I bought a pair of these from Amazon in November of 2006. They worked perfectly until about 2 weeks ago, when the voice track in most songs became very distant sounding, while the music remained at regular volume. We were outside the 1 year warranty but Bose agreed to send us a new pair once we returned our original pair.
I don't know if this is their usual policy; we did have a support request on file with them from the prior October regarding an issue we had when tapping on the earpiece. That issue didn't affect their performance--I mean, how often do you tap your earpiece--but it may have been evidence of an existing defect that was within the warranty period.
If you get a pair and ever have an issue that's your fault, they typically offer another pair at a heavy discount, typically for about $100. That might seem steep, especially in light of the price you paid originally, but given that another pair from another manufacturer would run you $60-80 anyway it's not too bad. In some cases the replacement pair might cost you even less.
The new pair arrived quickly, everything wrapped perfectly. Theoretically this pair has an additional year of manufacturing experience behind them, so some of the things you read in the Amazon reviews has been addressed.
I know when I originally bought the headphones I had heard that the headband could break easily. Ours lasted over a year without any issue, and they were used almost every day.
The QuietComfort 2's come with a nice reinforced carrying case. It slips into my wife's backpack easily and can withstand the pressures of ten pound textbooks. This is pretty much the recommended way to transport the headphones. They'd probably break otherwise. The case is only about 3 inches thick. The ear cups of the headphones rotate so that they fold flat within the case.
The headphones take 1 AAA battery. Bose says that battery life is about 35 hours. After a year of usage I'd say we used about 12-15 batteries. It's certainly not as big a concern as you might think. There's an on switch on the right ear cup to enable active noise cancellation. There's no need to plug into a music source for this benefit.
The audio attenuator that plugs into the left ear cup has two settings on it: LO and HI. Low is typically used for airline audio or AC powered devices. HI is used for battery-powered audio devices. Neither setting affects the noise canceling properties.
As for sound quality, it's impressive. Though I think a lot of the Bose store demos are sometimes unrealistic, these really do have a good range of sound. They're light, comfortable, and make noisy situations tolerable. I have a large brain casing and these don't make my ears feel stiff or numb after an hour of use, unlike my Sennheisers.
What you get Headphone plug with audio attenuator 1 AAA battery Dual plug adapter (good for flights) 1/4" gold plated stereo phone adapter Extension cord Carrying case and strap
The ear cup cushions are replaceable, so it's not really a problem if yours get messed up after a couple years of use. If you're not into the over-ear cushions, you can get the on-ear version.