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on September 4, 2012
This is the first review I have written for a product on Amazon... The reason I am doing so is because I feel like I was lead astray a little from the biased reviews of others.

I know this is a bit wordy, but there are plenty of quick reviews you can read about this product without spending much time on mine. If you want a 100% truthful review, then please take a minute to read this, especially if you are new to the higher end headphone scene.

About 6 months ago I listened to a Bose display at a local Target store. This got my gears turning about the idea of having better quality headphones than I had previously been using. I had never really thought about putting the kind of attention you would put into car or home audio into headphones. Since I listen to headphones about 20+ hours a week at work, it seemed like a worthy investment.

Here is where things got dicey... I knew Bose was considered a top notch company by most average music listeners. Despite this I started reading reviews (as I normally do before buying anything over $40...lol). To my surprise I read review after review from people bashing Bose products, including the AE2 headphones. I was pretty surprised to say the least since I had never heard anything but favorable talk about Bose. I mean car companies go out of their way to highlight the fact that their car comes with a "Bose sound system". So I was now very confused. The more headphone forums I read, the more determined I was to stay far away from anything Bose. So after an obsessive amount of research I just through caution to the wind and bought some V-moda Crossfade LPs. Of all the products on Amazon I think the V-moda brand gets by far the most positive reviews. So I made the purchase, and when I received the headphones I was blown away by the intense sound and style! They are borderline indestructible, and come well equipped with a solid case.

Here is where reality started to sink in. After letting the headphones burn in for several days, I began using them at work. The bass was insane, just like I wanted. But after a few minutes of wearing them I realized that my head felt like it was stuck in a bear trap. After a week of wearing them off and on (I found myself listening to music less due to the extreme discomfort they caused my average sized head), I realized that the extreme bass was now becoming an annoyance. Everything I listened to was dripping with bass. Now this is great for dubstep, but try and listen to some country music, or even acoustic rock and you will immediately start trying to EQ the bass away. And the bass doesn't go away even at the lowest "bass reducer" setting on iPad. By the way I use both an iPad and a Sansa Clip+ (read the reviews...it has incredibly good sound) at work for music. So all opinions will be based on these two audio sources.

So the V-modas were sent back after a week. They were useless for anything other than bass heavy music. Next I read more reviews on the Sennheiser HD line. I ended up purchasing the Sennheiser HD 518. I took them out of the box, marveled at the comfort/sound quality, then unmarveled when I realized that even at low volume these things leak a ridiculous amount of sound. Unacceptable in an office setting, so they went back to the store.

Finally, after getting burned twice, I spent hour after hour after hour reading and sifting through all of the audio charts on a very popular website dedicated to headphones. This research led me to the Sony MDR-V6 headphones. These have been my go to headphones for the last several months. They have good neutral sound quality and they leak very little sound. But the drawback is that they seem to weigh a ton, and the cord is extremely thick and heavy. The cord is so obnoxious that I don't even like using them sometimes, because my little clip is outweighed by the cord, and god forbid if you clip the mp3 player onto your shirt. The weight of the cord just tugs right down.

So after all of the above ups and downs, I ended up walking into a Bose store in Orlando Fl this past weekend. I tried the AE2 headphones on again, and I found what I have been looking for all along! The sound was right on (not full of unnatural bass like the v-modas) just good clean sound. The comfort level was through the roof. They are so light they are almost unnoticeable. The lightness is what I assume the Bose bashers are talking about when they talk about Bose making cheap feeling products. I disagree however. Bose makes a solid product that isn't uncomfortable or silly looking on your head. It's kind of like the difference between a big barge of a car from the 70s verses a 2013 sleek Ferrari. Is the barge more solid feeling? Of course! But which one do you really want in your garage?? And if you are so reckless with your gadgets that you need military grade features (like V-moda) then you deserve to have your head stuck in a bear trap all day! And as far as sound leakage (Sennheiser HD), these things can be set to an almost uncomfortable volume, and yet my wife can barely hear them right next to me! The sound is crisp and clean, with nice tight bass. And they block more outside sound than the Sony MDR-V6. Now they are double the price of the V6, but again, if they aren't comfortable enough to wear, what's the point in having them??

BOTTOMLINE: After months of making purchases based on other people's reviews, I 100% stand behind the Bose AE2s! I'm glad I went through the hassle of buying all of those other headphones (in addition to hours of hands on testing at various stores). Because of this I now know just what a gem the Bose brand is! Are there tougher headphones? Yes! Are there better sounding ones? Probably. Are there excellent sounding headphones that are comfortable, look great and don't leak sound? Yes!...and they are called the Bose AE2! From my experience they are pretty much the holy grail of headphones!

I'm sure there are going to be fellow headphone nerds (I concider myself one too, so I can say it) that will roll their eyes at this review, and swear up and down that Bose sucks and the other "professional" headphone brands are far more superior, but according to my ears you would be mistaken! Bose isn't the only quality headphone manufacturer out there. But when it comes to finding a pair of headphones with top notch sound, comfort, looks, and that don't leak sound, and that are sub $150, then Bose reigns supreme!

****UPDATE 10/30/13****

Thank you to everyone that has commented on this review. I wanted to follow-up on how things are going with these headphones now that it's been about a year.

I am happy to report that the AE2s are still running strong! I have been through a number of other headphones, but these are still my favorites! I work in a cubicle environment, and the comfort and sound suppression (not complete canceling, but VERY reduced) is unbeatable.

To everyone that has bought a pair of these to use with mobile type devices (I use these with an iPod classic the most) here is a tip: spend $80 and purchase the FIIO E07k amp, along with a FIIO lineout cable. This setup will cost you about $90, but the amount of sound quality, impact and soundstage that this adds to your AE2s is well worth it! The FIIO amp doubles as a DAC to listen to higher quality FLAC sound files from a USB connection (Windows, OSX and Linux - tested on OSX and Linux and it works perfectly!).

You will be able to better adjust your treble and bass settings as well, giving you a much better handle over your music. Trust me, you will be surprised at the difference!

I hope my original review, as well as this update has helped!
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on February 5, 2011
My background: Let me start by saying I am not a professional sound engineer, but what I am is a person who owns several sets of over-the-ear headphones that I've accumulated over the years - seeking the best sound I can find without dropping tons of cash (which, for me, means I've been shopping in the $100 to $200 range).

Facts: If you're looking for response over frequency graphs for the AE2s, PCMag has them there[...]

Facts note: I am bewildered by the negative reviews and comments after listening to, and seeing the data. I don't understand the reviewers that say these headphones don't have high and low frequency response, because the data shows quite the opposite (actually the bass is slightly exaggerated - which might turn some people off).

Opinion summary: Compared to my Sony MD-6s and my Numarks (which I had handy), the AE2s are crisper and have stronger bass (this makes a lot of since when you see the plotted response over frequency graphs). Put simply, the AE2s are not as flat sounding as other headphones. These are much lighter weight, and very comfortable (which is ultimately the reason I bought them). Said, yet another way, I would describe the AE2s are "fun and light" - clearly made for today's digital devices and laptops.

Opinion - Pros:
- Crisp sound and excellent bass.
- Light weight.
- Comfortable ear-cups.

Opinion - Cons:
- The part of the headband that rests on the top of the head is a tad too thin in my opinion - it should be about .125" wider.
- The headband does squeeze a little harder than I would like (I only notice this after hours of continuous wear).

Thanks for reading.
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on November 9, 2014
Just to start off, I'm not here to bash on Bose at all. I love them. I just know that this product isn't as good as other Bose products.

The headphone feels light and one may even consider call it flimsy, but the build construction is solid and earcups fold flat for easier portability. We may all wish that it folded up all the way, but good enough. Inside the earcups, it's hollow and there's a sense of... "hm something's not right." However, those thoughts disappear when you put it on your head. The cushions on the earcups and on top of the band are extremely comfortable and I've found it to be comfortable wearing it for many hours even with my glasses. Out of so many headphones I've tried, this is one of the most comfortable over the ear headphones and I'd definitely recommend for a long hours of work or even to keep your ears warm on a cold day in place of earmuffs!

Sound is decent. I'm no audiophile and won't be doing any scientific tests, but I could tell you that the sound I hear is not bad, while not amazing. Because of my expectation that comes with the amazing sound I hear on Bose IE2, it doesn't quite meet it at all. That doesn't mean it's bad either however, just not as good as Bose's other products.

Aside from that, it's a good set of headphones. The lightweight construction and soft paddings allow comfortable and long lasting usage, and wire only dangles from one side of the headphones so that it won't get in your way when you're eating or something. If you'd like, you can upgrade this set to a Bose AE2i by replacing the cable with a AE2 inline remote and microphone cable as easily as unplugging the original and plugging the new one back in. +1 for having that option even though that wire with remote and mic is a bit pricy. One may also wish it came with a sturdy case to protect the headphones like the ones that come with Bose QuietComfort 15. The drawstring one that comes with AE2 will protect from scratches and blemishes from physical contact, but it won't stop a heavy object possibly crushing it in a bag.

In overall, if you're looking for a comfortable set of headphones that will last you a long time, go for it. But if you're more of a bass person or an audiophile, maybe not. Its comfortable paddings, long and thin cable all add up to a very lightweight and portable headphones that will be pleasant to wear. I wish they had made it a bit more premium like the Bose logo that could've been something better than printed label that may fade over time, and inside of the earcups that don't look like a high-end set. It does some noise reduction simply because it covers up both ears, but it's no QC15 or Harman Kardon's NC. I'd personally go for Bose IE2 instead since a cheaper product is able to produce better sound in my opinion, but AE2 is surely so comfortable that you need to try it on yourself to believe it.

Check out the full review on Normal Consumer. Thanks for reading!
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on January 1, 2014
I consider myself to be a bit more adventurous than the average listener but nowhere near an audiophile. Compared to a pair of say, sennheiser hd 280s, I'll say that the senns have a more "full" sound just due to the build of the can. The senns have thicker, bigger pads while these are a bit thinner(and as such the senns grip and I don't like wearing them for too long). As most of the reviews say and as I'll echo, these headphones are LIGHT. I wore these for an hour straight and didn't feel much strain; The comfort of these over ears is comparable to my in ears, which is saying quite a bit. These also have the convenient benefit of having a detachable cord; this helps in storing these for on the go without putting as much stress on the cord and more importantly should anything happen to the cord (chewed, cut, w/e) it can be replaced for less than 10 bucks.

As for the sound itself, I think they're great. it's nothing amazing but in my opinion these aren't quite built for these. If you want ear throbbing bass, get a pair of bigger headphones. For someone looking to get their first pair of over ears, and a good solid upgrade from the generic cheapo over ears like skull candys, sonys (though sony certainly has high end headphones of their own) or what have you, that will last forever if you take care of them, I highly recommend them if you can get them for a bit cheaper than retail.

Pros: Comfort
Detachable cord
Good sound
Light

Cons:
Sound could be a bit better for its price
Passive noise cancelling isn't as good due to it's build
Price. I got a used pair for 60. If you can get them for <75 I think it's a solid buy
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on May 25, 2014
I bought these to replace my Bose Triport-1. Just as everyone else has experienced, [old ones] the headband broke in several pieces. I really loved them . I thought these would be equally as good ,but I was wrong. I find these to be very uncomfortable and hot on the ears, after awhile, also I think they sound a little flat , {maybe neutral base and treble, wise} Just not the same listening and comfort of the old ones.

Updated review: I felt compelled to update my last review of my AE2 headphones. When I first received these, I was so disappointed with the sound Quality, as compared with my last Triport Tp-1's. these sounded really muffled and life-less. I wanted to like these, but no matter how long I tried listening to them, they disappointed. After awhile I just put them back in the bag and threw them back on the shelve. I chalked it up as a lesson learned and forgot them.

Fast forward two months ago ,I said what the hell, and tried them again. I MEAN, I COULDN'T BELIEVE WHAT I WAS LISTENING TO> THESE THINGS, JUST POPPED! I MEAN POPPED! Talk about a long burn-in ,yes {it does exist}. Sounds great now, and very comfortable as well, very lite on the ears. Moral of the story. IF you find yours don't sound right, give them a good burn-in period and see what happens. Unbelievable ,but true. A HAPPY PENNYPACKER
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on October 21, 2016
I've heard/read people complaining about Bose not being worth the price because you're just paying for the name. I've bought cheap headphones & headsets before. I've listened to other supposedly great headphones (Sennheiser, Turtle Beach, I shouldn't even mention those horrible rip-off Beats), the Sennheiser were good but I wouldn't say better. The rest were worse. Especially the Beats. Although these headphones don't have quite as powerful bass as some others do, they are so much more comfortable & so much better sounding overall, they are definitely worth it if you care at all about sound quality or listen for extended periods of time. I have had mine for over 2.5 years. They still sound as good as the day I got them, they are just as comfortable, they don't show any signs of wear, the ear cushions (they are around-ear headphones, so I use ear cushions loosely) still look & feel perfect. Most definitely worth the money. The only people I have found who say bad things about these are the people who are either too cheap to want to spend $100 on a damn good pair of headphones & claim you are only paying for the name or the people who need to justify spending $200-500 on their headphones & claim they are obviously better than the Bose, but I have found both statements to be inaccurate. Except for the true studio-grade stuff, these are nearly the best headphones you can get (without paying 3-5x more) and are definitely worth the money!
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on May 19, 2016
These are honestly fantastic.
The build quality is made to last 15 years.
In fact, I bought these from what looks like a good 5 years of use and they are holding up very well.
Only thing I'm unhappy about is the product description on the sellers part.
My item received was not in "Condition: Used - Very Good", it was defiantly along the lines of "fair" the padding and logo were very worn.
Still functional and worth the money I kept these suckers.
For $50 bucks I'm happy, but defiantly keep an eye on the used condition.
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on January 11, 2015
I bought these to listen to music on my desktop computer while i work. I listen on spotify (I am a paying subscriber -- I don't know if the sound quality differs for free vs paid but just stating that for the record).

These earphones are my first real investment into a better set. I picked this model because it fit my ears quite comfortably compared to the ATH-M50s. I can wear these all day indoors sitting at my computer and not feel any heat build up around my ears. The materials on this headset are plastic but this also helps keep the weight down and also adds to comfort factor. The ear cushions are so good that when I tried out the ATH-M50 on my head it felt really heavy and the ear cushions on the M50 were awful. They felt like a very cheap plastic with barely any cushion or plush feel.

After 7 months of use of the Bose AE2 (and purchasing the Fiio E11k portable amp) I found the ATH-M50 sound quality far superior than the bose AE2. The drivers in the ATH-M50 are really good and you can crank up the volume all you want the sound composition (its integrity) stays consistent. The sound becomes louder but still so crisp and clear. The Bose AE2 just feel so much more flat compared to the ATH-M50 and don't offer the same sound quality. The sound rendition on the bose ae2 feels very feeble and cheap. Some days i wonder if they bothered putting any decent technology in the AE2.

I'm now looking to the ATH-M50x for my next upgrade because the ear cushions are supposedly more comfortable. I just like the sound rendition on the ATH-M50 better thats all. But in terms of weight and comfort the bose ae2 are great. I even took them on an airplane and without even playing anything they make travelling in economy class an experience that is easier on your ears. You can cut out background chatter and baby noises. So I will keep this headset as a backup or spare.
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on March 5, 2014
OK - so I was really not sure about this purchase, but am REALLY glad I got these.

To give a little background - I started looking into higher end headphones about a year ago. After looking at every forum, review, and post known to man (or Google at least) I decided to go for the M50s. Seems like everyone agreed these were hands-down the best way to go.

I've had the M50s for a year now, and they are good but not very comfortable and I always felt something was missing from the music, like it wasn't as good as I expected it to sound. Hard to put my finger on what exactly...

Anyway, I started searching for "m50 portable alternatives" and of course all the audiophiles recommended headphones bigger, clunkier, and more expensive than the m50s. I then found these on sale at Amazon which peeked my interest. Of course every post on the internet comparing them to the m50s tells you that this are horrible, blah, blah, blah.

Well they arrived and I think they are amazing. I am not audiophile, but listen to music all the time and they are exactly what I was looking for - super light and comfortable (even people who say these have bad sound agree they are comfortable) and the sound was great- just enough bass and a nice crystal clean sound in general.

Now I assume if I was mixing tracks for a living I wouldn't use these and would notice all the small things audiophiles complain about, but for something to use to listen to HipHop, Indie, etc. on my way to and from work on the bus/train they are totally perfect.

The only reason I gave it the 4 stars is because it would be nice if they folded up a little bit more compact, but I was aware of this before I bought them.

Don't be dissuaded to buy these, especially if you are just looking to enjoy music on the go - they are awesome.
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on April 16, 2014
Do not miss out on this price. These headphones are magical. If you love music, these are the headphones for you. Dont waste your time with Beats or Souls or Sennheisers. Everything a true audiophile wants is right here. The sound is sensational. If you have an Apple device, go to your settings. Select Music. Select EQ. Select R&B. This does not mean the EQ is only set for R&B. It just means that all in all, the music will sound better. Also, turn off the sound check because these headphones can handle it by themselves. Btw the bass is perfect. Any more and it would drown out the music (like the Beats). Any less and you wouldnt get the sensation you want.
The comfort is exquisite. Luxury comes to mind. You wear these and it feels like a pillow. These are the most comfortable headphones I have ever had. I have tried Sennheiser HD 205, Sennheiser HD 202, Koss Pro DJ, some Audio-Technicas, some Beats, and some Sonys. The only one that comes close with comfort are the Sennheiser HD 202's but their sound quality is rubbish. (Hense the reason why they are $30)

There is one con. I like to keep them around my neck alll day. They fold flat one way and its the wrong way. If you fold them flat on your chest, you need to flip them around so the left ear is on my right side and vice versa. This is very very very picky but I believe it is good consumer advice.

Overall, an extraordinary buy.
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