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Product Review: Bose – SoundTrue Around-Ear Headphones

Product Review: Bose – SoundTrue Around-Ear Headphones
by Daniel Payne on 02-07-2015 at 7:00 am

My old headphones with microphone lost a channel, so it was time to upgrade and I went shopping for something that had high fidelity and fit over my ears, instead of on my ears. After some online research I opted for the Bose headphones, because that brand has been around for decades, they offer many models to choose from, and are readily found at nearby stores like BestBuy. The model I bought are called SoundTrue Around-Ear headphones.

Pros
Comfortable enough for all-day sessions, while keeping sounds outside to a minimum. Faithful sound.

Cons
Using the microphone to speak with around-ear headphones sounds very funny because your own voice is muffled, so if you do a lot of talking with apps like Skype then buy an on-ear headset instead.

Summary
At $179.00 these headphones live up to the Bose reputation for faithfully producing sound, without over-emphasizing the bass like so many other brands do these days.

Commentary
At my local BestBuy store in Tualatin, Oregon I listened to several brands of headphones:

  • Bose QuietComfort Acoustic Noise Canceling Headphones
  • Beats by Dr. Dre
  • Skullcandy
  • Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear

There certainly are dozens of makes and models to choose from when it comes to headphones, so a lot of it for me came down to several factors:

  • Color – I prefer white
  • Fit, comfort
  • Brand reputation
  • Sound fidelity – for classical music and movies on Netflix
  • Build, quality
  • Price – under $200
  • Features – microphone

I was quite used to on-ear headsets, which sound great when making Skype calls because you can hear your voice in a natural fashion. The headphones by Dr. Dre and Skullcandy were OK, but they seemed aimed to the youth market where the bass is pumped up, while the Bose just felt, sounded an looked right to my aesthetic taste. My Acura RL also has a Bose sound system, so I was probably already a loyal Bose fan when looking for headphones.

When I first placed the headphones on in the store I was impressed by how much of the ambient store sounds were instantly cut off, letting me really concentrate on listening to the demo tracks playing. There’s a volume control built-in to the cord, so I could easily adjust by clicking up or down. The Bose brand with noise canceling was high-tech and attractive to me, but I didn’t really need that feature in my office use. Once I got home and listened to classical music with a symphony orchestra I was impressed, because I could hear each of the instrument sections clearly playing, there were no muddled frequencies or exaggerated tones.

I’ve enjoyed listening with these headphones connected to my MacBook Pro, iPad and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 devices. I can hear all of the conversations and directional sounds from movies, each instrument in classical music, all while keeping sounds in the room blocked out. It’s a real immersive experience for me.

Making a Skype or VOIP phone call was a surprise to me with this over-ear unit, as all of a sudden my voice was now being muffled by the headset itself, so I don’t recommend trying to use any microphone app with these.

Bose does provide a padded carrying case and a detachable cable with this product. I know that my son has literally worn out his gaming headset before, and it didn’t have a detachable cable and that was the first thing to break for him, although it wasn’t the Bose brand. The cable is 66″ long, which is just the right size when I watch Netflix on my laptop or listen to music.

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