Itis uncommon in today’s world, to see passengers or travellers without an earphone or headphone occupying their passing time. Believe it not, the earliest dated headphone, invented by engineer Nathaniel Baldwin at his kitchen table, was used in the US Navy to pick up encoded messages. What was once a defence equipment, has now become very prominent in our lives. Industries like SONY, Sennheiser and Bose, to name a few, are working judiciously to incorporate technological advancements into this device to make it more consumer friendly.
With the emergence of Bluetooth earphones, the headphone devices have naturally integrated the wireless mode, enabling a more wire-free approach. The innovation to note though, is the ANC (Active Noise Cancelling) technology assimilated with wireless headphones. The ANC headphones actively provides a noise free environment for fellow music enthusiasts out there. Interestingly enough, the ANC technology has been around for over 60 years, and now has become a very significant factor when choosing a good headphone. Most headphones developed in the recent years have begun introducing this feature, Bose being the first company to incorporate the technology, and the bright side is the feature can be enabled by the user during a nap or listening to his/her favourite rock music.
In the modern setting, consumers have plethora of choices to choose from, namely from design/comfort to wireless/wired mode, and this has made the market a competitive field for emerging and existing headphones. The real question remains: “How does one determine their best fit? “, is it with experts review or with the customer reviews?
Embarking on this very same question is our journey to understand how different opinions and various perspectives can be. Leveraging on AI and text Analytics from Bewgle’s consumer reviews analytics, let’s try to navigate through some of the headphone’s best features and feasibilities.
The brand worthy of the best headphone picks, following its XM2 series, the brand released a consequent model, the XM3, in the year 2018. Considered one of the best ANC (Active noise cancellation), it definitely beats all expectations. Of course, it is still left to the experts and customers on what they have to say about the model.
EXPERTS VS CONSUMERS
CUSTOMERS REVIEW ANALYSIS
It is quite evident, that the experts might be a bit more praiseworthy of the product as compared to the customers. On the whole, the noise cancelling aspect is efficient, even if the experts have not rated the particular aspect exclusively, word on the street tells us that this particular feature beats most noise cancelling headphones in the market. An important aspect, which has profoundly been commented upon, is the value for price. Even if this category sits well with the experts, on deep analysis the consumers feel that the price is on the higher end of the spectrum. Definitely not the common man’s headphone. Nevertheless, the sound quality, design and built, bass, controls, connectivity are excellent and rated so, on both sides. Although the battery life did suffer a few points on the consumers side of ratings. Some felt that the battery life failed to satisfy. Overall, the experts rating and consumers rating is quite similar, all things considered.
BOSE QUIET COMFORT 35 II
Bose’s introduction of the comfort series has stormed the markets. As the name implies “comfort” is what this company aims to instigate, with focus on the noise cancelling aspects as well. This model is the updated version of the QC35 model and is similar, except with regards to the Assistant button on the side that connects to Google and Siri seamlessly. The key change would be the dedicated noise cancelling toggle that helps to switch between different ANC levels.
EXPERTS VS CONSUMERS
CUSTOMERS REVIEW ANALYSIS
Surprisingly, the bass ratings, on average, given by the consumers is lower than expected. We can see discrepancy between experts review and consumers review on bass, which most music enthusiasts have to watch out for. Nevertheless, on most scores, the numbers match. Price is significantly mentioned, due to the cost of Bose’s comfort series, which are primarily on the expensive side, hence the price of the headphone is equated to a number of features and its improvement from predecessors. The sound quality in general, is on par with the Sony series, thus, the quality is exemplary. Noticeably, the battery life of the wireless device also matches standards and is not factor of complaint. In conclusion, the ratings do show similarities and dissimilarities for sub categories, although in totality, the figures match.
BOAT ROCKERZ 400
There are very few in the Indian market, who have not heard of the recent trendy headphone “boAt”. The main tagline it describes itself is as a budget headphone, which obviously deciphers as low priced and integrated with the latest features. One of the most significant factor and reason for our pick is because of its huge popularity in the online market (Amazon, Flipkart, etc.). The widespread popularity with almost thirty-five thousand reviews and ratings is definitely a topic of interest in respect to its capabilities as a budget headphone.
EXPERTS VS CONSUMERS
CUSTOMER REVIEW ANALYSIS
When considering the consumer trends, it is fairly obvious that a good portion of the population have rated the headphones quite high in all subcategories, although, the experts believe otherwise. The experts comment that the sound quality is compromised due to its low price and noise cancelling feature is not prominent, due to the absence of the respective technology. Nevertheless, for a budget Headphone, boat has clearly surpassed all odds in establishing itself in the market. Despite of the low experts score, the product is sold extensively. So sorry experts, but I think consumers win this round!
CONSUMER RATINGS COMPARISON
Looking into many factors involved in understanding comparative analysis is a complex task, but to make it easier, we’ve shortlisted a couple of important and common factors in the analysis stream. In the overall rating stream, no doubt, the win clearly goes to Sony wh-1000mx, but of course it is to be noted that Sony is much more expensive than the boat counterpart, therefore the imbedded technology and built is more advanced. The intriguing part is the bass component of the headphones taken in consideration, undeniably, boat has a much higher rating than the other’s, while Bose has took a hit in ratings. In price, or value, it is obvious that boat would have the lead and as said earlier- it is a “budget headphone”. Ear- would typically mean “level of comfort”, Bose has the lead on this factor, owing to the fact that Bose’s model is built for comfort and noise cancellation. Evidently, when looking at other factors- ratings are equal or at least almost equal.
The consumers do prefer sony in most regards, although bose and boat have never failed to impress on other regards. Let us know, which headphone you would choose ? Sayonara!
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