6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True review of the SoundTrue
Short Attention Span summary : light, comfortable, high quality sound. On-ear design means mediocre noise isolation.
The Bose Soundtrue On-Ear Headphones come in a small and very light box, a sign of one the best plus-points for this model : comfort. They don't strike me as being long-term-durable but only time will tell; in fairness it must be impossible to...
Published 12 months ago by O E J
18 of 23 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 10 months ago by R. A. Mansfield
Most Helpful First | Newest First
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True review of the SoundTrue,
Short Attention Span summary : light, comfortable, high quality sound. On-ear design means mediocre noise isolation.
The Bose Soundtrue On-Ear Headphones come in a small and very light box, a sign of one the best plus-points for this model : comfort. They don't strike me as being long-term-durable but only time will tell; in fairness it must be impossible to create a very light pair of headphones that can also stand up to the rigours of accidents and general everyday use but like most people, I guess, I would choose lightness and comfort as a greater priority.
I'm fortunate enough to have two other pairs of headphones with which the Bose SoundTrue can be usefully compared - the similarly priced Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear, and the Klipsch Image One (Mark 1). Accordingly I have spent some time listening to a variety of music and doing A/B/C comparisons. I should add that the Klipsch Image One (Mark 1) used to carry a similar price tag to the Bose and Sennheiser but since the introduction of the Mark 2, the price has plummeted - but they more than stand their ground against the other two. In short, these are three similar quality headphones that are hard to tell apart.
But there is a pecking order. It's a fine line, but it's there.
In the end, it's the company that specialises in headphones - Sennheiser - that takes the honours here, but the Bose SoundTrue is a very close second, and it's better in sound isolation and comfort.
I started things off with Imelda May's Pulling the Rug from her album Mayhem. First impressions with the Bose 'phones was a very slightly back-from-front soundstage, as if the singer's voice was almost playing second fiddle to the many musical intruments being played. The voice wasn't right up there at the front as much as I wanted it to be. Switching to the title track Mayhem, this impression was retained, if slightly less so. A killer impression - always a big give-away - was my desire to switch to one of the other two 'phones, rather than to keep listening. With the Klipsch Image Ones, the overall vocal/music balance immediately felt better sorted, making Imelda May's voice the main focal point as it should be. The bass was a little punchier, but only slightly. One thought that wouldn't go away was that the Klipsch currently (April 2014) cost about £100 less, and I can imagine a lot of people preferring their sound.
Next, the Sennheiser Momentums, and although they're not great in the external sound isolation department, the first impression - still listening to Imelda May - was that 'this sounds right'. Whereas the Klipsch could be accused of being slightly over-blown, this is a criticism that won't be made of the Sennheisers. Sound stage, presence, balance - it's all there, in ways the Bose can't quite match.
Changing to Goodnight Moon by Shivaree (from the album "I Oughtta Give You a Shot in the Head") I started off with the Sennheisers - already earmarked as my favourite of this trio - and I noticed a slight desire for more bottom-end oomph. Very slight, though. Everything else was there still, a nice ethereal audio atmosphere with superb spatial dimension. Replaying the same track in full using the Bose SoundTrue, immediately it felt as if something was missing - that sense of immediacy, that involvement with the singer. Still very good, but not THAT good. It's tempting to say that it felt slightly ordinary, but these phones are better than that; it's simply a case of being compared with a better product. Changing to the Klipsch Image Ones, Goodnight Moon sounded fuller, heavier (in a good way) and I found myself nodding my head to the track - something I wasn't doing with the Bose. Again, I kept thinking what fantastic value the Image Ones are.
Neil Diamond next - Pretty Amazing Grace, from his album "Home Before Dark". Kicked off with the Klipsch, and soon found myself thinking that the other two will have to do something special to beat this. The harmonies were all there, the breadth of frequency fullsome and seemingly uncoloured. This was an excellent match-up. I changed mid-track to the Bose SoundTrue - very cultured, very classy, but lacking something almost indefinable. Hard to put a finger on it, but it just wasn't quite as special. I was beginning to wonder if their strong point - light weight and comfort - was also an Achilles heel; getting that sonic fulsomeness is just that much harder to attain with lighter materials. I'm talking fine margins, mind you. Then I continued the Amazing Grace track with the Momentums, and by now I was expecting the best experience of the three. It didn't turn out that way though; I found myself 'remembering' how this song felt when using the Klipsch Image Ones, even though I reckon that in terms of colouration, the Momentums are better. For tonal accuracy, the Sennheiser takes first place, but sometimes inaccuracies can be preferable, oddly enough.
Finally I tried this trio with "Frank", the first album by the late, great Amy Winehouse, and the first phones used were the Sennheisers. The final track Amy Amy Amy offers the chance to find out how these phones deliver in the low-end department, and on brass. The impression was surprisingly mediocre, and underlined my earlier thoughts that the Momentums aren't really that hot in the bass department, notwithstanding their superior accuracy. Changing to the Klipsch confirmed it - for weight and power, it's the Image Ones for me. And so to the Bose SoundTrue; by now I was appreciating their comfort and there was no question that these were the ones I would choose for an extended listening period, something I have never enjoyed with the Klipsch. The Bose handled the Amy Winehouse track very well, and if anything might be the preference. It's hard to draw any conclusions from this, but overall I have to say that the Bose Soundtrue are the most comfortable and convenient, the Sennheiser the most accurate, and the Klipsch the most fun.
Other albums tried included Flamingo by Brandon Flowers, 21 by Adele, The Last Ship by Sting and a single called Titanium by David Guetta featuring Sia.
If I had to choose one pair only, I would go for the Sennheiser Momentum. It's more versatile than the Bose SoundTrue, but it's not as good in terms of outside noise isolation. If comfort and convenience are priorities, the Bose takes the top place on this podium. Once again though, if you're in the market for a pair of headphones with a budget up to £150, you must, must consider the Klipsch Image Ones - even the obsolete model - because they are unbeatable value for money.
Other headphones used : Skullcandy Navigator On-Ear Headphones with Mic - Black - good but not in the same league as the Bose SoundTrue. Good value at one-third of the price however
Devices used : Kindle Fire / Apple iPad / Apple iPod Nano / Sony Vaio laptop
Klipsch Image One On-Ear Headphones with 3-Button Mic for iPhone/iPod - Black / Silver / Leather
Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear Headphones - Black
I Oughtta Give You A Shot In The Head For Making Me Live In This Dump
Home Before Dark
The Last Ship [Amazon Exclusive Super Deluxe Edition]
Nothing But The Beat
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love them!,
This review is from: Bose ® SoundTrue On-Ear Headphones - Purple/Mint (Electronics)
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bose has added a bit of colour to its range,
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.
34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent headphones,
This review is from: Bose ® SoundTrue On-Ear Headphones - White (Electronics)
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 .)
4.0 out of 5 stars Bose SoundTrue On-Ear Stereo Headphone review by Dale,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbeatable quality,
This review is from: Bose ® SoundTrue On-Ear Headphones - White (Electronics)
If I`d been asked a year ago if expensive audio equipment was worth the outlay, I`d have definitively said no. However, having had Sennheiser earphones for my ipod, and now these - I can categorically say that you`re closer than ever to hearing music as it should be heard. I didn`t expect the difference to be so stark, especially when compared to those earphones provided by Apple. These are very comfy too, and work as noise-cancelling headphones - enhancing the purity of the listening experience. The left side cord has the controls - volume, pause, go back a song/ skip a song - which is convenient and particularly useful for me as I had a defunct ipod, one without any controls on it - now I can use it again. I`ve been so impressed, I have since wildly exceeded my budget and bought a Bose stereo too. There`s no doubt that you get what you pay for, even if it is a bit scary to the casual listener.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very comfortable.,
These headphones really score on comfort. They are around ear and very light. The sound is good, clear and well dispersed. Sound wise they are not as good as my on ear Sennheisser Momentums which have been my favourites for over a year. However these are much more comfortable than the Momentums. I use an amplifier (the Fii0 E12) to boost volume with my IPOD Classic (the Bose headphones play music quieter than the Momentums). When connected directly to the IPOD Classic the remote does control the volume. Even though the sound isn't as good as the Momentums, these are currently my headphones of choice due to the amazing comfort. I just don't feel these Bose headphones on my head. Very important when you spend as long as I do listening to music. Inevitably ears do get warm when any physical activity takes place (in my case gardening) but these are not designed for that.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great headphones,
These headphones are the best headphones I have ever used. They are light and comfy, far more on both counts than any other headphones I've had and I've had a few different kinds from different manufacturers. You can wear them for hours and it barely feels like you are wearing anything at all.
I don't know a great deal about sound. If you asked me about treble and mid and high lows I would have no idea what you were talking about to my ears these sound great. I don't think it will be anything that will necessarily blow you away but it produces a natural and even sound which is really the way that the music is meant to be heart rather than the the manufactured sound of other headphones, like the bass-heavy Beats by Dr Dre which I have had and never liked the sound of.
Overall these headphones are really good and you'll be unlikely to be disappointed.
My pair are the plain black around-ear model.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars better than my AKG K240 Monitors and far lighter and ...,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Fully justified the hefty price tag, The sound quality is superb, better than my AKG K240 Monitors and far lighter and more comfortable for prolonged wearing. The fact that they fold and stow in a neat zip pouch is a bonus. Can't recommend them too highly!
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent around-ear headphone,
I tested a few different headphones in the same price range but settled on these partly because of the detachable audio cable and the fact that they were so comfortable. The sound from them is pretty decent, but only for their price range. The audio cable is the perfect length if you’re planning to use them with a laptop, but it’s a bit long if you’re using them solely with an MP3 player. My only real gripe is that the headphones are too focused on compatibility with Apple products. If, when using my laptop, I make the mistake of trying to pause anything – Spotify for example – using the central button on the inline remote iTunes suddenly starts up. That’s definitely a pretty stupid function that I didn’t want or need.
Most Helpful First | Newest First