Friday 10 January 2014

Is the US Army Bose Triport Tactical headset an alternative to the Quiet Comfort QC15 (Bose Triport Tactical vs Bose QC15)

I'm not presenting the Bose QuietComfort 15 again. Everybody with a little knowledge about knows it is the best mass-market noise cancelling headphone there is. But what about the Bose Triport Tactical headset? I mean, have you even seen the specs of the Bose triport tactical? It has noise cancelling, it is rugged, supposed to let you hear your surroundings, comes with a mic and even makes you look cool, bad-ass, crazy and stupid.


When you start thinking about it, the Bose triport tactical should be the perfect alternative to the Bose QC15 for outdoor activities... well you better think twice: there are a couple if things you need to consider before you buy one and hack it to make it work with you smartphone and/or radio:
  • These headphones are made to cancel noise but also make your hear your surroundings (and your surroundings you will hear)... with a fair amount of white noise -coming from the mics repeating a little more that the outside noise-. The volume from the outside will however be adapted to remain within an acceptable (and optimal) volume range for your ear. If this is not what you want, the only way to get around that is by switching them off... which is actually a viable solution since the sound, mic and PTT button work when switched off!
    The Bose Triport Tactical headset
    AP-107BR connector

    The Active Noise Reduction (ANR) works only when connected to a compatible radio. It is however possible make it work unconnected. Unlike the QC15, you will hear a background noise.
    On the other hand, the Bose QC15 will positively do its best to isolate you from your surroundings. You will be hearing nothing but silence.
  • The PTT button has three positions: open, latched closed (talking) and momentarily closed. It does not seem to have any impact on the mic or listening (simply a contact for the radio).
  • It is heavy
  • Some people think it makes them look cool. I think it makes them look stupid.

As a conclusion I would recommend to use the Bose Triport Tactical headset only if you want to be able to hear both your radio/music in a noisy environment while protecting your ears and without being cut off from the world... which makes sense because that's what they were built for. The active noise cancelling generates a background noise and is only useful in very noisy environment. 

If what you understand by noise cancellation is "no noise" and want a premium headphone, you should stick to the Bose Quiet Comfort 15 (or any other brand/model... that's up to you).

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