Bose2.pngI’m a big fan of music and like it to accompany me on the majority of my everyday activities. Whether I’m working out, walking around town, grocery shopping, or commuting to work on public transit, I’m typically tuned into some sort of music.

Needless to say, I have a fondness for a quality pair of headphones and was pretty stoked when I was asked to review and compare three Bose headphone models–Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear Headphones, Bose SoundSport In-Ear Headphones, and Bose SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear Headphones.

Bottom Line

All three of the Bose headphones I tested delivered fantastic sound quality and offered an unprecedented amount of comfort. While the SoundSport Around-Ear Headphones stood up well to my workout, I much preferred both the SoundSport In-Ear and SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear Headphones for physical activity. That said, I can definitely see myself watching movies on my iPad, or plugged into an airline movie with the SoundSport Around-Ear Headphones.

Here’s a breakdown of their specs:

Bose SoundTrue Over-Ear Headphones

Bose SoundSport In-Ear Headphones

Bose SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear Headphones

Headphone Style

Over-Ear

In-Ear/ Ear Bud

In-Ear/ Ear Bud

Sound Isolating

No

No

No

Noise Cancelling

No

No

Yes

Bluetooth

No

No

No

Inline Volume Control

Yes

Yes

Yes

iPod/iPhone Control

No

Yes

Yes

Built-in Mic

Yes

Yes

Yes

Cord Length

1.72m

1.07m

1.18m

Plug Size

3.5mm

3.5mm

3.5mm

Plug Shape

Straight

Straight

Straight

Ear Cushion/Bud Material

Protein Leather

Silicone

Silicone

Weight

168g

18g

18g

Bose SoundSport Around-Ear HeadphonesBose-Around.png

Let’s start with the Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear Headphones. Generally speaking, I find most around-ear headphones to be somewhat uncomfortable after more than about 30 minutes of wear, at which point they start to pinch and press on my ears making whatever activity I’m engaged in less than enjoyable. So, you can imagine my surprise when I put these Bose headphones on only to feel like my ears were being cradled in a cloud. I attribute their comfort entirely to their shape. Unlike the vast majority of other around-ear headphones out there, the Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear Headphones are oval in shape versus circular, and if you look at the average person’s ears, they certainly aren’t circles, so kudos to Bose for addressing this inherent design flaw in most other around-ear headphones!

I took the Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear Headphones on a few different adventures. I wore them meditating, commuting, and also put them through a pretty vigorous workout. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t at all surprised with how great the sound quality was. Bose is known for producing products with stellar audio, so to me, this was a bit of a given. What I was surprised about, however, was how light these headphones were and how they stayed on my head, regardless of the activity in which I was Bose5.pngengaged. During my workout, I was doing burpees, jumping jacks, and otherwise flailing around like a lunatic, and not only did the Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear Headphones stay put, I forgot I was actually wearing them, which is pretty impressive if you ask me. They weigh only 4.9 ounces with the cable so it’s easy lose sight of the fact that you’re wearing around-ear headphones versus in-ear headphones.

Another great thing about the Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear Headphones is the cable that comes with them. It is longer than any other cable I’ve seen on wired headphones, which allows you to put your music source in a convenient place–like your back pocket, backpack, or on the treadmill–without it tugging. That said, I did find that it was so long that it got a little tangled during my workout, but most cords would do the same when you’re jumping and lunging.

Check out my full review of the Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear Headphones for more info.

Bose SoundSport In-Ear Headphones

Next up were the Bose SoundSport In-Ear Headphones. Designed with athletes in mind, the design is quite basic, but equally durable. The cord is nice and long but did a great job of staying untangled, even during my crazy workouts.

SoundSport-3.png

Like many other headphones on the market, these ones come with three sizes of ear tips, or in Bose terms, StayHear tips that can be switched up to conform to different sizes of ears. Unfortunately for me, I had to go with the largest of the three StayHear tips, which gave me a bit of a complex about the size of my ear canals. But, with the large StayHear tips, the headphones stayed pretty secure during the same activities through which I put the Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear Headphones. With the small and medium sized tips a gentle tug on the wire would cause the headphones to fall out of my ears. With the large, I had to really yank at them to displace them.

SoundSport-Tips.pngThey were also surprisingly comfortable. The inner part of the StayHear tip isn’t all that long, so you don’t feel as though there is something jammed in your ear canal. Instead, they almost feel like they are floating, yet at the same time you don’t need to push them deep in your ear to seal out any outside ambient noise.

The three-button inline remote/microphone is conveniently located close to the right ear bud and the buttons themselves are nicely raised so you know exactly which button you are pressing. I only received one phone call while testing the Bose SoundSport In-Ear Headphones, but the call was a breeze and both my mom and myself could hear each other perfectly well.

As far as audio quality is concerned, the Bose SoundSport In-Ear Headphones delivered great sound across all genres. From Imagine Dragons to Maroon 5 and old school hip hop, the sound was so clear I almost felt like the artists were in the room with me. That said, I wish they delivered a little more bass. When you turn the volume up to potentially hazardous levels, the bass is pretty darn good, but otherwise a little on the weaker side.

Bose SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear HeadphonesBose-Ultra.png

Next up were the Bose SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear Headphones, which at first glance are almost identical to the Bose SoundSport In-Ear Headphones. Outside of a different carrying case, the only difference I could spot right off the bat was the fact that the Ultra’s had a slightly different StayHear ear tip design. This is due to the fact that the Ultra’s are noise-cancelling headphones, which is great for when you want to tune out all the annoying background noise when you’re at the gym. I actually had a friend put them in and try them out as well, and she said that she couldn’t hear me when I was talking to her while listening to the new Justin Beiber track–yes, that’s how we roll.

Then I plugged them into my iPhone and pressed play on my favourite play list. Holy heck. The sound quality is phenomenal! If I thought the artists were in the room with me with the SoundSport In-Ear Headphones, with the SoundTrue Ultra headphones they were in the same room and serenading me. The audio quality was equally impressive at low levels as well.

Like the other two headphones I had tested, the SoundTrue Ultra’s were exceptionally comfortable. I took them on a three-hour hike one afternoon and not once did I experience any kind of discomfort. They stayed put for the entire hike without my needing to continually adjust them or jam them further in my ears. The noise cancelling was pretty great as well–so much so that I didn’t hear other hikers coming up behind me, so when they passed me I may have let out a little shriek thinking that a bear was attacking me. As was the case with the SoundSport headphones, the SoundTrue Ultra’s are sweat resistant, so they didn’t slip out when I neared the end of my hike and was sweating profusely.

Ultra-Buds.png

To be perfectly honest, choosing any of these three headphones would be a good choice. If you like around ear, the Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear Headphones are a solid choice. If you like in-ear, either the Bose SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear Headphones or Bose SoundSport In-Ear Headphones are excellent choices, but if you like a little more bass and noise cancelling functionality, the Bose SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear Headphones are the headphones for you.

banner.JPG