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  1. #1
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Which Bose headphones should we get?

    We're going to get a set of Bose headphones so that we can pack them in each of the bags to see which bags they fit in. They'll also be great for a couple of upcoming air travel trips. I know there are a variety of sizes/kinds - is there a particular version that you would recommend we get?
    Current Carry: Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  2. #2
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    I have the QC 3 and it fits nicely in the medium clear organizer pouch. I hear, however, that the larger but older QC 2 is more comfortable.

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    I recommend you don't get Bose

    You need to narrow down the question a bit ...

    Typically there's 3 kinds of headphones.

    1. Over the ear to be used at home

    2. Over the ear travel sized. These are smaller than the home versions but are more portable

    3. Over the ear, travel sized, sound insulating. Similar size as #2 but typically need batteries to provide the sound insulation.

    4. In ear canal phones. These are the ones I use. It's not for everyone, the headphones need to be inserted into the ear canal but they are sound insulating without needing batteries, very portable and sound great.

    The we get into budget which is a whole different ballgame. You can buy each of the 4 categories in a range from USD 60 to USD 400 and up ...

    If you can be more specific on the usage (1 - 4) and a budget, I can give you recommendations in each category.

    Krish

  4. #4
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    Well, ideally you'd get both. But seriously...

    For the purposes of testing them in and with the various bags, I would probably suggest the Quiet Comfort 3, since that is the model more commonly promoted. You needn’t look any further than any airline cabin to find a pair in use. You can’t thumb through an airline’s in-flight magazine without seeing them featured, and I believe American Airlines still provides them to First Class passengers on certain flights.

    The Quiet Comfort 2 is slightly larger, being on over-the-ear design, and as Itsching mentions is commonly acknowledged as being the more comfortable of the two; I concur, as I’ve tried them both when I was shopping for NC headphones.

    As far as personal use, you’d have to consider if you want the headphones primarily for noise reduction, or for music and audio. Are you an audiophile? Is weight and size crucial? If you ever get bored and want to know more than you ever imagined you’d want to know about headphones, stop in at HeadRoom. Incidentally, you won't even find Bose mentioned there if that tells you anything (no surprise there, right eVolcre?). But they do have lots of interesting information and guides. You might want to visit Headphones for a less technical slant.
    Last edited by KarlJ; 08-05-2009 at 02:59 PM.
    Karl

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    no surprise there, right eVolcre?
    I hope I didn't come across as being condescending. It's just become second nature that when someone says Bose, you say "No highs no lows, it must be Bose"

    But Karl is right. For mass market testing purposes, the Quiet Comfort 3 is a good one. It's marketed to the masses and is a good baseline.

    Personal use is completely different and I'm sure Karl and I could give you some decent recommendations for better quality products. Bose is overpriced and you're paying for their great marketing efforts ...

    BOSE is the Tumi/Brenthaven of the audio world while Shure/Etymotics/Sennheiser are the Tom Bihn's

    Krish
    r = Tom Bihn

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    I have the QC2 ones and like them a lot, but for size fitting, I would assume more folks would be buying the newer QC3.

    I can measure the case for you, if you'd like.

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    I have the Jabra C820S Active Noise Cancelling Stereo Headphones. The headphones are wonderful (and I recommend them) but the case is horribly large to lug around.

    For testing purposes I really think you want to get a few different headphones, unfortunately.

    Audrey

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    Can any of these noise-cancelling headphones fit in a Checkpoint Flyer? Is there a special way of packing them? How during are they in travel situations?

  9. #9
    Ken
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    Can any of these noise-cancelling headphones fit in a Checkpoint Flyer? Is there a special way of packing them? How during are they in travel situations?
    Krish gave excellent advice. All of the canal style phones travel quite nicely as they are very small, and they block out a lot of noise (at least my Etymotics do).

    --Ken

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    Can any of these noise-cancelling headphones fit in a Checkpoint Flyer? Is there a special way of packing them? How during are they in travel situations?


    Those are 'canal style phones' that (in my opinion) are the way to go for noise canceling and performance. I have a couple of them, the etymotics are incredible but also cost USD 150. There are some very nice ones in the USD 50 range as well. My backup set is the V-Moda Vibe Duo.



    There are some things that need getting used to. Canal phones need to be inserted INTO the ear canal to be effective. Some people find that uncomfortable, I don't. They're also so good at noise canceling that its dangerous to use them on the road or on a bike. They are absolutely fantastic for flying. Everything, I mean EVERYTHING is blocked out. To answer your question about packing, they're the same size as the normal iPod headphones.

    I find the canal phones to be excellent at sound insulation. They are very compact and don't need batteries or any 'active circuitry'. Here's the Bose sound canceling headphones size for comparison. You have to worry about batteries, it's a live circuit doing electronic sound insulation. They're not very portable, IMO and more fragile.



    Fire away with any other questions. I spend WAY too much time OCDing about my purchases and just went through headphone research a few months ago

    Krish

  11. #11
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    Hi Darcy,

    I agree with KarlJ's comments. You probably want to get the newer Bose QC 3 headphones, based on the relative frequency with which these are seen among current airplane travelers. The QC 2 over-ear headphones are more comfortable (and the case is slightly larger). And if you go to sites like HeadRoom, you'll only hear Bose mentioned with disdain. However, the question of how well the QC 2 and QC 3 headphones fit into various travel bags keeps recurring, so it makes sense to keep a set of these handy to check.

    For those interested in noise-canceling alternatives, there was a NY Times review of Headphones to Shut Out the World two years ago, with accompanying video podcast. (The Bose QC Headphones still came out on top, but there were some good, lower-priced alternatives.)

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    I'm happy with the sound on the over ear Bose headphones, but I've heard that they don't hold up well at all. My ears can't stand ear buds. Does anyone have a recommendation for an over the ear, lightweight, inexpensive headphone?
    Happy owner of a medium cocoa Cafe, small plum Cafe, plum/green Utility Tote, black/purple Lux, mini cork pouch, mini kiwi pouch, mini clear pouch, small blue pouch, assorted key straps, prototype Stuff Sacks, and navy/storm/sapphire Imago!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi Jill View Post
    I'm happy with the sound on the over ear Bose headphones, but I've heard that they don't hold up well at all. My ears can't stand ear buds. Does anyone have a recommendation for an over the ear, lightweight, inexpensive headphone?
    Sound insulating or normal?

  14. #14
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    You won't imo get the best bang for the buck with Bose. You will find solid recommendations here. The Koss KSC-75 cost $20 and sound great. Of course, you can spend more and get better sound. I started with Bose and would never go back. Bose charges a lot for what you get. They do a lot of marketing.

  15. #15
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    Normal, eVolcre. And thanks, dclawyer!
    Happy owner of a medium cocoa Cafe, small plum Cafe, plum/green Utility Tote, black/purple Lux, mini cork pouch, mini kiwi pouch, mini clear pouch, small blue pouch, assorted key straps, prototype Stuff Sacks, and navy/storm/sapphire Imago!

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