Bose In-Ear Headphones mini-review

by Mike

Bose In-Ear HeadphonesFairly recently, I set out on a mission to get a pair of decent sounding headphones. These new ones were going to be in the price range of $50-$100, and they were going to replace my ratty old Apple earbuds. After trying out a $50 Sony pair and returning them, I settled on the $100 Bose In-ear headphones. Read on for a mini-review.

For anyone interested, the Sony pair were the MDR-EX71SLAs. The reason for my return was that on those earbuds, the left side was shorter (by a lot) than the right and that made them a pain to use. Other than that, they were fine, I just couldn’t stand them personally.

On to the Bose In-Ear Headphones. These are relatively new from Bose. Unlike the QuietComforts, these actually let a bit of outside noise in. This is actually better if you’re someone who wears your headphones out in public, as you’ll actually hear that bus coming straight towards you, giving you time to swerve out of the way. And just because they let some noise in doesn’t mean they’re bad. Before, with my old buds, I had to really crank of the volume on my iPod to be able to listen on the plane, with these, I just keep it at a reasonable volume and can hear just fine.

With the headphones, you get 3 different silicone earbuds (S, M, and L) that fit onto the plastic piece of the headphone. Here’s where my only complaint is, these buds seem to fall off a lot more than they should. In fact, I’ve already lost one of my buds, but I just swapped it out with a different sized one. It’s not a major flaw, and supposedly Bose is coming out with a “fix”, in this case new silicone inserts, that will be made available free of charge to all current owners (source). Clearly, with headphones, the most important thing is sound quality.

While I’m no audiophile, I can tell you that I heard a definite improvement over my old Apple buds. Other than that, they’re just nice looking headphones and I couldn’t be happier with them. You can find them online, at many retail stores, including Bose and Apple stores for $100.

Oh, I wanted to give it a rating: 4/5, mainly because of my complaint regarding the silicone buds falling out.

Product Page

8 reviews or comments

Arthur Says: April 19, 2007 at 9:35 pm

I use the Sony headphones and find the short/long lengths of each headphone to be very practical. I’m not sure if many know the reason they are made this way, but I think it is so that you can stick the short length in one ear then run the long one behind the neck so that when you need to remove the headphones quickly they will rest around your neck.

Mike Says: April 20, 2007 at 3:49 am

I found that out after I returned them, but, either way, that’s just not how I wanted to use them. Kind of a bummer, as they were nice headphones other than that.

Timq Says: April 20, 2007 at 4:10 am

The reason they make one side shorter, is so that you can have the cable go around the back of your neck. So the cable goes from your MP3 player, up to your neck line, then splits off to your left ear, the other piece goes around the back of your neck to the right ear. Really quite good actually, doesn’t get in your way i find.

Mario Says: April 20, 2007 at 5:53 am

Hey, Mike in audio gadgets! While you may not be an audiophile, you could still offer up a review that is useful to us. How about telling us if the bass is richer than your iPod earbuds OR compare/contrast to the Sony sound quality? Do you have to turn up the volume to get a rich bass and clear sound or can you hear the music’s richness at lower volume levels? Spending a $100 bucks on a pair of buds just because you didn’t like the way the Sony one’s hung, is not a useful review at all. You’re picky but about the wrong qualities.

Becca Says: May 19, 2009 at 2:57 pm

I’ve had these headphones for about two years now. I love them. All my friends have the Apple earbuds or the Skull-candy in-ear headphones and they all hate how they feel. These are great for working out because you cannot hear all the loud noises of a gym, they’re also great for just about anywhere; like the article said their earbuds do slip off alot but it’s ok, because you can go buy a new pair if needed at a Bose store.
But recently these earphones have stopped working properly. The right ear piece has lost connection and does not work unless you push down on the wire going into the jack. Does anyone know how you’d go about fixing this problem?

Huw Says: October 26, 2009 at 8:06 am

Can anyone tell me how i can get the dam things to work with my new N97. all i keep getting is lots of static i can juggle it so i can use them as headphones but not as a headset.( the phone recognizes them as a TV out) which is why i spent the money i did. thanks for any help.

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