Channel 5

Bose On-Ear Headphones

Monday 03 August 2009

G-Rating

Rating of 3

The basics

About as prosaically named as it is possible for a product to be, these are headphones, made by Bose, that sit on your ears (as opposed to in or over and around them). Extremely compact, they wear under 150g and fold up to a size barely bigger than some peoples’ noses.

The good

Bose products have a certain reputation that may derive from the fact they’re traditionally advertised in the back of Sunday supplements. Their headphones, however, are generally very good and these are no exception. You get an engaging stereo, if you will, “soundfield”, solid bass and punchy mids, although the top end seems to have been stifled somewhat. You seem to get the best results with polite, middle of the road type music, which we dare say suits Bose’s demographic very nicely. Shell out an extra £39 and you can get the Bose Mobile On-ear Headset, which is effectively a pair of these with a mic added, so you can answer your phone with room-filling fidelity and rich, warm bass

The bad

As with all Bose gear, these feel approximately 15 per cent more expensive than they should be, and the on-ear design, though comfy, never feels like it’s going to stay in place. Maybe that’s an unfair criticism, since in point of fact it does stay in place, but when you’re negotiating the blighted hellholes that are the UK’s city streets, you want to feel like your gear’s secure. As noted, proper high end seems a bit lacking and we also had to whack the volume up a fair bit to get best results.

The bottom line

These are a decent upgrade to your iPod or, with the Bose Mobile On-ear Headset, iPhone (or, indeed, an MP3 player made by another manufacturer). Compact and light, they’re a good alternative for those who don’t like in-ear ’phones and adequate for home listening. However, the audio is ultimately more efficient than magical and paying more for these than the iPod Nano you’ve got them plugged into seems a tad mad.
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User comments (38)

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Derek

Purchased these from Ashford and wow what a difference a decent pair of headphones make! just try them and you will notice the difference

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GadgetFreak2009

Wow what a difference a decent set of headphones make! bought mine from Ashford for £105.00 well worth the money

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nathan

owned a pair for 6 months paid £120 in hmv liverpool, been away from home last 6 days had to make do with a few 'standard' pairs.got my bose back today.....now i know why i use bose on ear headphones,pure luxury

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Roger Hawes

Was given a pair for my birthday a few weeks ago. Whilst they are good I still feel that my open headset Sennheiser PX100 (£29) have a far more lifelike sound although do not have the external noise suppression of the Bose. The PX100 are superb in a quiet environment but not where it is noisy such as a plane or tube

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Hoyesic

these headphones are amazing if you are used to listening to music through the normal apple headphones. you will hear the individual layers of the music much better and the base of the song will be alot deeper and richer. would recommend it to any music listening fan.

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jamie

£120 for a budget set of headphones!!! come on gadget show be real and show us a budget pair for around £30 a midrange for £70 rather than £200!!!!!! and a luxury of £200 not £400!!! it is the recession!

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emma

purchased these earlier this year and the were totaly worth the money i belive if u love music uve got to listen to it through good quality speakers or headphones and these definatly lived up to expectations

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Duncan Stewart

Just thought I'd let folk know, I bought these headphones the other day for £66! Awaiting their arrival, can't wait. www.good-headphones.com was the site, no point paying double! All the best.

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BenG11

Bought thease for £120 Amazing sound

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geoff

when used with the radio tuner lead but not the actual tuner for the ipod nano ,this then works as a amp giving one third more power to the head phones

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Mike McGlone

Would love to hear what Duncan Stewart from a previous post in Nov 2009 makes of his 'bargain' headphones from www.good-headphones.com. Had a look at the site and call me cynical, but seeing as they're based in Hong Kong & China, for £66 mate, I doubt very much you are getting a real set of Bose Headphones. I stick by the 'buy cheap, buy twice' mentality. I love a bargain, but I fear anything from a site like that, will not be a bargain!

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matt

i am thinking about buying some bose on ear headphones but i am just wondering if there are any other headphones like that for a cheaper price. Also gadget show why on one of your top 5 videos does this come 2nd but then only merit a 3 G rating??

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michael shields

yes i thought that, come 2nd and gets 3G

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daz kennett

Who ever says these phones are any thing less then top end speck should be made to stick some ipod phones in there ears for 8 hour then try some boss ,I bought some two year ago from the US the trip home was a pleasure not only for the pure listening joy but ear cups cut out all background noise.

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Anonymous

I bought these for my ipod to use on an 8 hour flight to the USA. I had previously used Seinheisser in ear phones which are not bad - but these were sublime. The comfort is great, and the sound is excellent. I'm so glad I spent the extra cash for quality. Totally recommend these.

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Nichenelle

These headphones were a present 2 years ago, and they deliver great sound quality. The cable comes to the left ear side, and then wraps inside the headset to deliver the signal to the right side. After a year using them in the most normal conditions, the right hand side started crackling. I contacted Bose, who replaced the head set. It took about 2 months to receive the replacement. A year into using the replacement, the exact same problem is now occurring, where the right ear does not deliver sound correctly anymore. I visited Bose flagship store on Oxford Street, only to be told in almost that direct a term that they did not care and I should speak with customer services. I then contacted Bose customer services, to be told that the replacement headset did not re-start the warranty (now invalid since the original headset was purchased 2 years ago). Bose customer services offer was to buy a new set at a discounted price (£50 discount). Trying to understand from Bose customer services how the new purchase will offer more guarantees on the build quality, the lady got fed up and hung up the phone. That leaves me with headphones that do not function anymore and that were purchased £150 at the time (£120 nowadays). This is over £10 a month for an item that will last a year. Incidentally I also own a Bose docking station, and the comments are very much the same: the sound is great, the build quality is awful: 3 months into using the station, the remote control stopped working. It took Bose 4 months to fix it, and it still has its lapses. My overall conclusion is that Bose products have a great sound quality, but are not built to last. With the price tag they tend to carry, I am not very likely to buy into the Bose brand again, nor am I likely to promote their products: good lasting sound exists elsewhere.

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amy

<p><a href="http://www.headphones-best.com"><strong>Bose on-ear headphones</strong></a> is a noise cancelling headphones. <strong>Bose on-ear headphones</strong> has adding even more effective noise-cancelling circuitry and improving their sound quality.</p>

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Ram

I have a pair of these cans, but I also have many others too. Bose is an interesting company. They never state specific technical data for any of their (audio) products (i.e. Frequency Response, etc.). The sound from these cans is pretty good, but realistically, you are paying more just for the brand name. I have cheaper cans that perform far better with better clarity. If you can find these headphones for around £50, go for it. If not, look for something else.

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Rhys Williams

Being a DJ I'm used to using Sony's ar Pioneers but am now definately considering getting a pair of these! http://gadgetfrenzy.net/

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DeathMetal

I Got A Pair Of Good Headphones from home bargains! for just £2.99 Great For The Money, They even have a Built in microphone!

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Mike-LN1

I bought a pair new from ebay, £50.00. My father in law wouldn't believe me about the quality until he tried them and immediately bought a pair for himself and his wife so impressed was he. The are brilliant - even if I had paid full price, I would still be over the moon.

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Rich Adams

I had a pair of these and was very impressed by the sound quality. However, after six months of use, they started to break apart. They are currently at my local Boss store waiting repair/replacement. It's very simple: the build quality is poor but, while the product lasts, the sounds quality is great.

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Fubar

great sound! and very good headphones but u will need to play them at almost full volume on ipod touch to appreciate how good the sound is. they also drown out backround noise really well so are great for the train to work Dr Dre Beats have better bass but cost more than twice as much! i would say sennheiser cx300 in ear headphones are better value at £30 for sound quality that is almost as good plus i can wear a hat with them so still usin Sennheisers on cold and rainy days.

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Andy Richards

I had this headset for a little over two years - and that's frankly about as much use you will get from them on a daily commute. 1. The detachable lead that connects the headphone to your source will break at the source end within a year or so, the cable becomes brittle and snaps internally. The Bose store said yep that's normal, no you can't buy a replacement here call the online store. After 20 mins getting through, answering a legion of questions before I could place an order, £10 for a replacement cable ($4.00 in the USA - go figure the price hike), to have the same thing happen again 8 months later. 2. Now two years in and out of warranty, the right hand earpiece cuts out, again, cable breakage, this time internally across the headband, and apparently according to Bose, unrepairable. Great cans, let down by poor construction and back up. Buy if you are prepared to chuck them after 24 months.

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