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Over-Ear item created by , May 5, 2010
Pros - they sound better than what i had used before, comfortable, light weight, easy to adjust
Cons - cord length for portability, ear cup issues
I do not know much about headphones, but this is a pair that I owned for several years. I remember that when I first put them on there seemed to be a 'dead air' to them, kind of like listening through plugged ears. the sound was much better than what I was used to: sony walkmen stock headphones, ipod color stock headphones and what have you. so from that it was a definite plus. these were my first over-ear headphones and I will definitely be in the market for that style once again, these left a very good impression on me in that right.
one year after I bought them, I noticed a sticky substance coming out from around the ear pads, which I am assuming was glue, I don't really know but it was there. about two years into using them, the pleather on the outside of the ear pads started to crumble off, leaving me with some sort of pleather dust on my face and ears that was hard to remove... I enjoyed using them with my ipod at the time, but the cord was very long and had to be stuffed into the pocket, entangling keys and bubblegum and all that stuff... eventually the ear pads just came off and I still use them but in a very unconventional sense I suppose, using them to transfer personal analog recordings to wav files by attaching them to a usb microphone on full volume... in that sense they work like a charm.
unfortunately I don't have much to compare them to, but I think I got the length of use out of them that I expected. 3 stars. i'm sure there is better out there.
Pros - Pads are extremely comfortable, very easy to drive, somewhat flat response
Cons - Expensive, thin and delicate cable
I bought them a couple of years ago for around half the street price and for that price they are pretty good. The sound is neutral and I would describe it as "fun". Not meant for precision, but they are clear enough. The band is solidly built and the ear pads are a pleasure to feel. I had a problem with the cables; they are way too thin and had to repair them more than once.
They are a good pair for the price I paid, but they are not worth their MSRP; they are not worth your hard earned cash. They are old and the new replacement model is around the streets so give them a try, but as you might know, Bose isn't the best when it comes to audio, specially headphones.
Pros - Musicality, personality, relaxing yet fun, pleasurable
Cons - Unbalanced response, timbre, micro detail, muddy, highly colored and emphasized
Hello everyone. Tonight I will be reviewing the Bose Around Ear headphones and directly comparing them to my MS-1.
The reason Im doing this review is because Bose gets alot of hate around here. Yes, there will always be better for your money. But I bought them because I was curious, and to be completely honest, Ive always kinda admired the Bose sound signature. That being said, I have nothing against Bose at all and this review is completely unbiased.
I burned in the headphones with 100+ hours of pink noise, listening every couple of hours for changes. When I first listened to them right out of the box, I was unimpressed. The bass was quite exaggerated and peaky around 60hz, the mids were distant, and the highs didnt extend far at all. I let them play the pink noise and they started to change after a couple hours. By the time they hit 30 hrs, the bass settled down alot and the peak started smoothing out. The mids were becoming more and more alive as bass got tamer and the highs started extending more. The soundstage was getting bigger and imaging was getting more precise. 50 hrs, not as much change. Maybe less peaky and more mellow bass. The soundstage sounded the same width, but imaging got better. 75 hrs, again, just slightly smoother response, mabey better highs, clearer mids. After 75 hrs, it didnt really change much to speak of. These things changed alot during burn-in, especially after 24 hrs.
The best way to describe the Bose Around Ear sound is "fun". It does have a dark sound signature and bass is pronounced, but it isnt as sloppy and overpowering as alot of people say. Out of the box, maybe it is. But even though this headphones bass is exaggerated, I can still hear the midrange and inner detail of the music (which is contrary to other reports). These actually arent too far off from my MS-1 as far as detail, everything is there in both phones. And actually, alot details come out stronger and more pronounced on the Bose. Things like ringing timbre of cymbals and even the notes themselves come out quite rich and strong. So rich and creamy in fact, it dosent sound real. The big, big difference between the MS-1 (or other audiophile stuff) and Bose was the MS-1 sounds more realistic, natural and transparent to what was on the recording. The Bose on the other hand has an artificial tone to it. Male voices sound more masculine than life. Bass impact is very strong but not true to the real instrument. Bass guitar sounds too warm and the double bass is somewhat sloppy but still acceptable. One good thing is they extend down to 30hz or so before noticeably dropping off, which is better than my MS-1. The midrange has the tonality of a $20 Sony with certain (but not all) instruments, but is much more detailed. Treble is sweet sounding but dosent extend far enough and sounds a little exaggerated and fake. Everything just seems "enhanced" with extra warmth and richness to make almost any recording sound powerful and enveloping.
Belive it or not, I can recognize the notes and frequencies of the sounds better with the Bose, which would make them good for transcribing. For example, I hear every note of a guitar solo quite well on the Bose. Every note that comes out sounds rich and authoritative. The MS-1 has a more transparent and cold tone to it but is actually more correct and brings out true richness and impact when the recording calls for it, which is something the Bose cant do for crap.
The MS-1 are better in almost every respect. But these 2 headphones couldent be more different from eachother. The engineers had different goals in mind. I think Bose went for the unrealistic sound on purpose, and in my opinion did a good job at it. They even say the purpose of their products is to simulate the live sound experience. I haven't been to a concert in a long time, so I dont know about that. What I do know is this singers chest and lungs must have grown bigger when I threw on the Bose.
I did a blind test on my Dad between the MS-1 and Bose (he knows nothing about audio and dosent care). He said every time that the Bose sounded better. And it dosent suprise me because most average people like that bigger than life, Rock EQ type of sound. Nothing beats the true to life, high fidelity audiophile sound. But in my opinion, Bose did a good job of creating a "pleasant" sounding headphone for the un-educated mass market. They are extremely comfy and lightweight, look cool (IMO), and you can get them locally with ease. That is why they are popular. They sound great without sounding like the real thing, and that is something people can tap their toes to no matter how awful the recording.
Im returning them tomorrow for a full refund. I cant afford them and I wouldn't use them much anyway. But the Around Ears have my respect and id consider buying them if I wanted a purposefully artificial sound. I like the music that comes out of them, but they just dont sound "right" like my MS1. They do, however, have a unique personality that is enjoyable in its own right. You cant really set a price on something that is supposed to be different than the competition because you have nothing to compare them to. Like I said, these are not audiophile headphones and they dont try to be. Take it for what it is, dont flame me about it.
BTW: Take a look at the pics. The drivers are angled in the earcup, kinda like ultrasones.
Pros - Very comfortable, better sound quality than cheapo headphones.
Cons - Overpriced for the value, Very fragile, sound quality could be alot better.
I'm going to make a simple review here.
These headphones, are NOT worth their 120-140 dollar price tag, you can get better or equal sounding headphones for around 30-60 bucks. Sennheiser HD 202s sound way clearer and are more durable than the bose. They also cost 4 times less!!
Koss Portapros, Grados, and even some of the Sonys sound better. These headphones are better than 20 dollar skullcandies but they aren't that much better.
Highs- pretty clear at first, but they can get tinny at louder volumes and they can distort. However, they are decent sounding. 7/10 on this.
Mids- artificial and muffled. the bad soundstage on these makes the mids very artificial and muffled sounded sometimes. The mids are decent but they are definitely nowhere near great. 5/10 on these.
Lows- Muddy bass, very fake and overpowered on many songs. The soundstage once again makes the bass overpowering and distorts the mid and high ends of the music on these. Great if you are a bass head, but even then, these aren't very good.
Soundstage- like I said....crappy. Music isn't clear and defined on these, its very fake sounding and mixed badly. Instead of a fresh cleanly mixed salad on a plate, imagine that same salad thrown into a blender along with some cheap ranch dressing and then smeared on the wall...
Pros - Great sound, portable, light-weight, extremely comfortable
Cons - Earpads aren't durable, leaks sealant if stored in high heat, picks up EMI easily, headband plastic eventually breaks
I have owned the Triports for nearly four years now and have compared them side-by-side to revered audiophile headphones.
Value: I consider these to be audiophile-grade headphones on par with the Grado SR-125. For about 2/3 the price, you can have headphones of comparable sonic quality, but lack the comfort and sound isolation of the Bose. In fact, I find the non-padded Grado to be downright painful. However, Grado headphones will last longer than the Triports. It's up to you though whether the extra comfort is worth giving up durability.
Audio Quality: These are incredibly sensitive headphones. They pick up everything, which can be bad or good depending on how you look at it. On the bad side, I have heard CB radio over them and interference over the PCI bus from the hard drive and my GPUs. They have a decently large soundstage for headphones in their price range and resolution similar to the Grado SR125; though they are a bit heavier in bass. I also compared them to the Sony MDR-SA5000 DJ headphones among others, and while the Sonys sound faster and cleaner, they have a nasty frequency response and a very narrow soundstage. These headphones are very easy to drive and are great for use with portable devices unlike a lot of high-end headphones which need expensive amps. They also are great at blocking out external sounds. If I could improve these, I'd give them a larger soundstage and more accurate imaging; though some may prefer a more intimate/direct listening experience.
Design: A lot of reviews mention the plastic 'Y' connector breaking, but this problem was fixed in late 2005. These headphones actually are quite hard to break. I've dropped them many times, tripped over the cord yanking them out of my computer, and slammed drawers closed on the cord; and they still work. However, the plastic wears out on the headband, developing stress fractures after years of constant use, eventually coming apart at the piece that holds the earcups on. There are also two other major problems I don't see in other reviews. Leaving the headphones in too high of a temperature will cause black rubbery acoustic sealant to leak from all the plastic joints behind the earcups, making them sticky. Also, the earpads will flake and separate at the seams after about a year of use. I finally got sick of buying new sets for $15 each, and just sewed them back together; though they're flaking everywhere.
Comfort: These are the most comfortable headphones I've ever used. The headband exerts no pressure and the earpads sit around your ears and are amazingly soft. They do get slightly hot after a while, but all closed headphones do.
Overall: These are decent headphones for people who like excellent sound quality, wear headphones for an extended amount of time, and often use portable devices. However, there are cheaper headphones with similar sonic qualities, and the Triports eventually break (mine broke after 4 years of continuous use of around 4 hours a day, I fixed the broken part with superglue). However you're also paying for a lighter design with sound isolation that doesn't need an amp to sound good. Just make sure you don't leave it in a hot car and have enough money to keep replacing the earpads, or sewing skills.
Pros - Comfortable, Lightweight, Ample cord length.
Cons - Slightly "tinny" sounding 80%+ Failure rate due to poor headband design.
INTRO I bought the Bose Triports as a longtime Bose fan, I had read about the headband failure, and figured out if you bend the headband wider (grabbing only the cloth covered portion at top while doing so) then you will relieve the stress on the headband and avoid the headband problem.
VALUE The bang for buck for the Triports is quite poor, If any of you have purchased some Koss Portapros, and when you first held them said "I paid $50 for these!?" Same thing here except they kill themselves if you do not widen the headband as described in the intro, cost three times as much, and for the money don't sound as good as the PP's that and the PP's have a lifetime warranty. If the Triports had cost $70 and didn't kill themselves, I would've given them 4-5 stars.
Since I consider these headphones "suicidal" I give them the moniker "EMOPHONES"
AUDIO QUALITY Tested on a Sony Walkman S639 W/A PA2V2 Amp
IMO, AQ is #1 (provided the phones don't kill themselves) when purchasing a set of phones.
Bass; The bass is adequate, but lacks definition, and comes off as "boomy" on curtain tracks, I would just stop short of calling it "monotone". There is NO tightness, and very little control to the bass on the Triports, they're all over the place.
Mids; The upper mids (female vocals) are present, not recessed or anything, Male vocals are slightly recessed, they are muddied in the lower end but not severely. They are also slightly veiled. They have a slight warmth to them, but that might be the PA2V2.
Highs; The highs are slightly exaggerated, not as exaggerated as Sony's (generally) but they are a little more pronounced then they should be. The highs have a little more detail to them than the mids or the bass. I would go as far as to say they are on the bright side. The highs are actually acceptable on the Triports IMO.
Soundstage; The sound stage has very little depth, so it stays "in your head" but it has a little width to it, but most $50-$30 earbuds will whip them in the soundstage dept. Overall the sound stage is "canned" sounding until you wear them for a few minutes, A Cowon player with SRS might remedy this.
Dynamics; They don't have quite the punch I was expecting from them, but running through my mind, I don't think ANY Bose product I've owned has ever been very dynamic, They do have some punch, but my sub $100 buds are more dynamic.
DESIGN The Triports are famous for their failure rate, but other then the self-terminating headband, the fit and finish is quite nice, they have a good silver finish, no paint bubbles, no cast marks of remark, no rough edges, they are decently polished. When you look inside the earcups you can see unpainted gray plastic I felt this should have been covered with felt or some other covering considering the price. They feel light and cheap considering the price, for what Triports cost you can pick up some Pioneer SE-A1000's and they are ten times the cans, and have the bass you were expecting the Triports to have. A word of warning, take care of the pleather earpads, they will deteriorate over time if you don't (I use STP "Son of a Gun!") and Bose charges a considerable amount for new ones.
COMFORT Comfort is one area where the Triports excel, due to the fact they are so light, the headband (once bent as described in the intro) doesn't cause any discomfort (IME) during any prolonged use. The earcups can get hot and sweaty if you are in a warm environment or working out. My ears are on the larger side so I sort of have to shoehorn them in, but once on they are pretty comfortable, nothing bad here.
WHERE I WOULD RECOMMEND USING THEM Due to the fact they kill themselves, I would avoid ANY physical activity while using them. I would suggest a Computer/ home only role, even when you have bent the headband. They just scare me, so I baby them, and one shouldn't be afraid of using their headphones.
OVERALL Overall, I wouldn't buy them again, the $130 would have better been spent on M50's or a pair of Sennheisers. If these were $70 and they didn't have the headband problem's as I said above, they would be worth it, but for the price, considering they break, I'd stay away unless you can get them cheap, REAL cheap, and bend the headband before any white stress marks appear on the band.
THANK YOU FOR READING!
Pros - Comftorable, light, reasonable blocking of sound around you.
Cons - Poor sound with muddy and emphasised bass, easy to break, very expensive for what you get.
I have used this headphones on many and whilst they are very comftorable and look quite nice, the audio quality is extremely poor and they are not very sturdy. My best description as vulgar as it may or may not be is that they are poo, very comtorable poo.
Pros - Extremely comfortable, lightweight, sound quality is better than most headphones around the same price
Cons - Ear cups can fall off, the head band is made of inexpensive material
I purchased the Bose Around Ear Triport Headphones, around a month ago, and started listening to them right out of the box. what i can say is that at first i was initially dissapointed by the weak highs and "artificial soundhing bass" because i had gotten used to listening to the skullcandy FMJ's and i was expecting a bit more from something that i paid at least 3 times more for. after using them for i while the highs started coming back down to earth, the mids were showing themselves, and the bass had cleared up quite well. i was surprised at the notable change in such a short period of time, and i realized that the more you used them, the better it sounded.
One thing to note though, when you play music through these headphones the sound seems almost too good to be true, in fact it sounds artificial. i discovered this when i was editing a video i heard through a pair of shure earphones and suddenely through bose everything sounded better. this may be good for the casual listener, but for experienced editors they may find it annoying.
In short, The Bose Around Ear headphones were everything i expected from something that was 200 dollars