I have spent the last 2 years trying to find the perfect ear bud commuting headphones with an iPhone mic and was excited to try out the Bose. As I write this review I am comparing with my other two pairs of headphones:
(1) RHA MA600i
- major quality problems as had 4 replacements in 6 months due to mic interference, they don't stay in ears when walking with any of the supplied tips, they do offer reasonable sound and good isolation though;
(2) Sennheiser MM70i
- Great sound but has an annoying round the back of the head cable arrangement and the cable is about 5cm too short to have the phone in your pocket whilst walking without it tugging a little. Good isolation and they stay in my ears though.
So how does the Bose compare?
As you would expect/assume the sound quality is great when in a quiet environment. However there is no sound isolation so ambient noise is still very evident. Whilst on the train to work I could hear the train air conditioning fan and people talking near me. I could even hear the sound leakage from the headphones used by the person sitting next to me.
There is also sound leakage from these Bose headphones that is not evident on the other two pairs. This makes me slightly self conscious wearing the earphones in the office.
The 'stay hear' headphone clips on the Bose are by far the best clips for keeping the earphones in position that I have used. Even whilst walking and presumably the gym. I say presumably because I wouldn't wear them to the gym because the lack of sound isolation means I wouldn't be able to drown out the gym's own speakers. The clips are very comfortable and I can wear the headphones for many many hours with no discomfort (unlike the RHAs which make my ears itch!). I had to experiment a bit with the positioning as they sound a tiny bit weak on the bass but I am no audiophile so it may just be me.
Other minor points:
* The carry case is twice the size it needs to be and easily the largest of the three cases I now own
* The 'fun' colour scheme of blue, white and red is awful looking to my 40 something eyes!
So in conclusion, I am still looking for the perfect commuting headphones and have gone back to the Sennheisers for travelling to work. However, sitting in a quiet room and relaxing to some great music the Bose are now my number 1 choice of ear phones.