Bose Quiet Comfort 15 vs. Sony MDR-1R



Audiophiles often have a hard time choosing between various brands and types of professional headphones. Recently, the comparison between Bose Quiet Comfort 15 and Sony MDR-1R has generated some sparks and the better of the two has yet to be found. Their technical specifications are very similar, and the price point is practically the same, which makes it difficult to pick one over the other. Is the Sony noise cancelling technology better than the one used by Bose? How do they fare in terms of build quality? The best thing to do when comparing these two is to regard them as different products, instead of trying to find the better one.

Audiophiles often have a hard time choosing between various brands and types of professional headphones. Recently, the comparison between Bose Quiet Comfort 15 and Sony MDR-1R has generated some sparks and the better of the two has yet to be found. Their technical specifications are very similar, and the price point is practically the same, which makes it difficult to pick one over the other. Is the Sony noise cancelling technology better than the one used by Bose? How do they fare in terms of build quality? The best thing to do when comparing these two is to regard them as different products, instead of trying to find the better one.

 

Compatibility with Apple Products

 

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Both of them were built with portable gear in mind, but it's with Apple products they get along best.  In fact, Bose QC15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones come with an additional cord that is customized for certain Apple products. The three-button remote and inline microphone enable you to place or answer calls on your iPhone. In addition, the remote can be used for playback control on the iPod and iPad. The complete list of compatible Apple devices is available here. The interchangeable, detachable audio cables are definitely a major plus, as you can purchase them separately in case the older ones get damaged. Sony MDR-1R also come with a single-sided PCOCC detachable cord, not to mention that they are compatible with a wide range of Apple products as well, so from this point of view there aren't any noticeable differences.

 

Frequency Response

 

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In terms of frequency response, both pairs of headphones go beyond the levels of human hearing. Bose made a secret out of the impedance, sensitivity and frequency range of its QuietComfort 15 headphones, but that doesn't mean this product is of a lower quality. After all, Bose has won the Travelers' Choice Award for noise cancelling headphones on TripAdvisor for 2012-2013. Surely at least some of the 40,000 travellers who voted were audiophiles.

 

Bose V Sony -1

 

Noise Cancelling

 

When it comes to noise cancelling, the two manufacturers have different approaches. Bose makes use of both active and passive noise cancelling. To turn on the active noise cancelling of the Bose Quiet Comfort 15, you would have to flip a switch. These headphones require an AAA battery to run for up to 35 hours. A possible downside is that when the battery runs out, the headphones stop working altogether, so it's not only the active noise cancelling that is affected.

 

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As far as the Sony noise cancelling technology is concerned, this manufacturer preferred to rely on passive noise cancelling for the £269.99 MDR-1R headphones. It is sufficient for listening to music undisturbed in some of the noisiest of environments. There are Sony headphones that feature more complex noise cancelling technologies, but those are at a higher price point and compete against other Bose products. Price-wise, the Bose QC 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones are closer to the basic version of Sony MDR-1R, as they cost £299.99.

Picking one over the other depends very much on what you need. This stands both for the products of the same company, as well as when talking about two or more manufacturers. In this particular case, you cannot be objective when comparing Bose Quiet Comfort 15 vs Sony MDR-1R, so you should test both of them and see which one suits your needs and taste better.