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Welch
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Bose Q35 - Better Options

Fri May 05, 2017 2:31 am

Is there anything out there better than the Bose Q35 for someone wanting active noise cancelling when traveling by airplane?

The price of about $350 seems steep and I can't help but think there is something as good if not better for at least $100 cheaper? Bose does seem to make good products for someone like me who likes quality sound but isn't an audiophile in the sense that I don't research it the same way I do computer hardware.

Is the Q35 really the best option for $350, or is it overpriced?
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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Fri May 05, 2017 3:20 am

Picked up these ATH-ANC9's about five years back on the premise that they're audiophile-grade noise-cancelling cans, and while they excel on both points, they're just a bit too small to be comfortable.

I'd have paid more for the Bose, comfort matters more for travel.
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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Fri May 05, 2017 5:58 am

The Q35's are the best there are.
 
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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Fri May 05, 2017 6:13 am

Take a look at the "Sony MDR-1000X".
They are relatively new, and seem to perform even better than the Bose QC35.
A co-worker of mine has the QC35, and although the noise-cancelling is good, I found the sound quality a bit bland (for lack of a better word), although I only spent a few minutes with them.

Personally, I will probably try out those Sony MDR-1000X at some point. Reviews are rather good.
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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Fri May 05, 2017 6:49 am

I own a pair of Q35, and I really like them.

I have been using them for almost a year now. I use them on the plane and in the subway, both places that are quite noisy, and they do a fantastic job as far as I am concerned.

I listen mostly to music downloaded from iTunes or Spotify.

If you have the chance, I would try to compare them to the ony MDR-1000X; they seem to be about the same price.

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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Fri May 05, 2017 6:51 am

Anything from Sennheiser will give better sound quality than the Bose, and I would say are equally/more comfortable to wear. Pricing is about the same.
 
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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Fri May 05, 2017 9:01 am

The Q35 gets very good reviews, but asking whether a Bose product is over-priced is pointless.
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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Fri May 05, 2017 9:05 am

just brew it! wrote:
but asking whether a Bose product is over-priced is pointless.

And a tautology.
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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Fri May 05, 2017 9:53 am

RuiFig wrote:
Take a look at the "Sony MDR-1000X".
They are relatively new, and seem to perform even better than the Bose QC35.
A co-worker of mine has the QC35, and although the noise-cancelling is good, I found the sound quality a bit bland (for lack of a better word), although I only spent a few minutes with them.

Personally, I will probably try out those Sony MDR-1000X at some point. Reviews are rather good.

I bought the Sony MDR-1000X over the Bose QC35 because of the better audio quality. As far as sound cancelling goes the MDR-1000X are awesome.
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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Fri May 05, 2017 9:55 am

roncat wrote:
Anything from Sennheiser will give better sound quality than the Bose, and I would say are equally/more comfortable to wear. Pricing is about the same.

Noise cancelling is not as good. That was the number one reason why I did not buy the PXC 550 and why I went with the MDR-1000X.
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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Fri May 05, 2017 10:17 am

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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Sat May 06, 2017 12:34 am

Why is asking if Bose is overpriced pointless? Its no different than someone who isn't really informed about say cars... Asks whether an Audi is overpriced over say a Subaru. It's a legitimate question.

People tout the Bose as supreme and they are sold in the Airports, ECT. Don't know if you can get just as good quality of build, sound and features for much less from someone else.

I'll look into those Sony headphones
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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Sat May 06, 2017 3:35 am

Welch wrote:
Why is asking if Bose is overpriced pointless? Its no different than someone who isn't really informed about say cars... Asks whether an Audi is overpriced over say a Subaru. It's a legitimate question.

People tout the Bose as supreme and they are sold in the Airports, ECT. Don't know if you can get just as good quality of build, sound and features for much less from someone else.

I'll look into those Sony headphones


Bose charges a correspondingly high price for their QuietComfort model's advanced operation.

Like many active schemes, it readily discriminates against more predictable background noises, such as that of air conditioners or train/airline cabins. But the over-ear QuietComfort also has an uncanny feature that nearly all rivals cannot match, which is its ability to identify and selectively mask (or in the case of the in-ear QC30, emphasize) nearby speech against a noisy ambient.

Undesirable wave patterns that vary in rhythm and intensity as well in pitch, such as spoken words, are apparently not so well recognized and reversed by earlier active schemes. Most non-Bose designs only work their best when isolating against and reducing a mostly constant and cyclic audio background.

Sony's newest active noise-cancelling may have similarly advanced discriminating capabilities, though. Let's hear from its users.
 
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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Sat May 06, 2017 7:20 am

Welch wrote:
Why is asking if Bose is overpriced pointless?

Because they are marketed as a premium brand, and charge premium prices, for products which can be (but aren't always) very good. Generally you're paying a significant premium just for having the brand name. They're sort of like the Apple of audio (Apple is playing catch-up here, with their acquisition of Beats).
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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Sat May 06, 2017 7:47 am

I'll put it another way- the QuietComforts are the only Bose product that I'd recommend for their specific purpose.

They don't have the best sound quality, not especially for the price- no Bose audio product does- but comfort is king here, and Bose has proven to get this right.

(the Sony's look close, but I'd need real comparisons to even consider them... at least Sony knows audio better)
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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Sun May 07, 2017 1:11 pm

Airmantharp wrote:
Picked up these ATH-ANC9's about five years back on the premise that they're audiophile-grade noise-cancelling cans, and while they excel on both points, they're just a bit too small to be comfortable.

Small around the ears or small across the head? I got some ATH-M50x cans in a Massdrop deal a few months ago and was disappointed to find that they don't sit well on my head. Sony is great, AKG is downright luxurious. I should probably send AT an email to let them know that it's an issue.

just brew it! wrote:
Because they are marketed as a premium brand, and charge premium prices, for products which can be (but aren't always) very good. Generally you're paying a significant premium just for having the brand name. They're sort of like the Apple of audio (Apple is playing catch-up here, with their acquisition of Beats).

Thing is though, in order to be overpriced there must be similar competing products as a reference point. With Apple we know it's premium/overpriced because of the plethora of PC and Android manufacturers whose products do the same thing with a different coat of paint. But there are few decent active NC cans on the market, and fewer still that the public has actually heard about. I'm in the same boat, need to replace some Panasonic headphones that are starting to fall apart and never quite worked right in the first place, so I'm eager to hear about these alternatives as well.
 
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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Sun May 07, 2017 5:05 pm

I do not have first-hand experience with noise cancellation, however: Everything I've read tags the Bose Q35 to be about as good as it gets across the range of sound quality, noise cancellation effectiveness & feature set. Typically reviews will note that it out-performs much more expensive offerings.

A couple of very good sites to reference on matters of headphones and/or in-ear-monitors (IEMs) are:

Innerfidelity - http://www.innerfidelity.com/ - primarily focused on headphones with some modest coverage of IEMs, DACs, AMPs, source players, etc. Tyll Hertsen operates the site, with reviews that address both objective & subjective performance. Tyll has loads of bench testing equipment, has been dong this for decades & is highly regarded in audiophile circles (from a variety of sources).

The Headphone List - http://theheadphonelist.com/ - primarily focused on IEMs with some modest coverage of headphones, DACs, AMPs, source players, etc. I don't know a great deal about ljokerl, who operates the site, his technical qualifications, etc. except to say that he's performed quite a few IEM reviews for Innerfidelity & he appears to be really pretty obsessed with the pursuit.

I've made 5 or 6 purchases based largely upon recommendations from both sites/reviewers & have been very pleased with the equipment. And I'm not dropping thousands of dollars on kit ... (I work for a living) ... with price points ranging anywhere from $50 to $350.
 
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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Sun May 07, 2017 5:36 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
but asking whether a Bose product is over-priced is pointless.

And a tautology.

To ask the cost of Bose
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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Sun May 07, 2017 7:09 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Welch wrote:
Why is asking if Bose is overpriced pointless?

Because they are marketed as a premium brand, and charge premium prices, for products which can be (but aren't always) very good. Generally you're paying a significant premium just for having the brand name. They're sort of like the Apple of audio (Apple is playing catch-up here, with their acquisition of Beats).


Ahhh, ok. Saying it was pointless was pointless but your second answer tells me everything and was why I asked my questions. I always got the feeling that they were the well marketed overpriced option. I almost thought from your initial comment that you were suggesting they are totally worth it or that "value" is completely subjective.

Good to know, thanks for the opinion which mirrors what I've always suspected.
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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Sun May 07, 2017 7:32 pm

Welch wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Welch wrote:
Why is asking if Bose is overpriced pointless?

Because they are marketed as a premium brand, and charge premium prices, for products which can be (but aren't always) very good. Generally you're paying a significant premium just for having the brand name. They're sort of like the Apple of audio (Apple is playing catch-up here, with their acquisition of Beats).


Ahhh, ok. Saying it was pointless was pointless but your second answer tells me everything and was why I asked my questions. I always got the feeling that they were the well marketed overpriced option. I almost thought from your initial comment that you were suggesting they are totally worth it or that "value" is completely subjective.

Good to know, thanks for the opinion which mirrors what I've always suspected.

I guess the Sony and Sennheiser models are overpriced as well.

Is "overpriced" code for "beyond my budget"?
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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Sun May 07, 2017 8:00 pm

Overpriced is what it always has been and like I mentioned before.

For it's cost, can an equal or better product be had for less money? I think this is a fairly normal expectation on whether something is overpriced. My Audi and Subaru comparison probably isn't exactly fair since Audi is much more of a quality fit and finish, but a quality Subaru that is in some cases more reliable but doesn't compete performance wise can be has for literally 1/3 the cost. I suppose they aren't equal for a number of reasons though.

The headphone market seems much easier for nearly equal products to be priced vastly different. I guess if active noise cancelling is rare or in a limited number of designs then I can expect to see more expensive prices for this type of tech regardless.

This pair of phones aren't for me anyhow. It's a friend and customer who was willing to jump on the Bose Q35 at the airport and wants something for flying. He has no issue dropping 300-500 on headphones. So yeah, overpriced didn't quite matter but he may as well get the better fit in that price range.

The Sony for him would be about $50 more and from reading the benefit is much nicer sound, just as good noise cancelling (reviewers) a more "stylish" look and feel as opposed to Bose which hasn't changed the style in awhile (if you care about that) and support for aptX codec which the Bose Q35 lacks.

Unsure about things like the battery life, I believe they both claim 20 hours of audio playback.
Last edited by Welch on Sun May 07, 2017 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Sun May 07, 2017 8:05 pm

End User wrote:
I guess the Sony and Sennheiser models are overpriced as well.

Is "overpriced" code for "beyond my budget"?

Maybe. But there's a reason the phrase "Sounds like Bose: No highs and no lows" was coined among the audio community. Bose has never had premium equipment. What they do have are some very fancy mathematical models for acoustics, applied to a range of well-regarded active noise cancellation products and a half-dozen iterations of the Wave Radio.
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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Mon May 08, 2017 4:59 am

NovusBogus wrote:
Airmantharp wrote:
Picked up these ATH-ANC9's about five years back on the premise that they're audiophile-grade noise-cancelling cans, and while they excel on both points, they're just a bit too small to be comfortable.

Small around the ears or small across the head? I got some ATH-M50x cans in a Massdrop deal a few months ago and was disappointed to find that they don't sit well on my head. Sony is great, AKG is downright luxurious. I should probably send AT an email to let them know that it's an issue.

The ear cups are small, that's basically it. Granted, the cans are collapsible and fairly compact, a feature that is aided by the slightly undersized ear cups. They're just a bit too small for my ears, and my ears are about average.
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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Mon May 08, 2017 9:21 am

As always, InnerFidelity's Wall of Fame is a solid place to start.

You *can* get better SQ @ $350, but you probably aren't going to get that SQ and active noise cancelling at that price. On top of that, Bose's QC line are basically designed for the business traveler who spends a lot of time on airplanes. It would be very difficult to beat QC35 in this case.
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Re: Bose Q35 - Better Options

Mon May 08, 2017 9:39 am

Airmantharp wrote:
Picked up these ATH-ANC9's about five years back on the premise that they're audiophile-grade noise-cancelling cans, and while they excel on both points, they're just a bit too small to be comfortable.

I'd have paid more for the Bose, comfort matters more for travel.


I have the ANC9s and am very happy with them, especially considering I got them for $135 brand new. They are pretty comfortable for me - I just wore then on two separate 4 hour flights without issue. The noise cancelling on them is fine, and the sound quality is outstanding. For $200 less than the Bose, I'd go with the ANC9s.
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