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70 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent headphones
Customer Video Review     Length:: 2:52 Mins
These are excellent headphones. I have used Bose QC1 and then QC2 headphones for more years than I can remember now and have loved them. However, there is a lot of competition now from other brands in this range, and I wondered whether Bose might be relying on their reputation because these are quite expensive for compact on-ear 'phones. I...
Published 4 months ago by Sid Nuncius

versus
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but a few niggles
These are the first headphones I've used in a while that aren't in-ear, so they took a bit of adjusting too.

So the good points:
1) They look great. I have had lots of compliments on them which is rare.
2) Sound quality pretty good
3) Surprisingly light yet sturdy

Now the not so good points:

1) The cable is obscenely long -...
Published 2 months ago by R. A. Mansfield


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but a few niggles, 18 Jun 2014
By 
R. A. Mansfield "bertieronbob" (Brighton) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These are the first headphones I've used in a while that aren't in-ear, so they took a bit of adjusting too.

So the good points:
1) They look great. I have had lots of compliments on them which is rare.
2) Sound quality pretty good
3) Surprisingly light yet sturdy

Now the not so good points:

1) The cable is obscenely long - I never thought I'd complain about that but it's true. Gets caught and looped around stuff
2) They make your ears sweaty after abt 45 mins use. Not nice
3) They leak sound in a way in-ears don't. I commute on a train so this can make me unpopular

So only average rating I'm afraid
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent headphones, 20 April 2014
By 
Sid Nuncius (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 2:52 Mins

These are excellent headphones. I have used Bose QC1 and then QC2 headphones for more years than I can remember now and have loved them. However, there is a lot of competition now from other brands in this range, and I wondered whether Bose might be relying on their reputation because these are quite expensive for compact on-ear 'phones. I was wrong - these are worth every penny. They are neat, light, compact and comfortable, and most importantly of all, have excellent sound.

The sound is the most important thing, so to begin with that: it is excellent. I am genuinely surprised that such small, light on-ear 'phones can produce such a full, rounded sound. It is excellently balanced with very bright treble, rich middles and a very solid bass, which really resonates when necessary. What I found striking was the sheer precision and clarity of what I was hearing, which was exceptional. I have a Test Playlist for audio equipment which starts with Tudor choral music, ends with London Grammar and covers most things in between. Everything sounds excellent; the bass response gives a theorbo and viola da gamba a real, resonant depth, string quartets are perfectly balanced, I'd say, rock sounds great and that sub-bass resonance in the second half of London Grammar's Hey Now really rolls around your head. I find them a joy to listen to.

I have worn these for several hours at a stretch and they're extremely comfortable. They may not grip hard enough for running, say, but they're fine for everyday use. They are very nicely packaged with an attractive storage pouch, they look stylish and the cord gives no friction noise whatever. It has a control switch and microphone for use with your phone but works perfectly well with an ordinary jack output from an mp3 player, computer etc.

The only tiny gripe I have is that the connecting cable is far too long for me. I'm 6 foot tall and with the headphones on the cable dangles on the floor, which means there's an awful lot of it when it's in normal use. However, that's a trivial complaint. These are top-quality headphones and I recommend them very warmly indeed.

(These are on-ear phones so they don't keep the world's noise out as much as over-ear ones, of course. If you prefer over-ear headphones, I find that Brainwavz HM9s deliver sound at least as good as, and possibly better than these for about half the price. They're much chunkier than these, but they are really, really good. Brainwavz HM9 Hi-Fi Noise Isolating Headphones .)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best by far set of Headphones I've ever owned., 19 Jun 2014
By 
Stephen Luff "Stephen L" (Worthing, Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear Headphones - Black (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Firstly it's lovely to find a big surprise with a set of headphones.

The big lovely surprise of these is how incredibly comfortable they are. I really can't emphasis this enough. I absolutely love these headphones for their comfort.

I use them for nearly all my headphone use, which is a lot of variations. Those being watching TV, carrying around in my rucksack for daily use, bedtime as well.

Being super light its great to see they didn't give them a really heavy case to put them in. Instead you get a very useful case that is light and thin allowing a few extra items to be included.

Once again it's great to see the headphone cable is separate. This means should you stand on the cable you are not at risk of stretching your cable. Instead the jack pops right out. It's a lovely feature of more expensive headphones.

The sound is gorgeous. I already had a great pair of headphones but these beat them in several areas. Firstly the weight, secondly the sound, thirdly the extreme comfort of the fit.

This might very well be the last pair of headphones you'll need to buy for quite a while.

Hope to add a video with this review soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bose SoundTrue On-Ear Stereo Headphone review by Dale, 17 Jun 2014
By 
Dale Thorn (Seal Beach CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Sources: iPhone5 with Portaphile Micro/PA2V2/Decware Zen Head amps using the LOD, various computers using Microstreamer/Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza DAC/amps.

Review note: My impressions of the Bose SoundTrue On-Ear (STOE) sound are based on direct comparisons to other headphones - v-moda M80 and M100, Beyerdynamic DT1350 and T51p, FAD Pandora IV and VI, and notes that I've accumulated from many prior reviews. I describe how I relate to the STOE (i.e. my personal taste and how I use the headphone) only after covering all of the objective issues.

I reviewed the white Bose OE2 (the previous version of the STOE) in March 2012, and I reviewed the black OE2i in November 2013, and so this update covers any possible changes to the physical design as well as my impressions of the sound, on the chance that it may have changed from the first sample I had. There is a change from the OE2/OE2i headphones to the new STOE headphone, and it isn't a change for the better. Note the EQ chart at the above link or on my dalethorn website under Photos and Audioforge. You can compare that chart to the chart for the OE2i that's on the same page to see what the differences are - they're very similar, but the new headphone's sound isn't improved from the prior version. I won't repeat the physical details from the original review, since that's still accessible from the various headphone sites. What did change was the choices of new colors, and I chose black this time.

The STOE's sound has significant colorations and a recessed treble, as can be seen in the Audioforge chart linked above or on my website. This review won't be a rehash of my prior reviews - the purpose here is to determine whether the STOE has the sound quality to compete with other on-ear headphones I have now or had recently, using the Audioforge equalizer, or whether it's unusable for critical listening. Conclusion: I can recommend the STOE for non-critical portable use, since the quality is OK for the price. To use at home for audiophile listening, a significant EQ is necessary to reduce the colorations and restore some of the recessed treble. The STOE's EQ'd sound is good in most respects for an average audiophile listen, but it won't resolve upper harmonic details like the better on-ear headphones, nor does the bass response have the clarity or details that I hear with those better-quality on-ear headphones. Here is a short list of the things that stand out to me with this third (and EQ'd) review of the small Bose on-ear headphone:

The sound quality (aside from the smoothed response) is essentially free of distortions and resonances, based on listening with my best amps and high-resolution music tracks.

The soundstage is spacious and airy, and the musicality is very good.

The comfort is excellent with the very soft earpads that don't pinch my ears, and the headband clamp is very light.

The thin, clingy rubber cable is far from ideal.

The portability is perfect insofar as having the ability to wear around the neck comfortably when not listening, plus the inclusion of a decent small carrycase for stowing in luggage or backpacks. The STOE's isolation is moderate - enough to be able to enjoy music in places that aren't extremely noisy, but not enough to get a sense of significant isolation. The moderate leakage is not likely to be a problem for fellow passengers on noisy public transports, but likely would be a problem in a quiet office or a public library.

In spite of the above criticisms, the EQ'd STOE is one of my favorite headphones, for home or portable use. In previous reviews I've included the following music samples with notes about how the headphone sounds with each track. My suggestion is instead of reading each one as an absolute unto itself, you could compare my notes here to other reviews and see how the STOE compares with each individual track. As noted above, all listening was done with the EQ settings shown in the above Audioforge link.

Animotion - Obsession (1980's New Wave/Techno): The upper bass synth has excellent detail and tone with a modest weight, and both male and female vocals sound natural without favoring either. The STOE plays this very well.

Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead (~1980): Strong midrange sound effects - this is a good worst-case test for resonant-type sounds in the most sensitive midrange area. Handled very well by the STOE.

Beethoven Symphony 9, Solti/CSO (1972): Excellent overall sound. Of special note here are the bass impacts beginning around 10:30 of the fourth movement. Those impacts are soft and well in the background, and you can just feel a little of the weight they carry with the STOE.

Black Sabbath - Iron Man (Classic Rock): Very good instrumental detail and the vocal sounds very natural. As with most classic rock tracks, there is very little or no deep bass. The STOE plays this music smoothly, and the lack of deep bass doesn't unbalance the treble.

Boz Scaggs - Lowdown (1976): Good sound quality - this is a great test for any nasality in the midrange. Handled extremely well by the STOE.

Cantus - Danny Boy (Traditional/Male Choral/Acapella): The STOE plays the voices with enough low end warmth and weight to sound very natural, yet there is no added emphasis of the lower register of the male voices on this track.

Cath Carroll - Moves Like You (1980's New Wave/Techno): This track's percussion and voice are crisp and well-balanced, and there's a good sense of space or soundstage around the voices and instruments. The STOE reproduces the space and detail very convincingly.

Catherine Wheel - Black Metallic (~1991): Goth with industrial overtones - I like this since it's a great music composition and the sound effects are smoothly integrated into the mix. This may sound distorted or mushy with some headphones, but the STOE renders the deliberate instrumental distortions clearly.

Chris Isaak - Wicked Game (Pop/Rock): The STOE plays this high treble energy recording very smoothly - the voice and instruments are detailed but not sharp or edgy.

Chromatics - I'm On Fire (Synth-Pop, female lead): This track has a good amount of space around the voice and instruments, making for a very pleasant stereo image. The voice is excellent, and the tambourine sound is as realistic as I've heard with any other headphone since doing these detailed reviews. Note that without EQ, the tambourine isn't even identifiable as such.

David Hazeltine - Fur Elise (Jazz): A very high-quality recording from HDTracks. The STOE reproduces the instruments smoothly with a spacious ambiance. The wire-brush-on-cymbal harmonics are very extended and detailed.

Grieg (Beecham-Royal Philharmonic) - Peer Gynt-Solveig's Lullaby (Classical): This very old (late 1950's) stereo recording must have been made on the most expensive gear in the world, since the overall sound quality and especially Ilse Hollweg's amazing voice are as close to "being there" as I've heard with some of the better classical recordings made since the year 2000. The STOE plays this music perfectly.

Hans Zimmer - Dark Knight-Aggressive Expansion (Soundtrack): The percussion in this track hits really hard, and the bass tones beginning around 0:45 *should* have the ultra-deep "shuddery" kind of sound and feel that indicates a good deep-bass response, but the STOE falls short on bass impact here. Still, the STOE plays this music pretty well overall.

Heaven 17 - Let Me Go (1980's New Wave/Techno): The bass instrument (guitar?) has very good detail, and the voices and ambiance have a "you are there" quality that's uncommon in early 1980's pop music. The STOE does an excellent job with this track.

Hugo Audiophile - 15-16 (Electronic): I'm not sure what the 15-16 stands for - perhaps track numbers from a CD album. The deep-bass tones that start around 33-34 seconds into the track reproduce very well with the STOE. This is a great recording for evaluating whether a headphone's bass will be sufficient for most environments, since for many headphones that have a weaker bass, the deep bass gets absorbed and mostly lost when the environment contains a lot of low-frequency energy.

Human League - Keep Feeling Fascination (1980's New Wave/Techno): This track's bass line is very detailed, but the somewhat forward voices don't have quite the "you are there" quality of the Heaven 17 track noted above. Still, the STOE makes this a good listen.

Jimmy Smith - Basin Street Blues (early 60's): This track has several loud crescendos of brass and other instruments that don't sound clean and musical with some headphones. The STOE provides excellent detail. Listen particularly to the second crescendo at 15 seconds in for maximum detail effect. I'd like to emphasize that these crescendos are probably the worst-case test I have for instrument separation and detail, and the STOE plays those extremely well.

Kellogg Auditorium, Battle Creek Michigan, Aeolian-Skinner Organ (1933) - Pedal, 32', Resultant, Arpeggio: This 16 hz organ pedal tone differs from other music tones in that you won't "hear" the tone - you'll only feel it. Although most music tones have harmonics (including this one), the harmonics from this tone will be too weak to provide any "feel", so whatever you actually hear would not be part of the fundamental 16 hz tone. There are ~30 hz sounds in the outdoor environment in big cities, generated by large trucks, buses, and subway trains, and they have a quality of "rumble" that's similar to some deep-bass tones found in music. This 16 hz organ tone is easily distinguished from those sounds when compared on a headphone that has good undistorted response at 16 hz. The STOE reproduces the fundamental tone with a light but appreciable weight.

Mantovani - Sunrise Sunset (Easy Listening, ca. 1972): A master musician and conductor who specialized in light classics and orchestral pop music, Mantovani's accomplishments were overshadowed by music critics who couldn't tolerate the notion of "light classics" or "semi-classical" music, even when those recordings were no threat to the classical music genres. In any case the later Mantovani recordings from the mid-1960's through mid-1970's had the advantage of being mixed for much better hi-fi systems than those which the music critics possessed at the start of the Long Playing (LP) record cycle. Here in 2014, at least some of those digital remasters have improved the sound further, although it's not always the case. This track as played on the STOE is an excellent example of the sheer musicality lurking in those later recordings, and is highly recommended for soundstage, instrumental tone, and musical balance.

Michael Tilson Thomas - Rhapsody In Blue (20th Century Classic): Great sound and soundstage, and terrific piano playing and tone. There are some very deep bass impacts starting around 38 seconds into the 17:24 length track, and the weight of those impacts is fairly subtle with the STOE.

Porcupine Tree - Trains (Pop-Rock): This track opens with some nicely-detailed string sounds and a forward-sounding male voice with a higher-than-average register. There are a series of "clip-clop" effects starting at 3:19 that should sound like they were made with wooden blocks of some kind. The STOE reproduces those sound effects very well.

Richard Strauss (Mester-Pasadena) - Also Sprach Zarathustra (opening) (Classical): The granddaddy of bass is in the opening 1:50 of this recording, and I've heard it only once on a large and expensive loudspeaker system in Cleveland. For most people, that experience would be indistinguishable from being in a fairly strong earthquake. The STOE provides an excellent musical experience overall, but the deep-bass impact is pretty light.

Scarlatti-Kipnis - Sonata in E Major K381 (Classical, Harpsichord): The harpsichord here is fairly bright and highly detailed, and the STOE renders the tones and transients perfectly.

Trombone Shorty - Backatown (Jazz-Funk): The deep bass impacts here are quite strong, and work very well with the horns and other instruments. The STOE delivers the impacts with good weight and detail, and the horns have the kind of bite that gives them a very realistic sound.

William Orbit - Optical Illusion (Billy Buttons Mix) (Electronic): This is about as close as I want to get to easy-listening music. The string tones beginning at 0:18 are fairly soft, and while the bass isn't very deep, it still adds a good underpinning to the music. The short poetic rap at 4:14, preceded by an etherial female voice, works very well with this track.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hands-free only compatible with Apple devices, 16 Aug 2014
By 
Sussman "Sussman" (London CA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Bose has added a bit of colour to its range with the SoundTrue OE headphones. Available in four modern designs, they are set to rival the latest Beats by Dre headphones on the fashion front. The Bose SoundTrue range includes two rather similar models with slightly dissimilar designs. These are the on-ear variant, whereas the SoundTrue AEs are over-ear. The sound quality of the former seems better, and they are also smaller and lighter too.

You get the feature of three-button in-line remote and microphone, so you can make hands-free phone calls and change the volume of your music; however, they are only fully compatible with Apple devices, and to lesser degree certain android phones, which is rather disappointing.

They sound great across all types of music genres, from jazz to pop, but particularly excel when listening to classical tracks. The spoken-word comes over as rather crisp and clear, so these headphones are excellent for listening to audio books and similar.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very light and comfortable; possibly a little bit expensive for 149; great interplay with my iPhone 5s, 5 May 2014
By 
JM (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear Headphones - Black (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
✨ The headphones are very light, surprisingly light! Almost unbelievably light. The sound is great.

🆒 You can wear these with the volume turned way up, without the sound bothering people around you. As in: they can be sitting next to you and they won't be disturbed (for example, if they are studying or sleeping).

⭐️ They are incredibly comfortable to wear; can easily have them on for hours on end without feeling it.

💷 Are they worth 149? Well put it this way - if you're on a very strict budget you can get better for less.

IMHO, they'd be perfect at 90. I've heard VModa headphones at about 100 that blew this away, but then again they were heavy, and attracted attention to you.

👓 Some perhaps disparagingly, call Bose headphones, "Fashion Headphones"[1]. I think the black ones are a bit bland. (I have the white ones as well, they look nicer)

👕 I think they're nice as a "wearable", almost an item of clothing. Their weight and comfort really matters.

* The sound is very good, but it's not as amazing as some by other perhaps more niche, brands.

✅ You can use in noisy environments - and block out a good deal of the "real world"

⬆️ They go very, very loud.

---

[1] John Siracusa on ATP show where they discussed Apple's acquisition of Beats. He was in conversation with Marco. I am reviewing the black headphones.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny., 4 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear Headphones - Black (Electronics)
I thought long and hard about my next set of headphones, did quite a bit of research and kept coming back to these. With Beats you get a brand chic and a very expensive product for the quality underneath, with Bose you get brand assurance and quality build for a competitive price. In a nutshell, if you want a very good set of over ear headphones which you can trust to be well built and sound good for less than 200 then these are for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love them, 14 April 2014
By 
SM (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
I have borrowed a friends pair of these and do not want to give them back!

They are comfortable to wear, and in terms of aesthetics look pretty cool. I like the fact that you can buy them in different colour combinations. The wire only comes off one ear, so it is not as easy as some headphones to get into one horrible tangled mess!

The sound.... It is fabulous. I have been trying these one variation of music to try and give them a really good testing, and they haven't failed in any area. The classical music I listened to was pure and crisp, and in the choral music the sopranos sounded almost as though they were in my living room. I also used them for some pop and rock music and the bass was strikingly good.

These headphones are excellent all round.

Recommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Look great, sound great, 14 April 2014
I got the white ones with the blue cable. The design is very modern and they are extremely comfortable to wear as they are light. I dithered over getting the QC15 ones with noise cancelling but decided not to pay the extra 120. Haven't tested on a plane yet but did wear while moving the lawn and could hear the music fine.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 22 May 2014
By 
A customer (Asturias) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear Headphones - Black (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I can honestly say that these headphones are the best I have ever used in my life.
There are so well made and stylish that stand out form the rest.
The are designed to deliver clear, natural acustic sound and they deliver just that.
The padding around the ear is made of memory foam, so you can use them for as long as you need to, and they will never be uncomfortable.
The lead attaches and detaches from one side only, and that avoids tangles with the lead.
They also have some superb noise cancellation properties.
It comes with a nice storage box to keep them in good condition.
I totally recommend these headphones to music lover, ipod and iphone users.
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