Saturday, September 10, 2005

"Cost Reduction" Headphones

Anyone who has tried the Bose Quiet Comfort 2 Headphones (reviewed here) appreciates the enormous difference they make in the quality of mobile audio. But if you're impressed by Bose's ability to cancel out noise, just look at how they have cancelled out gravity--the kind that normally forces down consumer electronics prices over time. With a very tight control of its channel, Bose has managed to sustain the $300 price tag and street price since I bought mine 6 years ago.

Fortunately, there are some inexpensive alternatives. Wealthy audiophiles should check out the just-as-good Solitude product ($200). Everyone else should do what I did--go to Staples or Walgreen's and buy this $35 product from Maxell. It's 90% as good as the Bose product, with the added benefit that when your batteries die 35,000 feet above a red state, the Maxell headphones stop cancelling noise but otherwise keep working.


  1. Anonymous2:03 PM

    Fantastic! I know someone that the Maxell's will make a perfect gift for!

    You do not happen to know of good headphones for watching TV, preferrably wireless?

  2. Anonymous7:00 AM

    I travel a lot for work and I have to say that the Bose headphones are the best by far. I've practically become a public advocate for them and have turned many friends onto their many attributes. Tried the Maxwells and the Sonys. Still, at 35,000 feet, nothing compares to the Bose.

  3. MetroDad,
    Wait till Peanut grabs (as well as bites and drools on) the headphones so she can watch Mary Poppins en route. The $35 Maxells will seem more compelling then.

  4. Anonymous7:59 PM

    If the Peanut drools all over the Boses, I'll still have my Shure E4Cs. Have you tried those? Different technology than the Bose but the sound quality is fantastic.

  5. Anonymous10:33 AM

    The link to the Maxcell item has died.
    What model number represents their most recent incarnation?

  6. Amazon sells the Maxell HP-NC1 and HP-NC2 both for about $36.