BOSE SOUNDLINK AROUND-EAR WIRELESS HEADPHONES II
Bose adopts the good-ol’ oval shaped earcups, connected at the frame where the headband rests. The SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II chooses to go with a matte glass-filled nylon that’s not eye-catching, and it hides the sturdy and corrosion-resistant stainless steel within. Unfortunately, the obvious volume buttons on the cup’s rims and the single power switch jutting out of the earcup mar the earcups’ silhouette. Wearing it is a different story, as this pair of headphones is the most comfortable around the ears, thanks to the leatherette cups, but the headband still feels a little tight despite its felt cushion.
It may have a conventional design, but make no mistake – the Bose headphones has many nifty tricks up its sleeve. It uses Bluetooth for wireless pairing, and the switch is easy to access because of its on-the-cup location. The buttons on the same right cup allow the user to manipulate the volume and to start or stop songs. Turning the power on also enables Active EQ, which essentially is a battery-powered amplifier built within the headphone itself, adding more volume and greater impact on your tracks. The active noise canceling takes it further by giving you the enhanced sidetone option, which effectively uses an in-built mic, allowing you to sound natural on the phone. The Bose headphones aren’t foldable, but the cups can be tilted for comfort, and it comes in a semi-hard case made of cloth for better safe-keeping. The Bose headphones are one of the stronger, if not the strongest performing headphones for this range. It has an honest reproduction of sound, focused on clarity and accuracy. While the bass feels muted in general, it has a great neutral profile paired with decent depth.
It shines best on Adele’s ‘Melt My Heart to Stone’, as the Bose headset is able to catch nuances in her voice, while keeping the bass under control, complementing it with clear mid frequencies. The alternative rock track ‘Sail On Soothsayer’ by Buckethead also showcases the purity of the headphones’ playback, with great detail in the electric guitar work.
As a whole, the Bose SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II would be nearly perfect if it wasn’t also sitting on the highest price point among its peers, with a design that looks kind of plain.