Question about Bose QuietComfort 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Consumer Headphones
My Bose headphones just started to feedback on me. When I turn them on, a piercing whine occurs whenever I pull the earpieces apart (that is, to put them on my head!). If the earpieces are together, there is no feedback, but the second I start pulling them apart....ouch! I've had these headphones for a couple of years now, and they've just started doing this. What's going on?? Thanks!
The design of these headphones includes a microphone on the outside and
on the inside of each earcup. The outside microphone detects outside
noise. The inside microphone monitors what you are hearing and when it
detects that the outside noise is present inside, the active
noise-canceling circuits remove that noise. This happens fast enough
that you perceive a siginficant reduction in the outside noise getting
to your ears.
The airspace inside the earcup is a tuned chamber defined by the foam in the ear cushion. This is important because with the inside microphone in close proximity, but at a 90-degree angle to the speaker, the circuit must be designed to eliminate the normal feedback that occurs.
If the foam in the ear cushion has weakened/deteriorated to the point that it no longer has it's original shape, (in particular the lower half of the ear cushion), the size and shape of the air chamber inside of the earcup is directing more of the speaker sound toward the microphone than the design can compensate for causing audio feedback to occur. You are hearing that feedback.
On my QC-3 headphones, I can cause the feedback squeal in both earcups, with the left earcup being more sensitive to the shape change than the right.
It may be time to replace the ear cushions. If so, they are available from Bose for around $35/pair.
Posted on Oct 22, 2013
I had the feed back problem, then they stopped working altogether. New pair under warranty, same problem after 6 months. A pair of QC20i's gave up within a few weeks (volume control stopped working, replaced under warranty, gave them to a nephew.
The answer, unfortunately, is Sennheiser until Bose get their quality back.
Posted on Jun 22, 2015
I had the same problem. If I brought my hand near the earphone I got a screech. I called Bose service and she said that it might be bad contact where the wire plugs into the earphone. She suggested reseating the plug. This seemed to work. Later I cleaned both plugs on the connecting wire with an electronic contact cleaner. The problem is gone.
Posted on Apr 24, 2013
Solved....I opened up the battery compartment, and there was a small bit of moisture inside. Once I dried it out, the feedback stopped. It's surprising to me that a moisture problem would manifest itself as feedback, but there you go.
Posted on Mar 25, 2008
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