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Bose® IE2 audio headphones

86% Positive Reviews
Rated #126 in In-Ear


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.




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. 


Pros: Soundstage is guite airy, open and dynamic. Good amount of bass for pop or rocks etc. Innovative design.

Cons: Zero isolation in public, lack sonic details, wired wearing application which probably won't suit a lot of people, pricely & low c/p ratio.

wouldn't recommend if you're going to pay for $100 or above. Reasonable price should have been around $70. The only selling point is the open soundstage, would make a goid pair for movies or gaming. No way near audiophile in terms of sonic reproduction, however, the brand name might be able to impress certain people. Unacceptably poor isolation (tried all different sizes of silicon bud and wearing method).


Pros: Stability in ears; Nice case; Comfort.

Cons: A lot.

Pretty short review of the things that needs attention in my opinion when it comes to the IE2:


I paid for them around $140 here in Serbia and for the price I was disappointed. I chose IE2, when my Sony EX300 cables stopped working, because it was available in my god forsaken country Serbia where we don't have much choice except those highly commercialized brands as Bose. First that came on my mind is that there was a nice soft-ish leather-like black case, not huge but on the bigger side when it comes to in ear earphones cases which I found to be very useful since you don't have to fold cables too much. That was about everything that was good with these earphones. 


They just didn't sound good, first of all no isolaion at all, just like normal earbuds, while I expected it to have no real isolation (read several reviews and watched videos on YouTube of them) I didn't have an idea it would be so bad, since I got used to having the isolation on my previous earphones I forgot how bad it can be when there is none.

Completely useless earphones in the loud gym, while riding bicycle because of noise and wind, completely useless in a loud bus... you get the idea! Sound was... well ok, not extremely bad but nothing special, it was on the same level (different sound but equivalent level) as let's say my 70-80$ EX300, which are double cheaper and have isolation. They lack a bit that lowest sub bass feel, mostly due to isolation but in general they lack it, but the bass is strong overall, especially for the earbuds with no isolation, not much to say about the highs and mids, not sibilant but nothing special. 


Those highly advertised StayHear tips (something similar became more popular with new Beats Tour v2) were ok, 3 sizes, easily torn apart (my mid size torn while I was taking it off the earbud to test the small one) but generally soft and comfortable and it stays secure inside the ear shell, better than other in ears that have cable down design but still worse than the ones with over the ear cable design. Still, complete lack of isolation was something that I should be aware of but didn't quite expect this bad situation. 


My advice is to avoid these at all costs, especially when there are so many choices in this price range that literally blows away these, even so much hated from the wannabe audiophiles Beats Tour are noticeably better than IE2. Friend paid 140$ for his Vsonic GR07 that are better in every possible aspect and it is not a matter of someones opinion. Don't get me wrong, they are still better than stock earbuds you get with your smartphone, but if you can, I recommend searching further for another option.


EDIT:  I just saw that worldwide they are around ~110$ now which makes them more saner choice, still there are a lot better options even at 110$!


Pros: Warm pleasing, dark sound, never harsh sounding, very very smooth (even at loud volumes), fit nicely in ear

Cons: Lacks detail in higher frequency spectrum, veiled/muffled, rolled off highs

A little decent pair of In-ears, nothing to special and exciting about them.

They sound decent for users who want to enjoy their music on the go such as exercise or other events.

Offers a very dark sound with a large mid-bass hump. These never have sounded harsh in any way even on poor recordings with a really bright aggressive sound to them.

They do however sound very veiled and muffled due to there darker and smoother sound. They lack detail and just sound really fat..


Pros: almost no sibilance, open-back, non-tiring sound

Cons: not easy to drive, bad with warm sounding amp

got these as a replacement for an eol product. extra were returned



i don't know why bose made the remote versions, cause these don't really sound good when using smartphones, can't use them outdoor either

the open back design is my favorite, i just can't live with the enclosed sound of in-ears, isolation means loss of transparency, though there are a few sound isolating in-ear that offer open-back transparent sounds, but they are not as confortable. There is quite a lot of bass, but it dosen't distort the mid at all. and the bass is tight to certain extent, not balanced armature tight. rolled off highs means there is almost no sibilance in the vocals, and it sounds relaxed, I can listen to them for hours. the only down side is that the vocal can sound thin at times,


pretty good for $79


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.


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

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



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.





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 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.





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.           





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.       





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.


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. 


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. 




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)




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.




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

Bose® IE2 audio headphones

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.

FeatureProtective carrying case included
Height5 inches
Length8 inches
Weight2 pounds
Width2 inches
List Price$99.95
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
TitleBose® IE2 audio headphones
Batteries Included0
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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