Thursday, September 09, 2010

New Bose IE2 Headphones Review

Bose IE2 vs Original IE:
A Side-by-side Comparison

I have been wearing the new Bose IE2 audio headphones for the past couple of weeks and have become very impressed by the improvements made to them over their predecessor, the original Bose In-ear Headphones. Having regularly used the original IE headphones over the past couple years, I noticed the difference almost immediately. Like many who have used them, I had my complaints about the originals. The typical list included: the tips keep falling off or out of my ear, the tips don't fit properly, I can't exercise with them, there isn't enough bass, the cord keeps shorting out, I keep losing the tips, and the list continues.

Now Bose has officially introduced the new and improved, redesigned IE2 headphones. Let's take a look at some of the key changes to the overall design and technologies that make these new IE2 headphones better than ever.

StayHear™ Tips: These cool new silicone in-ear tips are remarkably superior to the original tips. Their unique design offers plenty of stability during exercise and other daily activity. Despite what looks like it would be an uncomfortable design, the wing that extends from the top of the tip and rests in the inner ridge of your ear is quite comfortable – almost unnoticeable. To the touch, they are very flexible and soft, but once in your ear, they provide enough support that they are hard to pull out accidentally. I used to snag my headphones while running and yank them out of my ear, but not anymore! The StayHear™ tips will ensure that you can wear the IE2 headphones comfortably for extended periods of time.

Improved Tip Housing: Bose has extended the housing that the IE2 tips “clip” on to. This creates a better tension on the tips so that they don't come off of the earbud unless you are really trying to take them off on purpose. This improvement addresses many of the complaints about the prior headphones, primarily in losing the tips by taking them out of your pocket or purse, etc.

New Audio Port: Bose has included a new port, part of their TriPort® acoustic headphone structure, making the quality of the audio far superior to its predecessor. Personally, I feel that the sound-stage was vastly improved by this feature. The bass response is more evident, and the vocals are more prominent, creating what finally feels like a full range of sound.

Durable Cables: According to Bose, they have constructed the IE2 with some advanced materials and manufacturing techniques so that they are more durable and last longer. Feeling the difference between the original IE and the IE2, I can definitely tell they've changed some things. While to the naked eye, they look almost identical, there are some very minute details that should allow the IE2 headphones to provide you with years of enjoyment. The cables themselves feel stronger. Not only that, but the areas in which they connect to the earbuds, as well as to your portable device, appear to have been reinforced with a more flexible connection point.

Smaller Circuitry Enclosure: Bose moved and changed their circuitry enclosure several times in the original headphones, all which looked rather tacky and cumbersome. Now, they've made it small and unnoticeable without compromising its functionality. This is also where their hologram label is located, ensuring that you have purchased a Genuine Bose Product. The label identifies your specific pair of headphones, should you ever require warranty assistance.

Angled Input Plug: Depending upon which version of the original IE headphones you had, you may not have been able to use it with your iPhone or newer iPod because it wouldn't fit into the recessed input. The angled 3.5 mm (1/8”) plug makes the IE2 compatible with all of the new iPhone and iPod products, as well as most other MP3 players and portable devices.

New Metallic Finish: While this bears no effect on the sound quality or integrity of the headphones themselves, they certainly look cooler dangling from your ears! The chrome finish of the Bose logo against the brushed metal finish that spans the length of the earbud just looks classy. You certainly won't go unnoticed with the new Bose IE2 headphone in play.

To wrap things up, there are a few smaller items to note as well. The new Bose IE2 headphones include with them a zippered leather carrying case (which can also fit your iPod), a clothing clip (which is handy for exercise), 3 sizes of the StayHear™ tips, and 3 sizes of the original style tips.

Now that you are completely informed about the Bose IE2 headphones, what are you waiting for? They are comfortable, they are stable, and they sound fantastic. Whether you are upgrading from your factory headphones, or needing to buy a fun gift for a friend or family member, the Bose IE2 audio headphones are what you need.

Product Review by:
Benjamin Hannah, Editor for ThrillingAudio

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