With nine Bose purchases under my belt over the past ten years, I have had great performance and reliability with all of them—except the most expensive one—the QC25. Though I have other Bose and other brands of headphones I use, I bought the QC25s around Christmas 2014 to use specifically in our Las Vegas casinos. My wife and I go the buffets once a week. Afterwards, she plays the slot machines and I try to find a quiet spot in the casino and listen to my iPod. It’s challenging as the machines are noisy, background music is on, and people are talking. So for about 7 hours a month for several months in 2015, I used them there…and they were great, blocking out almost all the background noise. People would even come up to me while I was listening there, tap me on the shoulder, and say, “can you really hear music on those with all the noise going on?” I’d say, “yes, these are Bose!”
In the summer of 2015, i noticed the left side giving out on occasion. I thought that was strange. I re-installed the cable as Bose often suggests, but it didn’t help. I did find slightly pushing on the ear cup usually brought the sound back, but sometimes I had to hold them in. This happened only a few more times over the next couple of months, and seemed to disappear, so I figured whatever it was worked itself out. In Fall, my wife got me a pair of Bose SoundTrue Ultra earphones as they are easy to carry around. I found those were easy to take to the casino and were almost as good at isolating, but not canceling, the casino noises, so I used these instead of my QC25s for a few months. After Christmas 2015, however, I took out my QC25s again and upon setting them up to use in the casino, found the left side was completely dead. No matter what I did to try to make it play, it just wouldn’t work. I was very disappointed.
I contacted the Bose Outlet Store here in Las Vegas to ask about repairs. The sales rep knew nothing about the QC25 when I talked about its electronics, but said Bose doesn’t do out-of-warranty repairs. He said if they were within warranty, he could help me with an exchange, but basically I was just out of luck. He said Bose Customer Service would tell me the same thing. He also said he heard of this issue I had with these, and Bose did apparently make a fix after the summer of 2015, but I guess never made public the fix. Unfortunately, mine were made in 2014. Just outside the warranty and according to my calculations, less than 70 hours use, I was now out almost $300! They were both the most expensive and least reliable Bose product I’ve purchased. Since the Bose Store said there is nothing they could do, I figured I didn’t want to pay to get this defect fixed, so I gave them to my grandson who likes to tinker with things. He couldn’t get them to work and ended donating them to charity.
So, my dilemma is this: I want a noise-canceling headphone set to use in the casinos again, but can’t morally justify paying an additional $300 for a Bose product that performed so poorly with such little use (70 hours is not even three days!) I’m torn between buying another brand, though I don’t like rechargeable batteries some brands use rather than the replaceable AAA batteries Bose uses, or I could wait probably two to three more years and gamble the Bose QC35 will be more reliable. I love Bose comfort but don’t know if I want to wait years for the new model. While I rate all my other Bose products very high, this one is diminished in my eyes by its extremely short life span (less than 70 hours!) I love and use all my other eight Bose products I bought. Bose, I know you can do better than just three full day’s worth of use with this QC25!