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Bose® IE2 audio headphones

90% Positive Reviews
Rated #106 in In-Ear

Posted

Pros: Sound, Comfort, Design

Cons: Value, Price/Performance Ratio

Update: Reduced design rating due to ever-tangling cable. The cable is MADE with some type of built-in twisting/tangling design flaw. Just holding the headphones in my hand, the cable wants to twist and turn and due to its material, it's never fully "straightened out" like most other headphone cables. Due to this, it's become unusable.

I've owned the original Bose IEs and now bought these IE2s. In comparing the two, the IE2s have improved on the sound of the original. The originals were fairly dark and quiet. The addition of a couple of ports on the 'phones really helps the sound. These have better range by far. They're still, as with most Bose 'phones, emphasized on the bass and treble. The treble is slightly piercing but easy to get used to, and the emphasized bass isn't too boomy. Though you wouldn't use these for analytical or monitoring purposes, I don't mind the coloration, because I don't feel it detracts from the music.


The treble, mids, and upper-mid ranges are far better on the IE2s than on the IEs. All around, the sound has been improved. The bass is a little tighter. Acoustic guitars really come through beautifully in these 'phones. The mids are much less recessed than on the original IEs.

 

I think the hybrid in-ear/earbud unique design really helps the comfort of these. These are some of the most transparent headphones I've tried. I forgot that they are there, and they are extremely comfortable. After hours and hours of listening, there is no discomfort. I never had a problem with the tips staying in my ears, even on the originals, but they've included new tips with a new design along with the standard tips, to help them stay in the ears, since users did report that problem originally.

 

Despite the understandable common dislike for Bose due to the coloration of sound and overall high price, I think from a completely unbiased ear, they don't sound bad at all. Bose has been very well-known to have great customer service, and I think that's actually what I'm paying for when I pay more for the headphones. They've been known to replace headphones slightly out of warranty or go to great lengths for customers with any issues. That's worth a premium, IMO.

 

I prefer earbud-style 'phones to those that go into the ear canal, so these right now are my in-ear 'phones of choice. Especially if you get these on sale, I don't think you'll regret the purchase. At $100.00 they're slightly over-priced, but you get good customer service as a bonus, and that may make up for it.

 

On a final note, in regards to isolation, these are NOT intended to isolate barely at all. With music at a medium volume level, they do a decent job, but do not expect these to have any isolation value in comparison to canalphones. They provide maybe a slight bit more than your standard earbuds from Apple or your higher-end ones from Yuin.

 

 

Posted

Pros: warm sound, extremely comfortable

Cons: low resolution, highs are not as crisp

I have no idea why most of ppl in this forum seem to go against Bose headphones, I mean, they are not necessarily the best IEMs in this price range, but they are definitely the ones worth every penny you spend on them. 

First of all, they are not 100% designed for Hi-Fi uses, if you are trying to compare them with UE18pro or IE80, then you are probably not on the right track. If you look into their design and spec, you'll see clearly that, neither their response frequencies nor the impedance is designed for Hi-Fi uses. then, what's so good about them?

What does Hi-Fi mean to you? for me, it's simply comfort and enjoyment of music. Being a professional company of great acoustics, I have to say that Bose has done a great job in their IEMs. The base you hear is not the strongest, but it still could make you feel your heart is popping out in every sec without any harm to your ear. the mids is a lil far away, especially for Soprano, which is kinda like a pity for them. 

Last but not least, they are very comfortable, I once fall asleep on a plane for 8 hours with them in my ears, and after that my ears did not hurt at all.

Therefore, if you dun really care about the trebles, they are definitely a good deal. 

Posted

Pros: Comfortable, attractive look, perfect for sports.

Cons: Too much basses, the audio quality doesn't convince me, thin cable, all plastic materials.

Too many bass frequencies and as I said before, the audio quality doesn't convince me, bad trebles and mids, they're all made by plastic.
The good side is that they're perfect for sports activities, because with the StayHear system the earphones doesn't drop from the ear, whether they're very comfortable.

Posted

Pros: Comfortable, stable, and hiss-free on nearly any audio source.

Cons: Meh sound, tangling cables, and no isolation.

Accessories:

             

The headphones come with three pairs of StayHear™ tips (small, medium, and large), a shirt clip, and a carrying case. Shirt clips are always nice to have, although mine sadly broke within the first month of use. The carrying case, on the other hand, is unique, in the way that it’s meant to hold the IE2s and your audio player of choice inside, rather than just the headphones. The case was just a bit too small for my iPod Touch, though.

 

 

Design:

           

I find the black and white striped cable to be an odd choice of aesthetics. It’s certainly eye-catching and lets everyone around you know that you have enough disposable income to afford a renowned brand like Bose, but it just doesn’t strike me as fashionable in the way that Beats by Dre is. When trying to stand out, black and white are not the first colors to enter my mind. But in the end this isn’t really much of a concern for me.

           

For my experience, at least, build quality has turned out to be pretty decent. The 45 degree angled plug is great for relieving stress near the connector, and is something I would like to see more audio companies do. And while the way the cord constantly tangles is constantly irritating, the included shirt clip does help to alleviate this issue.       

 

Comfort:

           

Comfort seems to be one of Bose’s strongest points, and they stay true to that with the IE2. The StayHear™ tips are a unique and unusual design, but once you learn how they work (and figure out the right size for your ears), they provide an amazingly soft and stable fit. You’ll quickly forget their presence not only because they can be barely felt in your ears, but also because you’ll never have to worry about them falling out. You could literally spend every waking minute with these things on without any problems.

 

 

Isolation:

           

Unfortunately, the comfort and stability the StayHear™ tips provide did not come without sacrifices. These ear tips don’t even try to form an acoustic seal in your ears, which noticeably affects the noise isolation and perhaps the sound quality, but most noticeably isolation. Bose clearly states on the back of the box that the IE2s are “Not designed for noise reduction”, but this feels like an understatement to me. There is no noise isolation to speak of here. Everything you hear with your unobstructed ears will be heard when you put the IE2 on (before you put music on of course). Being able to hear your surroundings has its merits, but on noisy trains and busy streets, I found it impossible to focus on my music. I tend to use these things at home more often now, even though it defeats the purpose of their portability.           

 

 

Sound:

           

The lows aren’t necessarily weak, but the IE2 helped me realize that I’m a bit of a basshead. The mid and upper-bass are adequately textured and not too bloated, but sub-bass is rather weak. This gives the odd sensation of hearing the bass well but never really feeling it all that much. Bassheads should stop reading this review now and look elsewhere.

           

The highs are also recessed, almost to the point of being veiled, darkening the overall signature. I’m still trying to figure out how I like my highs, but this is definitely not it. But at the very least, the highs won’t cause any listening fatigue here.

           

The mids are probably the strongest part of the sound signature. I wouldn’t call it spectacular, but they are clear with a decent amount of detail and definition. I actually like how acoustic instruments sound with these headphones.

           

The soundstage has a decent amount of width, but it’s lacking a bit when it comes to depth and height. Instruments are also separated well, although I don’t perceive much “air” between them.

           

Overall, I believe that Bose was going for a smooth, gentle, and neutral sound that wouldn’t offend or tire out anyone. After all, if it’s comfortable enough to wear all day, shouldn’t you be able to listen to it all day? But to me, the result simply sounds dull and not quite as lively as the Bose marketing led me to expect.       

 

 

Conclusion:

           

Bose caters to regular consumers rather than professionals or audio enthusiasts, and it shows with the IE2. The IE2 will satisfy most casual listeners, with its “better than iBuds” sound quality and unbelievable amount of comfort. For them, that will be enough to justify the $100 price. But like many others have pointed out, you can easily find better value elsewhere. Since upgrading to better headphones, I mostly use the IE2 for gaming on my Nintendo 3DS now, where audio fidelity isn’t as much of a concern.

Posted

Pros: Great mids and highs, good fit.

Cons: Isolation, bass, price

I originally bought these because my earbuds had came apart on a flight from Canada to Hong Kong. I love the Bose home theater products I have at home and saw a Bose store in the airport and decided to buy them. 

 

Initially I loved the sound quality but, as can be expected with Bose products, the price was quite high due to the name. The mids were clear and the highs weren't too peaky but the bass left room for desire. 

 

The lack of isolation really killed these for me though, since I listen to music most when travelling or walking and I would have to blast the volume to drown out external noise.

 

Overall these headphones would be great if they were priced around $90 but you do pay extra for the name, and there are tons of better options in the $130 price range. They are good for listening to music in private areas, but I would not recommend these for any sort of travel. 

Posted

Pros: Comfortable (classic Bose), value for money, look

Cons: Don't isolate as you'd expect, look

There's a reason that I put the look in both sections. That black and white stripe design looks really good, but might take some getting used to for some.

 

In general, I can understand the slight "ewwww" response to Bose headphones, and owning two probably makes me seem like I don't belong here, but these earphones do actually break the classic trend. Time for a review.

 

Audio Quality

 

Right, so the main bit of the review. I listen to a lot of different tracks, and there are some where I actually do think "wow." For a set of headphones at their price, they're actually quite good. When I first tried them out with my phone, they weren't the greatest things in the world, sounding a little bit thin, and muffled. A weird combo. 

 

Bass

 

I've been trying these out for a few months, however, and I realise exactly how they sound. They probably start to lose their stage fright after you get a few hours through them. The bass you get on these is just about enough....not exactly strong or weak, but good enough when they're put on a flat surface. (no EQ basically)

 

Mids/Highs

 

The clarity on them, and the way it separates different sounds on the higher end is quite good. Literally, I listened to Joss Stone's "Music" today, and only just noticed a specific "maraca" like sound on the right ear. Also, listening to "Love Lockdown" (Kanye West) really got a few more of those drums out during the outro section. A track I played so much of with my TMA-1s I actually enjoyed the same with IE2s, except for the lack of a free ear massage. There are some times where my mind adds things into the track I know are there, but don't come out, which saddens me, because I'd think that they'd do a bit more of the thinking for me.

 

Isolation vs Comfort

 

This is something noteworthy. These don't sit in the ear-canal like other in-ears would (such as my NC-300Ds, and a lot of other in-ears out there) so they don't isolate as much really. Meaning, that if you're like me and use them while you commute on the metro, you end up turning the volume up quite a lot. It does, however, make sense when you are on the move, because the little wing on the tips means that they don't fall out a lot. Personally, I think that the comfort makes more sense for me, but I would definitely suggest trying them out for yourself so you can see what I mean.

 

Summary

 

The IE2s are good, definitely giving you an "ever-so-warm" sound to your music. The fact that they stay in your ear makes them very useful if you're on the move as well, although it's one of those headphones that you end up loving or hating. Even if you're on the "grrrr....Bose" thought, I would say that if you're looking for a semi-inexpensive set of in-ears, to consider these as an option

Posted

Pros: Fun-looking striped cord

Cons: No sound isolation

If you're looking into buying some Bose IE2s, save your money. 

 

BUILD AND DESIGN: 

The build on the IE2 is less-than-fantastic. They're all plastic, very light, and they feel fragile. I did, however, enjoy the design. The striped cables turned a few heads, and the chrome Bose logo tells everyone that they were expensive. The strange tips are a little hard to get into your ears, but they fit perfectly, and never fall out. Unfortunately, they do not block any noise whatsoever. The only place you can enjoy them is in the middle of a silent room. 

 

SOUND: 

The sound is exactly what you would expect from Bose. It's lacking in almost every way possible, and is not enjoyable to audio enthusiasts. There lows in the IE2 were nonexistent. You will never get any bass rumble out of them, even when connected to an amplifier. The mids are okay, if you were listening in a quiet area. If you're sitting on a bus or in an airplane, the mids will be gone. The highs are best part ofthe IE2, and they still do not sound as good as most $30 IEMs.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS: 

Do not buy the IE2. They honestly sound worse than the white earbuds that come with every iPod. I was very disappointed with almost every aspect of the IE2, and I will not be purchasing a Bose product ever again. 

Posted

Pros: Stays on, Good bass

Cons: trebles and mids sound harsh

I had a pair of sennheisers before these and i was happy to get these instead. these were bass heavy headphones . but after a while i started noticing that te mids and trebles sound a bit harsh. classical sounded terrible using these headphones.The bass is quite good though. if youre a bass head then this is a good buy for you.

Posted

Pros: Comfy brilliant sound

Cons: Nothing

I bought these yesterday and they are better then my current skullcandys the comfort on these Bose ie2 ear phones are the best and the sound quality are amazing! If you thing I Am wrong plz tell me which earphones you think I should get! 

Posted

Pros: Bose Sound, Comfort, They stay in your ears like they were glued in

Cons: It seems as though the Bose sticker adds some cost.

 

In the Box:

It comes with a simple book-style zipper case that can hold a media player and the phones well. It comes with six options for buds. It has S, M, L sizes with wings, and a S, M, L sizes without.

 

First Impressions:

Went to the Bose store, had the girlfriend listen to the demo (they were for her,) she loved 'em, we bought 'em. Outstanding customer service in the store- Outstanding. Hopped in the car, cued up some smooth jazz on the Droid2's mp3 player, and listened for myself for the first time... I looked at my girlfriend and said, "really? This was good to you for a hundred bucks?" It was awful- GOD AWFUL. She listened again and agreed. She hated them more than even I did. Very disappointing. We almost walked back into the store to return them, but she said that they were the only comfortable ear buds she had ever tried and she would try to get used to the sound. We could return them next weekend if she still didn't like them.

 

At home, I plugged them into my Focusrite interface in my little home-studio and got to experimenting. After about an hour, I suddenly began to realize that the right ear was starting to sound far better than the left. And it dawned on me... that silly myth about burning in headphones was being proven to me right before my ears!! I had never drank the cool-aid until the Bose IE2.

 

I began doing a/b tests- listening to various styles between my go-to monitor style cans that I use every day use and these little buds. I would check back in every 30 minutes or so and I was shocked and how the headphones were maturing as the day went. After about 6 hours, everything was more evened out. I stopped noticing changes and started hearing that typical Bose signature. These headphones are spectacular AFTER A BURN IN. Before it was mud-bass, and nails on a chalkboard tin highs with unbearably boxy mids. Now, its great. Simple as that.

 

 

Sounds like a hundred bucks. 

There are a lot of competitors in this area. But that doesn't matter, nobody touches the Bose for its intended use. If you need transparent studio monitor performance from headphones, then it would be especially dumb to buy Bose consumer headphones just as it would with their entertainment speakers.

Another thing that makes these headphones very different is they are open. VERY OPEN. If sound isolation is key, look elsewhere. These are not for critical listening in noisy environments. at low volume, you will hear everything around you. I doubt these would be useful at all on a plane. That is, however, not verified by me... yet. 

Last, in typical modern Bose fashion, they went cheap on the cable. Its adequate, but their are competitors with far better cabling in this price range. They look expensive, though.... if you are into that sort of thing.

 

Its my conclusion that the active lifestyle is exactly what the headphones are for.

Once in your ear, they will not fall out if you are using the appropriate bud choice for your ear. End of story. They are the perfect commute headphones for fans of Bose sound. These buds are a riot for watching cellphone movies in a waiting room, or listening to music on your bike or while running. I don't think a more comfortable option is out there. 

 

One last thought:

We bought these primarily for their comfort. The main user of these phones has a particular inner ear shape that completely prohibited most over the counter ear buds from being anything other than noisy torture devices for her. She loves these. The wing tips take getting used to, but its worth it. Solid buy recommendation for the person who  loves Bose sound and lives an active lifestyle. 

Bose® IE2 audio headphones
By:
Description:

Bose IE2 audio headphones set a new standard for sound reproduction that conventional earbuds can't match. Re-engineered from the inside out, they feature an enhanced acoustic design that helps music sound smoother and more natural. And our new construction provides a more secure fit and improved durability. IE2 headphones reproduce music with more range and realism than most typical earbuds. A modified port design, in concert with our proprietary TriPort acoustic headphone structure, results in a richer audio performance, with more detail in music's high frequencies. More clarity, even at louder volume levels-an overall presence you'd expect from much larger headphones. Proprietary StayHear silicone tips offer greater in-ear stability during exercise and other active sports. Advanced materials and design allow the tips to nestle inside the bowl of the ear while also naturally conforming to the ear's upper ridge. The tips come in three sizes to fit listeners comfortably for hours on end. StayHear tips also are designed to remain more securely on the headphone itself. Overall, they provide a better on-the-go listening experience. IE2 headphones are sturdier than ever, thanks to advanced materials, construction and manufacturing techniques-all adding up to more lasting quality for you. Each pair undergoes rigorous testing to meet Bose standards for performance and durability. Bose IE2 headphones are engineered specifically for listening with MP3 players, laptops and portable CD players. The cable's angled plug fits directly into sources with recessed headphone jacks. Also included: a sleek, protective carrying case with room for a portable MP3 player, plus original-style tips in three sizes.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandBose
EAN0017817542371
FeatureProtective carrying case included
Height5 inches
Length8 inches
Weight2 pounds
Width2 inches
LabelBOSE
List Price$99.95
ManufacturerBOSE
Model327279-0010
MPN327279-0010
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
PublisherBOSE
StudioBOSE
TitleBose® IE2 audio headphones
UPC017817542364
Batteries Included0
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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