bose.jpgOver the past several months, I’ve had an opportunity to review a number of headphones—the vast majority of which were all of the wireless Bluetooth variety. So for no reason other than the fact that I hadn’t actually looked into the product I was asked to review prior to it arriving at my doorstep, I made the assumption that the Bose® SoundTrue® headphones were also of the Bluetooth variety. They are not. However, my mistake made for what I can only imaging was a pretty entertaining few minutes.


Unboxing and Set Up

When I opened the box, I was immediately taken aback at how little it contained. I saw two things: a manual and a carrying case. If you’ve read any of my previous reviews, you know that I tend to skip over the whole “read the manual” thing unless I absolutely have to, and this review was no different. I opened the carrying case to find the headphones and a single cable, and then proceeded to look for an on button on the headset. I couldn’t find one. I was confused. So, I thought I must have to connect the headphones to my laptop to charge them prior to use, but saw that the cable didn’t have a micro USB on either end. Hmm, even more confused … how do I synch these to my music? It was only then that it dawned on me that the Bose® SoundTrue® headphones were not wireless. Not my brightest moment. There’s no turning them on, synching them, or charging them. You simply plug one end of the cable into the headphones and the other into your iOS device, and you’re good to go.

Design

The SoundTrue® headphones are very minimalistic in design. The ones I tested were black on black with a woven L and R on the inside to indicate which earcup is which. The cups themselves rotate quite a bit so you can adjust them based on your own preferences, and best of all, the earcups are oval in shape! I’ve often wondered why the majority of earcups are circular–my ears aren’t circles, are yours? With the oval earcups your ears can rest nicely inside a squishy cocoon without suffering from the inevitable pinching and discomfort that can come from wearing other headphones for lengthy periods of time. While the SoundTrue® headphones do fold flat, one thing to note is that they are not fully collapsible, so if you’re toting them with you, you’re best to keep them in their carrying case so as not to damage them.

As far as the detachable cord is concerned, it too is pretty basic. It includes an inline remote control and microphone for mobile devices and features controls for Volume, Play/Pause, Track Navigation, and call Answering. What made it stand out from the pack though was how long it was! With wired headphones, I find that I am always wishing the cord was a tad longer, and SoundTrue® delivered. In fact, the cable is 66” long, so you don’t need to have your music player in your jacket pocket for it to reach.

The Review

Bose3.pngWhen I first put the SoundTrue® headphones on, I was immediately impressed with how comfortable they were. Not only does the oval shape of the earcups make them super easy to wear, but at only 4.9 ounces with the cable, are also ridiculously light and put no undue pressure on your scalp. Now that I had the SoundTrue® headphones securely fixed on my head, I hit Shuffle on my favourite playlist and was blown away by the sound quality. The louder I turned up the tunes, the better the sound was! At this point I just wanted to have an impromptu dance party in my apartment, but it was pretty late, so decided to put them through a very easy first test–meditation.

 
Yup, based on the advice of several people in my life who are all too aware of how high strung I can be, I downloaded a meditation app to help me chill out before bed. After getting comfy, I put the SoundTrue® headphones back on and hit play. Not only did the app relax me, but not once did I give any thought to the headphones on my head. They were so comfortable that I almost forgot I had them on at one point in time. So far, two thumbs up.

The next day I wore the SoundTrue® headphones on my bus commute to work, and was quite happy with their level of noise cancellation. I couldn’t hear the teenage girl popping her gum next to me (although I could certainly see it!), nor could I make out what the guy in front of me was muttering to himself. I just listened to some upbeat music to get my day started out right. I’m not entirely sure if the people around me could hear what I was listening to though. As you’d expect, when I took the headphones off and placed them around my neck without turning my music off, you could hear exactly what I was listening to, so I’m thinking that if you’ve got your music loud enough, you’re very likely entertaining those around you as well.

Bose5.pngI’ve never really thought of over-ear headphones as being conducive to the gym. In my experience they get super sweaty and slippery and don’t want to stay on your head, so instead of putting them through a workout, I wore them on a jog home from my office downtown. They stayed firmly in place and the sound pumping through the earcups was fabulous. I could still hear the rumble of traffic in the background, but the music was so clear, the bass so rich, at times I felt like I was starring in my own music video.

Since the SoundTrue® headphones stayed put during my jog, the next day I decided to see how they performed during one of my workouts. Now, I feel the need to tell you that I’ve just recently re-started a work out regime that involves 30 minutes of burpees, squats, lunges, push ups, jumping jacks and skipping, so had zero faith that these headphones would stay put. Shockingly, they did! I was beyond impressed! I only had to adjust them a handful of times, and those adjustments were largely to reposition the cable–the only time its length was a hindrance was when I was doing my dreaded burpees. They stayed firmly in place for 30 minutes of constant movement and multiple exercise. And they are so lightweight you don’t even really notice them … and yes, that is a whole lot of mascara under my eyes. 

The verdict

I’ve become used to wearing wireless earbuds as of late, so wasn’t sure how I’d feel about an around-ear set, but I really liked the Bose® SoundTrue® headphones. They gave a strong audio performance, are exceptionally comfortable and light weight, and managed to stay put during a pretty gruelling work out session. I’d say the only real downside is that when you take them off and put them around your neck as people tend to do from time to time, they almost asphyxiate you! Well, not quite, but they sit pretty tight and aren’t all that comfortable to keep there for long periods of time. Otherwise though, I would highly recommend them for everything from air travel to jogging.