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Quiet shoes to fill: Bose’s QC25 ANC headphones will replace the ‘legendary’ QC15

While the world turned its eyes towards IFA in Berlin this week to view the explosion of new electronics debuted at the show, Bose made an appropriately quiet introduction for one of its own new models: the Bose QuietComfort 25 ANC (Active Noise Canceling) headphones. Promising improved noise-canceling performance in a sleek new design, the QC25 is poised to follow users out of the airport and into their everyday routine.

Related: Phiaton Chord MS 530 ANC headphones review

Bose is pretty proud of its new creation, which will relieve the indomitable QC15 of its command. “We weren’t going to replace the QC15 headphones unless we had something that was better and different,” said VP of Bose’s Noise Reduction Technology group. “The QC25 is both.”

To replace an icon of the genre, Bose has employed its 30 or so odd years of leading the noise-canceling industry. The company claims the new QC25 cancels noise better than any of its predecessors, with a special emphasis on low frequencies.

Active Noise Canceling works by measuring sounds outside the earphones, analysing the noise, and then matching the sound with a polar opposite signal, which physically cancels out the sound waves.

To improve on the previous design, the new QuietComfort are fitted with sets of microphones both inside and outside the earcup, as well as a new chip that is claimed to be more accurate and faster at canceling the noise, to within “a fraction of a millisecond,” to bring calm and quiet in “the most demanding environments.”

And Bose wasn’t done there. While the company’s sound performance has always been relegated to the category of good-not-great (to our ears anyway), the company also claims the new headphones are equipped with a revamped equalization system designed to offer richer bass and a more natural sound, as well as offering a lower noise floor to reduce the white noise “hiss” that is common in ANC headphones.

And, of course, there’s the new exterior design. While the QC25 certainly draw from their predecessor, the features are smoothed over into a simplified neo-classic look. The design has also been re-engineered to offer a closer fit. The pads are cloaked in protein leather, and offer a “soft touch TPE bumper” to sit more comfortably, and the headphones also fold down smaller than the QC15 for better portability.

One issue we still take with the QC25 is the lack of a rechargeable battery, something we definitely expect at their $300 price point. However, the company does claim the headphones will last for 35 hours on a single AAA battery, and will still play once the battery dies, though without noise-cancelation, of course.

We’ll have to try the QC25 for ourselves to know if the new breed can outperform the stalwart QC15 on all levels as promised, and we’ll have a full review coming soon. But if you’re already a fan of the QuietComfort design, and ready for an upgrade, the new QC25 are available now.