[REVIEW] Bose In-Ear headphones vs. Radius Atomic Bass

Discussion in 'Audiophiles: Headphones, Earphones, etc.' started by kevipapo1, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. kevipapo1

    kevipapo1 New Member

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    Bose In-Ear headphones vs. Radius Atomic Bass

    Introduction
    I've always been a proud user of Bose In-Ear headphones. Every pair of Apple headphones that have come with my iPods have been lost. Over a year ago I switched to the Bose headphones. A year later I go to the Outside Lands festival in San Francisco, listening to the different music groups, checking out the booths, and I made my way to the Radius booth. They had a special game: for a dollar you could play their game, where you drop a ball down a panel, and depending on which slot it landed in there was a corresponding deal. I was hesitant at first, but after a minute long demo, a bass-heavy song, I was enthralled and played the game. With a 50% discount from the game, a $40 pair of headphones were mine for $20.

    Technical Specifications

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    A side-by-side comparison of the earbuds on the Radius Atomic Bass headphones (left) and the Bose In-Ear headphones (right)​

    The two products aren't that different in design. Each fits into your ear, uses a V-style design, and comes with three different sized earbuds. The Bose headphones come in one color, black and white, while the Atomic Bass headphones come in Black, Silver, and Red. The most noticeable difference is the design of the wires. The Bose headphones have thicker wiring, while the Atomic Bass is thinner and more susceptible to tangles. I've yet to experience any issues with the design of either product. The largest issues with the Atmoic Bass is the difficulty of changing the earbuds. It takes a couple miuntes and many tries before you can slip a different sized earbud on. The Boes headphones don't have this issue, and buds can easily be replaced in moments.

    The Bose In-Ear headphones sell for $100, the Atomic Bass headphones sell for $40.

    Durability

    I've only owned the Radius Atomic Bass headphones for under a week, which isn't enough time to experience damage to the product. However, I can praise the interchangeable buds for the extreme durability they have. Even on the loosest parts it can sustain it's original form after above average wear and tear.

    I've had issues with the Bose In-Ear headphones during the past 1+ years of use. The buds are not equally as durable as the Atomic Bass ones, most noticeably near the tip of the buds, where the noise exist from. It's very flimsy, and can get ripped if not used with care. The largest issue however has been the connector. When enough stress is applied to the bend on the connector, the wires inside can snap and cause permanent damage to sound quality, rendering the headphone useless. This issue has caused me to get a replacement twice. Bose has made a revision to the product now, adding extra durability to the bend, making it near impossible for it to budge. This should solve most of the durability issues.

    Comfortability

    Bose's headphones use an earbud with a design you won't see on many products. They're made to blend in with the shape of your ear, and they do a damn good job at it. No matter how long you use the Bose headphones, you won't be able to notice them. Your results depend on the size of the earbud you're using, but even with that said they all fit nicely. Smaller earbuds have a loose fit, while larger ones won't fall out while moving your head around viciously.
    If you're like me, you also like to fall asleep listening to music. Many headphones, when applied with pressure against your ear, cause pain due to design, but these headphones prove well while falling asleep.

    The Atomic Bass headphones could use some more work, though. They too have different sized earbuds, but can become unconfterable after the first few minutes of use

    Quality

    I'll cover the Bose headphones first, give the big shots the first write-up. The Bose headphones provide a level of quality that can not easily be found in other headphones like it. The jump is easily noticeable, and in some ways listening to music for an extra $100 puts you in nirvana, straight on cloud nine. The bass is also there, low but noticeable. It does the job that some headphones don't even attempt to do: have a bass. Every instrument is there, and simply focus on one and it comes into full spectrum. This is a magnificent jump in audio quality for any in-ear headphones I have heard before.

    Now for the Atomic Bass headphones. They call it "Atomic Bass" for a reason: these headphones have an atomic bass! From the lowest to the highest, the spectrum which the bass booms within seems to never end. That might sound too extensive, but it isn't. One of the reasons that is, also one of the things that amazes me most about these headphones, is that no matter how crazy or loud or extreme the bass is, you will always be able to hear the music playing alongside it. The bass doesn't overpower the music playing, and for a bass as extreme as this one I am thoroughly surprised. That being said, the quality of the music itself, compared to Bose's headphones, is not as good. You can notice the quality difference, although not a big difference.

    I've been playing around with both headphones, seeing how they work with different types of music. Bose sounds good no matter what you're playing, and in most if not all cases, it sounds better than any regular pair of headphones you buy or the ones that come with your MP3 player. Atomic Bass has some issues with rock, rap, and other non-bass genres, using the bass too much when it shouldn't. If the music is soft enough, the bass won't even come in, but this is to be expected with all headphones. However, they sound much better than Bose headphones when played with electronic, dance, and other similar genres. Put simply, songs that have a heavy bass sound amazing, and songs with little bass have too much.

    Final Word

    Both Bose and Atomic Bass are producing headphones that are above average, each excelling in their own categories. Bose gives a new standard to sound quality, while Atomic Bass proves how much you can get out of small technology. Still, not everyone is willing to bust out a Benjamin Franklin for a pair of good headphones, nor does everyone like high bass. If you're looking for high quality headphones, you probably have a nice spending budget. In the end it depends what you listen to. I listen to all types of genres, and Bose does well whatever the song, but my favorite genre is electronic and dance, so having those heavy bass headphones is great. I carry both of them around with me, using which one will sound better.

    ________________________________________________________​

    This my my first review on iPod touch fans. I like to review games when they have something that stands out for me. In this case it was headphones, because for $40 I really got a good deal. If there's any apps you'd like me to review, iPhone OS or Windows, please let me know. I love giving my opinion out on things

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    I hope you've enjoyed reading this review, and you can expect more from me in the future.
  2. migui

    migui New Member

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    What do you mean by "high bass" ?
  3. thechungster

    thechungster Super Moderator Emeritus

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    Interesting review there. I have the Bose IE's (Bought them last year before I started buying more higher end stuff), and I find that they're not that good. The bass is over emphasised, and there is a lack of treble. However, comfort was actually surprisingly good despite the weight of the cables. Cables on them are horrible, they're super sticky, heavy and just don't feel nice. Isolation...Not brilliant due to it's earbud design.
  4. kevipapo1

    kevipapo1 New Member

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    @migui: Put simply, take a subwoofer and put it in a pair of headphones.

    @thechungster: I don't get what you're saying when you mean the bass is over emphasized. I think it's well balanced. Comfort is definitely a +1 for them, and the wires haven't brought up issues. Sticky, yes, but not so much an issue, even when they do get tangled up on my pocket

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  5. migui

    migui New Member

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    Ahh, not something good then. That'd mean that the bass intrudes on the other parts of the spectrum.

    Also, I think the reason why you don't get what Chung is saying is because you guys have different references. Obviously, your reference pair of gears is the Bose IE while Chung's reference is the Senn IE8.

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  6. kevipapo1

    kevipapo1 New Member

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    If you're worried about the bass affecting the hearing of the music itself, it surprisingly doesn't, at least not as much as I expected. Bear with me, I'm no audio expert, I just wanted to write about both pairs of headphones.
  7. thechungster

    thechungster Super Moderator Emeritus

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    Meh our ears are all different I guess. Your ears are probably too used to the Bose IE bass, that you probably think the bass is not over emphasised.
  8. migui

    migui New Member

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    ^ x2. Reference gear affects a whole lot.

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  9. kevipapo1

    kevipapo1 New Member

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    You're probably right. They've been mine for using for a year or so, so they became a reference. Then my first surround sound, with a bass that I now keep at it's highest level. Now the Atomic Bass headphones...It seems I have something for loud booms

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  10. migui

    migui New Member

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    I think you'll enjoy Denon's lineup.

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