Bose fans looking for better sound but less-effective noise cancellation than found in the Bose QuietComfort 15 may find their ideal headphones in the Bose QuietComfort 3. Others may find the price a bit disquieting.
QuietComfort 3 versus QuietComfort 15. Some reviewers compare the Bose QuietComfort 3 with that company's QuietComfort 15. While more reviewers say the closed-back Bose QuietComfort 15 headphones are their pick for noise-canceling headphones (because they physically block more sound), some say the open-back QC 3 (as it's also known) has superior sound, particular when it comes to bass performance. One review finds that the QuietComfort 3 headphones can block 19.5 decibels, well above the non-Bose competition (and about the level of rustling leaves).
Fine, even for the long haul. The Bose QuietComfort 3 uses an on-ear design that can get warm in warm settings, but otherwise we saw no complaints regarding comfort. CNET's David Carnoy calls the memory-foam earpieces "cushy." The Bose QC 3 headphones are smaller and lighter than the QuietComfort 15, another plus for comfort as well as for travel. The headphones come with rechargeable batteries and a charger, but won't work at all if the battery goes dead.
Heavy price tag. Both experts and users find the premium price of the Bose QuietComfort 3 to be its main drawback. It's more portable than the QC 15, and sound quality is a touch better, but it's also more expensive and with worse (though still quite good) active noise cancellation. It does strike a nice middle ground between sound quality and noise cancellation, but if you prize one or the other, you can find better and cheaper choices.