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Reviewed on Jun 18, 2019 , Jake Thauvette, Marc Henney, Sam Vafaei, Yannick Khong

Bose Hearphones Wireless
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.5
Mixed Usage
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:
5.9
Critical Listening
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:
7.1
Commute/Travel
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.
7.5
Sports/Fitness
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.
7.0
Office
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.
5.0
Gaming
Type : Earbuds
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Bose Hearphones are unique earbuds that have a conversation-enhancing feature. They're designed to help you hear better by amplifying ambient noise. They also have a decent ANC feature that blocks out ambient noise and are quite comfortable to wear for a while. Unfortunately, they don’t have the best audio quality, which is disappointing. We couldn’t accurately test their conversation-enhancing feature on our current test bench, so we tested these as normal Bluetooth headphones, but we do think they do a pretty good job at enhancing ambient noise. However, the earbuds emit very loud and piercing feedback sometimes, which is painful.

Test Results
Design 7.5
Sound 5.6
Isolation 7.6
Microphone 6.6
Active Features 6.8
Connectivity 3.3
Pros
  • Unique conversation-enhancing feature.
  • Good isolation performance.
  • Comfortable design.
Cons
  • Sub-par audio quality.
  • Neckband design might not be for everyone.

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7.5

Design

Score components:

The Bose Hearphones are practically identical to the Bose QuietControl 30, but have a more powerful hear-through feature that helps enhance ambient noise. They look the same, but have golden accents on the earbuds which are a nice touch. The Hearphones also have the StayHear+ earbud tips, which are very comfortable to wear for hours without ear fatigue. The neckband design might not be for everyone, but on the upside, their buttons are easier to press than on the QC 30. Unfortunately, since they are built the same way, we expect the same issues with coating peeling off after a few months of use, just like the QC 30.

Style

The Bose Hearphones are simple-looking around-the-neck headphones and are practically identical to the Bose QuietControl 30. They look high-end thanks to the materials used, but don’t stand out due to their all-black design, which is good since they are designed to be used in every day social situations. They have an earbud design that slightly protrudes out of the ears, and the buds have a golden accent to make them look slightly more premium.

7.5 Comfort
What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Weight : 0.14 lbs
Clamping Force
What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
0.0 lbs

Like the Bose QC 30 and the Bose SoundSport Wireless, the Hearphones have the StayHear+ earbud tips that are very comfortable. You can wear the Hearphones for a few hours without feeling any ear fatigue or soreness. They fit nicely inside the ear without going deeply into the ear canal. Some may not like the feel of having a neckband constantly resting around your neck, especially since it's fairly bulky and not as malleable as others like the Jabra Elite 45e or the Sony WI-C600N. On the upside, the buds are lightweight enough that you'll barely feel them in your ears.

7.8 Controls
What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
Ease of use : Good
Feedback : Decent
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : Adjustable
Talk-Through
What it is: A transparency feature that uses the mics of the headphones to let you hear what is doing on around you without removing them.
When it matters: If you want to be aware of what is going on around you without removing your headphones or while still listening to your audio. This is typically a feature for the noise canceling headphones and passively isolating in-ears that block a lot of noise.
Good value: Yes or adjustable.
:
Adjustable
Additional Buttons : Voice enabled controls

The Hearphones have good controls and offer common functionalities. On the in-line remote, you have your play/pause button that can be used to manage calls too, and you also have volume controls. You can also double-tap the middle button to skip tracks, but can’t rewind or go to the previous one. On the side of the remote, you can find the ANC/talk-through level buttons. Raising this will reduce the ANC and help you hear better by amplifying ambient noise. To trigger your device’s voice assistant, hold the middle button of the in-line remote.

9.1 Breathability
What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
Avg.Temp.Difference : 0.9 C

Like most in-ears and earbuds, the Bose Hearphones are very breathable. You shouldn’t feel a big temperature difference when wearing these for a long time. Thanks to the airflow, you shouldn’t sweat more than usual during your workouts since no heat is being trapped. This makes them a good option for sports.

7.3 Portability
What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
L : 6.0 "
W : 6.1 "
H : 0.7 "
Volume : 26 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

These headphones don’t take up too much space, as the total surface area they occupy is relatively small. However, due to their somewhat odd shape and since their neckband isn’t very malleable, they won't fit into all pockets, but should easily fit into most bags. They're also quite easy to carry around if you just let them dangle from your neck. They do come with a case, which makes their design a bit bulkier, but it protects your headphones when you’re on the move.

8.0 Case
What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Type : Hard case
L : 6.5 "
W : 6.6 "
H : 1.4 "
Volume : 60 Cu. Inches

The Bose Hearphones come with a nice hard case that protects the headphones well against scratches, water exposure, and physical damage from falls. The case takes more space than the headphones, but it's fairly thin and isn’t too bulky. This should easily fit in a bag or luggage.

7.0 Build Quality
What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned

The Bose Hearphones seem to be built the same way as the Bose QC 30. While we initially felt like the QC 30 were well-built, multiple units, including our own, seem to have issues in the long term as the rubber coating surrounding the neckband peels off with time. We expect the Hearphones to have the same issue. On the upside, the headphones are dense enough not to break from falls and the whole build is protected by rubber. The cables are thicker than most headphones, but could snap off if they're pulled too forcefully.

7.5 Stability
What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned

Thanks to their stability fins and lightweight design, the Hearphones have a stable and secure fit in your ears. They don’t move around too much with head movement and don’t pop out during exercising. This should be fine for jogging, but might not be as stable as an ear-hook sports design like the Anker Soundcore Spirit X or the Beats Powerbeats3.

Cable
Detachable : N/A
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A

These headphones don’t have an audio cable, but come with a very short USB to micro-USB charging cable.

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5.6

Sound

What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)

The Bose Hearphones are sub-par sounding closed-back earbuds. Their bass is extended and even but is noticeably overdone. On the upside, their mid-range and vocals/leads reproduction are pretty good, and they have a good treble range until 7kHz. Unfortunately, they struggle to reproduce higher frequencies over 10kHz, which results in an overall bass-heavy sound that lacks detail and brightness. These headphones will be better suited for genres like EDM, dubstep, and hip-hop. However, since their primary usage is intended to be ambient noise amplification and conversation enhancement, sound quality may not be as important for music.

6.8 Bass
What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
4.79 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
10.6 Hz
Low-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
7.0 dB
Mid-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
4.38 dB
High-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
4.71 dB

The bass of the Bose Hearphones is decent. Their LFE (low-frequency extension) is down to about 10Hz, which is excellent. However, the whole response is over our target curve and is fairly overdone. There’s a 7dB overemphasis in low-bass, which results in extra thump and rumble. Fans of bass-heavy music might prefer this. However, there’s also an overemphasis in mid-bass and high-bass. This will result in the bass sounding too boomy and muddy.

8.2 Mid
What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.39 dB
Low-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.51 dB
Mid-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.99 dB
High-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.26 dB

The mid-range performance of the Hearphones is good. The response is fairly even but there’s a small dip centered in the mid-range. The overemphasis in low-mid is the continuation of the high-bass bump, which will make vocals sound thick and cluttered. These might also sound a bit nudged to the back of the mix because of the dip in mid-range, but this won’t be very audible for most.

4.2 Treble
What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
6.77 dB
Low-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.98 dB
Mid-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-2.16 dB
High-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-22.77 dB

The treble performance of the Bose Hearphones is poor. While the response is fairly even before 7kHz, the Hearphones have trouble producing higher frequencies. As the graph shows, there’s a dip centered around 9kHz which will make sibilants (S and T sounds) lack detail and brightness. Additionally, these headphones’ frequency response doesn’t get very high and dips down starting at 12kHz, which is bad. However, since their main function is to amplify conversations and ambient noise, the drop in high treble may be intentional, but we can't confirm this.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
9.7 Frequency Response Consistency
What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
Avg. Std. Deviation
What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.06 dB

They have excellent frequency response consistency. Assuming the user is able to achieve a proper fit and an air-tight seal using the assortment of tips that come with the headphones, then they should be able to get consistent bass and treble delivery every time they use the headphones.

5.8 Imaging
What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.33
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.67
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.44
Weighted Phase Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
194.65

The stereo imaging of the Hearphones is sub-par since they can’t reproduce higher frequencies. Their group delay doesn’t really cross the audibility threshold in very audible regions. The spike in the GD graph seems to be around the same frequencies where the headphones' treble range stops. The small bump 30Hz also won’t be very audible. The drivers of our unit seem fairly well-matched, but since they can’t seem to reproduce frequencies over 12kHz, the phase mismatch is significant. However, these headphones don’t have any holes in their stereo image and the audio doesn’t seem to be skewed either. This seems to be a limitation of our testing procedure. However, these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

1.2 Soundstage
What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
N/A
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
N/A
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
3.3
Acoustic Space Excitation
What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
0.8
Correlated Crosstalk
What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.0 dB

The soundstage is poor. Since creating a large and speaker-like soundstage is partially dependent on having a speaker-like pinna activation, and in-ear headphones bypass the pinna (the outer ear) and don't interact with it, their soundstage will be perceived to be small and located inside the listener's head. Their closed-back design also means that their soundstage won't feel and open as open-back earbuds like the Apple AirPods 2 2019 and the Bose SoundSport Free.

7.7 Total Harmonic Distortion
What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Weighted THD @ 90
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.031
Weighted THD @ 100
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.101

The harmonic distortion performance of these headphones is good. The amount of THD throughout the range is within good limits, which means these headphones can reproduce clear sound, even at high volumes. There’s also no big jump in THD under heavier loads, which is good.

7.6

Isolation

Score components:

The Bose Hearphones’ main usage is to amplify ambient noise to help you hear more clearly, but they also have a decent ANC feature. With their ANC set to the maximum level, they do a good job at blocking out ambient noise like the deep rumble of bus engines or ambient chatter in an office. They are very versatile in that regard. Additionally, thanks to their earbud fit, they practically don’t leak, which means you can listen at high volumes without disturbing people surrounding you.

6.7 Noise Isolation
What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy environment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Isolation Audio
What it is: The simulated noise isolation of the headphones, demonstrating how much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording. For headphones with ANC (active noise cancellation), the playback simulates the isolation with ANC enabled.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
:
Overall Attenuation
What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-19.27 dB
Bass
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-16.8 dB
Mid
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-17.02 dB
Treble
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-23.91 dB
Self-Noise
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
24.35 dB

The noise isolation performance of the Hearphones is decent. They do a good job at blocking out low-end noises like the deep rumble of a plane of bus engines, which makes them suitable for public transit. They also isolate well against ambient chatter in an office, which sits in the mid-range. In the treble range, responsible for sharp S and T sounds and A/C systems noise, they isolate by about 24dB, which is decent. Unfortunately, their self-noise is pretty high, but we expect this to be due to their conversation-enhancing function, which makes them score a bit worse than the Bose QC 30, although they both have similar noise isolation performance.

The main usage of these headphones is quite the opposite of noise isolation, as they are made to amplify ambient noise to help you hear better, which we can’t accurately test. However, we tested them subjectively and can say that they do a good job at it, but you can hear a very loud and piercing feedback at times, which is irritating and hurts, especially at high volumes.

9.3 Leakage
What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Leakage Audio
What it is: The simulated sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording.
When it matters: When you don't want people to hear what you are listening to.
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
25.85 dB

Thanks to their earbud fit, these headphones barely leak. The significant portion of their leakage is situated in a narrow range in the treble. This means that some people might hear some sharp noises leaking out of your headphones, but the overall volume of it is not very loud. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 26dB SPL and peaks at around 43dB SPL, which is under the noise floor of an average office.

6.6

Microphone

What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
In-line
What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Boom
What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Detachable Boom
What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
N/A

The Bose Hearphones have an okay integrated microphone. In quiet environments, speech transmitted or recorded with the microphone of these headphones will sound thin and noticeably muffled, but easily understandable. However, it struggles to fully separate speech from background noise in moderately loud environments, such as a busy street.

6.9 Recording Quality
What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
Recorded Speech
What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
226.27 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
2.26 dB
HFE
What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
3417.19 Hz
Weighted THD
What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
1.799
Gain
What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
40.32 dB

The integrated microphone of the Bose Hearphones has an acceptable recording quality. Like most Bluetooth headphones, their LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 226Hz and the HFE (high-frequency extension) is at 3.4kHz. This will result in recorded or transmitted speech that will sound thin, lacking in detail, and noticeably muffled, even in a quiet environment. However, it will still be intelligible and the people on your calls will understand you.

6.3 Noise Handling
What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
15.73 dB

The noise handling performance of the integrated microphone is mediocre. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of about 16dB. This means the Bose Hearphones are best suited for quiet environments and may struggle in moderately noisy places.

6.8

Active Features

What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

The Bose Hearphones have decent battery life and a good dedicated companion app that lets you customize their ambient noise-enhancing function. You get about 8 hours of battery life when using their ANC, which is okay and should last you a full work day, but they'll need daily charging. They automatically turn off after being idle for a while, and you can set this timer inside their app. The app is also very useful to control the amount of ANC or how amplified you want ambient noise to be. You get different presets for daily life situations and can create your own as well. The app isn’t great for customizing the audio quality to your liking, but is very useful when it comes to the conversation-enhancing function, which is the main use of the Bose Hearphones.

6.7 Battery
What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Battery Type
What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
8.1 hrs
Charge Time
What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
2.3 hrs
Power Saving Feature
What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
Auto-Off Timer
Audio while charging
What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when you're relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
No
Passive Playback
What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
No

We’ve measured about 8 hours of continuous playback time for the Bose Hearphones, which is okay. It is a bit lower the 10 advertised hours, which is slightly disappointing. However, we tested these with the ANC level set to max, so you might get different results if you only use them for conversation enhancement. On the upside, they automatically turn off to save power and you can set that timer inside their app.

7.5 App Support
What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
App Name : Bose Hear
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
Mac OS : No
Windows : No
Equalizer
What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
No
ANC control
What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
Adjustable
Mic Control : No
Room effects
What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
No
Playback control
What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
No
Button Mapping : No
Surround Sound : No

The Bose Hearphones have a dedicated app called Bose Hear that isn’t the same as the usual Bose Connect mobile app. This app doesn’t have an EQ, but it has decent customization for their conversation and ambient noise-enhancing function. You get a slider that controls the ANC and the amount of ambient noise being amplified. Also, you can focus on certain frequencies with the bass/treble slider. While the app doesn’t provide room effects, you can control the direction of the sounds that are being amplified and can select from ‘Focused’, ‘Front’, or ‘Everywhere’. The Boost button amplifies the level of your music and you get some mode presets like for conversation, watching TV, etc. You can create up to 10 customized presets as well. Lastly, you can balance out the sound amplification, meaning that if you have weaker hearing in your left ear, you can make the noise amplification stronger in the left ear.

3.3

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: When you want to know whether your headphones will be compatible with your various audio sources, like your smartphone, tablet, gaming consoles, PC, smart TV, amplifiers, etc.
Score components:

The Bose Hearphones are around-the-neck headphones that can only be used via Bluetooth. They have a very good wireless range, but like most Bluetooth headphones, they might not be the ideal choice for watching video content due to latency. On the upside, they can be connected to two devices simultaneously and support NFC too.

8.8 Bluetooth
What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: When you want to connect your headphones wirelessly to a Bluetooth source, like your smartphone, tablet, PC or smart TV.
Score components:
Bluetooth Version
What it is: The version of Bluetooth that the headphones support.
When it matters: Newer versions of Bluetooth, when paired with devices that support the same version, may have improved latency and wireless range performance.
:
4.2
Multi-Device Pairing
What it is: A Bluetooth profile that allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources, and have full call and media support on both/all devices they are connected to.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example, switching from your phone to your home or work PC and still have call and media support on both devices.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes

The Hearphones are Bluetooth-only headphones that can be connected to two devices simultaneously, which is convenient if you want to switch between your phone and work computer. Additionally, they also support NFC for a quicker and easier pairing procedure. We can’t confirm the Bluetooth version, but we expect this to be the same as the Bose QuietComfort 30.

0 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: When you want to use your headphones wired with a device that has a regular audio jack (line-out), like a smartphone, PC, or gaming console controller.
OS Compatibility
What it is: Testing the headphones' cable to see which operating system it works with.
When it matters: Some wired headphones don't support all operating systems so this allows you to check if the headphones will work with your device.
:
N/A
Analog Audio
What it is: When your headphones can play analog media using a standard 1/8" TRS audio jack. Includes using a 1/4" or 1/16" TRS with a 1/8" TRS adapter.
When it matters: For listening to music with devices that have a standard 1/8" TRS audio jack, like an MP3 player, tablet, smartphone or PC.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Audio
What it is: When your headphones can play digital media using a standard USB connector.
When it matters: For listening to music on a PC. A digital USB adapter can offer some advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC or added software support.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 1/8" TRS or TRRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4 controller.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 1/8" TRS or TRRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One controller.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 1/8" TRS or TRRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A

These headphones can’t be used wired.

0 Base/Dock
What it is: The base station, dock, or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a specific frequency range or wired headphones that have a proprietary amp.
When it matters: When you need to know which inputs and outputs the headphones support, so you can set them up with your home theatre system for gaming or watching movies.
Type
What it is: The type of base/dock the headphones use, whether a USB dongle, charging case or docking station. Wired or wireless.
When it matters: Larger docking stations tend to have more controls and sometimes even customization options while smaller USB dongles are more portable. Charging cases allow you to keep your earbuds charged on-the-go.
:
N/A
Optical Input
What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line In
What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line Out
What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Input
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
N/A
RCA Input
What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Power Supply
What it is: The connector type of the power source for the base/dock.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example, a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas an AC adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
N/A
Dock Charging
What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A

These headphones don’t have a base or a dock.

8.9 Wireless Range
What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: When you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially if the audio source is heavy or difficult to carry. Note that wireless range also depends on your audio source's signal strength, which may vary between devices.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room. We test our obstructed range with a Moto E4 Plus. Results may vary depending on your phone model or Bluetooth source.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout. Note that wireless range also depends on your Bluetooth source's signal strength which may vary from device to device or depending on your phone model.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
53 ft
Line of Sight Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
139 ft

These headphones have very good wireless range. They have a decent range in direct line of sight and with 53ft of range when the source is obstructed by walls, so you should be able to walk around a small office or go to the next room over without having too many audio cuts. However, wireless range is dependent on many factors, including your device’s signal strength, so your results may vary.

1.8 Latency
What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen. Note that latency also depends on the device and applications you use.
Score components:
Default Latency
What it is: The base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos wirelessly, high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50 ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
207 ms
aptX Latency
What it is: An audio coding algorithm (codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if you often stream music over Bluetooth. It also slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50 ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: Latency is a lot more noticeable when watching videos or gaming than when just listening to music.
Good value: 50 ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
N/A

The Hearphones have average latency for Bluetooth headphones. With around 200ms of delay, some people may notice a delay when watching video content or gaming, which isn’t ideal. On the upside, there’s no audible delay with the conversation enhancement function, unlike other headphones with a talk-through feature we've tested; this is nice.

In the box

  • Bose Hearphones headphones
  • 3x tip/fin options
  • USB to micro-USB charging cable
  • Hard carrying case
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

The Bose Hearphones are rather unique Bluetooth headphones that are intended to be mainly used as a conversation-enhancing device. They can also be used for music, but their audio quality isn’t the best. They are quite similarly designed to the Bose QuietComfort 30. See our recommendations for the best neckband headphones, the best noise cancelling earbuds, and the best wireless noise cancelling earbuds.

Sony WI-1000X Wireless

The Sony WI-1000X Wireless are better headphones than the Bose Hearphones when it comes to listening to audio content. Their audio quality is better and they also feel better-built. Their noise isolation performance is also better, but they don’t have the nice conversation-enhancer feature of the Hearphones.

Bose QuietControl 30/QC30 Wireless

The Bose QuietControl 30 are better Bluetooth headphones than the Bose Hearphones thanks to their audio quality, but if the enhanced-conversation mode is what you’re looking for, then no other headphones we’ve reviewed do it as well as the Hearphones. On the other hand, the QC 30 has slightly better noise isolation performance, but design-wise, the QC 30 and the Hearphones are practically identical.

Jabra Elite 65e Wireless

The Jabra Elite 65e Wireless are better headphones than the Bose Hearphones. They are very well-built, have a more neutral sound quality, and have better noise isolation performance. However, no headphones have a similar ambient noise enhancer mode like the Bose Hearphones. If you need a pair of headphones to help you hear better, the Bose Hearphones will be a better option thanks to their amazing talk-through.

Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear/HD1 In-Ear Wireless

If sound quality is your biggest criteria, then the Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear HD1 Wireless are a better option over the Bose Hearphones. However, the HD1 Wireless don’t have a good ANC feature like the Hearphones, and they also don’t offer a nice conversation-enhancer mode that amplifies ambient noise. The Bose Hearphones are also more comfortable and have better wireless range.

Conclusion

6.5 Mixed Usage
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:
Okay for mixed usage. These conversation-enhancing headphones don’t have the best audio quality and won’t be great for critical listening. On the upside, they have a pretty good ANC feature that is suitable for commuting and at the office as they block out the deep rumbles of a bus engine and ambient chatter. Their portable, breathable, and stable design is good for sports as well. Unfortunately, like most Bluetooth headphones, their latency might be slightly too high to be used for watching video content and gaming.
5.9 Critical Listening
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:
Sub-par for critical listening. These headphones have a very overemphasized bass that sounds thumpy and boomy. Additionally, they can’t seem to be able to reproduce frequencies over 10kHz, which is disappointing. Like most Bose headphones, they can’t be EQ’ed to your preference. These headphones' primary use is for conversation enhancing and not critical listening.
7.1 Commute/Travel
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.
Decent for commuting. The Hearphones have a pretty good ANC feature that blocks out a good amount of low-end noises like the rumbles of a plane or bus engine. They are easy to carry around and are quite comfortable for long rides or flights. Their 8 hours of battery should be more than enough for a daily commute, too.
7.5 Sports/Fitness
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.
Good for sports. Their earbud tips with a stability fin design are stable for sports and you should be able to run with these without a problem. They are very breathable and are easy to carry around your neck as well. However, not everyone will like working out with a neckband design and like the QC 30, their rubber coating may peel off after exposure to sweat.
7.0 Office
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.
Decent for the office. Their ANC feature blocks a good amount of work environment noises. They do a decent job at isolating against ambient chatter and sharp noises like A/C systems. Unfortunately, the 8-hour battery life might be a bit short for some. On the upside, their conversation-enhancing feature might be useful if you need to hear better when in a meeting. Overall, these won’t be the best option to enjoy your favorite tracks at the office.
Sub-par for watching TV. These headphones aren’t the best option for this use as their latency might be too high for watching video content. Some may notice a small delay between the image and the sound. On the upside, if you don't notice the delay, you can use the preset for watching TV in their app which helps get a better overall experience if you have trouble hearing your TV.
5.0 Gaming
Poor for gaming. On top of having very high latency for gaming, these headphones have a mediocre microphone for gaming and won’t compete against gaming headsets’ boom microphones. These shouldn’t be used for this use.

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