- Sleek Design
- Comfortable fit
- Right ear only
- Average sound quality
- Review Price: £129.00
- Sleek Design
- Removeable ear tip
- 4.5hr talk time
- Multipoint connections
Bluetooth headsets by their very nature don’t do an awful
lot. There are no apps you can use with them, you can’t play games on them,
they don’t have front- or rear-facing cameras and they don’t even have a a
super fast dual-core processor for God’s sake.
Bluetooth headsets, like this one from audio gurus Bose, do
one thing and one thing only. They connect to your phone wirelessly to allow
you take and make phone calls without having to touch your phone.
Yes, some of them allow you to stream music through your
phone but who wants to listen to the latest Slipknot opus on a mono
Bluetooth headset? Not us, that’s for sure.
Minimalism in a Bluetooth headset is a feature we hold in high regard. The less conspicuous these headsets are the better,
and the Bose Bluetooth Headset is about as unobtrusive as you’re going to get.
Weighting just 12g and measuring 19 x 46 x 32mm, it is light
and compact enough so as not to trouble the wearer even over a long period of
time – and even more importantly it doesn’t look like an ugly slab of plastic
you’ve attached to your ear with an elastic band.
The Bose headset is finished in a combination of glossy and
matt black plastic with a snazzy aluminium trim, which combine to make for a
very attractive unit.
The top is home to the call button and the two volume
buttons, all of which are big enough to find without too much difficult while
wearing the headset. On the rear is the microUSB charging port (without a
protective cover) and the bottom of the headset houses the power slider.
On the inner side of the headset you will find the Bluetooth and
battery LEDs with accompanying icons and, of course, the earpiece.
The Bose Bluetooth comes with three StayHear silicon tips
(small, medium and large), which can be easily changed and replaced depending on how big or small your lugholes are.
Also in the box is a neat carrying case, USB to microUSB
cable, power supply with two- and three-pin adapters and the obligatory manual -
which in this case weighs just under a tonne with instructions in 287 different
So far, so good from the Bose headset, but as we know only too well, good looks
will only get you so far. So what about comfort and most importantly sound
quality and performance?
Fitting the StayHear silicon tips into you ears is described
in detail in the manual and sounded a little convoluted when we read it, but in
reality it was a simple process and one which we found to provide an excellent
The tip fits into your ear canal while the “tip wing”
follows the contour of the ridges of your ear to make sure the headset goes
nowhere while you’re wearing it. The arrangement is one which works perfectly
and provides a very comfortable fit – even for hours at a time.
When you take your headset out of the box it is partially
charged, but if you are planning on using it for any extended period of time we
would recommend give it a quick charge before putting it into action. The pairing system is as straight forward as flicking the
power slider from red to green, finding the headset in your phone’s Bluetooth
menu and pairing. Even we managed it first time, which is a bit of a record.
If you have the headset in your ear you will have to get
used to recognising a variety of beeps and tones to indicate what is going on.
Four notes from high to low indicate the headset is turning on while the
opposite indicates the headset is turning off.
A run of three quick notes means that you have connected with a
device while low beeps indicate the battery is low. We much prefer the nice
American lady who spoke to us in the Jabra Supreme set up, but it’s
not too much of a strain to recognise what each beep means after a bit of use.
The Bose Bluetooth Headset can remember up to six devices
and if you want to connect to a new one, simply long-press the call button for
5 seconds to make the headset discoverable again and repeat the set up process.
To answer a call, a simple press of the call button suffices
and you can transfer the audio from your headset back to your phone by pressing
and holding the call button again. Rejecting an incoming call is done by pressing and
holding the call button and you can even transfer between two calls and begin
The Bose headset also supports Multi-point which lets you
connect two devices simultaneously – however this process is less
straightforward. It involves turning off Bluetooth on your phone, pressing a
lot of buttons, turning on and off the headset and it’s all a bit over-complicated – however it does work.
Voice dialing is supported but as with all Bluetooth headsets
it depends on which phones you are using – some HTC phones (even the Evo 3D) do
not support the function.
Battery life is pegged at
4.5 hours of talk time and 175 hours standby and from our testing this seemed
to be pretty much spot on (though we obviously can’t attest to the standby figure) and while not the greatest battery life, should
suffice for all but the most talkative among you.
Now to the important stuff – the sound quality. No matter
how comfortable or good-looking a Bluetooth headset is, if its sounds quality
doesn’t match up then you may as well be sticking an expensive lump of coal in your ear.
The Bose headset does not employ noise cancellation (as its
website very honestly tells you) but does offer a couple of other techniques to
reduce the noise for you and the person you are talking to.
The first is something called adaptive audio adjustment
technology which automatically adjusts headset volume depending on surrounding
noise. Complementing this is what Bose calls a noise rejecting microphone, which filters-out noise around you, allowing the
person on the other end of the call to hear more of your voice – though this
doesn’t work quite as well as Bose would have hoped.
Despite Bose’s rich heritage in top notch audio products, on
the whole, the Bluetooth Headset disappoints. Despite the earpiece making a
comfortable fit with you ear, the sound quality is not the best, being rather
tinny in most tests we carried out and deteriorating as the external noise grew
As average as the sound was for us the caller, the sound on the
other end was even worse, according to those we were talking to. Outdoors with
a light breeze blowing, the person on the other end of the line couldn’t hear
what we were saying – which isn’t what you want from a headset. Indoor results were a lot better but still not as good as we would have expected for £130.
The compact design of the Bose Bluetooth Headset means that
it will find it hard to pick up your voice, whereas a microphone boom like the
one seen on the Plantronics Voyager Pro UC v2 will pick up everything
you are saying.
The Bose Bluetooth Headset will set you back £129, which is
a sizeable wedge of dosh considering it only serves one real purpose. The Bose
name, sleek design and ultra-comfortable fit will entice many to purchase this
discreet headset but once you take your first call the iffy sound quality, especially outdoors, and
the inability to pick up your voice clearly in windy conditions, means that at this price we
just can’t recommend it.
Score in detail
Build Quality 8
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.