If you’ve been hiding out under a rock or bridge and hadn’t heard the news, the Bose QuietComfort 2 series of over-ear headphones were just about the coolest noise-canceling cans around. We loved our pair, and for the price they ran at (around $300) we made darn sure to get our money’s worth. However, Bose has since saw fit to release an all-new, update edition of the classic pair, bringing the QuietComfort 3s to market with a lot of hype filling the sails.
The headphones are smaller, sleeker, and more technologically advanced than a Borg Cube. All in all, it’s an incredible pair and an even better listening experience. But for our full thoughts on this soon-to-be staple series of headphones, check below beyond the break!
Design and Comfort
As stated, the Bose QuietComfort 3s bear a lot of resemblance to their notable predecessors, though with a few major improvements. First of all, these are a set of on-ear headphones, rather than over-ear—somewhat of a surprising change, in fact. But even though these cans won’t shroud your ears in music, the plush and insanely comfortable padding was more than enough to satiate us. Additionally, the headphones have been slimmed down quite a lot since their last appearance. The headband is lighter, as are the earcups, though they feel no less durable in-hand than we expected.
Best of all, there’s no batteries to exchanged. All those AAAs have been replaced with a proprietary lithium ion piece that can be popped out and used with an included travel charger. It’s a neat way to handle noise-cancelation, and alleviates a lot of our primary concerns with the more traditional way of powering the cans. All in all, the redesign is a smashing success in our books.
Sound Quality and Performance
Bose may have slimmed down the QuietComfort 2s, but the question remains. Have they kept the same, incredible level of sound performance? To keep things short: yes . . . though with a few caveats. First and foremost, the noise-cancelation works like a charm, though as with all headphones of this type, there is a marked sensation of pressure being put on the ear drum. If you’re sensitive to this, you may find the constant feeling annoying.
Aside from that, the QuietComfort 3s actually come with a marked improvement in sound quality. The bass is much richer than before, though perhaps too much so on acoustic tracks. Likewise, both the middle and top end are somehow fuller, allowing for an incredibly complex soundscape.
All of this stellar design and great performance will cost you one pretty penny, however. The QuietComfort 3s clock in at around $350 street, and though that’s perhaps too high for the average end-user, we do feel it’s on-target for the production quality. These are an incredible headphone, and for the price, you can hardly go wrong.