Let’s say it simply. I’m not doing any adversing of any sort, but I have to admit that my new earphones are simply great ! Last week while in London, I had the opportunity to test the On-Ear foldable Bose earphones and I was simply astonished. Never before I had such good sound (*). So I just bought a pair which makes me enjoy music even more.
The patented ear cushions use a sort of shape-memory foam that isolates you from outside (even though I didn’t buy the « noise reduction » model which is simply too costly for me, the « simple » model is already great), but that has drawbacks : I nearly missed my flight back since while I was waiting at the airport I just didn’t ear any announce that way made about my flight… I catched it while the gates were closing and after a waiter told me that the airport was about to close since it was the last flight. Last point to mention about those earphones : not only the sound is great, but also the design, even the cord and the case are of great quality ! Here is an independant review with photos, which says that the Bose On-Ear headphones are to be avoided because of the too important bass restitution, which I have to admit is right. The user manual even explain that you have to turn off bass enhancement and other equalizer settings since the earphones restitute low frequencies « naturally ». Well, I changed my equalizer settings (and I avoid listening techno!) and it’s now okay to listen !
I also spent nearly two hours at the Bose Store in Regent Street as I was offered a full demonstration in their auditorium. Great demonstration, just astonishing ! I just couldn’t believe my ears while the show ran, as the Bose demonstrator just did magic tricks : The huge 5.1 speakers that you see in the room at the beginning are fake and only masking the smallest speakers that I’ve ever seen able to deliver such sound power and reliability. Sure, the system I’ve been able to enjoy during the demonstration is around $4’000, and I won’t be able to afford this price, but I was simply astonished. Another magic trick that was impressive is the « audio calibration feature », which measures the sound quality and automatically enhances the quallity to its maximum… even if the speakers are covered or inside a box !!! Although I understand the way they do this, I was just surprised that it could work. You listen music, put the speaker inside a box, and the system is able to recalibrate itself to restore the original sound… quite magic.
Unfortunately, I found two drawbacks to the system, apart from the price (which could be justified considering the quality) :
First, it’s possible to import a full collection of CDs that are copied into the system, but you cannot import already ripped MP3 or AAC files, as you need the original CDs… I believe this is a mistake for Bose since most people willing to buy such a great piece of equipment have already ripped hundreds of CDs and are certainly not willing to start all over again.
Second, it does includes a FM radio, but there is not any way of listening to Internet radios, nor streaming music from my Linux streaming server (nslu2 + mt-daapd). I strongly believe this is a mistake since more and more people including myself want to listen to Internet radios broadcasting from all over the world. My Roku Soundbridge M1000 is great but it would be better if embedded into the Bose system.
I have told the salesperson and emailed Bose about those two issues, and I hope that they will include those two features in a future version of their product.
If you walk by a Bose Store that has an auditorium (at least the one located in London is equipped), just believe me and take the time to spend an hour to discover the demonstration, it is worth the time, if you enjoy great music.
(*) : Well great sound but there is a slight problem : too much low frequencies which renders a really deep sound (too much !), but which can give headaches if not setting the equalizer correctly.