I have been traveling quite a bit over the past year and ended being jetlagged at the end of every trip due to my inability to sleep on long haul flights. The constant drone of the jet engine gets to me after a point, especially when I am binging on movies to make better use of the time. I have tested noise canceling headphones before and come to the conclusion that Bose has the best technology in the business. This is why I was excited to try out their new QC25 over the ear headphones during a recent trip to Barcelona to cover the Mobile World Congress.
The QC25 has an unmistakably Bose design. It comes with a denim finish headband, fold flat earcups and an innovative two-pin adapter for airlines. The ear cups sit softly on your head and you don’t feel a thing even after long hour as I discovered during the first leg of my trip from Delhi to Doha. Usually, you feel a bit stuffy inside the ear cups after a couple of hours. But with this one, I was fresh even after a couple of movies out of the way. The QC25 comes with a carrying case that keeps them safe in the melee of your hand baggage. These are expensive headphones and needs to be protected.
Price: Rs 21,263
There are two ways to use the QC25 in a flight. The first is to just switch on the noise canceling mode — which needs power from one AAA batter in the right ear cup — to drown the drone of the aircraft engine. There were a couple of occasion when I just switched this on and tried to go to sleep, the silence shattered only when a child shrieks in a few rows behind or someone in the seat ahead starts a loud conversation. The device is good with noise canceling, but it is better when it is canceling sounds that follow a set pattern like an aircraft engine. You will hear those noises that don’t stick to the pattern. In fact, you will, hear them better than you would without the headphones on as you don’t hear the aircraft. However, just ensure that you are plugged into the aircraft’s sound system so that you don’t miss the PA.
The other option is to use this and enjoy the onboard entertainment. And let me tell you will not realise how good the sound reproduction on some of these new planes are if you don’t use a quality headset. The airline headphones are almost always ill fitting and let in too much noise, often at the cost of important dialogues. But the QC25 let me enjoy the power packed dialogues and moving jazz notes in a movie like Whiplash, the way I never had in a flight before.
The overall audio quality is not something you need to elaborate on while reviewing a Bose. You need to mention that only when something is off beat, which is rare, really rare. I can only say that with noise cancellation on, I going really sink into my entertainment during the flights. Watching the amazingly musical climax of Whiplash, I almost lost a sense of space for a few minutes and started tapping on the seat in front of me much to my co-passenger’s annoyance. The detail is all there and the base is just right.
The battery life is good and the AAA battery lasted me the entire round trip to Barcelona, which added up to over 20 hours of flying time, during most of which I had the headphone on my ears.
Should you buy it?
This, or any other noise canceling phone, is a must have for frequent fliers, or those who work in noisy environments. The QC25 is one of the best options available in this space and is a very good headset even without the novice cancellation turned on. But let there be no doubt that there is a price to be paid for this premium quality silence.