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Tech Review: Bose IE2 Headphones
Bose’s flagship offering for the in-ear headphone class, the IE2, provides rich sound output and a solid in-ear fit, a substantial improvement from its predecessor. Check them out on the Bose Canada website.
The design is simple enough: tips are black, teardrop with a silver lining laced down the middle, textured, and the ‘BOSE’ name polished into the line. Followers of the Bose lineup will notice the cord keeps its black and white stripes, while eartips have developed some horns. This is, most likely, a response in keeping what works and changing what didn’t from their previous set.
Bose’s previous entry, the IE, offered comfortable silicone tips that allowed the set to ‘sit’ within the ear rather than ‘plug’ itself into the canal. While both comfortable and unnoticeable, the design didn’t offer a secure fit, falling out if you were doing most cardio-related activities.
The addition of Bose’s StayHear design corrects the problem: the horns mentioned earlier sit on the ear’s inner ridge, which serves to better keep them in place. Three sizes of these, as well as the three original tips are included in the set.
The cord’s circuit box is smaller, and now positioned at the ‘split’ for left and right ear tip cords. Some may miss the look of boasting the box near the input plug, but functionally-speaking the change is definitely an advantage.
The stripes continue to serve as a means to have the cord ‘stand out’ easily over dark or light clothing. Bose also offers a clothing clip for better ‘unobtrusiveness’.
Finally, a rectangular leather zip case is included in the set, which is enough to house your favourite mp3 player along with the headphones.
On output, Bose’s TriPort design is an impressive delivery. With the addition of four auxiliary ports, each tip now has three areas of output, which Bose has tuned to give a greater balance of highs and lows, while at the same time creating a greater depth to the sound directionality.
Dub step and House sound phenomenal on these headphones: left and right alternation is crisp, and you can hear the detailed changes in pitch clearly. Hip hop benefits from the range capability of the headphones, offering a wide spectrum for high pitch tweaks and low base rumble.
The only downside to the performance is in the sound’s consistency, which may affect orchestral listeners most. Bose seems to have placed the importance on comfort in fit while maintaining a secure grip. As a result, there is a bit of a noticeable variance when relaxing to a song set on ‘repeat’; that said, few would probably find this to be anything more than a minor gripe, if at all.
The IE2 is an in-ear headphone set that pushes excellent sound quality in a design that makes sense. An especially good solution if you have an active lifestyle that requires music in substantial doses.
Bose also offers variations to the model: MIE2 (mobile in-ear) includes a microphone and answer/end button for mobile phone call functionality; MIE2i further adds a volume control.