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The Ultimate Noise Cancelling Headphones

By Special Features Editor, Bet-TAY Morgan
Updated April 4th, 2005.

Rob-Art and I were not looking forward to flying to California with chatty travelers, roaring jet engines, annoying cabin announcements, and screaming babies. Rob-Art said, "I'm getting too old for this. Maybe we need to invest in some noise cancelling headphones... if they really work!"

I said, "Let's look on the Internet and see what is available." After seeing that Sharper Image, CompUSA, Brookstone, and Bose each were selling some type of noise cancelling headphones or earplugs, we decided to give each brand/model a test drive in their respective stores. Prices ranged from $50 to $300. But the difference in the various models we tried was dramatic. The Bose QuietComfort Acoustic Noise Cancelling headset won hands down! Just a few words that describe these Bose beauties... light, comfortable, stunning, revolutionary, superb! The saying, "You have to experience them to appreciate them," is certainly true in this case.

The Bose QuietComfort headsets have an MSRP of $299*. The price seemed excessive until we tried them. They blew us away. We bit the bullet and got two pairs. (They give you 30 days to try them so you can't lose.)

I can report that they gave us the best traveling experience that we have ever had. The iPod performed flawlessly and every note of music could be heard without the aircraft engine noise. And the PowerBook's DVD movie was heard as clear as a bell! I used the adapter for the airline movie jack to plug the Bose headset into the airline sound system (music and movies). For the first time ever, I could actually hear the movie without a background roar. Let me say it again... there was virtually no engine roar with or without music or movies playing! I don't understand exactly why the Bose headphones are so superior to the others, but I can testify that I will NEVER leave home without my Bose noise cancelling headphones.

My mother, Christine Stanley, owns a private campground in mountains East of San Diego ( The noise in her office/home is constant what with conversations, kitchen pans clanging, and door scan dinger ringing as campers enter and exit. Normally it would be impossible to take an afternoon nap, but Rob-Art was able to slip into his own world of music and slumber with his Bose QuietComfort headset plugged into his trusty iPod while relaxing my Mom's favorite recliner.

When we returned home to Hawaii, Rob-ART wore them to the gym. He used to go at 4AM just to avoid the noise of people talking, weights clanging, treadmill feet thumping, and obnoxious mood music. Now he masks it all out with the Bose headset and his iPod.

Without a doubt, the Bose QuietComfort Headphones have added a new level of enjoyment to our lives. It should revolutionize your listening life, too. And what a great gift for that hard-to-please friend or mate!

Other ways to use the Bose Acoustic Noise Cancelling headsets

THE HOSPITAL PATIENT: Patients need quiet to recuperate. With the Bose Headset the patient would be able to eliminate sounds from a moaning roommate, noisy television, ringing phone, hallway chatter, and even family conversation.

THE GIFT FOR AN EXECUTIVE THAT HAS EVERYTHING: A great way to eliminate office distractions and make your gift unforgettable. This gift won't be exchanged! Even the lowly knowledge worker in a noisy office will appreciate this gift.

THE GARDNER: Mowing the lawn, trimming hedges, and cutting trees with a chainsaw are ear splitting activities. With the Bose QC headphones, music from a Walkman or iPod will be easily heard and ears will be protected.

THE SUBWAY OR BUS PASSENGER: When our flight was redirected to Los Angeles (instead of San Diego), the airline put us on a bus. We ended up spending 3 hours in the back of the bus right over the noisy diesel engine. Thank God for our Bose QuietComfort headsets!

THE HOUSE BY THE FREEWAY: Live in a noisy neighborhood? Trying to sleep in a noisy dorm? Working the night shift and trying to sleep during the day? Bose to the rescue!



HIGH TECH: Microphones in the earcups actively monitor the sounds you hear. The difference between the existing sound and the desired sound is then electronically processed. The driver within the earcup creates a correction signal that is opposite to the effect of the outside noise and combines with passive attenuation to dramatically reduce it.

LIGHT AND RIGHT: They look bulky but weigh only 5.4 ounces. The ear cups seem large but are designed to cover your ears completely, thereby enhancing the noise cancelling effect.

COMFORTABLE: The ear cups are softly padded. On our 5+ hour flight to California we wore them the whole time with no headache or ear discomfort.

TRAVEL WORTHY: Comes with a padded tote bag and airline sound system adapters. The two AAA batteries power the system; It's been a month of daily usage and they are still going strong.

COST: Pricey at $299, but worth every penny in our opinion. If you can find a Bose store, they have a dramatic display that demonstrates the headsets in a simulated airline environment. If you buy in the Bose store, you get a 90 day no hassle return guarantee.

If you order the Bose QuietComfort Headphones through Sharper Image, you also get 30 days return... AND... Bare Feats gets a commission.

Sharper Image is now selling the NEW "version 2.0" of these headphones for the same price as the older model. The updated Bose QuietComfort 2 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones have no hanging battery pack. When not connected to your music or DVD player, you can use them to cancel noise without any wires dangling.

For small ear fobs, we like the Bose In-Ear Headphones -- Help support Bare Feats by ordering your set from Sharper Image.


"Yes, it is useful for continuous "roar" (low pitch) type noises - eg. aircraft engines, lawn mowers, trucks, etc. But it is not so effective against "whine" (high pitch) type noises. The headphones are tuned to an aircraft engines sound frequency for best performance.

"Secondly, it ONLY works with "continuous" noises - like truck, engines etc. - but intermittent sounds like phones, people talking, babies screaming come through quite clearly. Though it seems negative - this is a positive attribute. It means you can take a nap on an airplane and still hear your own baby wake up and cry (and others too!). You can get that urgent phone call or hear someone talk to you." (Alex)


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