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Bose in-ear Headphones - Bose in-ear Headphones

By Jonathan Bray



Our Score:


In fact the only disappointment here is that the cabling system isn't modular. Headphones such as Sennheiser's similarly-priced CX 95s have cables that can be split in two, which means if you have a mobile phone with a modular hands free extension, you can take calls without having to unplug your ears.

The principal benefit to the odd earbud-style design of these headphones is, however, comfort. The silicon tips - of which small, medium and large fittings are supplied with the phones - sit perfectly in your ears. There's none of that burning, aching sensation that you can get through extended use of tight-fitting canalphones, and they also feel far lighter in your lugs than standard earbuds. Another plus is that there's less of the cable-rub amplification that you get with completely sealed canal phones.

In theory, an earbud design such as this also allows much more room for drivers too, so it's easier to achieve top level sound quality for less cash. Keen to test this theory out, I grabbed my current favourite headphones at this price - the aforementioned Sennheiser CX 95s - and settled down for an extended back-to-back listening session. I hooked each pair of headphones up to my Sqeezebox and portable headphone amp to ensure top quality at the source level.

Kicking things off with some laid back jazz - Pat Metheny's atmostpheric album, Map of the World - and a difference was immediately apparent. The Bose phones didn't appear to have the punch, detail and clarity of the Sennheisers. With the CX 95s you can hear the 'deliberate' hiss on the original recording and all the extra sounds around the edges, such as the buzz of Metheney's guitar strings as he plucks them. In comparison, the Bose phones are far less involving, floating on top of the music rather than delving down deep into the guts of it.

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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