Pros Excellent design
Great, clean sound quality
Cons Very under driven low end
Useless carrying bag
Summary I purchased these directly from Bose to accompany a set of computer speakers I purchased (Companion 5) about 4 months ago. I use them during at night to enjoy music from my computer without disturbing my fiance, or the neighbors. I am not a big Bose fan, but really liked the Companion 5 speakers, and owned a pair of Bose Tri-Port headphones in the past which I enjoyed using, so I decided to give these a try.
My first impression of the headphones was that they are nearly identical to the Tri-Port headphones, but had some great improvements on the old design. I very much like that these have only one cable to the left phone, but was disappointed that they made this a proprietary connector, however I wasn't surprised knowing Bose.
Upon listening for the first time, I was very surprised at the lack of low end response. My listening tastes are very wide, so I decided to try something with a very heavy bass line. There was still a lack of overall feel. The tone quality, and clarity was great, but there was just very little bass. At first, I though maybe they were defective, but I did read other reports that these didn't have the over powering low end response that the Tri-Port headphones produced. I am fine with this because I don't need it to be too heavy, I prefer a more flat tone, which can be rich when the music calls for it. However, the bass was surprisingly lacking. I decided that this was something I could live with, and that I would let the drivers break in a bit to see if they improve.
The second thing I noticed was how amazingly comfortable these were to wear. I continued wearing them for an hour and almost forgot they were there. This is a big deal. No matter how good your headphones sound, if they're not comfortable, it defeats the purpose of wearing them. This is one of my favorite things about this pair of phones. I have owned several other brands, even the Beats brand (which weren't very comfy at all), and these are by far the most comfy.
The overall design of these is great, and the fold flat feature would be very useful if they came with some kind of a case that took advantage of this. However, the bag that they come with doesn't do this. Folding them flat and then putting them in the bag is a bit of a task, and once in the bag, they never stay flat.
So far I am enjoying the sound and comfort, but after almost 4 months of regular use it seems as if the low end isn't going to get any better. I have run some sweep tests to see if the frequency response is there, and they do produce the low end very well, its just not really there when listening to music. I just feel like there should be a bit more of a full sound with these full sized headphones regardless of what type of music. This and the carrying case are my only two complaints. If you don't enjoy too much bass, these are an excellent choice. If you're like me and want a little more of a rich sound from time to time, you may want to give these a try in a retail store before making a purchase.
Pros -Most comfortable headphones on the market. Hands down. No debate.
-Not the best, but the sound quality is very rich in all areas. I think that the AE2's are a great choice for the ballad, classical, jazz, and very "vocalist" oriented music listeners. Ha
Cons -Wish the bass could give a bigger bang.
-Design could be better accounted for. It's too... bland. Simple would be a generous comment.
-It's hard/worrisome to put them away in your bag, because they fold a bit awkwardly.
Summary the AE2's are not the perfect headphones. But they are worth the buck, and are extremely comfortable. If I had to describe the AE2's sound and build quality in THREE words.....
Smooth. Comfortable. Rich.
Pros Sound quality is OK, but not in line with what was paid.
Cons Build quality is poor.
Summary Unfortunately I'm finding the quality of Bose products does not match up with their great marketing and expensive price. My headphones look brand new, they are lightly used, but the ear cusions are falling apart. They are out of warranty so new cushions will cost more $. They were not built to last and I've hardly used them. I will avoid Bose in the future; their quality is not enough to justify their prices. Sharper Image had great marketing, look what happened to them.
Pros Clear, Balanced audio that makes music worth listening to.
Extremely comfortable, could wear these for hours.
Cons Packaging insane to open.
Summary What I cannot stand are the reviews of people who complain about the bass issue. As a musician and a lover of a wide pallet of music, I understand (musically), that bass is only supposed to accompany music, bring up the melody where the mids and highs fail. This is why, on most recordings, a bassist volume and gain is usually lower than the lead and rhythmic guitars. The bass is not supposed to consume sound, as most listeners are accustomed to hearing. That being said, these are the best headphones I have ever owned. Furthermore, they are absolutely the most comfortable headphones I have ever worn, which is the most important, since I will be listening to music for hours on end when studying. I Would recommend these to anyone.
Pros Amazingly comfortable, light, great sound quality.
Cons Pathetic nylon carry bag. If they can include a nice hard case for the OE2 then why not for these?
Summary I did a lot of research into headphones and, despite some mixed reviews, I had decided to buy these. The main reason was I had tried them on in store and was seduced by how comfortable they were. However, just as I had made my decision I stumbled across reviews for the Audio Technich ATH-M50's. They were so overwhelmingly positive that I decided to go for those instead, sight unseen. I paid an extra $30 but thought it was going to be warranted. Well, I got the M50's and thought they sounded pretty good (though maybe not as mind-blowingly good as I had hoped). Still, I was happy, except that they just weren't very comfortable. I was regularly listening to an album that went for 90 mins, and by the last 30 mins all I wanted to do was take the headphones off. I tried leaving them overnight stretched over a speaker to lossen them, but they remained uncomfortable. Eventually I gave up and bought myself a pair of AE2's as originally planned.
Well, what a difference. The AE2's are so soft and comfortable you almost rather have them on than off. It was then that I realised that comfort was more important to me than sound quality because it's no point having great sound quality if you can't stand them on your head. Having said that though, I was quietly impressed with the quality of the AE2's. At first I felt the bass was lacking, but I've had them now for 3 months and I'm sure the bass has developed over time. The sound is very crisp and clear and sounds great to my ears. I'm no audiophile, but listen to a lot of music and appreciate good quality, and these really do the job. I still have the M50's and a number of times I have swapped them over on the same song and I'm struggling to detect any real difference in quality. The M50's probably do have a slightly punchier bass, but the difference is so minimal it certainly doesn't compensate for the difference in comfort.
As for quality of construction they seem pretty good. I'd be wary of taking too much notice of reviews that say the lettering rubbed off after 2 weeks. Mine is still perfect after 3 months, and the ear pads still as they were when I bought them. The internet is rife with stories of fake headphones, so if someone says the quality is crap and the lettering rubbed off then I'd take it with a grain of salt.
In summary I would say these are a fabulous set of headphones that only the most discerning customer could fault. If only they could include a decent carry bag....
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