QuietComfort 2 the good, the bad and the ugly

QuietComfort 2 by Bose

these last few days i have been “testing” the QuietComfort® 2 noise reduction headphones by bose – they actually call them “noise cancelling headphones”, but more on that point later. testing in the sense that my mum bought a pair for herself, because there is a construction site near her house, and she has offered to give them to me afterwards, so i am checking out if it’s something i need. but this is no way a proper test, i just want to jot down a few thoughts i had about this product.

the general

for a few years now i have had quite a problem with noise. when i was a DJ during the 90’s i got myself a hefty case of tinnitus, and ever since then – as for many people suffering from that condition – i am very sensitive to external noise. earplugs are actually the worst solution. while they keep external noise out, as a trade off and because of their position inside the ear canal the tinnitus actually appears much louder. so headphones seem like a good idea, especially if they are of the around-ear type, which QuietComfort 2 is. the QuietComfort headphones are described to cancel noise, but they do not accomplish that. they reduce the noise, but quite some noise does make it through. i was surprised how much you do hear while wearing them. still, when you take them off after you wore them for awhile, your ears are nicely relaxed. everyday noise appears to be louder as it enters your ears in an unfiltered way again. but not in a hurtful way, the sounds are crisp and clear, it feels like you have fresh ears, for lack of a better expression.

on the plus side

– the headphones are very comfortable to wear, they don’t press on your ear in any way
– listening to music is awesome. you can turn the volume quite low and still have a very good sound quality
– the relaxing effect is instantly noticeable

on the negative side

– they use batteries, and they do not come with rechargeable batteries (QuietComfort 3 does have rechargable batteries, but it is an On-Ear model)
– the headphones are quite bulky, so they are a drag to schlepp around with you, even if the case they come with is nice
– traveling in a train is very comfortable, but these headphones are not made for walking. i can’t exactly explain how, but as you walk somehow your steps resonate and create a loud banging noise
– not made for laying down (but that would of course count for all hearphones), i can’t sleep on my back, and you can’t wear headphones on the side
– the cost … outch

all in all it is still a very thing item to have. i just wrote this blog entry wearing them and i hope it shows in some way or other ;). but anyway.

two more things: one, my mum wore these once when she took the bus and when getting out a woman approached her and said she must have really been in her own world. apparently some kids had found it very amusing to see an older woman wearing huge headphones, they had taken pictures of her and had a riot. my mum had not noticed …

two, i installed aSleep on my iPod Touch and that application really goes well with these headphones. it is a white noise software that comes with nature sounds and more. to write this i picked the beach sound, with seagulls of course…

About Jan Zuppinger

Jan Zuppinger has been writing this blog since 2002. He likes to grow vegetables. He likes to eat them too. He has opinions on everything, but sadly no one cares. Jan Zuppinger is not joking, just joking, he is joking, just joking, he's not joking. *click.