James Eisner A lifelong nerd who loves (and spends too much time reading about) all things tech.

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The Best of Bose: Headphones, Speakers, and More

Bose is one of the world’s most well-known headphone, speaker, and home theatre brands. It all started when the company’s founder, Amar Bose, graduated from MIT back in the 1950s. He decided to buy himself a nice high-end sound system. To his disappointment, the speaker set didn’t live up to his expectations. However, his experience made him curious. Was there a better way to make speakers? The answer was, “yes.” Since that day, Bose has developed audio products that have defied previous audio conventions. A half-a-century and over $50 million worth of research later, Bose sparked a noise-cancelling audio revolution with the release of the QuietComfort (or QC, for short) headphone line.

Already 53 years-old, Bose’s uncompromising commitment to sound quality is shown in their speakers, headphones, and sound systems. From wireless speakers to home theatre systems, they’ve become one the masters of sound. However, they’re best known for their headphones. One of their most famous creations is the QuietComfort 35 II headphones. They’re equipped with Bose’s famous noise-cancelling technology and feature a Google Assistant integration. Another masterpiece is the Bose Lifestyle 650 home theatre system. This luxury home theatre system is perfect for movie and music junkies who want the absolute best sound. If you haven’t figured it out yet, Bose has got most of your sound needs covered. If you’re not sure where to begin, this list of our top Bose picks should give you a good place to start.

The Top Bose Over-Ear Headphones

The Top Bose In-Ear Headphones

The Top Bose Portable Speakers

The Top Bose Home Theatre Systems


The Top Over-Ear Headphones

Winner: Bose QuietComfort 35 II

There aren’t many other headphones that can shut out noise the way the Bose QuietComfort 35 II can. This reliable pair of headphones gives you the excellent Bluetooth sound, fantastic noise-cancelling technology, a comfy fit, and up to 20 hours of battery life. They look, sound, and perform just like the original QuietComfort 35. The big difference is the “action” button that summons Google Assistant. Now, you’re able to respond to messages, get directions, and manage your calendar without needing to take your phone out of your pocket.

Now, you’re able to respond to messages, get directions, and manage your calendar without needing to take your phone out of your pocket.

These are premium headphones so expect them to leave a dent in your wallet. Some other issues are that the Google Assistant integration is more beneficial to Android users than Apple users and the headphone’s battery isn’t replaceable. Still, the QuietComfort 35 II’s are one of the smartest pairs of headphones you can buy.

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Runner-Up: Bose QuietComfort 35

The inspiration for the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, these wireless Bluetooth headphones feature unrivalled noise cancellation technology that doesn’t let traffic, airplane engines, or the hum of your office lights come in-between you and your music. The digital processing and equalization features give you a great listening experience. Another nice touch is the included cord that allows the headphones to work in wired mode if the battery dies. This feature is perfect if you find yourself stuck on a long cross-country flight.

The digital processing and equalization features give you a great listening experience.

These headphones’ design isn’t exactly the fanciest but Bose’s lack of style is nothing new. Besides the uninspired design, you’re not able to replace their battery by yourself and they’re also pretty pricey. Despite their price and boring design, the amazing noise cancellation feature makes these headphones worth it.

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The Top In-Ear Headphones

Winner: Bose SoundSport Wireless

Bose SoundSport Wireless

As Bose’s first ever in-ear Bluetooth sports headphones, the SoundSport Wireless headphones are already making a name for themselves. They’re lightweight, water resistant, have a great fit, and most importantly, they won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Users can up their experience by connecting the headphones to the Bose Connect app (although there has been an accusation that Bose is using the app to spy on people).

They’re lightweight, water resistant, have a great fit, and most importantly, they won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

One of the main issues with these earphones is their short battery life. It can be inconvenient if you’re a person who works out a lot. They’re not exactly cheap either. That said, they’re still competitively priced when compared to other premium earphones. Fantastic audio and an excellent design do a good job in making up for the lack of battery. Generally speaking, Bose nailed it with these headphones.

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Runner-Up: Bose SoundTrue Ultra

SoundTrue Ultra Headphones

These earphones aren’t as fancy as some of Bose’s other headphones. They’re not wireless and they don’t have any noise-cancelling technology. However, with their unique noise-isolating headphone tips, the SoundTrue Ultra headphones are a nice middle ground between standard and custom-moulded earphones. Bose demonstrated their focus on comfort with these earphones. They have silicone tips that allow the earphones to “float” in your ear. The noise isolation feature also does a pretty decent job of minimizing any external noise.

They have silicone tips that allow the earphones to “float” in your ear.

While most in-ear earphones aim for a sleek look, these aren’t the best-looking earphones on the market. As with most of Bose’s products, they are also a bit expensive for what you get. When it comes to sound quality, the noise isolation feature struggles a bit in loud environments. Overall, these headphones are a good choice for daily commuters or runners since they’re comfortable to use for hours at a time and still give you solid sound quality.

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The Top Portable Speakers

Winner: Bose SoundLink Revolve+

SoundLink Revolve+
Image Credit: CC image courtesy of Aaron Yoo on Flickr.

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+’s sleek aluminium case and integrated handle may remind you of a lantern. Regardless of how it looks, it uses dual opposing passive-radiators and an ultra-efficient transducer to produce impressive 360-degree sound. It’s also shockproof and water-resistant, which gives it some added durability. Another plus is the fact that the battery can survive up to 16 hours. That gives you lots of time to listen to your favourite albums.

It’s also shockproof and water-resistant, which gives it some added durability.

As one of the best portable speakers (in its size category), the SoundLink Revolve+ doesn’t come cheap. The default charging method is a micro-USB port near the bottom of the speaker. If you want a  more convenient charging option, you’ll need to pay for an extra charging cradle. With rich and distortion-free sound, this speaker makes listening to music a pleasurable experience.

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Runner-Up: Bose SoundLink Color II

SoundLink Color II
Image Credit: CC image courtesy of TAKA@P.P.R.S on Flickr.

An already great speaker got even better. The SoundLink Color II has been redesigned to provide you with even better sound quality. Compared to other of Bose products, this portable speaker is far more wallet-friendly. The SoundLink Color II is covered entirely in soft-to-the-touch rubber. That makes it comfortable to carry with you when you go to the beach or take a hike. A new addition to this speaker is the microphone that lets you use Siri or Google Assistant.

Compared to other of Bose products, this portable speaker is far more wallet-friendly.

This speaker isn’t perfect though. It only has 8 hours of battery life, which is considered average when compared to its competitors. It’s also only splashproof instead of fully waterproof. So, it can survive some rain but not a drop in the lake. Considering its portability, great sound quality, and speakerphone support, the Bose SoundLink Color II gives you an excellent audio experience without the price tag you’d expect from Bose.

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The Top Home Theatre Systems

Winner: Bose Lifestyle 650

Lifestyle 650

The Bose Lifestyle 650 continues to prove that small speakers can produce big sound. The four compact Omnijewel speakers that come with this home theatre system give you great, sweeping sound. On top of that, the speakers can calibrate themselves to adjust the sound to your home’s layout. The advanced engineering and impeccable design mean that they look as good as they sound.

The advanced engineering and impeccable design mean that they look as good as they sound.

As with any luxury home theatre system, its complex technology puts its price way, way up there. It’s safe to say that this system isn’t made for budget-sensitive buyers. That said, if you’re serious about music and movies, you’re who this system was made for.

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Runner-Up: Bose Acoustimass 6 Series V

Acoustimass 6 Series V

You can have the best TV screen in the world but you won’t get the full experience unless you have a great sound system to go with it. Anyone serious about entertainment should take a look at the Bose Acoustimass 6 Series V. Don’t let the four tiny cube speakers fool you. They may be small but they give you big, dynamic sound. You’ll get excellent surround sound and better-than-average clarity from this system.

The speakers may be small but they give you big, dynamic sound.

One downside to this system is that it takes some time to connect all the speakers to the subwoofer (which acts as the hub). The process of optimizing the sound can also be a bit time-consuming. If you’re able to look past the initial setup and optimization process, you’ll find that this system is one of the better ones in its price range.

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