By Daven Lu
I swear this will be my last headphone rant until next issue! Oh wait…
If you do a search online for these headphones, you’ll quickly discover that these are one of the best pair of noise cancelling headphones you can find on the market. I have owned a pair for a year now, and I know many of you will be traveling soon over the next few months (Golden Week plans?) so I figured it might be a good time for a quick overview.
Price: At 37,000 yen (or $300 USD), these certainly aren’t an impulse buy. If you shop around you can find them for cheaper, though maybe not as much as you might hope.
Build quality (3/5): There’s a lot of plastic here, presumably to keep the overall package very light and portable. I would be careful when handling them. Don’t throw them into your bag without any sort of cushioning.
The headphone cable is also removable. Not enough headphones have removable cables, and too many headphones break at the cable, so this is a godsend.
Portability (3/5): The headphones come with a hard case, and also swivel so you can wear them around your neck (albeit this is not the most comfortable choice). The cable is 1.5 meters, which is short enough that it won’t get in your way while you’re walking around.
Sound (4/5): With the noise cancelling active, these are hands down the best-sounding Bose headphones to date. They are also the best-sounding noise cancelling headphones I’ve heard as of January 2016. They have a neutral sound with a slight bump in lower frequencies, and unlike other Bose headphones, the lows don’t overpower the rest of the spectrum. The mids were also surprisingly present—not something one would normally expect from a pair of Bose headphones.
With the noise cancelling off, they sound… bad. It’s almost what you would expect from no-name earbuds.
Comfort (5/5): These headphones are extremely light and comfortable. The ear cups go around the ears rather than on top, making for a pleasant sensation as clamping pressure is hardly noticeable.
Features (5/5): What more could one ask for? Removable cables, active noise cancelling, an in-line remote for controlling music volume, pause tracks and skip tracks, and an in-line mic so you can receive phone calls without touching your phone or removing your headphones.
These headphones are perfect for long rides or flights. I’ve flown with them 3 times now, and each time I am surprised that I don’t have to crank up the audio on my mp3 player or when watching movies on the plane. They’re also wonderful if you want good sound plus portability. Whether you wish to block out crying babies or silence an overly chatty person, or if you just want to get lost in music, I recommend at least giving these a try. If you’re in Japan, just go to any electronics store and try a demo pair.