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Best Bose headphones 2021 • 7 Bose headphones Reviews

Bose is not only famous for its high prices, but also for its exceptionally high quality. There are many different models, all with different uses and advantages. We have developed a guide to help you decide which model of Bose headphones is best suited to you.

Bose headphones Leaderboard 2021

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Evaluated Studies 108
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Considered Reviews 532

What are Bose headphones and what distinguishes them from other headphones?

Buying headphones is not an easy task and deciding on a specific model can be much more complicated. There are so many brands, types, models, and prices on the market that it can be incredibly overwhelming. Much of the decision and comparison process will depend on the use you are planning for your headphones, as there will be some models better suited to certain activities. You may have wondered at some point if it is worth investing money in premium or high-end headphones, as they can often be very expensive.

While other headphone brands often advertise the benefits of strong bass, Bose maintains, throughout its history, the importance of providing a balanced and immersive sound rather than simply strong bass. When talking about Bose, we’re not just talking about any brand dedicated to sound, we are talking about one of the most recognized brands in the world.

If you already own a set of Bose headphones, or if you have tested and tried to listen to music on one of these devices at some point, you will clearly understand why this brand has such a stellar reputation. There are some aspects that may be debatable between the different headphone brands, such as the price, comfort, or design, but what is impossible to argue is that the best sound quality comes from Bose headphones. Our guide aims to help you form an opinion about the other aspects of Bose headphones.

What types of Bose headphones are there?

You can find many types of headphones on the market, but the main division between the different models is whether they are on-ear, in-ear, or over-ear headphones. This is the starting point for the classification of Bose headphones, and within each of these three categories are multiple models. The following comparison might help you form an opinion about which type best suits you. Our test also provides specific Bose models for each type.

On-Ear Headphones

  • Placed over the ears without completely covering them
  • Do not completely isolate or seal out outside noise
  • Someone near to you can hear what you’re listening to
  • Offers a “natural” sound
  • Bose models: Bose on-ear headphones range

In-Ear Headphones

  • Placed in the opening of the ears, sealing shut your ear canal
  • Excellent noise cancelation
  • Light and portable
  • Bose models: QuietComfort 20; QuietComfort 30; SoundSport; SoundSport Free; SoundSport Pulse; SoundTrue Ultra

Over-Ear Headphones

  • Fully cover the ear
  • Large in size
  • Usually feature noise-cancelation technology
  • Heavier
  • Offer the best sound quality but are the most expensive
  • Bose models: QuietComfort 35 II; SoundLink II

Power Source

  • Wired: Use a cable with a mini-jack input (3.5 mm or 6.5 mm) for more professional headphones or lightning input for Apple devices. They are not very comfortable to use for sports such as running, cycling, or while in the gym, but are usually more affordable.
  • Wireless: Use Bluetooth technology to connect to the device, but you can also use other technologies such as radiofrequency or infrared for connectivity. They are practical to use anywhere but must be charged as Bluetooth requires a charged battery to work.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Bose Headphones

If there is one thing that you can be sure of and that many tests have agreed upon, it is that buying Bose headphones will have a lot of advantages. However, despite the exceptionally high sound quality, there are some drawbacks to be aware of. The following comparison should help you form your opinion about Bose headphones.

Bose products are an investment that you should analyze very carefully.

Advantages

  • They offer very high sound quality as well as a balanced sound experience.
  • There are several Bose models available, each with a different purpose that is specific to a particular use.
  • The Bose brand has a strong history that makes them trustworthy when it comes to the provision of high-quality devices.

Disadvantages

  • The high price is often the main obstacle in obtaining a pair of Bose headphones.
  • If the design of headphones is very important to you, keep in mind that Bose is characterized by discreet, minimalist designs. This may be a disadvantage for some people.
  • The battery life does not last as long as some of its main competitors.

Shopping Criteria for Bose Headphones

We recommend that you pay close attention to this section as we will focus on the aspects and criteria that you should take into consideration before purchasing a Bose headset. By following these criteria, you will be able to make a great decision by selecting the model that suits you best according to your needs and intended use.

  • Sound quality
  • Intended use
  • Connectivity
  • Battery life
  • Integrated functions
  • Accessories
  • Model comparison

Sound Quality

The sound quality is somewhat subjective because, although the devices have impressive specifications, some models sound better than others. The best way to check the sound quality is to test the headphones for yourself. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, especially if you are buying online.

However, there are certain parameters that can give you an indication of the sound quality such as the frequency, impedance, and sensitivity. In terms of the frequency, measured in hertz (Hz), the headphones should have the functionality to produce sound in a range of 20 Hz (the lowest frequency the human ear can hear) to 20000 Hz (the highest frequency).

The impedance, measured in ohms, determines the interference that may exist and the level of power required to operate the headphones. What you should pay attention to is that the lower the impedance characteristics of the headphones, the higher the volume your headphones will reach. Normally, headphones have an impedance between 16 and 32 ohms.

The sensitivity of headphones, measured in decibels (dB), will determine the volume that the headphones can reach. We recommend you choose a pair of Bose headphones with a range that is between 90 and 110 dB; beyond this level, you can damage your ears.

Intended Use

The intended use of the headphones will greatly influence the type of headphones that suit you best. Our test provides Bose models that are suitable for use during physical activity. If you want to use them when playing sports with a lot of movement, we recommend wireless models, preferably in-ear. These will be the most comfortable and will not impede such physical activities as running, cycling, or rock climbing.

Did you know that the founder of Bose, Amar G. Bose, started fixing electronic devices at the age of 13?

Connectivity

Bose headphones produce excellent sound quality with a stylish design.

Wireless headphones connect via Bluetooth technology. What changes is the version of Bluetooth built-in—the latest being version 5.1, which was introduced in January of 2019. It is very common to find devices with Bluetooth version 5.0. Each new version of Bluetooth improves the connection speed, range, and/or ability to connect to more devices.

On the other hand, traditional wired headphones most commonly use a 3.5-mm mini-jack input. For headphones that are designed to connect to amplifiers or sound consoles, a mini-jack 6.5-mm input is used. There are different opinions about which form of connectivity is better, but in the end, it’s a matter of personal preference.

Recently, iPhones have begun using a new type of input called Lightning. This can be a problem as not all headphones have this type of input. You can easily solve this problem by purchasing a Lightning-to-mini-jack 3.5-mm adapter. If you already own Apple devices, Bose almost always offers two versions of each headphone model, one for Apple and one for Android.

Battery Life

This is an aspect that you should take into account only when you want to buy wireless headphones, as it is not always easy to find a place to charge them. In addition to the battery life while listening to music, take a look at how long it takes to fully charge the battery. Some Bose models have cases that include a built-in battery.

Another way to address this issue while you are traveling (and are running out of power) is to purchase a portable power bank. Bose headphones often include a quick-charge mode in which charging for fifteen minutes will give you two to three hours of autonomy, which is perfect and practical in these instances.

It should be noted that, in general, Bose headphones offer a shorter battery life compared to some of its main competitors. Bose headphones offer about twenty hours of listening time, and this can be extended to be double or triple if you charge them with a cable. It is up to you to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of using wireless headphones that require charging and form an opinion about that aspect.

Integrated Functions

Some Bose headphones—especially high-end models—have some extra features built-in, such as noise cancelation. This feature completely (or almost completely) isolates the outside noise so that you can listen to your music without any external distractions or interferences. These models are usually the most expensive headphones but offer by far the best level of sound quality.

Another feature of Bose headphones is using the built-in microphone to take advantage of voice command devices or applications such as Alexa from Amazon, Google Assistant, and Siri for models intended for use with Apple devices. With just a single press of a button, you can ask these devices about weather conditions, volume settings, directions, and much more.

Another feature of Bose is that most models of headphones are compatible with the Bose Connect app, which is available for Android and iPhone. By registering your headset with the app, you can control its functions more easily, and you can even see the last location in which you used them.

Accessories

Another factor that gives your headphones an extra edge is the number of accessories included. Compare the models and note whether the headphones come with extra earpads, a case for safe storage, auxiliary cables, or even a portable charging station.

When it comes to Bose, everything is usually sold separately. The QuietComfort II and SoundSport Free models come with extra ear pads so that you can use the pair that best fits your ears or in case you damage the original one. The SoundSports Free comes with a carrying case/charging station to keep the device charged at all times.

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FAQs

How did Bose start?

Bose was founded more than 50 years ago—in 1964, to be exact—by Amar G. Bose. He was a young man who was obsessed with electronic goods and loved to take them apart, repair them, and discover how they worked. He often dreamed of one day inventing his own line of electronic goods.

Amar studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, and after graduating from university, he decided to reward himself by buying a sound device. He chose a product that had the best sound specifications and the latest technology. But to his surprise, when testing them out, he found the sound quality to be very disappointing.

It was this experience, according to Amar himself, that led him to contemplate how a device with the best specifications on the market could produce a poor quality of sound. He decided to carry out a number of investigations and tests that ended up leading him to the design and manufacture of his first loudspeakers. From this point on, Amar dedicated his personal and professional life to what we now know today as Bose.

Are Bose headphones worth the investment?

We would say that if you’ve made it this far and are considering Bose, it is because, while you appreciate that the look and feel of all headphones are important, the most important aspect is the quality of sound produced.

With our test, you can make a comparison of the different models based on the criteria we talked about. It is always advisable to test the headphones first, but if you are someone who appreciates an immersive sound experience with balanced and high-quality sound, then the answer is yes, Bose headphones are worth the investment!

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