fusion
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Nov 30, 2017

QC30 questions

I'm trying to decide whether to buy QC20s or QC30s, primarily for airplane use. Primary concerns are noise cancelation, comfort (including if I'm sleeping with my ear against a pillow) and general reliability. I don't care about a microphone or using the airplane's sound system.

 

Can I charge the QC30 while using?

 

I've read many reports about the rubber separating from the plastic.  Is this still an issue?

 

Any other general reliability or quality control issues?

 

How does comfort compare to the QC20?

 

If I understand correctly, sound quality is as good if not a bit better than the QC20 and noise cancelation is about the same with the latest firmware?

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Robertpetry
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Mar 14, 2017

Re: QC30 questions

Hello Fusion.   I have both the QC20 (about 3 years) and the QC30 (13 months).   Here are my options:

 

I'm trying to decide whether to buy QC20s or QC30s, primarily for airplane use. Primary concerns are noise cancelation, comfort (including if I'm sleeping with my ear against a pillow) and general reliability. I don't care about a microphone or using the airplane's sound system.

 

Can I charge the QC30 while using? Nope.  

 

I've read many reports about the rubber separating from the plastic.  Is this still an issue?  It may be but I have not had this issue and I have had several QC30's (due to the mic issue and a battery that died - All replacemented by Bose)

 

Any other general reliability or quality control issues? Just the mic and, at least on earlier firmware, there was an issue where the green LED would stay on or stop working all together.  I have not seen reports of this on the board lately but it effected one of mine.  Was replaced by Bose.

 

How does comfort compare to the QC20? The same really except being able to go without the cord and the box on the cord of the QC20 is a big improvement.  The neckband is a bit irritating occasionally.  I would have shaped it more like the LG and not round which can feel tight depending upon the shirt and can rotate occasionally.  Still, that is much better than a cord.

 

If I understand correctly, sound quality is as good if not a bit better than the QC20 and noise cancelation is about the same with the latest firmware?  The sound quality has always been better on the QC30 in my opinion.  Better bass, better separation and sound stage, clearer mids and highs as well.  Noise cancelation is basically the same.  I have tried them side by side numerous times and can not really tell the difference.  Both are very good.

 

Overall, I really like both, but the QC20 sits in a drawer and the QC30 travels with me.  If I were buying to day I would buy the QC30 over the QC20 even with the price difference.  However, I use my headphones for calls regularly so really, I would have to think long and hard about the QC30 at this point.  The QC20 was VERY GOOD for calls, only surpased by headsets designed for calls first (Jabra, Jawbone, Plantronics).  If they are for travel, commuting and general wear with very little phone work, the QC30 is excellent.  I love the sound quality and fit.  

 

fusion
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Nov 30, 2017

Re: QC30 questions

Hi Robert,

 

I suppose my major concerns at this point include the QC30's reliabiity and quality control.  That you had to replace yours a few times (for whatever reasons) is not exactly reassuring.

 

I worry about comfort, especially when trying to sleep in a more or less horizontal position.  It would be nice to avoid a cord, but irritation from the neckband does not sound ideal.  Using and sleeping with corded earbuds is something I'm familiar with.

 

I also worry about Amazon reviews. The QC30 got 3.3 stars, while the QC20 got 4.4, which is a huge difference.

 

I wish the QC30 could be charged while in use, but that shouldn't be a major issue (at least, other than on 12+ hour flights).

 

Absent these concerns, I would prefer the QC30, mainly for the convenience of bluetooth.  This decision is more difficult than I'd hoped.

Robertpetry
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Re: QC30 questions

Regarding reliability and quality control; I think they have gotten better.  And the Bose customer service has been very good on them.  

 

I think the neck band is fine for sleeping and really much much better than the cord - which will get wrapped up everywhere.  The majority of the Amazon reviews are about the microphone which you said is not an issue.  

 

Based on that, I would definitely recommend the QC30 over the QC20.   

 

That said, I would have looked at the Sony WI1000X and others if they had been available last year.  However, I still really prefer the stayhere ear pieces.  They are much better than shoving an ear piece deep in your ear.  That becomes so uncomfortable over time.  

fusion
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Re: QC30 questions

FWIW, I just read a bunch of the negative Amazon reviews.  Many of the complaints are about the mic, which as you note is not something I care about.  There are also a lot of complaints about bluetooth connectivity, a fair number about the neckband and some reliability or customer service complaints.  There are also a lot of reviews that I'd put in the word salad category - words thrown together by people who don't seem well anchored in reality. Bose seems diligent in responding to reviews with apologies and suggestions to call customer support (in some cases, even when the complaint is about customer support).

 

I haven't had problems sleeping on planes with wired earphones, perhaps because I don't roll over that much on planes. Certainly better than sleeping on planes with over ear headphones. 

 

The Sony WI1000X look interesting, further complicating decisions.

fusion
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Re: QC30 questions

Two frequent complaints I've read are bluetooth connectivity issues and rubber separating from plastic on the neckband.  Here's a post on this forum from yesterday with those complaints: https://community.bose.com/t5/Wireless-Headphones/QC30-Rubber-amp-Bluetooth/m-p/92091#M14769

 

I would prefer the QC30s, but these make it more difficult to get comfortable.