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A Review On: Bose® Mobile In-Ear Headphones

Bose® Mobile In-Ear Headphones

Rated # 199 in Universal Fit
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Pros: I got them for free, smooth and generally lacking harshness, powerful bass, decent cables

Cons: Midbass hump the size of Mt. Everest, way too thick-sounding and boomy, a bit muddy, poor fit and no seal or isolation with any tips

My much enjoyed Samsung IEM's died on me, and with needing something to listen to my music on and use for my audio/studio class, my parents gave me this.

First Impressions: OUCH. I never had the greatest opinion of Bose headphones, but this was plain unexpected. Upon plugging them into my Samsung Captivate, I was assaulted by extremely congested and boomy sound (after fiddling around with the fit on all 3 tip sizes for a few minutes and completely giving up).

Sound: If there's anything good about the sound of these things, I would have to say it's that they're pretty smooth. They lack any noticeable harshness in the highs and clarity seems decent for something in its price range. However, that's where the good stuff ends. While some might attribute the smoothness of an IEM to butter, these are more like a tub of frozen lard. Not a tub--a car with a really boomy sound system, full of lard. Sound is extremely thick and warm to the point of losing any balance. Treble is extremely recessed and combined with the thickness of note gives them a muddy impression. At lower volumes, these phones are congested and fatiguing. At higher volumes, the colossal midbass hump is downright painful.

After some extreme equalization, I was able to get them to sound less congested and improve the soundstage a bit, but attempting to boost the weak treble introduced a fair amount of annoying sibilance. Even after turning down bass frequencies as low as my phone would allow, they still had a fair amount of impact, although it was far more balanced.

Build Quality: I don't have much experience in the price range for comparison, but these felt pretty solid. I personally liked the cabling, having not really owned anything with better cabling.

Fit, seal isolation: I'm still confused at the design of these. I simply don't understand how these were made to fit the ears of a human, but oh well. On the upside, these things still produced a relatively full and bassy sound without needing good insertion. However, with my small ears, even the smallest tips allowed them to fall out from gentle motions. I found a complete lack of any seal: actually, the channel created around the tips in my ear canals seemed to amplify sounds around me and forced me to turn up the volume, both contributing to a headache.

Overall: If you're looking for a very thick, warm sound and powerful midbass, and you get these for cheap, they may be for you. Otherwise, I don't see much to want here.


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