Headphone Review – beats by Dr. Dre Vs Bose QuiteComfort Vs Sennheiser HD 650

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I look around and every day I see people wearing head phones more and more. Not the in ear ones, but the ear cuff ones. The ones which mean people are serious about listening to music. I thought I would put together a headphone review on the three headphones.

I listen to music a heck of a lot. When I’m working I’m listening, when I’m relaxing I’m listening, when I’m exercising I’m listening, and as I type this I’m listening. I’ve gone through quite a few head phones, and like most of the stuff I buy, which I’m going to use a lot, money is not an option. I have owned all three of these brands and I can tell you I’ve used them for hundreds of hours each.

I’m not a DJ, studio producer, or anything like that I’m a guy who likes his music – good crystal clear music. I love clarity in music and enjoy the resonance you get from the bass. When someone asks me how I like my music I always refer back to the Sgt. Slick Song “White Treble, Black Base”. Head phones for me need this, and you only get this from really good quality, and usually expensive, head phones.

If you want a quick overview I’ve put together a quick rubric for each headphone.


A comment by Lovish (below) made me think that I forgot to mention something. Why I choose these head phones to compare and the context of the review. I choose these headphones because they’re the ones I own. The context for this review is for general purpose head phones. If you are going for something which leaves out travel and noise cancellation then the Sennheisers would come out on top. Even though they’ve come out second in this review, personally they don’t travel with me because I have a secret love with them, they’re my favorite and don’t want to break them, so I hope that gives you a better understanding of how I see all these head phones.

Headphone Review Rubric


beats by Dr. Dre

Beats by Dr. Dre Studio Head Phones

Beats by Dr. Dre Studio Head Phones

When I see people wearing these head phones I always feel they’ve been lured by the colour or the fashion statement it sends out. Clean sleek design with vibrant colours therefore I’m cool. I was one. I had the beats by Dr. Dre Studio. I’m a cool cat because I wear these… yeah! They have a fantastic finish and they’re quite comfortable to wear for a while.

Why did I give up on these head phones and store them in the back of a draw. They’re no good for long wearing. I’ve warn them on a few plane rides and they become uncomfortable after a while. Also, the effects they use to try and make music sound better annoys the heck out of me.

They fold up into a little carry case and are easy for travel – if you’re not wearing them.

Note: Next time your on a flight around the world try and take a peak into first class. No one who has a heck of a lot of money wear these. They know. Yes they are given their own headphones, but some still bring their own and they are not these. 

The Sound Quality of beats by dr. Dre

These head phones even though say studio are not studio head phones. The technical reason is because they try and improve the sound quality. A NO NO in studio production. You want to hear the original work in the music, therefore, these are not studio headphones. Another gimmick.

What they do to the sound is increase the bass and some other magic stuff to try and make music sound better. This is what really turned me off after a while. I just want to hear the original work. I reckon no head phones should be bias on the audio spectrum.

I think a lot of people get conned into these head phones by the difference in sound. I did. You put on one set of head phones and then you put on these, and you’ll notice a major difference. This is because of the effects they apply to the sound. If you know no better you believe the sound is better. Wrong. It is different not better.

They have noise isolation or their version of noise cancellation, but to be honest isn’t really that good when compare to the Bose QuiteComfort. It does improve the overall listening experience but it doesn’t take you to another level of listening.

Overall these head phones are great, but way to pricey for what you’re getting. You’re better to walk into a audio store and ask what they recommend for head phones. I’m sure you’ll get a great quality set for the same price or even less and they’ll be better than these.

If you’re a sucker for fads and trends then buy these. If you really appreciate music and sound quality, then steer clear.

Just another note before we move on, beats by Dr. Dre is just a brand which Monster has used for their products. Monster has some other products which are better then these and they are worth a look. Monster is known for associating its brands – or collaborations they call it – with famous people. At the end of the day it’s a label, it’s the technology you’re after!

Bose QuiteComfort 15

Bose QuietComfort 15 Headphones image

Bose QuietComfort 15 headphones

These are not studio headphones, but headphones for clear sound while providing noise cancellation. Straight up, these headphones are fantastic for frequent travellers. They’re incredibly comfortable for long flights, and they eliminate the sound of a jet engine out side your window with ease. These are the ones I’m wearing now. For long periodes of listening… get these.

They don’t fold away like the beats, but they do come with a hard plastic carry case. These are the number one travel head phones without a doubt.

Note: On your second flight around the world, peak into first class. Majority of people are wearing these. Just a thought. People with the attitude of money is not an option, buy these. Interesting thought.

The Sound Quality of Bose QuiteComfort 15

The sound quality, even though brilliant, is still being enhanced like the beats by Dr. Dre. There isn’t any bass increase, but there is still some magic going on. I would say they are just a tiny bit better then the beats, but not by much. I like these ones more because the bass is not increased so much. They keep the sound clear, crystal clear, while not having to bring other sounds out like the bass. Great for vocal sound. This might be because they are used to listen to more than just music, things like movies, podcasts, and whatever else on a plane’s entertainment system you might find.

Not original sound, but fantastic clarity and great insulation. When I wear these I’m in a different world. All the sound outside is cancelled – well to a degree.

Another thing with these, Bose is not a fad. It has solidly been investing in sound quality and production for decades, this is seen also in Sennheiser. No wonder they have great respect by people when it comes to sound. They just don’t look as good.

Sennheiser HD 650

Sennheiser HD 650 head phones

Sennheiser HD 650 Head Phones

These are fantastic head phones. Flaw… they’re open head phones. This got to me after a while so I stopped using them for travel or walking through the city. I like my music loud, but I don’t like having to have it loud to block out other noise.

They’re not that good for long hauls such as plane travel or anything like that, but they’re great to lay on a couch and listen to a nice chill out song. Their cushion I would say is the best of all three, and the look I would say it great too. These are for serious listeners of music, but more for a home gadget instead of a take with you one. I love Sennheiser and this brand was what shot me off into appreciating sound quality. When I see someone with anything Sennheiser I know that person loves their audio.

Sound Quality of Sennheiser HD 650

Straight up brilliant. They don’t isolate any part of the spectrum, such as base or treble, so you end up with a great representation of the original work. I’m not saying they don’t do magic in the background, what I’m saying is they’ve just tired to be non-bais with their effects.

The flaw with this which I’ve already mentioned is they’re open. This means you can have leakage from outside noise. This really gets on my nerves when working in an office and others are talking, printers are going and what ever else. When I work my music is low so I don’t damage my ears, but I don’t want to hear anything else.

If you’re not going out in noisy areas I would say these are the better head phones by miles.

Final thoughts

It’s a toss up between Bose and Sennheiser. If I had too choose one, I would say Bose, even though Sennheiser has a better sound quality. The reason for that is because of the noise cancellation technology Bose uses. It is world renowned for a reason – It works. With the beats by Dr. Dre: In the eyes of true sound enthusiast you’ll be seen as someone who got ripped, and were lured like a moth to a lamp with the colours – I was, but they’re still a pretty good set of head phones. They’re too expensive though for what you’re getting. They’ve seemed to pop up over night, but Sennheiser and Bose have been around for Decades and have the research behind them – they’re not a fad. However, You might see me walking around with the beats now and then to be a cool cat!

Something to think about and I hope you get what you’re looking for in sound quality.



categories: General, Programming, Tools

Date posted: Friday, April 13, 2012 | comments: 13

13 Responses to Headphone Review – beats by Dr. Dre Vs Bose QuiteComfort Vs Sennheiser HD 650

  1. Lovish says:

    I don’t understand how can you compare three entirely different headphones? It’s like comparing a Lincoln with a Formula 1 car and a Banana (Beats??) Beats is less of headphones and more of a fashion accessory, I will not even talk about them because if you have to compare them with Sennheisers you should be talking of something in HD4 series. No headphones from Beats or Bose are even in the league of HD650. You are right when you say these are one of the flattest headphones out their that produce amazingly accurate sound with the widest soundstage. HD650 are open back and should not be compared with headphones that has Noise Cancel as their main feature. Also there are not expensive if you consider the sound quality that they produce (HD800 are >$1500 but you won’t rate them 3 stars considering how they sound)….on the other hands Beats and Bose are overtly priced headphones so I am not sure how that rating was decided. Also HD650 is made for studio/indoor use (hence open back design) and again should not be compared to headphones specifically made to use outdoors.
    Your reviews are good, but the headphones chosen for comparison are not!!

  2. Rhys says:

    Hey Lovish,

    You’re right! Full stop. Maybe I should of chosen headphones which are more aligned, but these are the ones I have personally so that is why I choose them. Put it this way, when I’m laying on my couch listening to music to unwind I use the Sennheisers, when I’m working and really doing anything where I want music but it’s not my main focus I use the Bose.

    The Sennheisers are the best for sound, but when working in a office I find I have to sacrifice quality to get the noise cancelling. I have my music very low as a background thing, but I don’t want to hear the other stuff going on around me.

    So I think there is a something I should of mentioned in this general review, and that is the context which you’ll be using them. Sound lovers get the Sennheiser, general purpose headphones get the Bose and give up on Beats.

    Thanks for your critic. I hope others read it.


  3. Fatimah says:

    The Bose noise cancelling heanehodps are great but they run around $ 300. THere are some nock off name brands that do a good job as well for around $ 100. My dad bought a knockoff pair for $ 40 and they were a waste of money. You get what you pay for and I think on your budget of $ 150 you should get an excellent pair

  4. MelissaD. says:

    Thank you sooooo much for this! I kept hearing music producers say that Bose is better than the Dre headphones, and now I have an in-depth review. Thank you! GREAT review!

  5. helmo says:

    thanx Lovish
    when it comes to sound quality the beats are Not worth talking about.

  6. Adam says:

    Thank you so much for your review it really helped me out. My friend just got some Beats and I was excited to hear how much “better” they were going to be then my skull candy ear buds, but honestly it wasn’t that much better. I think the Bose sound like the best overall package to me and I am going to get them. Thanks again!

  7. Judy says:

    Thanks for the info.

    I’m a musician and worked in the industry, so yeah, I LOVE music at all times. At the same time, I want crisp sounding music, where you can hear every tiny nuance of a song you’re listening to. Listen to some Zeppelin tracks and you’ll hear things you never noticed before. So, I keep going back to my Bose in ear head phones. They are light, don’t fall out of your ears with added over ear support, so it’s great for using while sitting peacefully, or trying to run a marathon. I also use them for sleeping so thats a major plus – they don’t fall off.

    What I don’t get about the Dr. Dre headphones, is that every time someone has them on during my daily NY subway rides (there are a lot) I can always hear what they are listening to. I find that incredibly annoying. Just like the cheap headphones that come with the iPhone and the ones people buy because they are “pretty” or “cool” and mostly “cheap”. I don’t want to hear your music, nor should I hear yours.

    So, I’m back to getting another set of Bose.

    Can anyone else tell me that they notice that the music travels outside of the Dr. Dre headphones? I know I have ears like a hawk, but I’ve seen other people looking at someone who has them on – so they are hearing them as well. Just curious – and because they are supposed to be “all that”. Thanks!!

  8. Rhys says:

    Hey Judy,

    Depends on which Beats you’re talking about. Some have good insulation, but most of them are quite open so you hear everything someone is listening too. Which mind you drives me insane. For the price range these beats sit in which are over $AUD200 you would think they would isolate the music, because any sound which can get out, the equivalent can get in. That’s why the Sennheisers are only used for home, as I can’t stand walking around the city and hearing others and the cars. A lot of the beats are on ear, not over ear as well, which also contributes to the sound loss. Your ear is not a perfect surface so unless you have your head phones on really tight and the cushion is soft enough to mould to your ears, you’re still going to get sound leakage.

  9. beats by dr. dre says:

    Such headsets would definitely be a brand name prepared well-known by way of the rap/hip ut specialit that could be Dr Dre together with Jimmy Lovine who will be the particular chairman about Interscope Details. The business right now contains Six earphones systems and even Five different headset services all beneath the similar brand, Monster Sounds. All of these headsets definitely are a substantial hit from the high profile will due to term, model, fashion and also the company’s system. You will see such earbuds approved provided by unique highly successful people.

  10. Headphone lover says:

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Thank you for supplying
    this information.

  11. Alan says:

    Great Review, very objective and helpful. Thanks! =D

  12. Alex says:

    You are very stupid the Beats are the BEST headphones out there so get your head out of ur ass and learn

  13. Rhys says:

    Hey Alex,

    I don’t know about having my head up my ass, but if I pulled it out I’m sure I would have a new set of Beats on my head.



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