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Bose in-ear Headphones review



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Bose in-ear Headphones
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Our Score:


Many people's first experience of 'proper' noise cancelling headphones will have come courtesy of a pair of Bose cans, supplied to cancel out the hum of aeroplane engines in business class. Bose has been involved in the technology for some years now and seems to have the airline business well and truly sewn up. I've also seen its earbuds bundled with some MP3 players: the Samsung T10 for instance has a decent pair of Bose phones included. But strangely it hasn't yet gone for the biggest growing sector of the headphone market - in-ear headphones - in a particularly big way.

In fact it currently only has one pair of headphones in this sector - the Bose in-ear headphones - and these represent a pretty an odd way of dipping the corporate toe into these highly competitive waters. I say odd because, while virtually every other manufacturer has focused on noise canceling canal phones of late, Bose's newest headphones are, in fact earbuds. Not in the traditional sense - they do have silicone rubber tips that extend inside your ear canal - but they don't create an airtight seal. The main body of the silicone rubber tips actually sit outside the ear canal and the result is that, though slightly more effective than a standard pair of iPod-style earbuds, they don't cut out external noise to any great degree.

This is clearly a pair of headphones designed to turn heads, though. Rather than plain black cables, they're decked out with rather fetching stripy black-and-white wires. These cables are also thick and feel well up to being trapped in your jacket zip a few times, while the joints at each end are similarly well put together. Other nice touches include a 3.5mm jack skinny enough to fit the iPhone's headphone port directly, and a decent range of accessories. In the box is a rectangular soft case with enough room to stow headphones plus a small MP3 player, a clothing clip to keep the wires from tugging at your ears, and a lanyard that allows you to hang the phones around your neck when you're not listening to music.

hairy toes eagle

March 27, 2009, 12:04 pm

Fantastic headphones, made listening to my ipod something i enjoy and look forward to, rather than just helping pass the time as i walk from A-B. they sound great altough the cable looks a bit weird.

Lionel cC-Smith

July 31, 2009, 10:31 pm

Awful. Yes, they are made quite nicely but the sound of them is so dreadfully muted and muffled. As alluded to by the author, the have no sharpness of sound or clarity of note. I have compared these to several other phones I possess (B&O, Sony, etc.) and they are not as clear definition of any of them. I should of have been wary when in the hand book it points out to turn of all sound enhancements that may be switched on in your player device. The only way I could get anywhere a sensible sound was by turning bass adjustements down and lifting the treble.

Please don't waste your money. The Sennhiesers are a far better investment for those of you with a decent pair of ears.

leslie martin

January 7, 2010, 2:17 pm

My biggest problem with these are the silicon earpieces are to easy to lose as they fall off the earphones very easily


February 25, 2010, 5:17 am

the sound quality of these headphones are amazing, do not listen to lionel cC-smith, but do not go out rushing to buy them, this is your WARNING. I have bought 2 of these headphones and they have both broken with similar problems, the jack had broken on the first set due to flimsy wiring and the wire has snapped on the second set.


March 1, 2010, 10:46 pm

I agree with the review and wish I had found it before buying mine. They are not bad earphones but quite muddy and I need to turn the bass down to make them listenable. Also they are quiet by comparison with my Sennheiser and Ultimate Ears. I can hardly hear my iPod Nano when on the train so only use them when I am out for a walk and generally only when listening to audiobooks for which they are good. I find them comfortable (which is why I haven't got rid of them yet) but they are not worth the money and you will find much better earphones out there. I am a Bose fan and have their noise cancelling headphones which are very good. These earphones though are a big let down.

Carrie Ann

August 18, 2010, 2:03 am

As Muzza above, I have also had two pairs of headphones and both broken from the jack. First pair was straight connection (i.e. pin to wire upright), and these frayed after 10 months. I did query with sales assistant when returned under guarantee that the newer version wire to jack was set at a right angle but they assured me never seen this problem before! Within 6 months these also frayed and are not usable. Shame because I really did enjoy the sound and comfort. Looking for another manufacturer now - any suggestions?


November 14, 2011, 2:03 pm

The Bose in-ear Headphones are quite good in sound, however not being noise cancelling is a let down as you sometimes can't hear much of hte music. To enjoy it you must be in a very quiet place. Even most of the in-ears aren't noise-cancelling, the rubber in-year cancels most of the noise, however the Bose haven't this. If they change the sicicone plug maybe it gets better.

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