Bose hit another home run in late 2014 with the release of two new headphone sets. One is an upgrade to the already great noise-cancelling QuietComfort 15 headphones and the other is an upgrade to the truly awful AE2w Bluetooth headphones.
The QuietComfort 25 headphones are lightweight and stylish. More importantly, the headphones offer a great balance of the high, low and medium sound ranges. A (very) minor flaw is that the maximum volume level on both iPhone and Android devices is slightly lower than usual, but it’s not a deal changer. The sound is absolutely crisp and clear.
The noise cancellation works better on the QuietComfort 25 headphones than any other headphone set we have tested, but the QuietComfort 25 requires a AAA battery—so you better buy rechargeable batteries or be prepared to pay almost as much for batteries as you did the headphones. Speaking of price, the $299 is slightly too high, even though the headphones are top quality.
The Bose SoundLink On-Ear Bluetooth headphones, for $250, are a better buy. While there is no active noise cancellation, the puffy cups that cover your ears block in more than enough sound. Even in a Starbucks with loud voices everywhere, we could hear our music just as well as we could on any pair of noise-cancelling headphones. Besides, do you really want to walk by a busy street with active noise cancellation? Do you really want to get hit by a car? Some may not agree with this conclusion, but the Bluetooth sound quality on the Soundlink On-Ear set is just as good as it is on the wired QuietComfort 25.
Just three years ago, nobody would have thought Bose or any company could make Bluetooth headphones that have the same quality as wired sets. Even two years ago, Bose failed miserably with the AE2w headphones. Best of all, the SoundLink On-Ear headphones offer very good phone quality. You can easily have a conversation with people at your office while walking on a busy street. Those on the other end said we sounded like we were talking on a normal phone.
Unlike the QuietComfort 25 headphones, Bose’s new Bluetooth headphones are rechargeable. An hour charge can easily last you three days. Unless you truly need noise cancellation, head over to your local electronics store to purchase the Bose SoundLink On-Ear headphones. It will be the best $250 you ever spend.
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