New Gear: Bose In-Ear Headphones

Anyone who’s read this blog for a while knows that I have two serious weaknesses: camera bags and headphones. I think I change ’em like some folks change their socks. I’m just not shy about putting something new around my gear or in my ears. Hopefully I get the right device in the right place. 🙂

Last year, I bought some Bose On-Ear Triports, and I just love those things. Great sound reproduction, and pretty doggone comfortable. However, they’re really bulky, and I’m just not sure I wanna sweat all over them when I go on rides or walks, so I’ve continued to use some old Sony sports headphones. They are on ear too, are ruggedly built, and work well with my bike helmet. However, when I brought them out on the trail this week, they started cutting out. From what I could figure, the cable is breaking at the plug end — probably too many times of winding the cable around the ‘phones.

So with the imminent expiration of some Best Buy Reward Zone certificates, and the apparent near-death experience of my cycling headphones, I decided I would invest my “free” money in a headset I could use out and about. (Yeah, yeah, I know, TANSTAAFL.) After a lot of online research, and deciding where my price point would be, I decided the fine folks at Bose would get another crack at my wallet, mostly based on the performance of their OE model I use daily.

After a trip to the Big Yellow Tag, I got home last night with a set of the Bose In-Ear Headphones. Now, I haven’t had much success with in ear headphones. I’ve owned a really nice set of B&O’s, a set of Sennheisers, and have tried the various Apple earbuds that have co-habitated in the shipping boxes for my iPods, and none of them fit my ears very well. My ears would hurt, and in short order, I would either return them from whence they came, or find them a new home. My earhole or earbowl just weren’t suited for these neat little devices.

With that as the tapestry of my trials and tribulations in earhole-land, I carefully opened the packaging (just in case it had to make a trip back to Best Buy), and pulled out these tiny little devices. I read the book (that’s unusual!), and proceeded to insert them in my ears and … Ta-Da! They fit! These Bose earphones use a little gummy piece to comfortably direct the sound down the ear canal, and the guts sorta sit in the bowl of the ear. I believe it’s this off-axis stuff that makes them work in my ears.

The sound is good — very Bose-like, although not as bright as my OE’s. What I have noticed is that these really block external sounds — even more than my OE’s — so it’s pretty easy for me to get really engrossed in the music. Add to that some great imaging (it really does sound like the music is happening inside my head!), and you’ve got one fine set of earphones.

The box even had a stress relief lanyard in it (goes around the back of your neck) that looks promising for cycling and walking, three different sizes of gel tips, and a nice carrying case that carries the earphones, lanyard, and has plenty of room for my iPod Shuffle.

I haven’t had ’em outside yet, but I’ve no reason to believe they won’t be spectacular out in the showiness of nature. Color me as a convert to the in-ear world!