[Review] Bose OE Headphones


Note: this review is for the old version of these headphones. A review of the updated version is coming soon.


I’ve never considered myself to be an audiophile, yet at the same time, I know that you are likely to miss out on the true quality of your music if you stick with the cheap pair of earbuds that came with your smartphone, tablet, or mp3 player.

I first tried this pair of headphones about four years ago and have since owned two pairs (but only because I sold them before traveling to downsize, not because they broke.)

What I like about these headphones:

Packability: although they are, well,  much larger than earbuds, they still pack down pretty well for being over the ear headphones. They come with a nice little zipper carrying case which makes me feel secure enough to zip them up and throw them in my luggage without worrying about them breaking or cracking under the weight of something else.


Build Quality: I owned my first pair for over two years before selling them (and I used them almost every day). The ear cushions and a little bit of padding on the headband were clearly worn a little but, but they still functioned like they were brand new.

Detachable Cord: One of the most common ways that headphones seem to break is from wear and tear on the headphone cable, especially around the audio jack. Keeping the cord in good condition is still an issue on the Bose On-Ear headphones, but these come with the added luxury of being replaceable. (Because it’s much more preferable to buy a new audio cable for about 10 dollars than to replace a pair of expensive headphones!)


Sound Quality: Like I already said, I’m no audiophile. But these headphones do sound really nice. For comparison, I’ve owned several older models of Bose headphones and earbuds, as well as a few pricier pairs of studio headphones by Sennheiser. In my experience, music on this pair usually sounds ‘right’ without messing with the EQ or sound settings. The bass is strong and the music is loud and clear without having to blast the music. And although the ear cushions merely rest over the ears, the sound does not bleed out at normal listening volumes.


What could be improved?

After owning these for years, I really can’t think of anything. They are a bit expensive, but if you treat them well they should last a long time. I’ve recommended them to many people, and have surprised quite a few friends with the sound quality that comes from such a small package.

I give the Bose On-Ear Headphones 5 out of 5 stars.  


(In fact, I’ve recently purchased the newer edition of the Bose On-Ear headphones and will be sure to give a review of them in the near future!)


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