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Bose 2017 Headphones
Reviews

We have currently reviewed 10 headphones from Bose. They're a reputable brand that makes comfortable headphones, and they're known for their great noise cancellation. 

Compared to other brands

  • Comfortable design. Comfort is one of the key aspects of most models from Bose. Whether an earbud, an on-ear or a full sized over-ear, most of Bose's headphones are exquisitely well-padded, lightweight and don't feel too tight on the head.
  • Above-average sound quality. Bose also prides itself on delivering a decently balanced audio reproduction that doesn't require an equalizer to sound good. However, some models tend to be bass-heavy.
  • Excellent noise canceling. Bose is one of the best brands when it comes to noise canceling. Their ANC enabled headphones will significantly reduce the ambient noise of public transit or loud environments. The QuietComfort series, especially, deliver an almost unrivaled amount of isolation compared to other similar headphones.
  • Expensive. The Bose lineups are relatively more expensive compared to other brand headphones with a similar design and target audience.
  • Mediocre build quality. Bose makes lightweight headphones that feel a little plasticky. They're still durable headphones but they just don't feel as premium as their price would suggest. 
  • Leaky over-ear models. Although Bose in-ear/earbuds do not have this issue (most likely due to their of their smaller size), the over-ear models do leak a lot at higher volumes which could be distracting to those around you.

Overall, Bose makes well-rounded headphones that provide an unparalleled level of comfort and industry-leading noise canceling. Sound quality is a bit bass-heavy but sufficiently balanced to please most listeners. However, Bose tends to make comparatively expensive headphones that feel a little plasticky and not as well built as other headphones in the same price range. Their over-ear line up also tends to leak a bit at higher volumes, which might not be ideal for all environments.

Best Bose Headphones

Bose doesn't offer as many headphone types and variations as some other brands. However, they deliver a solid series of headphones that cover most use cases. They also do especially well with commuting headphones thanks to their great noise canceling.

  • QuietComfort =  Comfortable, noise canceling headphones designed for commuting and traveling in loud environments.
  • QuietControl = Wireless headphones with better app support for more control over active features and noise cancellation.
  • SoundTrue = Closed headphones that deliver a balanced sound quality but no noise cancellation.
  • SoundLink = The wireless variations of some SoundTrue models. They also don't have noise canceling.
  • SoundSport = Semi-open and open in-ear/earbuds made for sports.

Best for mixed usage

Usage Ratings
7.6Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
7.5Critical Listening
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What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
7.9Commute/Travel
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What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
7.2Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
7.8Office
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What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:

The best Bose headphones for mixed usage are the QuietComfort 35. If you need a pair of headphones that you're going to use on your commutes and throughout your day, then the QC35 are a great option. They're comfortable, easy to use and sound good enough for casual and critical listeners. They also have one the best noise canceling available on the market so they isolate well against ambient noise but they're a bit leaky at higher volumes. 

Best for office

Usage Ratings
7.6Mixed Usage
Show Help
What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
6.9Critical Listening
Show Help
What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
7.8Commute/Travel
Show Help
What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
7.7Sports/Fitness
Show Help
What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
8.1Office
Show Help
What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:

The best Bose headphones for office are the QuietControl 30. If you want the great noise canceling that Bose is known for, in a more portable design that also doesn't leak as much as some of their over-ear models, then the QC30 are a great choice. They have a comfortable earbud fit for those who find in-ears fatiguing. They're also stable and have a good set of features that make them versatile enough for most use cases. However, like the QC20, they sound a little dark which may not be ideal for more critical listeners.

See our review

Conclusion

Bose is a well-known brand, popular for their excellent noise canceling and incredibly comfortable designs. They produce well-rounded and versatile headphones that also deliver in the sound department if a bit bass-heavy at times. However, their models tend to be comparatively more expensive and not as well built as some other headphones in the same price range. They also struggle a bit with leakage at high volumes for their over-ear series. 

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