Bose is a leader in stereo equipment and home audio, but their headphones are solid too. The Bose SoundTrue headphones are one part of the lineup, which also includes the wireless SoundLink cans and the noise-cancelling QuietComfort line. We’ll be taking a closer look at the SoundTrue around-ear headphones. They also come in an on-ear variant. While they aren’t noise-cancelling, the around-ear version should block out noise very well. Bose has a big name and big reputation to live up to. Let’s see how they do.
The Bose SoundTrue headphones look good. They are well designed and come in four colors. The standard black is available, but they also come in white, mint, and a mint/black combination. While I think the black looks best, the mint and white both stand out in a way that a lot of other headphones don’t. Bose doesn’t offer the full line of colors that Beats does, but they do have a few options for the fashion minded.
These headphones are incredibly light, which is the first thing you’ll notice when you pick them up. The headphones have a removable cable that attaches to the left ear cup with a solid click. The leather on the head band and ear cups is soft and well padded. The cups tilt and swivel, and the headband extends for those of us with larger heads. They are well-built, and these are some of the most comfortable headphones I’ve ever worn.
The headphone cable has control buttons that work with iOS devices. There’s no mention of Android support, although the mic does work for phone calls and the center button will play/pause your music. The forward/back buttons didn’t work for me on several Android devices I tried. The headphones ship inside a nice carrying case that’s inside the box. There’s also a manual in the box.
The Bose SoundTrue headphones are comfortable enough to wear all day, but how do they sound? I compared to the AKG K553 Pro that are my go-to closed-back headphones, as well as to the Sony MDR-V6. I also tested the SoundTrue headphones with and without a headphone amp.
Sound quality was always good, but sounded better with an amp. The overall sound is scooped a bit, with the mids taking a back seat to the highs and lows. Vocals are front and center, though. The highs are bright and crisp. Bass was a little loose, especially unamped, but it was never overpowering. These are not headphones for bass-heads. They also provide excellent isolation, even though they aren’t noise-cancelling. This is noticeable as soon you put them on. The sounds of the world are immediately muted.
Bose designed these with consumers in mind, not studio engineers. This means they are tuned to bring out low end, vocals, and clear highs. If you want a reference monitor you’ll want to look elsewhere. Even with a headphone amp I missed some details that were present with monitoring headphones. The SoundTrue headphones sound great and are a lot of fun.
The Bose SoundTrue headphones sound very good. They are fun and well suited for just about any genre of music. The bass isn’t as tight as it could be, but I like that it’s mixed well and isn’t overpowering. They are certainly the most comfortable headphones I have ever worn. They are so light that you hardly notice they are there. The bottom line is that these are good headphones, but they are overpriced. Bose has them priced at $179. They are comfortable, but the sound quality isn’t quite good enough to push them up into that range. They should be priced at $120-140. You pay a premium for the Bose name. Thankfully you can get them on Amazon for $119, which is just about right.
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