Bose has built quite the reputation for its entire audio line, so it's no surprise that the company's portable headphones, the On-Ear, have a tidy little following. These cushy, earpad-style cans distinguish themselves from their brethren by removing Bose's signature noise-canceling functionality in favor of offering a slightly deflated price tag. But don't fret: the On-Ear headphones still present a sleek design that's understated and compact without feeling flimsy. It's no wonder the Bose name springs easily to the lips whenever headphones are mentioned, and why plenty of competitors want a piece of that … Read more
Last year, we reviewed the Audio-Technica QuietPoint ATH-ANC7 noise-canceling headphones, and editor Jasmine France thought they were a good value, offering decent, but not great, sound for the money. Well, when we heard that Audio-Technica was releasing a new, improved version of these headphones with a "b" tacked on to the model name, we were eager to get our hands on a pair.
What exactly has the company improved? According to the news release, these 'phones are supposed to sound better, offer a more comfortable fit (the earcups have been redesigned), and deliver some additional design tweaks, including … Read more
Believe it or not, iPod speakers were once rare objects--and Bose's SoundDock was one of the first to hit the market back in 2004. Since then, the company has followed up with the SoundDock II ($299) and the SoundDock Portable ($399), even as the iPod speaker category has become completely commoditized (nowadays, there are plenty of sub-$100 clock radios with built-in iPod docks). For the 2009-2010 buying season, Bose has gone back to the drawing board and produced the SoundDock 10.
Bose says it worked for several years on this new speaker system for the iPod and iPhone, … Read more
In designing its fourth-generation consumer noise-canceling headphones, the QuietComfort 15s, Bose has done something interesting. Instead of coming up with a whole new look for its headphones as it did with the QuietComfort 3s, Bose has left the basic design of its popular QuietComfort 2s intact and simply redesigned them on the inside, adding even more effective noise-canceling circuitry and improving their sound quality.
The QuietComfort 15s look identical to the QuietComfort 2s, with the same over-the-ear design, including earcups that swivel and fold flat to fit in a stylish case. (To be clear: the QC15s replace the QC2s, which … Read more
If you've flown on a commercial airline since 2000, you've probably seen people wearing Bose QuietComfort headphones. They're expensive and large, and I don't like them.
Their noise-cancellation circuitry actually generates noise of its own, and my ears are good enough to hear it as long as I'm not seated too near the engines.
I started wearing earplugs on airplanes in the 1980s when I discovered the squishy memory-foam type. They block noise better than headphones ever could, and they don't make any noise themselves.
But when I bought my first iPod, that strategy didn't seem quite so perfect anymore. The ear-bud headphones that came with the iPod never fit me at all; they just fell out. After some experimentation with small folding travel headphones, I decided I was happiest with in-ear headphones. They gave me most of the noise reduction of the foam earplugs along with the ability to listen to music.
The problem with in-ear headphones is finding a model that fits me. I gather that this is a common problem with this type of product. I went through several low- and mid-priced models before settling on the old Apple In-Ear headphones--they just worked the best for me. (Interestingly, I had the same experience as CNET's Steve Guttenberg when he reviewed them: they only fit well when inserted upside-down.)… Read more
If you were thinking that the next pair of Bose noise-canceling headphones would be called the QuietComfort 4s, you'd be wrong. Instead, Bose has decided to go with with QuietComfort 15, though they're technically Bose's fourth pair of consumer noise-canceling headphones to hit the market.
Why the jump in number? Well, it appears that even though the QC15 headphones share the same design as the QC2s, which they will replace, Bose really wanted to set them apart from earlier models, declaring that they offer the best noise-canceling and sound quality of any QuietComfort headphones to date. The … Read more
Q: I have been digging through the CNET Web site for a perfect set of on-ear or over-the-ear headphones for listening to music on the subway--but I just can't find a pair that fits all my needs. I'm not an audiophile, but I do need the headphones to be comfortable for extending listening, durable (head band that won't snap easily), and portable (not too bulky). Since I am using them on the subway, it'd be great if they offer some kind of noise cancellation (passive or active, whichever). And I'm a student, so I'm … Read more
The digital music revolution has made is easy to amass hundreds of hours of tunes on your computer, but it's not always as painless to listen to your collection away from your PC. Bose's newly announced SoundLink Wireless Music System (coming August 27) is focused on solving that problem as simply as possible; just plug a USB dongle into your computer, and it promises to stream your digital music collection and streaming audio services (like Pandora or Internet radio stations) to the included speaker. Even better, the speaker has a built-in, lithium ion rechargeable battery, making it easy … Read more
Q: Recently I have been considering a new pair of headphones because I am getting quite tired of the standard Apple earphones that the iPods come with. I have three products in mind, and I am having trouble deciding which one is the best choice. They include the Bose QuietComfort 3, the Beats by Dr. Dre, and the Shure SE530. As you can tell, they aren't the cheapest ones out there, but price at this point really isn't an issue. Which one out of the three is the most comfortable, has the best audio quality, and is the … Read more