Pros you MIGHT like these
Cons you MIGHT hate these
Summary This is my first post on CNET. I usually don't post my opinions on websites but the nature of this debate begged my participation.
I want to start off by saying that you as the reader should be very suspicious of a group of reviews which for all purposes is sharply split between those who rate this product between 8 and 10, and those who rate it at 1 and 2. Now at this point I want to be clear that I believe everybody here wrote valid reviews with regard to their personal impressions. I don't think anyone here, the CNET editor included, is "crazy" or "doesn't have discerning ears" as some the posters seem to believe.
Now moving on to the product, I am here to tell you that you MIGHT like these and you MIGHT hate these. I personally LIKE them and my ears do not have problems discerning anything. I am a musician. I have my degree in music with an emphasis in performance. I have a degree that corroborates my capability of aural discernment and take offense to any accusations to the contrary. So I hardly believe that I was somehow "tricked into thinking the sound was good." I appreciate Bose products for their type of type of audio reproduction just as much as I appreciate the Shures for their type of sound reproduction.
In fact, prior to owning these, I owned a pair of Shure e3c's which I loved for the most part because of their clarity. What I didn't like was the complete lack of fullness to the overall sound which was due in part to that particular model's lack of good bass response (though I understand that the new models have remedied this somewhat). I also didn't like the that fact that I could only wear them for 20 minutes at a time before my ears started throbbing. I personally feel that no set of headphones should be painful.
Motivated by these concerns, I set out for a new pair of buds which had a fuller sound and more comfort. I think these headphones do a good job on both fronts. I concede that Bose doesn't reproduce sound "accurately" as that term seems to be understood by self proclaimed audiophiles--but that's not what Bose is trying to. I believe Bose's goal is "lifelike sound reproduction" which is a wholly different concept. I personally prefer "lifelike" over "accurate" in this case. I will not say that these phones sound BETTER than my shures in a technical sense with reference to accuracy, but I enjoy the sound from the Bose and the heightened sense of comfort more than I ever did the e3cs.
This brings me to the whole point of this review. Don't trust me and don't trust anyone else here. Go out and buy a pair. Try them out yourself with YOUR music and with YOUR likes and dislikes. If you don't like them, take them back--understanding that you negative reaction by no means speaks to the quality of this product, but instead speaks to the compatibility of this product to your personal tastes and needs. And if you like them, does anything else really matter? Enjoy them. Know that you bought a quality product with good customer support and a great warranty. And finally, don't let anyone tell you your headphones are "crap" or that if you like them, there must be something wrong with you.
(NOTE: the only reason I gave these a numerical rating was because I had to)
Pros Great Return Policy
Cons Sound Quality, fit/comfort, Ruggedness
Summary I spend a lot of time on the Railroad and subway in and out of NYC. Since the original IPOD headphones have poor sound quality, no noise reduction to the outside world, and have a hard time staying in my ears, I decided it was time for an after-market ear-bud headset.
My first attempt was a Christmas gift from my wife of the NEW Bose in-ear headphones. I have used Bose technology in the past and have typically never been disappointed with the sound quality. Suffice to say, these things didn't cut the mustard on fit, comfort, quality and most-importantly sound. They provide 3 different size earbuds (Small, Medium & Large) of which none of them felt comfortable or fit properly. The wire on the headset is extremely thin and frail in comparison to other manufacturers, and definitely has the potential to wear with frequent use. I was impressed with the amount of bass these little guys kick off, but the acoustics didn't live up to the standards of what I would expect from a $99 Bose Headset. (I must admit they did put a ton of money into marketing these earphones, which would have probably been better spent on engineering a better product)One of my colleagues received the same gift from his wife and had all the same complaints that I had.
While discussing my dilemma with a co-worker (Not much to do at work Christmas week, so headphones seemed like a logical topic of discussion), he broke out his Shure e2c earphones. After disinfecting the silicone eargels, I placed them in my ear and plugged them into the IPOD. I was extremely impressed with the comfort, design and durability. When it comes to sound-quality, the acoustics were awesome, but the bass was near non-existent. Shure¡¦s website claims the e4c has much improved bass, however street price is $260 bucks. My co-worker agreed that the e2c¡¦s were a bit week on bass, but a cheaper alternative to his original headphones which were stolen, the Super.fi 5 Pro. He mentioned how much he loved his Super.fi¡¦s and should have purchased another pair.
After reading a ton of reviews on the Super.fi 5 Pro by Ultimate Ears, It was a toss-up between the 5pro and 5EB (Extended Bass) version for improved bass response. The true test came when I visited the local electronics store. They had both headphones on display, and made the disposable foam ear-tips available to try them out. The minute I plugged the 5pro into my ipod and powered it up, I was immediately sold. These were comfortable, durable, and sound quality was amazing for low¡¦s and hi¡¦s. Found the bass to be more than sufficient on several different music types. I tried the 5EB and felt the bass was even more powerful, but acoustics/sound quality seemed to suffer minimally. I enjoy clean sounding music with a comfortable amount of bass to complement the entire listening experience (I should get a job with CNET with my descriptions ƒº ) The fit was amazing, and these truly blocked out almost all outside noise. This made it much easier to listen to music at a volume that won¡¦t kill my hearing as quickly. Several options of ear-tip included. At a cost of $189 plus tax, they dropped them in the bag and I went on my merry way. The only reason I didn¡¦t rate them a 10 was because of cost, but hey, you get what you pay for..
The Bose headphones are now in a UPS box awaiting delivery back to South Carolina.
"One Word "BOSE""on by kermichael
Pros Excellent sound, rich deep base, light, comfortable, and nice case
Cons lacks the noise isolation features.
I was going to buy the E2C Shure headphones, then I saw the bose. I don't regret it! I'm a sound freak, I had many other name brand headphones but these are by far the best I ever heard!! I'm a runner and these bose are so good. It's actually good that it doesn't isolate noise, because it allowes me to hear cars and other background noise during night running without decreasing sound quality.
"Woth Every Penny"on by JMS502
Pros Excellent all round sound
Cons Not sure there are any cons
Summary I have had these ear buds for a couple of days now, about 10 hours listening so far. Have to say they are comfortable in the ear, while just sitting or working out, along with excellent sound. My ipod, palm lifedrive and desktop stereo powers these just fine.
I am constantly looking for headphones/ear buds that provide excellent all round quality sound. I have a pair of sony ear buds, grado headphones, sennhieser, koss headphones. Returned the eshures and sony noise cancelling headphones.
I did read a reveiw on the Bose in ears of having too much bass and no much on low end. I disagree with that, the music I listen to ranges from Gladiator soundtrack, Eric Clapton, country and alot in between, and found them to be well balanced.
Highly recommend these to anyone looking for an excellent set of ear buds, will be the best $99 spent.
Hope this helps to make a decision.
Pros Sleek case, Hugely comfortable, Great sound
Cons No noise cancellation, wish it had an L shaped connector
Summary Just got these today and was a bit skeptical as no one seems to be able to get a good ear-bud style headphone into the market. Bose seem to have set the bar.
These things sound great and are soooooo comfortable once you get them in your ears. Case is really cool looking and functional as well and the buds are sleek looking.
That said i found it a little *different* when putting these on but got used to it. Also i wish its connecting jack was L shaped, bass could have been toned down just a little but its not bad at all. These are minor niggles however.
Overall, very pleased and happy i finally found a great replacement to Apple's ear-buds.