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At first glance, Bose QuietComfort 3 does look a little plain compared to other headphones in the marketplace. Headphones that use batteries may elicit a few groans, but at least Bose had the decency of making them rechargeable, as well as including an airline adapter in addition to a wall-socket charger. The QuietComfort 3 is not a fashion accessory by any means, but that was not the niche Bose was carving for itself. The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams.
If you thought the only headphones you could get from Bose were expensive noise-cancelling models, think again. Understated, but most importantly, more than competent at audio delivery, it’s common to find audiophiles all over citing one of Bose’s merchandise when asked for recommendations. Bose’s claim that the battery will last 25 hours can be attested to; when left overnight, there was still juice for a few more hours.
True to its name, the battery-powered feature drowns out jet engines, nearby chatter, screaming babies, and even the lawnmower.
The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews). The AE2 doesn't include any noise-cancellation functionality, but it does offer up good sound at a surprisingly affordable price.
Released on June 2006, the Bose QuietComfort 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphone is still around seven years later. Nonetheless, that may well work in its favor, as it will resonate nicely with the group of listeners who are not looking for anything flashy.

Recharging was also painlessly quick, considering the many hours of play time you’re getting. Non-Apple users can also purchase a mobile kit, although why you should have to is a mystery. Although not exactly giving you total silence, the circuitry combined with the ear cups reduces noise drastically. The AE2 is also one of the lightest over-ear models around, making it extremely comfortable for long listening sessions. There are actually two versions of the pair, the most recent being the focus of this review. Getting unpleasantly warm in about 30 minutes, it could be wholly unsuitable to be used in any strenuous activities or by those in warm weather. Just in case wall sockets are eluding you, it’s wise to get a spare battery as no juice equals to no music. Bose should have made it compatible at least with Android phones as well, seeing as the Android pool is wide and deep, if not wider than deeper than Apple’s. But on the other hand, the top and middle notes sound lush and pleasant; not what you would expect from a high-end pair, but close enough. In travelling, this is the deal-breaker as a good pair of noise-cancelling headphone can decrease jetlag tremendously.
If you like it, and also use an iPhone, the AE2i comes with an inline mic and remote, for about $30 more. There are also concerns about the cable being too thin, resembling other cables worth only $20.

Spoken recordings such as audio books are clear and concise, with practically no distortion to speak of. However, those with sensitive ears may find the feature a little too aggressive as the pressure from it will cause some discomfort after a few hours.
If you’re a frequent flier and traveler looking for a new pair, is the QC 3 a must-have purchase? Its on-ear design is simple and slim, with black plastic for the headband and cozy leatherette ear cups padded with cushy memory foam.
In terms of storage, they can be rotated up to 90 degrees and stored neatly in the slim carrying case provided. With the headphone costing $350 apiece, they should have been much more versatile and thick. Compared to other noise-cancelling headphones out there, this one is pretty much one of the best in sound. Although possessing a less than superior build, its noise-cancelling property makes for a convincing argument. If you’re diligent about keeping the battery charged, and don’t mind spending a little more for some peace and quiet, then Bose’s QuietComfort 3 is the pair for you.

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