Hello! Wow, thanks for writing such a detailed question, that’s really awesome! Most people just ask me “Which one is better,” and then I struggle to answer it.

After everything you’ve said, I’d say buy the Bose QC25! I don’t even have to think twice about it.

It checks almost all the boxes on your priorities list. It has amazing noise cancellation, even today, and a nicely balanced sound signature that will work well even for lower bitrate music. The bass is not overly dramatic, just a touch boosted, and it has a beautiful tone on vocals and acoustic instruments which should be perfect for the types of music you like to listen to.

Just make sure you keep a triple A battery in there and don’t listen to the unpowered mode, which is a little lacking.

The only thing it doesn’t do is wireless…but there are a few third party companies out there that sell a bluetooth upgrade dongle for it. Getting a refurbished one for around $100 is an excellent deal, and Bose’s support is pretty good too, so I bet they’d help you out if it broke even though it’s a refurb. I’ve had nothing but good experiences with them.

You’ve listed some other good headphones there, but the QC25 is my personal favorite on the list. I still think, dollar-for-dollar, it’s probably the best and comfiest headphone Bose has ever made. It’s less aggressive-sounding than the 35, and slightly more comfy due to its lighter weight.

Here’s my old review of the QC25.

And now, a little bit more about my thoughts on the other models you listed, just for fun…

The MDR100 is a nice headphone, and if you can get the wireless model for cheap it’d be a good second choice. But its noise cancellation isn’t in the same league as the QC25, and its bass is a touch less refined.

If you didn’t like the 950BT, you probably won’t like the 950N1 either. While you can now tame the bass thanks to the new app, it’s still a bass monster designed almost exclusively for that purpose.

The MDR-10R and 1R are pretty old models at this point, and while they were decent at the time…the newer 1A/100/1000X models have basically replaced them and do better at everything from comfort to sound quality to noise cancellation.

I don’t hate the Beats Studios as much as some others do…but their noise cancelling is among the least impressive I’ve heard, with a noticeable hissing in the background and bass that’s boomy and overdone.

I gave the HD 280’s a positive review some time ago. I like their sound, although it’s more of a studio-feel, designed for pulling out the flaws in music rather than enjoying it. And I think that they look super ridiculous. If you’re paying around the same price, the QC25 is a better pick.

So my overall order would be(if you need a second and third choice):

QC25

MDR 100 ABN

280 Pro

Hope that helps you out! Thanks very much for reading.

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I do radio voice work by day, and write by day and night. I studied film and production. I love audio, design, and music. Also video games.

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