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Bose in-ear Headphones - Bose in-ear Headphones

By Jonathan Bray



Our Score:


Don't get me wrong, they're not bad at all - quite a pleasant listen, in fact - but they're just not as involving as the best in class. Moving on, I picked a more challenging piece of classical music, Mozart's Requiem, as the next test. The complex choral depths of this piece, as well as being one of the most powerful classical pieces you're ever likely to hear, also have the useful side benefit of stretching audio components to their limits, and in the case of the Bose headphones, it was a stretch too far.

That sense of not being too involved with the music was accentuated here. With the CX 95s, the piece made the hairs on the back of my arms stand up; the Bose phones sounded good, but I didn't care quite as much. They added a slight muffling veil to the music, which robbed it of power.

This was confirmed by shifting the source material dramatically to heavy metal and Metallica's classic black album. Again I had few serious complaints - the sound was balanced and reasonably detailed - but plug in the CX 95s and you get a whole new world of bite, attack and aggression; just what you want when listening to metal or heavy rock.


There's no doubt that Bose's in-ear headphones are a quality product. They're well-built, come with a respectable selection of accessories, work with the iPhone out of the box, and are an extremely comfortable option for those who just don't get on with canalphones.

But the sound quality, while balanced and reasonably detailed, isn't quite up there with the best in class. If you have this much cash to spend on a headphone upgrade, I'd advise choosing a pair of the superlative Sennheiser CX 95s. They're more involving to listen to, and the noise isolation design means you can enjoy that quality without having to turn the volume up too loud.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Value 7
  • Sound Quality 7

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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