Bose Soundlink around-ear wireless headphones II review

Product: Bose Soundlink around-ear wireless headphones II

Wearing type: Over-ear

I have no idea why Bose decided to go with a such a long name for its headphones. It could have simply called it something else for better product name recall by the customers. Explaining it to your friends is also difficult. Considering Bose is such a ubiquitous brand, the moment someone you know see you wearing one, quite possibly they enquire if it is a QC35. You answer the negative and proceed to tell the name. They are already dozing by the time you finished telling half of the name. Anyway, let’s move on.

Build quality & usage: In terms of look and build quality, they are the same as the flagship Bose QC35. The colors used may be slightly different. While these are available in black & blue and white & brown colors, QC35s have same color throughout. There is a button which when pushed up will turn the headphones on. The moment it is turned on, the headphones declare how much power is left in the headphones in terms of percentages. It then proceeds to connect with each of the devices it has been paired with. The headphones declare the names of each of the devices it is pairing with, whether the attempt is successful. If unsuccessful, it moves on to connect with the next one, instead of getting emotional about it. The order in which it attempts to pair the devices is the same as the last used. If you already know that the device it is trying to connect to is not available, you can press the button one more time, it will give up and move on to the next one. The headphones are super lightweight. They have a fabric material at the top and rest made of plastic. They neither look too premium like the ones of Sennheiser and Audio Technica nor they look cheap. The controls are easily reachable. They follow the common standards of using remote on wired and wireless headphones where a single press will pause or play music, attend or end a call. A double press will skip to next song. There are separate buttons for volume up and down.

Accessories: They come with a soft headphone case, a 2.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable (no mic) and small USB charging cable. For the kind of premium price Bose expects us to pay for these headphones, I am surprised they do not even provide an audio cable with mic that comes handy when using at work. The USB cable is too tiny to be used meaningfully. The audio cable also feels pretty cheap compared to the ones like JBL E65BTNC.

Comfort: They are extremely comfortable to wear. They are over-ear and your ears do not feel any fatigue even when wearing for extended hours. They do not press against your ears for providing passive noise cancellation. While that is advantageous for long usage, it is also a great disadvantage as they provide very poor noise isolation. Have to bump up the volume to more than moderate levels if you are planning to use them when commuting or in noisy public places.

Sound: These headphones may impress you if you never used any headphones beyond the stock ones provided by the mobile companies. But for everyone else, they might disappoint. The lows were never there. Or they were there waiting to be discovered. The bass that should bring life to the music is lacking. I am not expecting the Skullcandy and Beats kind of bass. Even when compared to neutral sounding headphones, they lack the bass. The mids are nice and well reproduced. The highs are again disappointing. Overall, music that should be soul filling and inspiring come out lacklustre. I had to play with the equalizer on my mobile and mac to emphasise the lows and highs to make these reproduce music to my liking.

Verdict: These headphones with super long name were built to be worn comfortably for long hours, but you may not be willing to listen to your music using these for that long.



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