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.

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