Product Listing

Bose QuietComfort 25 - A new standard in noise-cancelling headphones

By Marcus Wong - 31 Oct 2014
Launch SRP: S$529

Introduction, Design and Features

The QuietComfort 25 comes in black and white.


Bring on the quiet

Five years is a lifetime for tech products, but that’s exactly how long the Bose QuietComfort 15s have been in service, in part because Bose was determined not to replace the QC15 headphones until they had something that was, in their words, "better and different".

Enter the Bose QuietComfort 25,featuring a new design, updated electronics, and a slightly tweaked acoustic profile for improved sound overall. Launched last month, we've since had some time with these headphones for a thorough evaluation, and we must say that the changes are subtle, yet significant. From the new swivel-design cups to the improved noise-cancelling technologies, the QC 25 is better than QC 15 in many ways, but it’s very much the case where a sum total of many small changes brings about a better product overall, and not one particular standout feature.


Design and features

Clean lines and a simple finish make for a classy package.

The QuietComfort 25s fold up neatly for storage.

The QC 25 headphones boast a cleaner design aesthetic than the QC 15, with fewer lines compared to the original, and comes in a choice of black (which looks more like a gunmetal grey) or white (contrasted with elements of silver and beige), with the synthetic leather earpads contrasting the main band slightly. Other than a switch to activate noise-cancelling, the headphones are clean of detailing, with even the battery compartment discretely tucked away in the top of the right ear-cup.

Like the QC 15, the QC 25 is mostly made fromplastic, which makes them extremely light (195.6g to be exact), but Bose manages to package it in a way that the headphones don’t feel cheap. The hinges feel solid, and the headset itself is nicely put together, with a minimum of screws showing. Also, the way they’ve integrated the battery holder and airplane adapter into the included carrying case makes the set feel like a premium travelers’ item - which it is, if you consider the price.

The new swivel hinge allows the earcups to fit closer to your ears for a better seal.

Plush cushions on the earcups make for hours of listening in comfort.

Going back to the swivel-design cups: alone they don’t seem to be that big a deal, but attached to the new cast zinc hinges, they make the entire headset sit that much better on your head, allowing for a better seal, which leads to better sound overall. Despite the tighter seal, the pressure exerted around your ears is minimal, and the ear-cups are plush enough for long periods of use, so we can safely say this is one pair of headphones you won’t mind having on your ears for extended periods of time - which is exactly what's required when you are flying across continents.


Putting the “quiet” in “QuietComfort”

Noise-canceling is obviously the leading feature with this headphone pair, and we do think the noise-cancelling is slightly better than its predecessor, which pretty much makes it better than everything else in this aspect - at least for now. This is again powered by a single AAA battery, and Bose estimates you will get 35 hours of playback on a single alkaline battery, which is more than enough for a flight or any long commute. The number drops to 28 hours if you’re using rechargeable batteries (NiMH), but it's still plenty to take you through most journeys.

One welcome change is that the headset now continues working even if the batteries run out. The sound in this mode isn’t stellar, but it certainly beats having your music cut out on you completely. On that note, the battery light flashes when only seven hours of battery life remain, so that should give you plenty of lead time to pick up a spare.

The battery compartment is hidden above the right earcup.

Airplane jack adapter, battery holder and a cable with in-line mic make up the rest of the package.

A close-up of the in-line remote.

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  • Design 8.5
  • Performance 8.5
  • Features 8
  • Value 8
The Good
Excellent noise-cancelling
Folds down into a compact package for travel
Comfortable for extended periods of wear
The Bad
Sound quality is good but doesn't quite match up to the price tag
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