Before we get into the Bose Quiet Comfort 3 vs. 15, grab a snack, sit back and relax because…
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this comparison
Today I will provide the Similarities and Differences between these two buddies and then give a recommendation towards the end. 🙂
Similarities & Differences
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!
Bose headphones aren’t bad by any stretch of the imagination. They’ve caught a lot of flack over the years for various reasons. No, they’re not audiophile headphones, but what audiophile would be in the market for a Bose headphone?
What audiophiles need to stop doing is acting like everyone is as snobby about gear as they are. I can appreciate a Bose for what it does well. It gets 2 things right nearly every time: Noise cancellation and Comfort.
99% of the time when you put a Bose headphone on, it’s going to be comfortable, and it’s going to do it’s job in blocking out sound. The rest will vary. Sound quality over the years has been hit and miss, but for the most part it’s going to be very balanced and pleasant sounding.
That said, how do the QC3 and 15 stack up against each other? Let’s find out!!
Both are used with Apple, and will require a mobile kit for use with other brands of cell phones.
Both have omni-directional mic features. This will pick up sound in all direction.
Both employ the Triport acoustics from Bose. This basically means that Bose has implemented a built it tonal balance mechanism, effectively balancing the mid-range, lows, and highs while also giving the bass a boost.
QC3 smaller in stature than the QC15.
QC3 is Supra-Aural (On-Ear) vs. the Circumaural fit of the QC15.
Weight. 145g (5.6 oz) for the QC3 vs. 6.4 oz. for the QC15. Because the QC3 is smaller it’s more portable.
Battery. The QC3’s have a battery life of 20-25 hours (lithium ion), while the QC15’s run off of an AAA battery (35 hours) that will need to be replaced. Some people like that; they would rather keep a bunch on hand and plop one in when necessary. Others such as myself like the idea of charging headphones. If you fly a lot, you may prefer the AAA route, as you don’t want to be caught with your pants down (dead headphone). Hehe.
Noise Cancellation. Though both are noise cancelling, the QC15 does it better than the QC3 by a slight margin on a plane. Everywhere else, the QC15’s are slightly better in that department. It’s also important to note that you cannot use the QC3’s without the Noise Cancellation feature on.
Isolation. The QC15 has better sound isolation because of the fact that it fit’s around your ears rather than on them.
Carry case. Both have carry cases, though the QC3’s is smaller and has a pocket in the back for other stuff. The battery charger won’t fit into the case of the QC3. Something to keep in mind.
Release date. The QC3’s came out in 2006 and the QC15’s followed in 2009.
Cable. The QC15 has a volume control on one of the included cables. Both have a cable with a remote that can be used to take calls.
Overall sound. The QC3 had better sound quality and separation, detail and clarity than the QC15. The 15 suffered from some distortion at louder volumes, and don’t fare as well with louder music in general. A lot of folks flat out said that the QC15’s have terrible sound quality for the price, and that a cheap headphone like the Sennheiser HD 202 is much better. I can vouch for that as it is very good for the price. Learn more: Sennheiser HD 202 headphone review.
I personally wouldn’t go for either of these. If you’re looking for a worthy Bose sound and an all in one solution, the Quiet Comfort 35 is your boy. It’s wireless, bluetooth, and noise cancelling. It’s got markedly better sound quality than either of these Bose babies, and provides better noise cancellation across the board. Interested in learning more?
If you are looking for a more compact package primarily for plane flights, the QC3 is the solution. It’s extremely comfortable like the QC35, but it’s lightweight and will work better for air travel. It isn’t bluetooth, but does provide an extremely crisp, clear response like the QC35
Stu is determined to provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.