As I have been writing a review for my new Bose QuietComfort Earbuds I recently bought, I was thinking yesterday about one thing. Why did I buy those new earbuds and why has the noise cancellation been an important factor for me when buying earbuds? Well, I do have the Bose Quietcomfort QC35ii and they have been fantastic. Each time I have been using them was a positive experience leaving a smile on my face. However, is it the same experience for the QC earbuds?
Note that this is specific to earbuds and not headphones this time. Well, you see, the fact that headphones that are not really touching your ears and have plenty of room to let outside noise into your ear canal is a big issue if you want to have good sound performance without destroying your experience. Earbuds, on the other hand per their definition are much more interactive with your ears and most part of those are also isolating the sound from outside by its membrane eartips.
So when I used my QC earbuds, this got me thinking – what is the point of noise cancellation when the noise is already limited?
Well, there are some noises, like airplanes, water taps, ventilation etc, that gives some background noise that is still there unless you turn on the noise cancellation feature. You still hear some of it, but not at all on that same level as ordinary earbuds. However, the noise cancellation feature that you actually can turn off gives you a possibility to still have your earbuds in your ears, but adjust the level of your hearing of the outside world.
I would call this feature for “hear through reduction” as it actually feels like the earbuds just activates the microphones more and more the less noise reduction you choose.
Not quite sure if I agree that this should be adding that much to the price though – you can always simply pop out your buds from your ears when you need to hear more, rather than entering an app and selecting the hear through feature settings.