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In-Ear item created by cafemoca, Oct 6, 2010
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.