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Bose QuietComfort 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (discontinued by manufacturer)

by Bose

Available from these sellers.
1 used from £175.09
  • Noise reduction headphones for travel, work and home
  • Enjoy music and movies with clear, lifelike sound from a compact design
  • Comfortable and lightweight on-ear fit
  • Includes cable with remote for iPhone/iPod control, mic for hands-free iPhone calling
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides 25 hours of use on average; includes charger

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Product details

  • Item Weight: 159 g
  • Boxed-product Weight: 1.4 Kg
  • Delivery Destinations: Visit the Delivery Destinations Help page to see where this item can be delivered.
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  • Item model number: 49475
  • ASIN: B007WQ9KQ0
  • Date first available at 15 May 2012
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

Product Description

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About Bose

Dedication to research and excellence has been the Bose approach to better sound since Dr. Amar G. Bose founded the company in 1964. Ever since then, Bose engineers have focused on creating better technology. You'll find that focus exemplified in the Bose QuietComfort 3 headphones.

About The Product

Get more from your music – without the noisy background – with the QuietComfort 3 headphones. They have a compact, on-ear design with an award-winning combination of Bose-quality sound performance, noise reduction and a comfy fit. The QC3 headphones have a proven reputation for delivering high-end sound thanks to proprietary Bose technologies. Whether you're sitting at your desk, unwinding at home, or passing the time during a long-haul flight, with these headphones listening is a joy no matter where you are.

Award-winning sound

The headphones offer Bose Acoustic Noise Cancelling technology, which electronically identifies, and then significantly reduces ambient noise, while delivering the sound or quietness you desire. Exclusive Bose signal processing and sound reproduction technologies deliver clear, lifelike sound. You’ll hear the full audio range – even the deepest, lowest tones – from headphones that are comparatively lightweight and small.

Imagine yourself in a bustling public place, such as a noisy train station or your busy office. Now imagine all that background noise fading away, so that you can enjoy the high-end sound of the QuietComfort 3 headphones. In fact, you’ll hear nuances in your favourite songs that you have never even noticed before. And you’ll be able to listen for hours, thanks to the softly cushioned, easy-on-the-ears fit of these comfortable headphones.

Hear it to believe it

Wear these headphones on your next flight, and you will notice a remarkable reduction in engine noise the second you put them on. Want to listen to music? Just plug the cable into your portable player, tablet or the in-flight entertainment system. The cable of the QuietComfort 3 headphones fit directly into most portable devices.

Take control. And calls.

There’s also a special cable for selected Apple devices. An inline microphone and three-button remote allow you to answer calls on your iPhone or manage the music on your other Apple devices. With the QuietComfort 3 headphones you’ll be in full control of the track selection, volume and voice applications, and you’ll be able to switch easily between your music and calls.

Your travel buddy

The headphones come with a handy wall charger and rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Expect over 25 hours of use from a fully-charged battery, and a lifespan of up to 500 charging cycles. The flat-folding ear cups can be easily and conveniently stored in the slim-line carrying case. QuietComfort 3 headphones also come with an airline adapter plug.


Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphone technology, a proprietary Bose innovation, electronically identifies and reduces ambient noise while faithfully preserving the sound or quietness you want. Proprietary Bose soft ear cushions feature a compact on-ear design that creates a vital acoustical seal and help to lessen unwanted noise, while offering a comfortable fit. The TriPort acoustic headphone structure produces a tonally-balanced audio performance thanks, in part, to tiny vents in the ear cups. You’ll be surprised to hear such deep, low notes from such small, light headphones. Superior sound performance is possible thanks to active equalisation technology, which electronically tunes the headphones' frequency response. Enjoy 25 hours of reliable use per charge. The headphones come with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a small wall-socket charger. The headphones include single, detachable and interchangeable audio cables: one for general use, and one for selected Apple devices. This offers more flexibility than permanently connected standard Y-cables. Thanks to the inline microphone you’ll be able to enjoy your iPhone conversations hands-free and have access to selected voice applications, such as Voice Control and VoiceOver, in other Apple devices. Switch between calls and music with the inline three-button remote, which also allows you to select tracks and control the volume and voice applications on some Apple devices. The flat-folding ear cups rotate 90 degrees for simple storage and portability in the sleek storage case, which will also protect your headphones and accessories while you’re on the go.

Compare Bose Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones QuietComfort 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones SoundTrue around-ear headphones SoundTrue on-ear headphones AE2w Bluetooth headphones
QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones QuietComfort 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones SoundTrue around-ear headphones SoundTrue on-ear headphones AE2w Bluetooth headphones
Best For Noise cancelling, music and calls Noise cancelling, music and calls Music and calls Music and calls Music and calls
Inline remote with volume, answer/end functions plus music control for selected iPod, iPad and iPhone models SHB 4000/10 SHB 4000/10 SHB 4000/10 SHB 4000/10
Detachable audio cable SHB 4000/10 SHB 4000/10 SHB 4000/10
Noise cancelling technology SHB 4000/10 SHB 4000/10
TriPort Acoustic Technology SHB 4000/10 SHB 4000/10 SHB 4000/10 SHB 4000/10 SHB 4000/10
Omnidirectional inline microphone SHB 4000/10 SHB 4000/10 SHB 4000/10 SHB 4000/10 SHB 4000/10
Compatibility iPhone and selected Apple devices iPhone and selected Apple devices iPhone and selected Apple devices iPhone and selected Apple devices Bluetooth devices
Case/bag Carrying case Carrying case Carrying case Carrying case Drawstring bag
Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (charger included) SHB 4000/10 Lithium-ion battery; charges with included USB cable

What's in the box

  • QuietComfort 3 headphones and carrying case
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Battery charger
  • Airline adapter
  • QC3 inline mic/remote for Apple devices
  • Detachable audio cable

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

257 of 261 people found the following review helpful By P. Tyers on 28 Nov 2012
Format: Electronics
I hope this review will help those debating between, or are confused over the difference between, a set of Bose QuietComfort 15 or QuietComfort 3. I have used both now for at least two years each, am a frequent flyer on long haul flights and a bit of an audiophile (used to be a music journalist).

First off, let me just say that both sets of headphones are the dog's you-know-what. Forget the rest, get Bose. The tonal range is suitable for all types of music with bass audible but not over-bearing, treble clear but not piercing and tinny whilst the mid-range is very clear. So, the differences:

Size & Comfort: I traded my QC15s in for a pair of QC3s initially purely because of the size of the former. Their large, over-the-ear design is perfect for what they set out to achieve (ie: noise cancellation) but the size can hinder comfort. The seals of the cans against the head were quite flush; the major downside of this being that one's ears tend to get rather hot and sweaty after about an hour's use. Not a disturbingly uncomfortable amount, but certainly noticeably so. With the QC3s this is not a problem due to being merely on-the-ear. Additionally, they are much more compact, slightly lighter and, in my opinion, more elegant.

Noise Cancellation: Hands down, the QC15 wins here. Their noise-cancelling ability is outstanding. Whilst I believe the technology between the QC3s and QC15s and therefore the technology's ability to cancel out noise is the same, because of the flush over-the-ear design mentioned previously the QC15 really do either block or filter out more of the background noise. This is most certainly not to say that that QC3s do not; for their size they are stunning.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By xcesAudio on 2 Jan 2013
Format: Electronics
People wishing to buy the Bose Quite Comfort series of headphones with "active" noise cancelljng need to aware of the porpose of the headphone. It is intended mainly as a travel headphone, especially on the plane. The active noise cancelling does a good job of cancelling out engine rumbles, leaving on traces of high frequencies for the noise. This allows you to listen to music at a much quiter volume and still able to hear clearly, or even without any music playing to have a better sleep. Noise cancelling works best for constant low frequency drown rather than higher pitch changing sounds such as voices so you will hear travel announcements or alarms.

However if you wishing to buying these for music listening in a quiter environment, for high quality performance than these wont be the headphone for you. The noise cancelling headphones colours the sound and often degrades the fidelity and sound quality. There is a slight hiss, but less than most ANC headphones I have heard. Clarity is decent, soundstage is fairly small and the bass felt a bit bloated. Although the QC3 along with tye QC15 are 2 of the better ANC headphones, but in term of pure audio performance it will not match up to studio grade and audiophile grade headphones where audio quality is the primary function.

Comfort is good, the replaceable pads sits comfortably on the ear. Build quality is fair but feel a little cheap with the plain platic headband. Battery life is decent with a full charge. I get normally around 10 hours of heavy use. I would purchase a sparw battery in case the battery runs out during travel as the headphone w'ont work at all without power.

Accessories wise, the case is very nicely made. Many adaptors are provided for the charger for different countries.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sam on 5 Jan 2013
Format: Electronics Verified Purchase
I took me about a year to decide to purchase these. There were so many alternatives I looked at such as products from Audio Technica, Beats and Parrot's Zik. However I decided to purchase these because I needed them primarily for travelling and didn't want anything too bulky.
The noise cancellation is awesome - almost like losing your hearing - but still able to hear if someone talks to you directly. It removes background 'noise'. The sound quality is very good, but not amazing. They are a little heavy on low frequencies, with most tracks sounding a little boomy. This may be to some people's taste - but considering these are primarily for travelling and noise cancellation they are fine for my purposes.
Overall a great product, with excellent noise cancellation for the portability. Not audiophile sound quality, but you couldn't expect that from an on-ear noise cancelling headphone anyway. Battery life is incredibly long giving a little more than 20 hours on a single charge. It also enables full control of iPhone functionality; an added benefit.
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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful By The Happy Space Invader on 28 Aug 2013
Format: Electronics
There are a lot of positive things you can say about these headphones... the sound quality,, the noise reduction, the comfort for instance.

However there are several glaring design flaws that you only find out *after* purchasing, and which make this product hard to recommend, given the very high price:

1. When the proprietary battery runs out, the headphones become useless. You only get one battery with the set, and an additional official battery costs £40 from Bose. Apparently you can buy cheaper unofficial batteries, but using these invalidates Bose's warranty.

2. The battery can only be charged via the proprietary charging unit... no option to charge over USB. And there's no option to use ordinary batteries either. If you don't have anywhere to plugin the charging unit... see 1. above.

3. There's apparently a 4 hour warning that the batteries are about to expire, but it's pretty subtle. The red light on the side of the unit will apparently flash when there's 4 hours left, so everytime you use these heaedphones, you need to remember to switch the headphones on and look at the red light first before putting them on your head. Unlike other headphones I have owned which sound a tone in the earpiece when the battery is running low (e.g. Sennheiser's bluetooth headphones which have a voice telling you how many hours you have left). Of course, even if you see the red light flashing, all you really know is that you have between 0 and 4 hours left and, if you're nowhere near a wall socket, you're stuffed... see 1. above.

4. The proprietary battery charger does not fit in the headphone case. The battery charger comes in two parts, the charging unit and a swappable plug for your region. The former fits in the case; the latter does not.
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