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Bose In-Ear - Headphones ( in-ear ear-bud )


Pros: Very balanced sound - tight bass, smooth treble, great mids.

Cons: Any movement creates very audible noise.

The Sennheiser HD-600/HD-650 headphones & the Bose SoundTrue Ultra earphones compared
Big headphones and small earphones
I've tried on earphones and IEMs (in ear monitors) from various vendors over the years but could never find any that were value for money and sounded good. 
Until now.
Always a fan of the Sennheiser HD-600 and HD-650 headphones, they were both a Reference Standard and a pain.
The HD-6X0s had a silky smooth top end (they're both VERY similar sounding). Some audiophiles even labelled them "dark". But IMHO that would have been because they failed to compensate for the trifle too-warm bass. The funny thing was, and is, that while the warmer than usual bass did wonders for "for-vinyl" mixes, it "boofed" up too much with modern material.
Recording qualities vary
I've come to realise that recordings have changed over the decades. In the early days, ie. the 1970s, speakers had loose bass and treble shrill. As such a turntable and cartridge with a falling response in both directions from the mid-range benefited from the mid-bass and mid-treble boost of such speakers. Vinyl mixes thus had more "presence" then any bass or treble extension that today's even basic systems can reproduce.
The HD-6X0s took away that shrillness, but left the bass end alone. So, play any of the current Top 40 hits and you'll find the HD-6X0s woolly, if nothing else.
So many 'audiophiles' moved away from these Sennheisers to "brighter" sounding ear speakers. But they were missing out. Cos simply reaching for the tone control would do wonders. 
Turn down the mid-bass a touch and everything on the HD-6X0s sharpen up massively, leaving that impressive mids and treble to sing yet never fatigue - even after hours and hours of listening.
To EQ or not to EQ
But these days finding hardware with tone controls or EQ is nearly impossible to find.  Or they're very rudimentary, and, I fear, dubious - who exactly is this programmer who understands or cares enough about Hi-Fi enough to write an App that would do EQ properly?
So, Flat is the way to go. And with digital downloads the new normal, I knew had to find a replacement for my HD-6X0s. And fast.
Not that I haven't been looking. I've been listening for an alternative for years and years. At the same price point, mind.  No use comparing these $400 'phones with others many times more expensive.  It's got to be like and like.  Better still if the alternative was cheaper - after all, technology has come a long way. And, the HD-600s and HD-650s were venerated reference standards for a many many years - and still are, IMHO.
With that in mind it came as a shock to find these Bose earphones.
Meeting the Ultras for the first time
Bose?  Don't they just do a lot of public address systems. Yes. And very well. And 'pricey' room boom-boxes. Plus, when it comes to noise cancelling headphones Bose rules the roost re their NC technology. 
But Hi-Fi? True "audiophiles" would not dare to be associated with Bose.
Would we?
So when an experienced audiophile suggested I try them I was pleasantly surprised (as he had been when he, too, first tried them on).
How they sound
The Bose SoundTrue Ultras had the all important Sennheisers' tonal balance. And more. The bass wasn't woolly. And while the darkness wasn't there any more it was just as balanced.  All the way down to the lowest of bass and the sheen of treble only available in the best recordings. A wonderful sound!
Negatives? There are several. Firstly they are a little inefficient. Not much louder than the HD-6X0s! Some write ups claim this was a deliberate tactic by Bose to save hearing loss. So, in a way that's a positive negative!
The ear seal is disconcerting. With the HD-6X0s being over the ear and open-back, the first few seconds of the noise-isolating Ultras could be a deal breaker.  But it's worth persisting. The tight seal is imperative for the bass to work; without music playing it must feel like you've put on ear plugs - this is important.      
And those "made-for-vinyl" mixes? They still sound thin, and a -1dB correction on the 4kHz EQ setting of my test smartphones (one an iOS device, the other a quality Android) makes up a little for that most of the time.  But these days I tend to listen to a lot more 21st recordings, so thin sounding "for-vinyl" mixes is not an issue for me as much as woolly bass would be. No more looking for EQ, yippie!
But remember, bad recordings are bad recordings.  No headphone, earphone or speaker system can fix that (and if it "does", it means the rest of your collection is negatively affected then).
Low priced Hi-Fi is not an oxymoron
Give the Bose SoundTrue Ultras an extensive trial. You might be very pleasantly surprised indeed.
And the value for money?  
Well these retail for half the price of the HD-6X0s!
And with the noise-isolating seal I can now listen to loud Hi-Fi while my better half has the TV on.
What's not to like?
Bose In-Ear - Headphones ( in-ear ear-bud )

Now enjoy high-quality, stable in-ear headphones engineered and developed by the most respected name in sound. Bose in-ear headphones are the only in-ear headphones with the rich audio and comfortable design you've come to expect from Bose. Only Bose headphones feature TriPort acoustic headphone structure, for example. This exclusive technology developed after years of Bose research helps deliver the full range of audible frequencies in small, lightweight headphones. You hear the deep lows of your music, the warm mid tones and shimmering highs. Whatever your musical tastes, Bose in-ear headphones faithfully reproduce the subtle nuances and powerful choruses, across the spectrum of human hearing, and are engineered specifically for portable audio devices like MP3 players, and CD and DVD players.

FeatureWhat's In the Box - 1 pair of in-ear headphones with 49 (1.24 m) audio cable / 1 pair each of small, medium and large silicone tips / Carrying case
Weight2 pounds
List Price$99.95
ModelIn-Ear Headphones
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameMICROPHONE
TitleBose In-Ear - Headphones ( in-ear ear-bud )
Warranty1 year warranty
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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