Noise Cancellation Headphones lets you enjoy your journey by cutting out the noise. Drown out the crying baby or snoring passenger next to you and travel in peace. According to Wikipedia
Noise-cancelling headphones help reduce unwanted ambient sounds using active noise control engineering. Noise cancellation makes it possible to enjoy music without raising the volume excessively. It can also help a passenger sleep in a noisy vehicle such as an airliner. In the aviation environment, noise cancelling headphones increase the signal-to-noise ratio significantly more than passive noise attenuating headphones or no headphones, making hearing important information such as safety announcements easier. Noise-cancelling headphones can improve listening enough to completely offset the effect of a distracting concurrent activity.
Headphones from Beats Audio have recently gained popularity especially with the youth due to their trendy design and since it was founded by legendary hip-hop artist Dr Dre. I recently had the opportunity to do a hands-on compare of Beats Audio Studio (~$240) Vs. Bose Quiet Comfort 15 (~$270).
With Beats Audio what you get is a trendier headphone with a lot of Bass, which does not necessarily muddy the rest of the music. These headphones also include a noise cancelling feature which is rather poor in performance when compared directly with the Bose.
The Bose QC 15 is really the Gold-Standard in noise cancelling headphones, the noise cancellation feature is so good that on several occasions it has helped drown out loud and noisy co-passengers and crying babies. No Kidding!Â The sound is not bass or treble heavy, it’s just crisp and you can hear every water drop and every single instrument being played – Making it almost HD like sound quailty.
Both the devices require a battery to function, with Beats Audio you have an internal re-chargeable battery which is rated up-to 20 hours, this can be charged with a USB cable which is included. Bose QC 15 on the other hand uses an external AAA battery which can last for up to 30 hours based on my own observation. Both the Beats and Bose headphones are comfortable to wear, I have used the Bose QC 15 on several long-haul fifteen hour flights, sometimes using it continuously for six hours straight. So I can vouch for the comfort factor.
Couple of things to watch out for, if you like to sleep with your head rested on the side, then you will definitely find it difficult to sleep with your headphones on. You can help avoid some of that by using the new Bose QuietComfort 20 in-ear noise cancelling headphones, these offer the same performance as the Bose QC 15 but come in much more compact in-ear configuration. Plus with Bose QC 20 you have the added feature of a re-chargeable battery and the Aware mode which lets you be situational aware (listen to airline announcements or be aware of traffic while crossing the road) with the simple press of a button.
Our Verdict: If you are looking for comfortable around-ear headphones and like music with booming bass, then pick Beats Audio Studio. If you are instead looking for a deeper quality music with best-in-class noise cancellation then pick either the Bose Quiet Comfort 15 or Bose Quiet Comfort 20, based on your requirements.