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Bose QuietComfort 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones Review - -

Design 9.5
Usability 9.9
Installation 9.0
Value 9.5
Distributor: Bose
Andrew B
Review date: November 2006


Bose QuietComfort 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones Review

Bose have once again defines the headphone market with the QuietComfort 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones (QC3) that deliver one of the most impressive audio experiences of the 21st century. For those that are unfamiliar with Bose multimedia audio technology, this company can only be considered the elite of audio advancements and after years of researching the market of headphones, the developers have come up with novel concept that not only delivers superior noise-reduction but also miniaturized what some considered impossible.


  • An unmatched combination of noise reduction, audio performance and comfortable fit for on-ear headphones.
  • New, small design for lightweight convenience and portability.
  • Folds flat for easy storage in slim carrying case.
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery and charger included.
  • Detachable audio cable for noise reduction enjoyment.

Initial Thoughts

The presentation of the QC3 has a modern feel to it that comes in a black slim carry case that includes a plethora of extras such as adapters for airplanes, stereos and amplifiers and an impressive five foot long extension cable. Interestingly enough, the headphones neatly rest inside the carry case and once unfolded, battery installed (after it's been charged) and connected to your audio device, you are ready to experience an otherworldly audio experience.


The design of the QC3 are spectacular and comfortably fit on your ears without any unnecessary pressure, thanks for the supra-aural design. Unlike other headphones, the QC3 rest on your outer ears and in order to maximise comfort and noise reduction, Bose have added soft leather pads with cushioning that works wonders. The headphones can almost be used exclusively as earplugs with the noise-reducing capabilities that truly make this one hot device.

There is also power switch on the headphones that glows red when turned on but unfortunately the headphones cannot be used when the battery is flat or removed. Needless to say, it's a small price pay for the noise-reduction capabilities and its super-fast battery charging.


  • Dimensions: 172 mm x H 213mm x D 51mm (Headphones in carrying case)
  • Headphones weight: 145g (with battery/ without cable)
  • Battery run time: Approximately 20 hours
  • Battery life: 500 recharge cycles
  • Warranty: A written one-year transferable warranty remains with the product even if ownership passes to another person.
  • Colour: Silver

Noise Reduction

The main feature of the QC3 is the noise reduction aspect of the device which reduces a majority of background noise and in operation, it does a remarkable job. The device was tested on a flight from Melbourne to Sydney which reduced the airplane noise to a hush and other sounds were muted, although you could still hear some sound.

The main point however, is that the QC3 reduces the majority of background sound to allow the listener to really enjoy their music or audio experience. Whether it was in a business mall in Melbourne or the Circular Quay Station in Sydney, Bose have really achieved the impossible by making their noise-reducing headphones smaller without any cost to quality or performance.

Sound Quality

When it comes to sound quality, the Bose QC3 is several pars above their competitors with exceptionally clear sound clarity. The unit was tested on a variety of devices that included a PC, iPod, XBox 360 and a Philips DVD player. Needless to say, the quality on all devices was superb and even the subtle aspects of music or even the background ambience in a game or DVD came through exceptionally clear. Another impressive feature of the headphones is the base that really portrays an earthy feel to the sound which is great for games, movies and music.

Lithium-ion battery & Charger

The device also comes with a high quality lithium-ion battery that according to Bose can be charged around 500 times for 20 hours of continuos audio enjoyment. With these figures in mind, that is basically 416 days of music from the one battery and for those that wish to purchase a spare battery, these can be purchased separately for an additional cost. With that said, the initial battery charge takes around 2 hours with subsequent charges taking around 30 minutes.


Although the cost of the QC3 ($599AUD) may deter some users, the headphones are easily worth every cent which truly immerses the user into the glorious world of music and sound. Whether you're connected to your iPod, listening to music in a plane or enjoying a gaming session in front of your plasma TV, the QC3 nullifies almost all background noise, giving you a harmonious listening session to your favourite tunes. With one year-warranty by Bose, two rechargeable batteries that can be charged up to 500 times each and a compact carry case, there is little to complain about this pair of headphones that is strictly designed for all lovers of audio that simply want the best. Highly Recommended


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