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OE2 Review and some commentary

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Here is a short review of the Bose OE2 portable headphones.

I pulled the trigger on these because I got a free $50 certificate from BestBuy and had to use it at the brick and mortar store. 

 

First of all, let's take a look at what the Bose website says about their "OE2 audio headphones"

Quote:

   OE2 audio headphones
 
The next generation of Bose® on-ear headphones
 
Advanced acoustic design brings out the depth and clarity of your music
 
Lighter, updated design features slim headband and memory foam ear cushions. Fold-flat, collapsible design allows easy storage in carrying case
 
Inline remote/microphone enable control of iPhone®/iPod® and hands-free calling (OE2i headphones only). Compare models »
 
Bose OE2 headphones combine lifelike audio with lightweight comfort. They deliver the Bose sound you expect, but they are even smaller and lighter than our original on-ear headphones. You'll hear the full range of your favorite music, from deep lows to clear highs. The sleek, slim design looks great too—and comes in either black or white.

 

Now, let's take a look at what is actually true.

 

Quote:
   OE2 audio headphones
 
The next generation of Bose® on-ear headphones
 
"Advanced acoustic design" muddies up the sound by giving you BOOMY crappy bass that sounds like utter ******** and beating down the highs
 
Lighter, "updated" design features an EVEN CHEAPER snap-tastic headband and super comfortable ear cushions. Fold-flat, collapsible design allows easy storage and greater breakability
 
You must pay an extra $20 if you want cheap plasticy inline controls that are known to only work with Apple products.
 
Bose OE2 headphones combine muddy audio with cheap, breakable but lightweight comfort. They deliver the craptacular sound you expect from Bose if you're any educated, but they are even smaller and even cheaper built (how is that possible) than our original on-ear headphones. The sleek, cheap, plasticy design looks great too--and comes in either black or white plastic

 

That's the short summary of everything. Let's get to the review and some more whining.

 

First Impressions, Expectations, whining, commentary:

As you probably know, I didn't expect much or really expect anything. The Bose name is infamous for its poor-quality, cheaply built products that give colored, muddy sound. Through aggressive marketing, Bose has reached arguably #1 in consumer audio entertainment, climbing from its original mediocre (mediocre, but not bad) 901 series into now what I describe as completely overpriced garbage. I won't go too much into their "Acoustimass" crap but if you are interested, look into this article: http://www.intellexual.net/bose.html

Being forced to use that $50 yet lacking in a portable set of headphones, I looked over their headphone stand at BestBuy. The QC15s were actually excellent ANC, but with terrifyingly bad sound for the $300 tag. The AE2 was a step down from the AE1, which was one of the most mediocre headphones ever created at the $130 price mark (mediocre, not bad). However, I think that the AE2 was Bose's most noble attempt at "Hi-Fi" sound. It was an attempt, but it failed miserably to come even close to any sort of sound a head-fi'er or hi-fi'er would enjoy. It failed worse than the AE2. Then, the OE2s. 

 

I looked over to the OE2s and found that they had a detachable cable and a foldable structure. They were extremely comfortable. Their sound was obviously targeted towards a slightly more mature group of consumers who enjoyed "teenager" sounding headphones but wanted a slight refinement from, oh, say the "Skullcandy" trash. 

 

I bought them at a price of $90 after my gift card and some additional coupons I collected.

 

Build quality, looks, comfort and isolation:

Never have I seen a worse built product at $90. The headband seems to be reinforced by a thin strip of aluminum that was intended to allow the length to be adjustable through several notches. These are worse built than the OE1s. However, they are slightly more comfortable than the already pillow-like super comfort of the OE1s. They are extremely lightweight and soft and I enjoy wearing them (not listening to them) for hours. The isolation is surprisingly good for an on-ear. Somehow a seal is achieved from the memory-foam earpads to the ears. However, they are semi-open through their "triport" design and some, although little sound leaks out. They look spectacular, having a slim profile.

 

Sound:

Low range - Boomy gobs of bass that are slow, muddy, loose, and sloppy. It's a mess on tracks with faster bass. It's somehow satisfying sometimes when uncalled for. Call me strange, but sometimes I need a guilty pleasure.

Mid range - The bass bleeds into here. The mid-highs are hollow feeling and there is an extreme lack of detail, as if Bose was trying to smooth this area out. 

High range - Extremely recessed without any sort of detail or sparkle. Bose wanted to have not a hint of sibilance or harshness and I admit that they succeeded. 

 

Summary of sound: Bassy, terribly muffled and sloppy sounding. Everything is smoothed out so there is no detail or harshness.

 

Summary, last thought

To be honest, I think these aren't that bad. They are mediocre in sound quality, even for consumer standards (since the Skullcandy Aviators have better sound at a lower price). They are mediocre in build quality and feel like the thin headband may snap at any time. However, what these do excel at is practicality for every-day usage, portability, and comfort. Especially when I have a 2-year replacement plan on these that only costed $10. When they do break, I get a free replacement no questions asked. 

 

Do I regret buying these? No. Under the circumstances, what could I have done? Went for the Beats Solo? 

 

1. Never buy headphones from Best Buy unless you have to spend that $50 certificate

2. If you're going Bose, the sound and quality blows

3. Comfort is a huge issue for portable headphones

4. My reviews suck

 

TL;DR: Typical crappy Bose quality, Bloated muddy sound with gobs of sloppy bass, extremely comfortable and lightweight.

 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 4

I was under the impression that the OE2 had less bass than the OE.

post #3 of 4

This sounds more like you trying to defend your bose purchase (or guilty pleasure?). I'd much rather like to see an objective review.

post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by oyorf View Post

This sounds more like you trying to defend your bose purchase (or guilty pleasure?). I'd much rather like to see an objective review.

 

Seconded. Despite being overpriced I wouldn't call Bose headphones crap.

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