a fair few long haul flights so I am considering investing in a pair of quality noise-cancelling headphones.

A mate of mine reckons that the Beats by dr dre ones are rubbish and that the Bose QC15s even though outdated are still a goer.

What is the general consensus on Bose headphones ? How do they compare to say Sennheisser ones ? And within Bose, how are the new QC25s ? And why are the (older?) QC3 more expensive ? Are they worth the premium over the QC25 ? I heard that the Bose store in Camberwell have the QC15 still in stock and are selling them at a discounted price ($330 i think) are these still the go or is it worthwhile to pay $50-150 more to get either the QC25 or the QC3 ?

And lastly does amazon or any other US site ship them to Aus ?

Thanks
 
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markis10

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I would be moving quick to grab the QC3s or 20s from Myer while they were on sale.
 

Nizar

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I would be moving quick to grab the QC3s or 20s from Myer while they were on sale.
Were on sale ? Or are on sale ?
Is the sale still on now ?
I might check it out this weekend then. Cheers.
 

RooFlyer

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Beats by Dr Dre are rubbish (comparatively).

Can't give any other comparisons, but I've been taking and using QC15s on flights for years (now QC25). However I recently bought the ear bud equivalent (QC20) and the QC15s now sits rather lonely in the corner most of the time. The noise cancelling ear buds probably offer 75% of the NC experience of the 15's but are so much easier to carry with you and easier for you to nod off while wearing them. The 15s case takes up a lot of space in your carry-on. On long haul its still the 15s though.
 

markis10

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Were on sale ? Or are on sale ?
Is the sale still on now ?
I might check it out this weekend then. Cheers.
On sale now until tomorrow I think, $319 for the QC20s and $359 for the QC3s, use you credit card to buy Myer gift cards if you want some free QFF points but be aware gift cards cannot be used online.
 

RooFlyer

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On sale now until tomorrow I think, $319 for the QC20s and $359 for the QC3s, use you credit card to buy Myer gift cards if you want some free QFF points but be aware gift cards cannot be used online.
That's a great price for the 20s! I bought mine at Grapevine Mills Mall in US (on recommendation of AFFers :) ) for US$260, A$300 today, was a bit better FX back then, though.
 

vitagen

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My vote is for the qc20.. Ive got the qc3/15/20.... The qc3 has the squeeling issue so its hard to sleep with it on. Qc15 are comfortavle but takes up alot of room if you travelling light. The qc20 has the best of all worlds. Light, really comfortable, can sleep with them on no issues.
 

Nizar

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On sale now until tomorrow I think, $319 for the QC20s and $359 for the QC3s, use you credit card to buy Myer gift cards if you want some free QFF points but be aware gift cards cannot be used online.
The QC3 seems rechargeable can you charge it via USB and does it come with this ?
 

Nizar

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My vote is for the qc20.. Ive got the qc3/15/20.... The qc3 has the squeeling issue so its hard to sleep with it on. Qc15 are comfortavle but takes up alot of room if you travelling light. The qc20 has the best of all worlds. Light, really comfortable, can sleep with them on no issues.
What is the squeeling issue ? I prefer over-ear personally so would rather either the 3 or the 15. Which is better of the two ? Thanks
 

Foreigner

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I'm hoping next week QC15s to be on clearance in SYD duty free at clearance price $199, as reported in another AFF thread.
 

vitagen

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The squeeling for the qc3 is when you lean on them and cover the nc microphone i think it lets off a high pitch squeal.
 

Nizar

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I'm hoping next week QC15s to be on clearance in SYD duty free at clearance price $199, as reported in another AFF thread.
Wow, thanks for the info. Can you link me the thread please ?
 

PLANT

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Just remember...I have both the qc20 only have max 3 year life span as you cannot replace the rechargeable battery..... Need airline plug for qc20 separate purchase.
 
D

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I can't compare the Bose as I don't own them, but I do have the Sennheiser MM550-X over ear type. I have come to really like them, even though most write-ups don't rate their NC as good as Bose, the things I like about them are:
1. Bluetooth. Excellent sound over Bluetooth and I love the freedom of no wires. They do come complete with a wire and the different plugs (6.35mm to 3.5mm and an aircraft adapter type)
2. USB Charger with AC adapters for AU, US, UK and EU with a rechargeable battery which can be recharged whilst using or recharged out of the headphone and a very easy battery swap ability (spare battery about $50). The recharge works well from plug pack, aircraft USB or laptop USB but in any case, the headphones work well as "wired" even when flat. The supplied battery lasts for 10 hours without active noise cancelling on or 8 hours with.
3. Being over ear, often using noise cancelling is not required as the ear muffs do well in themselves. With noise cancelling on, it works very well.
4. Control is super easy. The right ear cup houses all the controls which can turn on/off the headset, raise or lower volume, skip or back track, pause, enable/disable noise cancelling, turn on/off Bluetooth and pair to a device, enable "talk-through" which turns off the music and turns on the external mics (2) for an easy conversation with cabin crew without taking off the headphones, answer a phone call and enable/disable surround sound effect.
5. They seem sturdy and fold very neatly for stowage in the supplied case.

Even as tech unsavy as I am, I have no trouble using the functions, which are easily found due to the large centre button which makes finger navigation a breeze and I think I'd miss having these "lazy mans" headphones if I now had to do without them.

The downsides are:
1. Can't sleep with them on (I don't sleep with earbud style either, so not a biggie for me)
2. They tend to get just a little warm on the ears, but it's certainly not uncomfortable.....but noticeable.

The other brand I was tossing up over before buying these Sennheisers, were the Parrot Ziks which also looked good and about the same $$$. The Zik 2.0 look nice and I'm tempted to grab a pair of those as well (in the guise as a present for my +1 ;))

Here are some photos which are taken on an A4 folder to give an idea of size, but I don't find the case too cumbersome.

P1010009.jpg

P1010010.jpg

P1010012.jpg

P1010013.jpg
 

Cynicor

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Most reviews and roundups put the Sennheisers as better headphones with better sound. Able to be used with no battery in, too, if you run out. I have the PXC 450s, they are awesome.

At the same time, most reviews give the Bose better noise cancelling ratings, so I depends what you are after.
 

dodgeyhack

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I really like my Sennheiser PXC-250s. Great sound quality.
The battery pack can be a little fiddly - I usually clip it onto the seat belt, or put it in the side storage in J.
The model I have has been superceeded by the version 2 though which uses a smaller battery pack so I'm not sure if the situation with respect to this has improved.
The whole lot folds down into a very small pouch. I couldn't imagine carting around the massive bag the Bose require.
 

Jleno

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For absolute best noise reduction, I recommend using conventional earplugs under QC15s/25s which you cannot with QC 20
 
D

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Most reviews and roundups put the Sennheisers as better headphones with better sound. At the same time, most reviews give the Bose better noise cancelling ratings, so I depends what you are after.
I agree. I found choosing a headphone to be somewhat difficult. (wouldn't it be nice to be able to "test drive" headphones for a day)

In the end, I decided to evaluate my needs/wants and I came up with this list (pretty much in this order of priority).
1. Bluetooth
2. Weight
3. Comfort
4. Audio quality
5. Noise cancellation ability
6. Features
7. Battery life
8. Portability
9. Warranty and support
10. Price
11. Aesthetics

This meant the Parrot Ziks would have probably been my first choice except for the weight (PZ - 283g vrs MM550 - 178g). They matched or beat the MM-550s on everything else (except battery life 9 rather than 10 hours) and the PZ driver diameter and sensitivity beat the MM550 by miles. The win for the MM550s only happened because I was at BNE int and they had the MM-550s there (and dropped 10% off the price) and I wanted a pair. Had they had the Parrot Ziks, I would have chosen them.
 
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