"Why you should disregard everything we say about this product"3.5 starson by mcdevin
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)