Which Bose headphones are best?
One of the top companies in audio equipment, Bose makes some of the most popular headphones in the world. They come in several styles, but one thing is constant: their premium sound quality. If you’re in the market for a new pair, there are several things you’ll want to keep in mind, including what kind to buy and what features to look out for.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 easily stand out as their best offering for those looking to block out the outside world and truly immerse themselves in the listening experience.
What to know before you buy Bose headphones
Over-the-ear headphones vs. earbuds
Over-the-ear headphones generally offer the best sound quality. This is partially due to their size, which allows them to accommodate large drivers for better bass and consistent performance across the entire audible spectrum, and partially due to the more spacious soundstage. Also, a big factor in audio quality is the seal created between the headphones and your ears. With over-the-ear headphones, you’re almost always guaranteed a perfect seal, no matter the anatomy of your ear.
The biggest downside to over-the-ear headphones is their size. They’re large and can sometimes feel bulky on the head. Some may find them overly heavy too. This may be fine for sitting at your desk working but can be problematic for exercising.
Earbuds are small and convenient devices that are easy to use anywhere. The majority are designed to fit inside your ear canal, which means the anatomy of your ear will affect how well they create a seal. If you get a perfect seal, you can expect great audio quality from Bose earbuds with rich sound and an impressive amount of bass. However, if they don’t fit your ear correctly, the audio quality won’t be as good.
Bose also makes a pair of open earbuds that allow you to hear your music and your surroundings at the same time. They don’t offer quite the same amount of bass as earbuds that fit inside your ear canal but are ideal for those who want to stay aware of what’s happening around them.
Before buying any pair of headphones, determine how you’ll be using them most often because this will play a determining factor in which type you should buy. Most people find earbuds to be the best choice for exercising, walking around town and similar activities. Headphones are ideal for use while sitting at a desk and working or studying, playing games or watching media and traveling on planes and other public transport.
Depending on what you prefer, you can buy Bose headphones that are wired or wireless. Wireless models are convenient to move around with and connect to audio sources via Bluetooth. However, if you struggle to remember to charge your devices, you may be best served by a wired model. It’s worth noting that when it comes to earbuds, wireless models are harder to keep track of and can be easily lost.
Features to look for in Bose headphones
Active noise cancellation
Bose is known for having some of the best active noise-canceling technology in its headphones. If you want to block out background sounds that may interfere with your listening experience, choosing a model with ANC is the way to go.
If you want the ability to use your headphones for hands-free calling when they’re connected to your phone, you’ll need to buy a pair equipped with a microphone. For the best call quality, look for a pair with a noise-rejecting microphone that will allow you to talk in loud or windy environments without picking up all the ambient sounds.
If you choose a model with a microphone, it may also support popular voice assistants like Bixby, Google Assistant and Alexa. This lets you control your music, ask for navigation or weather information and more without having to reach for your phone.
Wireless models rely on battery power, and they all run out of juice at some point. If you know you’ll be listening to your headphones a lot between charging sessions, choose a pair with long battery life. Some models also feature a quick-charge function that allows you to get a couple of extra hours of usage after just a 15-minute charge.
How much can you expect to spend on Bose headphones?
The most affordable Bose headphones start at about $100 for a pair of wired earbuds. Their over-the-ear headphones and truly wireless earbuds start around $150 and can cost up to $400.
Bose headphones FAQ
Do wired headphones offer better sound quality?
A. Wired headphones can theoretically provide better sound quality than wireless models. This is because analog signals can handle more data than Bluetooth signals, which means the audio won’t have to go through as much processing. In real-life usage, the average person won’t be able to tell the difference, so unless you’re a serious audiophile, you can choose whichever kind you find most convenient.
Are Bose headphones worth the money?
A. Without a doubt, anyone who cares about sound quality will find Bose headphones to be worth the money. The company has a long history of getting impressive sound from small speakers, and the build quality of their products matches that of the sound.
What are the best Bose headphones to buy?
Top Bose headphones
What you need to know: Offering some of the best ANC of any headphones on the market, the Bose 700 are made for travelers and anyone else who wants to completely block out the outside world.
What you’ll love: They feature a classy, modern look, intuitive and responsive touch controls and crisp detailed sound that will put most other headphones to shame.
What you should consider: Their earcups and headband may feel a little too small for some.
Top Bose headphones for the money
What you need to know: Those looking for an affordable way to enjoy the touted sound quality of Bose while exercising and who don’t want to have to worry about losing a pair of truly wireless earbuds can turn to the Bose SoundSport.
What you’ll love: The sweatproof construction ensures they won’t be damaged no matter how intense your workouts, and the company’s StayHear tips do a great job of keeping them in place.
What you should consider: Access to the USB charging port is awkward.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: A staple device in many frequent flyer’s travel bags, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II are known for their exceptional comfort and top-of-the-line noise-canceling ability.
What you’ll love: You can personalize their sound via the Bose Connect app and they support verbal control via popular voice assistants. Plus, they offer an impressive 40 hours of battery life when ANC is turned off.
What you should consider: The microphone quality is lackluster.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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