1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good sound, light and comfortable... but break easily,
This review is from: Bose® Around-Ear Headphones (Old Version) (Electronics)Three years ago I bought a pair of these headphones. I'm not an audiophile but I can tell the difference between a 128kbps MP3 and a CD, and I do appreciate a good sound quality. I tried the noise-canceling versions but found I could detect the white noise used to perform that function, and it irritated me. These were the best of both worlds: the around-ear style blocks out the noise of the average office environment (even one with a printing press below it) and makes it possible to hear music on a plane without blasting my eardrums to pieces. A comfortable volume is about 60% on an average iPod.
Sound quality? Well, it's subjective. I was overjoyed with the sound. Compared to my $800 Pioneer hi-fi, 320kbps CBR AAC files and Apple Lossless files sound great. To use the cliche, I found myself re-exploring my music to listen to parts I'd never heard before. I got to rediscover some great music, thanks to these 'phones. The most obvious was the closing track off the album Powder Burns by The Twilight Singers: there was suddenly a cowbell audible to me, through the whole song, that neither the car stereo nor the Pioneer unit had ever exposed to me.
Some may claim to sound is too smooth but I listen to many, many styles of music, from lo-fi punk recorded for $300 a session, to basement/bedroom music producers, to glorious orchestral soundtracks and the cleanest-recorded 50's and 60's jazz, to gritty funk workouts and acoustic singers, or shows recorded on a hand-held tape recorder in the middle of an echoey hall. These headphones may not excel at all the above, but they do with most of them, and are never offensive with any of them.
I tried out a pair of $300 Monster Beat headphones after they received glowing reviews, and tried a tricky album - The Renaissance by Q-Tip. The Monsters emphasized the bass so much that, combined with the extremely harsh high-end sounds, I realized there was no way I could listen to the whole album on those headphones. On the Bose, however, it civilized the sound enough to make it musical without losing any detail.
But here's the problem: the reason I was trying out other headphones was that the weedy cable had twisted and frayed and the wires had exposed themselves. Unfortunately, this happened 14 months after I bout these headphones and the only way to get them replaced was to pay Bose $60. I had bought them on sale for just under $100 and this seemed harsh. I knew that the price per dollar value of Bose products was lower than other brands, so off I went to find a good pair f headphones for $60 - $80. In the end, none that I tried were up to scratch so I forked out $60 and a replacement pair arrived.
That pair lasted 11 months. This time, I got my replacements for free, under warranty. The problem, again, was the cheap cable. This puts be on my third pair in 2 and a half years, and had the replacements not been free (except the $20 to FedEx them back to Bose, that is) I would have simply bought from somewhere else. I do use them everyday, I do carry them (in the bag provided) to work and back, every day, and I do use them for 6+ hours per day, but this is $130 dollars worth of equipment! If I could do that with a $30 pair of Sony earbuds, I should be able to do that with these 'premium' headphones!
Should this new pair die out of warranty, I will not be buying from Bose again. I will pay a little more and go for Sennheiser or Beyer or someone like that instead.
That said, if you intend mild use of these headphones and like a civilized, rounded sound from headphones which don't feel like a lead weight on your head, these may just hit the spot for you.