Being a bit of a fanboy it is hard to review a Bose headset, but then it is also hard not to review a new offering from one of the world’s most loved audio companies. The latest from Bose is a set of earphones and headphones that look more vibrant and young than the sober, but fantastic, range of headphones the company has been selling so far. The new Bose FreeStyle earbuds and SoundTrue around-ear and on-ear headphones mark a change in the company’s design philosophy.
Design: My review unit was an on-ear headphone, smaller than most other units of this type. The set folds enough to fit in the palm of your hands. The earcups can turn 180 degrees to let it fold flat, making this a good choice for people who like to hear their music the way they want it even when on the move. The set is also extremely lightweight at 140 grams with the cable, which can be detached and stashed away for storage. The set comes with a small leather case.
The design is supposed to be young, but the purple and mint combination of the review unit felt a bit too young for me. I would like to stick to the all-black finish, for I feel the white and mint combinations would not be very conducive to Indian conditions. I felt the mint earcups on the unit I had was accumulating dust within a week of exposure to Delhi conditions. I would not want that to happen to a set of headphone that cost as much a mid-range smartphone.
The soft headband and the memory foam cushions are amazingly comfortable and ideal for long hours of usage. They can be easily adjusted to fit all types of ears and heads.
Performance: I have often said that writing about the performance of a Bose headphone is like writing and analysing the pickup of a Ferrari. You know it is going to be good, that is a given. The SoundTrue headphones too did not disappoint on any count. I tried it with a wide range of genres, ranging from the racy theme of the Game of Thrones to the soul stirring numbers from the legendary Kronos Quartet.
They are also extremely flexible, with the ability to push extreme bass when needed and present the lows as they should be when needed. It can also rise to the occasion when you are listening to vocal heavy titles.
The SoundTrue headphones come with a small inline remote on the cord, near where your mouth would be. That is because the remote also houses the microphone, letting you make calls from your smartphone. Bose has for a couple of years accepted the fact that the phone is becoming the primary source of music for most people and in-line remotes have been available in some models. But this time around there is no ‘I’ model denoting the added call making abilities, the feature has been made standard. It worked well on both Android and iOS.
Verdict: The new SoundTrue headphones are one of the best choices in the mid segment price range. It is a good thing that Bose is giving you the choice of on-ear and around-ear for the same price. Pick the on-ear model if you are going to use this a lot on the move and the around ear model for relaxed sessions at home. Yes, like all Bose products the quality charges a premium.
Estimated street price: Rs 13,338