How we pick our products
Today’s headset market is saturated with an endless number of brands and models. You can buy a pair of headphones anywhere, even in supermarkets. You may have wondered at some point if it is worth investing money in premium or high-end headphones, as they can often be very expensive.
In this guide, we want to talk a little about one of the most famous and well-known brands in the headphone market. They are not only famous for their high price but also their exceptionally high quality. We are of course talking about the manufacturer Bose. From this brand, there are many different models, all with different uses and advantages. We have developed a guide to help you make a decision on which model is best suited to you if you are thinking of buying a set of Bose headphones.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best Bose headphones on the U.S. market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about Bose headphones
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- Headphones have become one of those essential devices for students, business people and musicians alike. They are very useful for work or travel, whether on public transportation or in an airplane. Few pleasures in life are more entertaining than spending time listening to a playlist or watching your favorite series or movie.
- Bose headphones are products that you cannot compare to any other conventional model or brand. If you choose to buy Bose, it is because you want the best sound, design, comfort, quality, and durability.
- There are a few important aspects to consider when choosing a Bose headset that will determine the model. Aspects such as the design and price, battery life, accessories, connectivity and whether they include noise cancellation are just some of the aspects that you should assess.
Ranking: The best Bose headphones on the U.S. market
It is becoming more and more popular to buy products online from various online retailers that exist. Not only is it easier in terms of convenience, but also for the great deals you can find online. This is even more so when it comes to technological devices. Therefore, the below section presents a ranking of 5 models of Bose headphones most popular and sold on the online market. Take a close look at this list to see if there is a product that suits you.
No. 1: Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
In the number one spot on our ranking is these high-end wireless Bose over-ear headphones, with noise cancellation. With these headphones, you will be able to enjoy your favorite music without any interruption or outside noise that bothers you. As with all Bose products, they have a well-balanced sound with clear acoustics and powerful bass.
These headphones can be connected very quickly via Bluetooth to any device so that you don’t waste time fiddling around. The materials are extremely light, which makes them very comfortable to wear for hours without feeling tired or pain around the ears. The new and improved battery lasts up to 20 hours, so you can listen to music for even longer. We think that the value for money in these headphones is far greater than the majority of its competitors.
No. 2: Bose QuietComfort 20
The Bose QuietComfort 25 headphones are engineered to sound better, be more comfortable on your head and easier to take with you anywhere you need to go. These innovative headphones are lightweight with pillow-like softness on the headband and ear cushions for maximum comfort. The earcups easily rotate to fit any sized head.
Advanced noise reduction technology cuts out airplane cabin noise, busy traffic or a noisy office. With the QuietComfort 25 headphones, you can focus more on music, movies, and videos rather than outside distractions. As the earcups pivot and fold flat into a compact case that’s lightweight yet rugged, you can easily take the headphones traveling anywhere.
No. 3: Bose SoundLink II
These headphones, although they do not offer sound cancellation, provide a good level of noise isolation and at the same time a strong and clear sound quality. The SoundLink model is one of the most popular Bose models due to their excellent value for money.
The Bluetooth connectivity of the SoundLink headphones is reliable and they also allow you to connect to two different devices at the same time. To switch between the two devices, all you have to do is press a single button. The lightweight materials make them ultra-comfortable and this model has a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 16 hours. The final cherry on the top is these headphones come with a nice case for transporting them anywhere.
No. 4: Bose SoundSport
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The Bose SoundSports headphones are designed to be used for any type of sport, whilst providing exceptional sound quality. They are wireless headphones that ensure you continue to have full freedom of movement while doing your favorite physical activities. When you buy these headphones they come with 3 sets of covers to adjust them to your ear canal size.
The SoundSports model is also resistant to sweat and rain, and with the Bose Connect application, you can search for your headphones around the house if you can’t find them. If there is any negative to these headphones, it is that they are quite expensive.
No. 5: Bose Quietcontrol 30 Wireless Headphones
The Bose Quietcontrol 30 Wireless headphones are the latest in-ear headphones from Bose. These headphones feature the very best noise-canceling technology so that you don’t hear any outside noises when listening to your favorite music or watching Netflix. As these headphones are wireless, it is so much easier to perform everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning or doing exercise whilst listening to the highest quality sound.
These Bose headphones feature a noise rejecting dual microphone system that helps reduce the noise around you to deliver clearer calls. The rechargeable Lithium-ion battery lets you enjoy up to 10 hours of wireless listening per charge. These are a fantastic pair of wireless in-ear headphones that you would be very happy with for many years.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about Bose headphones
Buying headphones is not an easy task and deciding on a specific model can be much more complicated. There are so many brands, types, models and prices on the market that it can be incredibly overwhelming. Much of the decision process will depend on the use you are planning for your headphones, as there will be some models more suited to certain activities than others. In the following section, we will elaborate further on many of the different Bose headphone models to help you narrow down your search.
How did Bose start?
The Bose company was founded more than 50 years ago, in 1964 to be exact, by Amar G. Bose. He was a young man who was obsessed with electronic goods who enjoyed taking them apart, repairing them and discovering how they worked. He often dreamed of one day inventing his own line of electronic goods.
Amar studied at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in Boston and after graduating from university he decided to reward himself by buying a sound device. He chose a product that had the best sound specifications and latest technology, but to his surprise, when playing music through the device, the sound quality was very disappointing.
It was this experience, according to Amar himself, that led him to contemplate endlessly how a device with the best specifications on the market could produce a sound that was so bad. As a result, he decided to carry out a number of investigations that ended up leading him to the design and manufacture of his first loudspeakers. From this point on, Amar dedicated his personal and professional life to what we now know today as Bose.
What makes Bose headphones different from other headphones?
While other headphone brands often advertise the benefits of strong bass, Bose maintains throughout its history, the importance of providing a balanced and immersive sound, rather than simply strong bass. When talking about Bose, we’re not just talking about any brand dedicated to sound, we are talking about one of the most recognized and best brands in the world.
If you already own a set of Bose headphones, or if you have tried to listen to music on one of these devices at some point, you will clearly understand why this brand has such a high reputation. There are some aspects that may be debatable between the different headphone brands, such as the price, comfort or design, but what is impossible to argue, is the best sound quality comes from Bose headphones.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of Bose headphones?
If there is one thing that you can be sure of, it is that buying Bose headphones will have a lot of advantages. However, despite the exceptionally high sound quality, there are some drawbacks to be aware of. The following table elaborates on the advantages and disadvantages of Bose headphones further.
|They offer a very high sound quality, as well as a balanced sound experience.||The high price is often the main obstacle when wanting to buy a pair of Bose headphones.|
|There are several Bose models available, each with a different purpose or specific to a particular use||If the design of headphones is very important to you, keep in mind that Bose is characterized by discreet, minimalist designs. This may or may not be a disadvantage to some people.|
|The Bose brand has a strong history that makes them trustworthy to provide high-quality devices.||The battery life does not last as long as some of its main competitors.|
Are Bose headphones worth the investment?
We would say that if you’ve made it this far and are considering Bose, it is because you appreciate that the look and feel of all headphones is important but most important is the quality of sound produced. If you are someone who appreciates an immersive sound experience, balanced and high-quality sound, then the answer is yes, Bose headphones are worth the investment!
What types of Bose headphones are available on the market?
You can find many types of headphones on the market, but the main division between the different models is whether they are “on-ear”, “in-ear” or “over-ear” headphones. This is the starting point for the classification of Bose headphones, and within each of these three categories there are multiple models as explained below:
|“On-ear” headphones|| Placed over your ears without completely covering them.
They do not completely isolate or seal the outside sound.
Someone close to you can hear what you’re listening to.
Offers a “natural” sound
|Bose on-ear headphones range|
|“In-ear” headphones|| They are placed inside your ears sealing your ear canal.
Provide excellent noise cancellation.
Very portable and light
| QuietComfort 20
|“Over-ear” headphones|| Cover your entire ear.
Large in size
Usually feature noise cancellation technology.
They can be a bit heavy.
Offer the best sound quality but are the most expensive.
| QuietComfort 35 II
|Wired|| Use cable with Minijack input 3.5 mm, or 6.5 mm for more professional headphones or Lightning input for Apple devices.
Not very comfortable to use for sports such as running, cycling or in the gym.
Usually more affordable
*Note* Some of Bose’s wireless models include an AUX cable with 3.5 mm Minijack input or Lightning so you can use them with cable as well.
|Wireless|| Use Bluetooth technology to connect to the device.
Practical to use anywhere
Can use other technologies such as radiofrequency or infrared for connectivity.
They must be charged as without battery the Bluetooth will not work.
| QuietComfort 35 II
We recommend that you pay close attention to this section as we will focus on the aspects and criteria that you should take into consideration before purchasing a Bose headset. By following this criterion, you will be able to make a great decision by selecting the model that suits you best according to your needs and intended use.
We hope that the following criteria will be valuable to you:
- Sound quality
- Intended use
- Battery life
- Integrated Functions
The sound quality is somewhat subjective because although the devices have impressive specifications, some models sound better than others. The best way to check the quality is to test the headphones yourself. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, especially if you are buying online.
However, there are certain parameters that can give you an indication of the sound quality such as the frequency, impedance, and sensitivity. In terms of the frequency (measured in hertz (Hz)), the headphones should have the functionality to produce sound in a range of 20 Hz (the lowest frequency the human ear can hear) to 20,000 Hz (the highest frequency).
The impedance, measured in ohms, determines the interference that may exist and the level of power required to operate the headphones. What you should pay attention to is that the lower the impedance characteristics of the headphones, the higher the volume your headphones will reach. Normally, headphones have an impedance between 16 and 32 ohms.
The sensitivity of headphones, measured in decibels (dB), will determine the volume that the headphones can reach. We recommend you choose a pair of Bose headphones with a range that is between 90 and 110 dB, beyond this level you can damage your ears.
The intended use of the headphones will greatly influence the type of headphones that suit you best. If you want to use them when playing sports with a lot of movement, we recommend wireless models, preferably in-ear. These will be the most comfortable and will not impede you during physical activities such as running, cycling or rock climbing.
Wireless headphones connect via Bluetooth technology. What changes is the version of Bluetooth built-in, the latest being version 5.1, which was introduced in January 2019. It is very common to find devices with Bluetooth version 5.0. Each new version of Bluetooth improves the connection speed, range or ability to connect more devices.
On the other hand, traditional headphones with a cable use a 3.5mm minijack input, this being the most common. For headphones that are designed to connect to amplifiers, or sound consoles, a minijack 6.5mm input is used.
Recently, iPhones began using a new type of input called Lightning. This can be a problem as not all headphones have this type of input. You can easily solve this problem by purchasing a Lightning adapter to minijack 3.5mm. If you already own Apple devices, Bose almost always offers two versions of each headphone model, one for Apple and one for Android.
This is an aspect that you should take into account only when you want to buy wireless headphones, as it is not always easy to find a place to charge them. In addition to the battery life whilst listening to music, take a look at how long it takes to fully charge the battery. Some Bose models include a built-in battery case.
Another way to address this issue while you are traveling and are running out of power is to purchase a portable power bank. Bose headphones often include a quick charge mode in which charging for 15 minutes will give you about 2 to 3 hours of autonomy, which is perfect and practical in these cases.
It should be noted that in general, Bose headphones offer a shorter battery life compared to some of its main competitors. Bose headphones offer about 20 hours of listening time and this can be extended to double or triple if you charge them with a cable. It is up to you to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of using wireless headphones that require charging.
Some Bose headphones, especially the high-end models, have some extra features built-in, such as noise cancellation. This feature completely or almost-completely isolates the outside sounds so that you can listen to your music without any external distractions or interferences. These models are usually the most expensive headphones but offer by far the best level of sound quality.
Another feature of Bose headphones is using the built-in microphone to take advantage of voice command devices or applications such as Alexa from Amazon, Google Assistant, and Siri for models intended for use with Apple devices. With just a single press of a button, you can ask these types of devices the weather conditions, to turn up the volume or directions.
Another feature of Bose is that most models of headphones are compatible with the Bose Connect App, available for Android and iPhone. By registering your headset with the app you can control its functions more easily, as well as even see the last location where you used them.
Another factor that gives your headphones an extra edge is the number of accessories included when you buy the headphones. You should assess if the headphones come with extra earpads, cases to safely store and carry your headphones, auxiliary cables and in some cases even a portable charging station.
When it comes to Bose, everything is usually sold separately. The QuietComfort II and SoundSport Free models come with extra ear pads so that you can use the one that best fits your ear or in case you damage the original one. The SoundSports Free comes with a carrying case/charging station to keep the device charged at all times.
Comparison of recommended models
|Model||Headset Type||Connection Mode||Autonomy||Noise Cancellation||Included Accessories||Quick Charge||Extra Features/Apps|
|QuietComfort 35 II||Over-ear closed||Bluetooth / AUX input||20 hours||Yes||Auxiliary cable, charging cable and case||15 minutes for 2.5 hours||Voice assistants (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri) Bose Connect App compatible|
|QuietComfort 20||“In-ear”||Minijack cable 3.5mm or Lightning||16 hours. When the battery runs out it works like a normal headset.||Yes, when the battery runs out it is not possible to activate this mode.||3 extra covers, a clip for clothes, rechargeable battery, USB charging cable and case||No||Voice assistants (Siri and Google Assistant) Compatible with Bose Connect App.|
|SoundLink II||Over-ear closed||Bluetooth / AUX input||15 hours||No||USB cable, AUX cable and case||15 minutes to 2 hours||Bose Connect App compatible|
|SoundSport Free||In-ear||Bluetooth||5 hours. Charging case gives 10 hours more battery.||No||USB cable, carrying and charging case plus 3 extra ear covers||15 minutes for 45 minutes||Bose Connect App compatible.|
|SoundLink||On-ear open||Bluetooth / AUX input||15 hours||No||AUX cable, USB cable and case||15 minutes for 2 hours||Voice assistants (Siri and Google Assistant), Bose Connect App compatible.|
When you buy Bose headphones, you’re not buying simple devices like any other, you are buying specially engineered headphones that are well designed and made from quality components. Therefore, be assured that by purchasing a set of Bose headphones, you will be investing in a product of high quality and durability.
We recommend that you always look closely at the products you want to purchase because although the brand is recognized worldwide for being one of the best manufactures of headphones, everyone has their own specific needs. You should purchase the Bose model that suits your intended use and requirements to ensure that it is a worthwhile investment.
If you want to see the entire Bose catalog, we recommend you visit the Bose website, one of their physical stores or a local authorized distributor. If this guide has been useful to you, you can leave us a comment or share it on your social networks or with someone that you know is looking for good headphones.
(Source of featured image: Grinvalds: 72048372/ 123rf.com)