The Bose QuietComfort 25 are above-average headphones with excellent noise cancelling. They are lightweight, comfortable and offer a decent audio reproduction. Unfortunately, they're a little leaky and are audible to the people around you, even at moderate volumes.
- Comfortable design.
- Above-average audio reproduction.
- Amazing noise isolation.
- Average build quality.
- Moderate sound leakage.
The QuietComfort 25 are stylish and very comfortable headphones. The light, softly, padded ear cups and the flexible headband provide a good seal that does not feel too tight on the head. They have an efficient control scheme and a sturdy case. However, they have a mostly plastic build, that doesn't feel as durable as some other over-ear models and they're not stable enough to be used at the gym.
Sleek, simple design makes the Bose QuietComfort 25 look modern. The thin, padded headband is covered in fabric that matches the overall color scheme of black, dark grey and blue accents. The ear cups are large, well-padded and have the silver Bose Logo branded on both sides. A nice esthetic, and not overstated.
These headphones are very lightweight and comfortable. However, when noise-cancelling is activated, you may feel an uncomfortable pressure in your ears. The effect is less noticeable when music is playing through the headphones (as opposed to silence).
The Bose QuietComfort 25 are decently stable headphones. They stay in place during casual listening sessions and have a detachable audio cable that won't pull the headphones off your head if it gets hooked on something. However, these headphones do not apply enough pressure around the ears and will slip off while running or doing high-intensity physical exercises. Shaking your head from side to side will make the ear cups sway because of the lack of tension, which is slightly disappointing.
The QC 25 are mid-sized Over-ear headphones. They're are decently portable and fold up into a more compact format to take less space in a bag. Sadly they will still be too big to carry around on your person and will not comfortably fit into any pockets.
The Bose QuietComfort 25 are a pleasure to listen to. They provide an above-average audio reproduction with low harmonic distortion. They're slightly hyped at the low end but offer a good representation of instruments and vocals. This makes them well-suited for most genres of music. Unfortunately like the QuietComfort 35, their closed-back design limits the openness of their soundstage and slightly decreases their sound quality.
Excellent Bass Range performance. The low-end cutoff is at an excellent 10Hz, and the rest of the response is virtually flat. However, the entire Bass Range is overemphasized by about 2dB, which makes these headphones ever-so-slightly bass heavy.
Excellent Mid Range performance. The response is virtually flat and unremarkable.
Decent but fairly inconsistent performance. The dip around 5KHz negatively affects the presence and clarity of most instruments, especially vocals.
Poor soundstage. Although the drivers of these headphones seem to be angled, they don't activate the resonances of the outer ear the way speakers do. Therefore, the soundstage may be perceived to be located inside the head, as opposed to in front. Also, due to the excellent active-noise cancelling of these headphones, the Openness score is quite low, as these headphones sound very closed and don't interact with their environment acoustically.
Very good imaging. The phase response is very good and quite flat, which results in accurate and transparent imaging. Additionally, the drivers of our test unit were relatively well-matched, the most noticeable mismatch being 1.4dB in amplitude.
Very good distortion restuls. At 90dB SPL these headphones perform well throughout the spectrum, although the amount of harmonic distortion in the Treble Range is slightly elevated. At 100dB SPL, the profile of the harmonic distortion doesn't change, and although there is a general rise in the overall amount, it remains within good values.
The QuietComfort 25 do not disappoint when it comes to noise isolation. When you turn on the ANC, you can feel the pressure change in the ear cups, which is a true testament to how efficient the noise cancelation in these headphones is. The same can not be said for sound leakage. Unfortunately, some of your music will escape at high volumes which may not be suitable for office use.
One of our best-performing Over-Ear headphones. With ANC (Active Noise Cancelling) set to On, these headphones provide even isolation, from -20dB at 100Hz down to -30dB at 2.5KHz. With ANC Off, the low-end isolation goes away for the most part, but the performance from 3KHz and up will remain virtually the same.
These headphones leak sound a lot which makes them less than ideal for office use. The leakage on the headphones becomes significant starting at around 400Hz and will continue up to 4KHz. The overall level of the leakage is also relatively loud.
The QC25 use two AAA batteries to deliver 32.8 hours of continuous play time. This makes them good headphones to use on long flights or road trips as you won't need to change the batteries as throughout the day. Luckily, they can be used without the battery, but lose a bit of audio quality when the battery is dead. They also don't have any battery saving features like an auto-off timer.
No compatible app.
In the box
- Bose QuietComfort 25 headphones
- Audio cable
- Airline adapter
- Carrying case
- AAA batteries
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Questions & Answers
Short answer: Assuming you are listening at average volumes, the leakage of QC25s should not be a concern on a commuter, train or in an airplane. But in a more quiet environment, like an office it might be audible to people right next to you.
For a longer answer, here is how to read the leakage chart:
Assuming you are listening to something at 100dB SPL (like enjoying very loud music), an individual standing 1 foot away from you, will hear the music leaking at about 40dB SPL (in the case of Bose QC25). Now, this number is quite useful for scoring and ranking different headphones, but it doesn't give an intuitive feel on what it really sounds like (If you are listening at volumes lower than 100dB, just offset that difference in our test results).
To get a feel on how the leakage will affect you in daily life, take a look at the chart. You can see that the leakage is basically concentrated around the 400Hz-4KHz region. This can give you a feel on the sound profile of the leakage. In the case of the Bose QC25, the 400Hz-4KHz range means that the leakage will sound very thin (virtually no bass content) but at the same time quite intelligible, and people around you may even be able to understand the lyrics of what you are listening to. In the case of a more narrow band leakage (for example from 6KHz-8KHz which is more typical of in-ear earphones), the sound profile of the leakage will mostly consist of S and T sounds (sibilances). In this case, the lyrics may not be intelligible even at higher volumes.
After getting a feel for the audio profile of the leakage, we can explore the chart even more to get a feel for how loud the leakage will sound like. In the case of the QC25, we can see that the main part of the leakage (400Hz-4KHz) is as loud as the ambient noise of an average office. Imagine an average office, with the background hum of the AC, people typing on their computers, and maybe having a quiet conversation. Now if you limit the frequency content of the office ambient noise to the 400Hz-4KHz range (that is, take out all the bass and most of the treble content), it should feel and sound like the leakage of the QC25.
One last thing to consider here is the phenomena of auditory masking. It basically says that if we are listening to 2 sounds that have similar frequency content, the louder sound will drown out the quieter one (we won't notice the quiet sound as much as we would if it was playing by itself). So for example, if you are in a loud office/bus/metro where a lot people are talking and phones are going off all the time, people won't be able to hear the leakage coming out of your QC25 as much. Because there is already a lot of mid-rangy noises (400Hz-4KHz) going on around you, masking those coming out of your headphones. Conversely, on an airplane where the bulk of the noise is in the bass and low-mid regions (the engine rumble and airflow noise), the audio profile of the ambient noise is not similar to that of QC25's leakage, so it may not mask it as much.
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