Bose Introduces New QuietComfort 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Bose has introduced the new QuietComfort(R) 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling(R) headphones, offering the same audio performance, noise reduction and comfortable fit found in the acclaimed QuietComfort(R) 2 Acoustic Noise Cancelling(R) headphones — in a smaller, more portable on-ear design.

In order to reduce the size of QuietComfort 3 headphones without compromising performance, Bose engineers relied on more than 25 years of ongoing research in on-head audio and noise reduction. The result is a new proprietary acoustic design to provide audio quality across a full range of audible frequencies, a new electronic design that delivers superb noise reduction, and a new mechanical design offering a comfortable fit for long-term listening. With these advances, the QC(TM)3 headphones overcome the performance trade-offs found in conventional on-ear headphones, and offer a listening experience previously only available in larger, around-ear designs.

“We challenged ourselves when designing the QuietComfort 3 headphones,” said Sean Garrett, general manager of the Bose Noise Reduction Technology Group. “We engineered new innovations to offer performance never before achieved in an on-ear headphone. The QC3 headphones represent our design intent, as well as our commitment to research.”

Bose QuietComfort 3 headphones were designed as an integrated system, combining electro-acoustic and ergonomic technologies only available from Bose. With a systems approach, the headphone elements work together seamlessly, without sacrificing one feature or benefit for another.

Continuing the Legacy of Performance: New Design, New Technology, Smaller Size

Bose has developed and designed noise reducing headsets for mission-critical military applications, and for private and commercial pilots around the world. The QuietComfort 3 Acoustic headphones benefit from this legacy and leverage the same research and technologies while incorporating new advancements for consumer use.

Because on-ear headphones are less effective at providing passive noise reduction (the physical blocking of noise), Bose engineers had to develop new ways to increase the active noise reduction in the QC(TM)3 headphones. This compensation was necessary to retain the total reduction of unwanted noise found in their predecessor. New electronic circuitry was created and incorporated to increase the level of active attenuation, while still reducing the size of the earcup.

The new circuitry identifies unwanted noise and reduces it, while preserving the music, speech or tranquility desired. This correction process is rapid and continuous in the Bose system, allowing the QuietComfort 3 headphones to react to dynamically changing noise sources.

In conventional on-ear headphones, ear cushions are simply designed for fit. Bose engineers have designed an entirely new kind of cushion for the QuietComfort 3 headphones that deliver superior comfort while functioning as an acoustic component. Using a proprietary memory foam cell structure and an air-restrictive outer covering, the cushions automatically conform to the ears, providing a seal that blocks much of the unwanted noise without creating irritating pressure points. The new cushions offer an effective seal enabling the headphones to deliver high-quality audio with deep low notes — performance not commonly found in smaller headphones.

To further enhance audio performance, the Bose QuietComfort 3 headphones use Bose TriPort(R) acoustic headphone structure, originally used in the Bose aviation headsets for pilots. This technology features small ports in the earcups that dramatically increase the low-frequency output of the system; the headphones remain small and lightweight, while instruments — like the kettle drum — sound as intended.

To deliver a faithful reproduction of music and speech, the QC(TM)3 headphones use proprietary active equalization technology to electronically tune the frequency response. Bose-designed circuitry also dramatically reduces the noise-floor, a “hiss” commonly found in many electronic audio devices. This provides a quieter environment to deliver sound, so audio reproduction is cleaner and clearer.

The electronics package had to maintain its performance and effectiveness, but on a much smaller scale than previously employed. Because of the headphones’ smaller size, Bose engineers had to develop new miniaturized electronics circuitry to neatly integrate into the earcups while still leaving room for a power source. The QuietComfort 3 headphones debut an environmentally friendly, rechargeable lithium-ion battery, specifically designed to fit within the earcups while providing approximately 20 hours of continuous use — lasting longer than a flight from Chicago to Hong-Kong, or fully-charged MP3 players.

To connect to an audio source, a single cable runs from the left earcup. For untethered noise reduction, the cable is fully detachable. Meticulous mechanical design provides simple reattachment of the cable when needed to reconnect to an MP3 player, in-flight audio, portable DVD players, or music-enabled cell phones.

The earcups rotate to a flat resting position to fit into a slimmer, more portable carrying case. Measuring just 6 3/4″ x 8 3/8″ x 2″, the QuietComfort 3 headphones can be easily packed and carried.

QuietComfort Headphones: Designed for Air Travel, Used Almost Everywhere

In the air and on the ground, the world is noisy. Passengers in jets typically experience sound pressure levels from 75 to 85 dBA (a decibel measure that is “weighted” to better represent the frequency response of human hearing). Commuter turboprops are even noisier, with levels near 90 dBA. A subway car making a stop measures in at approximately 100 dBA, and general subway noise at the platform is 90 dBA or higher. While limited exposure to noise at these levels may not be harmful, it can be stressful and annoying.

Bose QuietComfort 3 headphones reduce unwanted high- and low-frequency noise — from screeches to rumbles — with dramatic amounts of attenuation across the range of human hearing. Independent research studies confirm a correlation between noise, human fatigue, reduced productivity and stress symptoms. Aircraft roar — especially for many hours over a long flight — can be distracting, affecting the way people hear and feel.

QuietComfort headphones were originally designed to make air travel more pleasant, allowing consumers to enjoy in-flight entertainment or their own music from practically any portable programming device. Over the years, consumers have discovered other applications for listening to QuietComfort headphones: in the home, office, commuting, or almost anywhere a high-quality audio experience is desired.

To accommodate even more applications, Bose’s QC(TM)3 Cell Connect accessory kit allows the headphones to interface with a variety of mobile phones. (A complete list can be found on The QC3 Cell Connect accessory kit lets users seamlessly switch between music and incoming calls, and enables hands-free communication via the in-line microphone.

“With the QuietComfort 3 headphones, we’re extending our product line and offering consumers a choice,” explains Garrett. “People who prefer an on-ear, smaller design now have an option from Bose. And its reduced size enhances versatility, making it easier to use in more environments. We believe this is an advancement for Bose, and for the industry.”

QuietComfort 3 Acoustic headphones will be available direct from Bose beginning mid-June and will sell for $349. They are available in a silver finish and come with a dual plug adapter (for some airline in-flight entertainment systems), a 1/4″ home stereo adapter, a five-foot extension cord, carrying case, and a lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charger. QuietComfort 2 headphones will continue to be available direct from Bose for $299. Both headphones and the QC3 Cell Connect accessory kit, which sells for $39.98, are available at Bose retail stores,

About Bose Corporation

Bose Corporation was founded in 1964 by Dr. Amar G. Bose. Today the company is one of the largest and best-known audio technology developers and product manufacturers in the United States and throughout the world. Bose is known for home entertainment speakers and systems, the Wave(R) products, premium automotive music systems, noise reducing headsets for consumers and pilots, and sound for public spaces.

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