Bose In Ear Review

I’ve had these for just over a year now and since it’s another very boring Sunday, I’m going to write a relatively small review on these. I only bought these because they were Bose and I thought the design was cool back then. Knowing nothing about headphones then, I decided to buy them because obviously more expensive = better quality…right? Before I start, I have lost the case and the other eartips supplied.

Design, comfort & durability

The Bose In Ears aren’t really in ears. They are more earbud than in ear since these do not create a seal, except they have these odd looking tips that stretch into the canal. Even though these have an odd design, they are relatively comfortable and cause hardly any fatigue. The only problems with this design is that they fall out of my ears easily and that there is barely any isolation. The tips are made out of this very soft silicon which isn’t ordinary. The housing is constructed of black plastic and it has this grill which doesn’t really do anything I think. There is a small hole with allows the bass to get in, bit like the Sennheiser IE8 but without the adjustable dial. Now here’s the worst part of the design, the cable. The cable is very sticky and gets tangled very easily. It twists all over the place and is definitely not very good. I had these for 6 months till the left side just died. I can adjust it slightly so sound can come out of the left sound. The plug is gold plated and near the plug there is this odd PCB, believed to be an equaliser (Why Bose?) So for durability, they aren’t the best. Obviously it might just be me treating them with no care.


Like in my Grado HF2 review, I’ll be listening to a range of albums. My source is a MacBook using 320kbps/ALAC files. The list of albums is as follows:

  • Utada Hikaru – Heart Station (J-Pop)
  • Utada Hikaru – Ultra Blue (J-Pop)
  • Metallica – Master of Puppets (Metal)
  • System of A Down – Toxicity (Metal)
  • Owl City – Ocean Eyes (Pop)
  • Justice – Cross (House)
  • Daft Punk – Alive 2007 (House)
  • Muse – The Resistance (Rock)
  • Kasabian – Empire (Indie Rock)
  • Jimmy Reed – Jimmy Reed At Carnegie Hall (Blues)
  • High and Mighty Color – Go Over (Pop/Rock)
  • London Symphony Orchestra – The Classic Experience (Classical)

So again, I’ll listen to some Utada Hikaru to begin with and instantly I know something’s wrong with the sound. All I hear is a big hump in the lower bass. It drowns out the mids and the lack of treble. The mids are very hollow and lack depth, whilst there’s hardly any treble extension and detail. Songs such as Passion is just ruined by the amount of bass. It’s definitely the typical Bose sound signature. J-Pop should, in my opinion, be just about the mids and treble and not so much bass. This confuses it around and makes it sound like western pop. So the bass. It’s overpowering everything and is actually making me feel light headed. It’s muddy, and it’s not the best. Mids are hollow and lack detail, so does the treble. Not the best for Utada Hikaru I’m afraid.

Now to try some rock, pop and house. First listened to some System of A Down, and I found that there’s also a lack of instrument separation. I’m finding the sound to be just one string of mess and I can’t distinguish some sounds. This probably isn’t helped by the bass. Listening to some Metallica and it’s just too bass heavy for metal. I just hear mid bass and it’s taking it’s just not involving me inside the music. With some Daft Punk, I realise why I liked these when I first got them. I actually feel two subwoofers in my ears and I’d guess that’s good for some people. Of course I don’t crave for bass anymore, I crave for mids and treble These would be decent for people who love lots of bass, but for me it’s a no. Owl City is the same as I’ve said before, too much bass ruining the music for me.

Now for blues and classical. For blues, thank you for not having so much bass! Due to the lack of bass in the songs compared to pop and such, I can actually focus on the rest of the spectrum properly. Mids and treble are both very laid back. There’s nothing special to be honest. Classical feels rather lifeless…since the mids and the treble are so laid back. I’m not being involved in the music as well, which I don’t like.


So if you want bass and nothing else, just go for these. There are definitely better alternatives out there on the market and I really recommend you look at them. The only genre in which I think they suit is electronic and nothing else.

Post a response / What do you think?