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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend
These are pretty expensive headphones (but then you already knew that).

They are very good however - they cancel out all REGULAR sounds (aeroplane noise, fans, general background buzz) and reasonably reduce other noise (people talking, traffic in the street that is close to you). If you switch the noise cancelling on without any music coming through the...
Published 15 months ago by Klausington

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
After using the Bose MIE2i for a while I decided to upgrade to these, Bose's first ever in-ear noise cancelling earphones. And after using them for about a month I've decided to sell them.
Why? Well, firstly, compared to my MIE2i, which are so comfortable that I can't actually feel them in my ears, these are uncomfortable. I'm acutely aware that these are in my ears...
Published 6 months ago by Mark Barlow

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend, 19 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Bose ® QuietComfort ® 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (Electronics)
These are pretty expensive headphones (but then you already knew that).

They are very good however - they cancel out all REGULAR sounds (aeroplane noise, fans, general background buzz) and reasonably reduce other noise (people talking, traffic in the street that is close to you). If you switch the noise cancelling on without any music coming through the headphones, it does seem in some situations that you can hear people talking more CLEARLY, BUT less LOUDLY if that makes sense, which seems a little odd, but it's because the phones cancel out the regular noise better, therefore highlighting the talkers. However, with your music switched on the talkers all but disappear.
I find these very comfortable to wear, and when lying on them (if you wear them in bed with your head sideways on a pillow, or on a pillow on the plane) I find them pretty comfortable (unlike standard in ear phones I have tried (e.g. stock samsung s3 phones). The battery pack is also fine (it fits fine in my pocket next to my phone). Battery life is as described.
One slight irritation is you can hear interference if you try to charge the headphones whilst you have them switched on (I tried to charge them on the plane whilst watching a movie, but it's too annoying).
Sound quality when you run out of battery is acceptable (not great mind, but they still function).
One other thing; when double clicking to skip to the next song, I find it's a bit hit and miss. Sometimes it just pauses the track and starts playing it again, rather than skipping to the next track. You have to time the double click just right. I don't know if this is the headphones or the software on my phone (galaxy note 3), though I don't remember this being a problem when I used the stock samsung headphones.
In summary, I think a great product, I use for plane trips, public transport and most recently when camping and sharing a tent with a snorer.
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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bose deliver yet again, 1 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Bose ® QuietComfort ® 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (Electronics)
After having owned a pair of Bose IE2s for over 3 years (and having been heavily impressed by them), I decided it was time to perhaps try the new in-ear Bose Quiet Comfort 20 for Android and Windows. This review will be interesting since I will be comparing the QC20s with the IE2s (which I have also reviewed recently)!

Noise cancelling:
First things first, the USP of this product is the in-ear noise cancelling. The real question which many of you will ask is, do they work and how effective are they? I am writing this review on an airplane with my QC20s on and I can safely say that 85% of the background noise has been cancelled (yes that includes the aircraft's engines) - pretty good if you ask me. These QC20s excel and are the first true in-ear noise cancelling earphones in my opinion. When compared to other supposed noise cancelling in-ear earphones which currently exist, Bose have quite frankly thrown them out of the park! I have tried both the IE2s and the QC20s on the flight and it's very clear that the QC20 is clearer to hear at a low volume... rather obviously, thanks to the noise cancelling.

As I had written in my IE2 review, Bose have retained the crown when it comes to comfort. The QC20 is just as, if not more comfortable than the IE2s. The StayHear®+ tips are an upgrade from the original StayHear® tips as seen on the IE2, and these new ones are still a joy once in your ear and stop the earphones from falling out, all whilst giving you the best sound possible (but please ensure you choose the correct tip for your ear size to optimise sound quality).

Sound quality:
Wow, simply brilliant! Now I was amazed by the quality of the sound with the in-ear IE2s and the QC20 has rather unbelievably upped its game. The bass is even deeper (I did not think this was possible!) and everything is just as clear to listen to. There is a big downside however; this quality comes only when noise cancelling is switched on. Without the control unit switched on, the quality is good... but not as good as the IE2s unfortunately. If you intend to always use the noise cancelling (I'm sure you will since you're reading this review for a pair of noise cancelling earphones), this should not be an issue. The battery lasts about 16 hours as stated (and charges in about 2 hours) and so unless you use these nonstop throughout the day, you should be able to live on almost a single charge per "work week", depending on your personal use, understandably.
The "aware" mode on the QC20s work really well too. One touch of a button and you're able to let some noise from your surroundings into your ears (great to hear traffic when crossing busy roads) - alternatively, leave aware mode off and let your noise-cancelled music take you away from the busy world!

Control module:
The noise cancelling produced by this control module is great yes, but I cannot help but wonder why the control module for this is so large and positioned in such an awkward position. I do feel as though I need to take extra care with it since it does feel like the wire could get damaged easily. I mean if I'm listening to music and typing on my phone at the same time, I have this big box thing which is dangling off the top of my phone... Even when placing my phone in my pocket, I take care in ensuring the cable doesn't get bent or damaged. Having said that, Bose have compensated for this by giving us a noticeably thicker cable with the QC20 - this does make the product feel stronger and well-built.
The battery is also located within this control module and one downside of this is that it is non-replaceable. As we know, lithium-ion batteries eventually run out of juice and after about 500 odd recharging cycles, the battery will lose the energy to hold the full 16 hours charge. Although this is the case, I believe it'll probably take a good few years for the battery to become almost unusable.
UPDATE (07/01/13): Having used my QC20 for about a week on roads and when travelling, I must say I need to change what I've said in the above. What Bose have done is actually rather clever; the positioning of the control module means that you naturally fold the module to rest on the underside of the device which you get used to rather quickly. This makes typing and using your phone a hell of a lot easier and certainly more comfortable than when the module dangles off. I guess placing the module anywhere else would mean that the module would be dangling around which is in fact, even worse!

This is the ultimate question - are these worth the price? For me, I do feel as though they are (only just about). Only thing about this which bugs me is the fact that you get inline remote volume controls on the Bose QC20i (Apple version). I have to say that the Android/Windows QC20 should be priced a tad cheaper for this missing feature. Back to the main point anyway; overall for me, these are just about worth the price since they are a unique, one of a kind product. If you don't take my word for it, you could grab a pair of these from the official Bose store as they have a 30 day risk-free trial with a 100% money back guarantee. Please make sure you buy directly from Bose or a Bose dealer to avoid being hustled.

The overall verdict:
As a flagship audio company, Bose have done extremely well in producing these. Although I am giving these 4 stars, don't get me wrong, they are amazing. I just feel Bose will need to make improvements to the Quiet Comfort 20 in the future when they decide to bring out a mark 2 model. I.e. for me, the non-replaceable battery, control module and inline remote for Android and Windows needs some work before I give these 5 stars. Regardless, Bose have done amazingly well to produce something of such remarkable quality. Yes it feels a little overpriced but hey, you get what you pay for - these cannot be compared to anything else on current market! Are you looking for quality in-ear noise cancelling? For me, these are the ONLY earphones on the current market which does the job!

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you :)

Happy buying :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars World class noise cancelling, great audio., 23 Nov. 2014
This review is from: Bose ® QuietComfort ® 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (Electronics)
I've just returned home from a long-haul trip abroad and these headphones very quickly became my favourite item. In fact, without them, the flights would have been miserable!

So, noise cancelling first, these are amazing and this is why I love them so much. It's where Bose remain so, so far ahead of the competition. They managed to block out all background noise of the flights I was on, not just from the plane but people chatting around me, children crying and everything else too. With no audio playing and just these plugged in with noise cancelling on, it allowed me to sleep peacefully. It's not 100% noise cancelling, nothing will be, so without audio playing you'll hear things very quietly... but the moment you take them out you'll realise the huge, huge difference they make. Very impressive indeed.

In terms of sound quality, this is a very personal choice, but I find them just right. Not too bright, not overly bass heavy (as is so often the preference for headphones these days), but a very well balanced sound. They are on the softer side of headphones, so if you want a bright, sharp sounding audio profile you will want to listen to them first, but there is still a huge amount of detail and clarity. Stereo separation is good, dialogue and vocals are clear and don't get buried in noise and music has a life to it that never becomes tiring to listen to.

Let's be honest though, if you want the absolute best audio quality you wouldn't be looking at these. There are studio-quality headphones out there which will be better. But these are so good, with such great balance, that the vast majority of ordinary customers will be delighted with them. Most people looking at these will be doing so for the same reason - they want noise cancelling headphones for use with a portable device in a noisy environment, which offers clean and clear audio and a good sound profile. These are your headphones.

The tips are comfortable to wear for extended periods. They are very soft and they don't insert too far into your ear like some headphones do. As they are active noise cancelling, they don't need to go so far in to create the perfect isolation, which adds to the comfort greatly. I can be quite fussy and some tips really annoy me, but straight out of the box I wore these for many, many hours in absolute comfort and they never felt close to falling out, even while sleeping with them in!

Battery life is very good. My last flight was over 15-hours in total and they went through that just fine. They recharge via a MicroUSB cable (same as most non-Apple smartphones) so if you are in any way worried, a simple battery pack will recharge them, as will laptops and in-flight USB power sources that are more common these days.

The overall package you receive is very good. The only thing lacking, in my opinion, is an in-flight adapter (which comes in other over-the-ear Bose headphone packages). Otherwise you get three sets of tips and a short recharging USB cable, plus a very nice soft carry case which also stores the cable, spare tips etc.

Price aside, which isn't at the budget end, I would dare say these headphones will please the vast majority of people.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but not perfect, 21 July 2014
This review is from: Bose ® QuietComfort ® 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (Electronics)
I have now had these for about 6 weeks after buying them directly from a Bose shop.


- The noise cancelling works well. For example on a commuter train, most background is drowned out and conversations are dulled to an easily ignorable level. The train rumble almost goes.
- Although they look odd, the earbuds are comfortable and come in three sizes. The Bose shop will let you try them with your own device in store should you wish.
- The aware mode is good for announcements etc.
- The battery life is as advertised.
- They work fine as normal headphones when the battery is dead
- The volume/pause controls work well
- The battery pack is surprisingly little of an issue.
- Significantly more portable than the over ear or on ear alternatives.


- Unpredictable sounds get through: mobile phone calls especially.
- There is a slight hiss whilst used without music
- If charging these whilst using them – at least on my MacBook – the USB induces an extra background hiss
- For some reason, the 3.5mm jack seems to come out of the the side of my MacBook easily – not a problem with my phone or iPad, but a bit of a surprise when it goes quiet for you but everyone else can hear your music.
- The cable is ugly, a bit too long and gets snagged because of the particularly grippy plastic/rubber around it.
- It's quite easy to leave them powered up in your bag, although I can't really see a solution for this except for perhaps a powered up only when there's music mode?

Overall, very pleased to have them for my long daily train commute
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Basically excellent, 9 Sept. 2013
cdpinker (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bose ® QuietComfort ® 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (Electronics)
[UPDATE: Below review still stands, but just to add that after 20 months of fairly regular use, the cable has frayed where it attaches to the battery compartment, exposing the wires within. I think this is due to how I fold the cable when it goes in my pocket, but that is a bit unavoidable as you have to put the battery compartment in your pocket with your phone. Some sticky cable tape seems to have fixed it for now, may try some sugru, and may contact Bose to see what they say. If they say 'it is out of warranty, tough, then they are essentially admitting I'll need to buy new headphones every 20 months or so, which isn't going to happen]

The bottom line is that these are fantastic at noise cancelling but may not be incredible sound quality, but are still worth the money if noise-cancelling is that important to you. In other words, you should only buy these headphones if noise-cancelling is your absolute priority over everything else.

Here are my observations that may be of interest:

* The in-line microphone resides at the "Y" split in the cable, i.e. lower than the Apple headphones microphone which is in-line half way up the right-hand earbud cable. I used to run the headphone cable inside my shirt so it popped out at the neck so it was more subtle (and would still have access to the in-line remote/mic), but doing it this way now means the microphone/remote is under my shirt, no good for calls, changing volume etc without fishing it out from underneath. Might mean I have to keep the headphone cable outside of my clothing dangling. Not ideal, but I will experiment to find what works best.
* Cable is a rather weird black/grey twisting design, and is noticeably thicker than normal headphone cables.
* There is an audible electronic hiss when noise cancelling is enabled. It is quite quiet so is completely unnoticeable when you are out and about listening to music, but in a quiet room it is noticeable. Don't buy these headphones to sit at home on the sofa all day - these are designed for noise-cancelling and that is the scenario in which they excel.
* Audio quality is average when noise-cancelling is not switched on. Should be treated as a backup rather than a normal way of using them.
* They are really comfy! I really like the rubber extensions that fit within your ear; comfy and also secure, even if you yank on them.
* Noise-cancelling is excellent. Works best on constant low-frequency sounds, but I commuted on the tube today in London and wasn't disturbed by ambient noise once - it was fantastic. Just don't expect *silence*.
* The in-line remote is very large and fairly ugly
* The clip that holds the cable to clothing etc easily comes off. I lost mine after abut two weeks. It should really be permanently, or more securely, attached. I emailed Bose and they sent me a replacement free of charge :)
* Wind noise is more noticeable than you'd expect
* On the underground, I occasionally hear a popping sound. I think it is due to air pressure going in and out of tunnels. It is very rare and not something to be bothered by, but thought it worth mentioning.

Overall I'm really pleased with them as I mainly listen to music on the underground/commute and was getting fed up of my Apple earbuds constantly falling out and not really being able to hear the music when they were in anyway.

Highly recommended if you don't mind the price.
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59 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bose don't do cheap, 22 July 2013
Kevin O'Keefe (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bose ® QuietComfort ® 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you are in the business of buying Bose products then perhaps price is not a particular consideration. Even so at the current RRP for these QC20i's even die-hard Bose fans might well wonder whether the promise merits the asking price. The good news is that, after careful consideration, I believe it does.

To begin with these are typically nicely-designed Bose earphones except, unusually, above the earbuds there's a silicone fin that fits into the inner ear ridge. To my surprise they actually do fit remarkably well and not only are extremely comfortable but are all but invisible too. This design allows the earbuds to remain secure even without having to insert them quite tightly into the ear canal (as is usually the case with other earphones - and I have tried many). As such they are light and comfortable to wear while looking pretty cool in an understated way. The cable I am pleased to say is of the symmetrical Y-Type and the earbuds themselves are the conventional variety (i.e. not the 'over the ear' type).

Of course what really matters is the sound and it is here where the QC20i's really shine. What really sets these earphones apart from most others is the active noise-cancelling circuitry that is housed in the somewhat surprisingly large module that attaches to the cable only a couple of inches or so from the jack end. It is slim and light but at over two inches long I initially wondered whether it was going to be an annoyance (it isn't really). This inline module is charged via a supplied USB cable and a single two hour charge is enough to give around sixteen hours use (which seems to be the case). Originally when I tried the earphones I wasn't particularly blown away with the sound; they were OK, nothing special and certainly not at this price-point. But then I turned on the active, noise-cancelling module and - wow - what a difference! Every aspect of the audio improved. The soundstage was immediately thrown open and the audio throughout the range was by some margin the best I have heard from any earbuds I have owned. Sound reproduction - when twinned with lossless iPhone and iPod files - is detailed, revealing and musical and with enough lower frequency bass to satisfy all but the most demanding bass-head. Of course as in all cases with earphones of this design you will only get the 'right' optimal sound out of them if you have them fitted with the buds that match the size of your ears (so take time to try the three sizes supplied to get the right fit).

However what really sets these earphones apart is the 'noise cancellation' feature itself which you can choose to have on or off. In 'off' position the active module is still 'on' (and produces great sound not unlike an in-line preamp or DAC) but you still can detect ambient external sound (so you are aware of your surroundings, can hear somewhat muted conversation etc). With the noise cancellation set to 'on' however the circuitry almost magically removes what seems to be *all* ambient noise. It really does leave you with just you and your music. It is a remarkable effect. To give you some idea of how striking this effect is I paused my iPod, cancelled the noise-cancelling feature and started talking to my wife. Even with the earbuds in I could plainly hear what she was saying but then - with a flick of a switch - I could no longer hear what she was saying: her lips were moving but there was just *silence" (surely worth the asking price alone??!) Seriously though it is startlingly effective and even my wife had to conclude `that's AMAZING!' when she tried them (and a sceptical colleague at work had to grudgingly admit how much the noise cancelling feature added to the personalisation and immediacy of listening to your music). If you want to be totally isolated in your music - cocooned even - then these headphones are for you.

IPhone and iPod functionality work seamlessly and all functions (from track selection, volume control, accept/reject calls etc) are easily accessed through the inline control and mike at the apex of the earbuds Y cable. Unlike some I have used the buttons are distinct in feel and large enough to use with ease (but still discrete).

In conclusion I had some misgivings about these earphones as price-wise they are way above other perfectly decent Apple/Android ones. But then again they are not Bose. And while these Bose phones may not sound 'four times better' than good earphones a quarter of the price (but how *do* you quantify these things?) I can confidently say they do sound 'much' better - and the effectiveness of their noise cancelling circuitry truly gives them a unique listening experience.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best ANC out there, 16 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bose ® QuietComfort ® 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (Electronics)
So far, so good. These have served me well on a long haul flight, on the tube, and managed to shut out the idle banter of others when i've been sat around the pool on holiday. What I really like about them is the balanced sound, something that is very hard to find in a world where so many demand heavy bass or crispy sharp highs.

My concerns that they might be uncomfortable to wear were unfounded, on a 14 hour flight I was plugged in 95% of the time, and had no issues.

The power block is a bit of a pain, but once you get used to tucking it behind your iPhone before popping it in your pocket, you're good to go. Battery life is good (approx 12 hours heavy use), and it also charges super fast (approx 1-2 hours).

In conclusion; as someone who releases music, if I was in a jam or producing on the fly, I wouldn't be too panicked if for some reason I had to use these as a point of reference. They are wonderfully balanced, well made, and as far as the technology currently goes, the noise cancellation is top notch. Just remember though, they are not going to completely cut out all sound around you. If you want that the tech isn't there yet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best £250 spent in a long time, 8 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Fly long haul to southern Africa from the UK 12 plus per year. Have trouble sleeping on the plane and made a decision to try and see if these would help. Only used sub £50 ear buds before. First impression was that the buds were large and didn't feel to fit securely. However, once I got use to them I now think they fit perfectly. Not once has one fallen out (even when sleeping) and as the noise cancelling function works so well you don't need to jam them tight into your ears. So you don't get that uncomfortable feeling when you have had then in a while.

The noise cancelling is brilliant. Totally cuts out the loud ambient aeroplane noises. The phones do make a slight hiss sound when you have no music playing but it is un noticeable when you have even the very lowest volume of music. Its just so easy to drift off to sleep wearing these with or without music and they stay in place for hour after hour.

Finally, as you would expect from BOSE, the music quality is brilliant. I'm sure they will stand up to most high end over ear phones and these are small ear buds.

I can't say a bad thing about them after 6 months of ownership.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A.....MAZ.......ING!, 8 Nov. 2013
Chunky1234 (Reading. Berks.) - See all my reviews
I have been a BOSE supporter for many years, the proud owner of now 3 sets of noise cancelling headphones, 2 sets of normal in ear headphones and a WAVE CD / Radio system. Being a regular traveller I always found the noise cancelling capabilities of BOSE to be the best in the market, having wasted good money on the likes of Philips, Panasonic and JVC in the past. Now I know that at nearly £260 you want to make sure that these are worth every hard earned £, well in my opinion you cant go wrong. On a plane, perfect - you will be amazed at just how much noise they cancel out, and they are small enough to put in your pocket rather than carrying that rather large case that comes with the over and on ear noise cancellers from BOSE. I have also used these long haul and sleeping in them is just brilliant, no pressure on the side of you head and the ear pieces are extremely soft, you hardly notice you have them in, until you take them out and are met with that drone from the plane!!

So buy with confidence, and BOSE aftersales is excellent, if anything goes wrong, even outside of warranty just give them a call they will always try and help.

My only niggle is the switch. For Apple you get volume control etc. For Android the button doesn't really do much, but even this would not stop me giving this a 5 star rating!!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding sound quality, with noise-cancelling that will blow your mind!, 14 Aug. 2013
Chris Hall "DLS Reviews" (Cardiff, Wales) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bose ® QuietComfort ® 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 2:28 Mins

The Bose QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Earphones are a set of high-end earphones that have been designed with commuters and people out-and-about in mind. Indeed, the earphones have been designed and built specifically for iPods, iPhones and iPads. And the earphones three main distinctive features work in perfect harmony with these devices, especially when you're out and about.


Well, it's the obvious one. It's the feature that's at the absolute forefront of the design. The noise-cancelling control module that you can switch on and off to enable and disable the noise-cancelling properties. And to be fair - the change will blow your mind. My advice is to watch the official Bose advert for these earphones - where it attempts to illustrate the difference in sound on a travelling train. I kid you not - this is exactly what the earphones are like. The noise-cancelling is that good. And on this feature alone I would be sold!

On a slight downside, the control unit is positioned just a tad too close to the jack, making it often knock up against your iPod etc. It's also very easy to forget to turn off, and if you do forget, then you've got no noise-cancelling until you've had the chance to charge it up again. Not a big problem - but perhaps worth mentioning.


The unique 'StayHear+' earphone heads that have this strange design that fits snuggly into the swirls of your ear. Made from some soft flexible rubber, the earphone heads do feel incredibly comfortable and secure in your ear. The earphones also come with three different sizes (I'm using the medium sized ones in the included video).


Sticking with the out-and-about, commuter-friendly theme - the earphones also include an 'Inline' control/mic that allows the user to make and answer calls on their iPhone etc with absolute ease.

Aside from these three particular features, the earphones offer an excellent quality of sound - with a clean and layered sound coming through perfectly. Indeed, notes can be easily identified and singled out from this rich audio reproduction - with a good depth and warmth to the bass and a very natural, sometimes crisp, body to much of the medium notes. It has to be said that the the sound quality really is superb. It's not bass heavy or enhanced to a horribly manufactured degree. It sounds real and full of definition.

Having used the earphones for my daily commute every day for just over a month now, I've only found a couple of small niggling issues with them. Firstly, when using the noise-cancelling function on a train, if the train goes through even just a moderately long tunnel, the earphones start to make an odd 'popping' sound. Furthermore, this weird popping can also start to happen if the air pressure in the train carriage seems to dip a little bit lower than normal - which after a minute of putting up with this popping sound has resulted in me having to turn off the noise-cancelling function - or suffer the beginnings of a headache.

The only other minor annoyance I've had with the earphones is with the small crocodile-clip that comes attached to the lead to allow the user to keep the earphones clipped to their person. Because the clip is only loosely fastened to the lead, after just a week of use, the crocodile-clip fell off somewhere and is now gone. Not really a big issue - but a bit annoying as it was handy.

All in all though, these really are an incredible set of earphones. I've had and tried out a good number of earphones through the years, and I have to say, hand on heart that to date, these are the best set I've ever had. But they aint cheap!
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