Great comfort, great sound

The best thing is that even at close to full blast sound quality is not sacrificed.

By Music Buff (Review)

Published: Sat 21 Feb 2015, 9:39 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 7:57 PM

Poor sound quality while listening to music, slip-ups while taking calls and design disasters have meant this segment never really took off. Add to that the fact they have always been more expensive, come short when it comes to price to performance ratio as compared to their wired brethren. Again with bluetooth headphones you need to charge batteries and again there is a question of compatibility as some may not work with older models of phones.

EASY LISTENING... The Bose SoundLink on-ear Bluetooth headphones. 

But when a name like Bose pulls out a rabbit from the hat, so to say, you are bound to sit up and err… listen. We’re talking the new SoundLink on-ear Bluetooth headphones (launched in the UAE in October).

Yes it is pricey at Dh1,099 and yes it needs charging to remain alive like all things wireless, but think of the sheer joy of listening high fidelity without those irritating cables tangling around all the time as you go about your business. And with their neat design and fetching colours, these headsets look as cool as Rihanna with an equally hot bass (no pun intended), not to mention big volume.

The best thing is that even at close to full blast sound quality is not sacrificed. TriPort technology provides the natural richness of bass without the need for electronic boosting. However, the headphones do tend to leak sound at higher volumes.

One of the most critical factors when selecting headphones of any kind is the comfort factor. You may deliver sound that could boom-shake the universe, but if the cups and hold of the headphone leave you with a dull ache and discomfort, you’re not going to wear them like a second skin.

It is here that Bose shines. The cups have been lathered in generous amounts of cushioning and the headband is not as rigid as others, which means you can keep them on for hours together. Added to this is the compact form factor, lightweight build, suede-like material which means you’re carrying a beauty and not a burden on that pretty head of yours.

When I was checking out the headphone at an electronic shop where a salesman down the aisle was blasting music on some big home theatre, I took an incoming call — it sounded clear and crisp with little outside interference. Something called Adaptive Audio Adjustment technology automatically changes volume based on speech level and ambient noise and a two-microphone system which limits side noise like wind and other sounds.. Whatever it is, it was impressive.

Clip on the Bluetooth headset and you need not even look at your mobile phone (if it’s an ugly monster even more reason to hide it from the world) to take a call, change the song, increase/decrease the volume. You can do all of that through the command buttons situated on the headphones’ earcup. Special voice prompts notify users on battery status or incoming calls — even the person who is calling.

If the battery runs out, a quick 15-minute charge gives you another two hours or you have the option of using the wire with the headphones to keep connected all the time.

The headphone can connect up to two devices at a time and let you switch between each, so you can watch a video from your laptop or tablet while staying connected to your smartphone. Pairing devices is a breeze with a voice prompt guiding you each step of the pairing process, so even the technologically challenged can come aboard.

In conclusion, the Bose SoundLink On-Ear Bluetooth headphones deliver sound as good as that offered by Bose’s traditional headphones. Though its pricey and the plastics do not give that great a premium feel, this one ticks all the right boxes when it comes to essentials in choosing a great headphone (read comfort, sound, convenience).

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