Sunday, July 15, 2012

Bose IE2 review

Product Overview:

These pair of earphones are the third generation Bose in ear series, that are targeted at the high end market.

Design: 9/10

These pair of in ear earphones are extremely well designed and really sleek in my opinion. They are also pretty big and eye catching. These earphones will definitely turn heads when you wear them outside, and Bose's design language is very unique for in ear earphones. Bose has definitely done a good job at making these earphones look and feel premium, which obviously should be the case as people will be paying a premium for these earphones. The brushed metal feels extremely premium, and also the metal grills covering the speakers. The cable housing is also very unique, with its black and white alternating design.

Quality: 6/10

The build quality is the only part where these earphones does not exceed in. In my personal opinion, the way the audio jack connector is designed feels extremely weak, as its pointing upwards diagonally. I do not really know the reason on why Bose designed it to be like this, but it feels very weak.

Also, one must be extremely careful and take good care of the earphones, if one wants it to lsat. You must place these earphones in the provided pouch all the time after use, if not they might not last. A unit of these earphones would probably only be expected to last 2 years on average, unless you take extremely good care of it.

Sound Quality: 9/10

Sound quality is especially decent for these pair of earphones, even for a non in ear. The bass and its sound stage will probably be its selling point if you were to ask me to sum up its overall sound experience. The bass provides a very satisfying thump, without being too loud, but it can be slightly muddy at times. The sound stage is also one of the best for earbuds, you get a very good feel of the sound stage, firstly due to the fact that they are non in ears, and secondly its 'open back' design. Apart from that, mids and trebles were acceptable, and vocals doesn't come across as overly piercing, though a bit loud in my opinion.

Usability: 7/10

These earphones are very good for normal everyday use, due to its good sound experience and extreme high level of comfort when you wear them. However, the audio jack connector design results in you having to be more careful than usual when you slide your phone with the earphones connected into your pocket.

Durability: 4/10

I highly doubt these earphones would last for more than 2 years without getting a replacement pair. All of my friends are already experiencing some problems with their IE2s as the physical condition deteriorates very quickly if you don't take good care of them. My friend's pair is falling apart (Bose IE2) after approximately a year and a half's worth of usage. For his unit, the rubber cable connectors between the cable and the main drivers themselves are already tearing apart, and also the audio jack connector, like I mentioned earlier. For my own pair, I actually had to send in my unit one for a replacement pair, as I accidentally snagged on it once, the rubber cable housing already had a small tear on it.

Overall Score: 6/10 

You should only get these pair of earphones, provided that your lifestyle demands you not to subject these pair of earphones to more rugged environments. These earphones are not really built to last, however good the comfort and sound quality is.