Best Bose Headphones

Updated August 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

15 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
198 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best Bose headphones

Last Updated August 2019

Choosing headphones and other audio equipment is far more subjective than choosing most other electronics. The way soundwaves enter our ear canals is different for everyone. Some like a warm, low tone, while others are fans of high percussion.

That’s why it’s important to do your fair share of background research to make sure you’re choosing the right headphones. Luckily, it’s hard to go wrong with Bose headphones. Bose makes some of the most high-tech and sweet-sounding speakers and headphones on the market.

Our picks for the five best Bose headphones capture the best of what Bose has to offer: a wide range of features and prices, with very little drop-off in sound quality between models. For all you need to know before you decide on the best Bose headphones for your listening pleasure, our shopping guide is chock-full of information.

Bose founder, Amar Bose, was a graduate of MIT, and used his scientific background to find ways to make speakers sound more accurate, after his own disappointing experience with a stereo system.

Key considerations

Style

Most people are loyal fans of either over-the-ear headphones or earbuds. Bose makes both styles. Think about your preference and your average listening time when choosing whether you want to go with over-the-ear Bose headphones or earbuds.

Connection

Some people may think that wireless headphones are always preferable, but that’s not necessarily true. A lot of people prefer wired headphones because they are easier to keep track of. With wired styles, there’s no risk of ending up with only one earbud at the end of a hectic day. Consider which connection style works best for your needs and personal habits.

Design

As is the trend with most other portable electronics, headphones have become almost as much of a fashion accessory as a tool. If you take pride in the fashion statement that your headphones make, browse the wide range of various colors and aesthetic design features that Bose headphones offer, and you’ll be sure to look cool while enjoying your favorite tunes.

Practicality

Some people only use their headphones on public transportation, while others use them exclusively for exercise or for listening to music at home. How you plan to use your headphones impacts what model will work best for you. Choose a pair of Bose headphones based on how you’ll use them on a day-to-day basis.

Price

Although Bose is a high-end brand, they offer a range of prices to fit most budgets. Because of their compact size, headphones are often lost or misplaced. If this is a problem for you, consider not breaking the bank on the most expensive pair of Bose headphones on the market.

Augment your audio reality

The Bose QuietComfort 35 over-the-ear headphones are a top-of-the-line example of Bose engineering. With wireless technology, Alexa voice control, and Bose AR capabilities, these headphones become an extension of you, which is pretty exciting for a pair of headphones.

Features

One of the best things about Bose products is the variety of features offered within each product line. No two pairs of Bose headphones are the same, and that’s good news for the consumer.

Wireless capability

Wireless headphones are becoming the norm for many listeners. With some smartphone makers removing headphone jacks altogether, it appears that the market is heading the same direction. Bose offers both wired and wireless headphones, as well as hybrids that can work both ways.

Noise cancellation

For those who need a little separation between themselves and the world around them, Bose noise-cancelling headphones are a solid option. Bose did groundbreaking development in the early days of noise-cancelling headphones, and it shows in the quality of their products. They remain some of the best on the market.

Microphone

Some users like the convenience of a built-in microphone on their headphone cord. It makes talking on the go that much easier. Bose has a number of models that incorporate this handy feature.

Connectivity

Bose headphones with Bluetooth capability can connect wirelessly to your phone, Google Alexa, and other wireless devices. If you love the interconnectedness of modern electronics, you’ll want to take advantage of this advancement in headphone technology.

Bose AR

Bose AR, or augmented reality, is a new technology that feeds the listener audio information based on their physical surroundings. For example, if you are standing in front of a restaurant, your Bose AR-enabled headphones can give you basic information such as its hours and the type of food it serves. This feature is only available on higher-end Bose headphones at the moment, though the technology is continuing to develop.

EXPERT TIP

Trying on different types of over-the-ear and in-ear headphones is the best way to find a comfortable pair for your listening pleasure.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

The Bose Corporation is one of the very few companies of its size that still has not become a publicly traded company.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Playing loud music through headphones can cause hearing loss if done too loud for an extended period. Make sure to temper your desire for loud music when using any headphones.


Staff  | BestReviews

Bose headphone prices

An inexpensive pair of Bose headphones costs roughly $50 to $150, while a mid-range pair of Bose headphones will cost you between $200 and $275. These headphones have the same world-class sound as their inexpensive counterparts but have a few additional options, such as Bluetooth connectivity.

The highest-end Bose headphones cost $275 and up. These models come with all the extras, including Bose AR technology, which allows you to receive an audio informational overlay based on your physical surroundings. In this price range, you’ll also find a number of options with superior noise cancellation, which is one of the hallmarks of Bose headphones.

Flavor in your ear

These headphones give the listener surprisingly low bass tones for an in-ear model. The optional wire includes an in-line mic and control buttons. These affordable Bose earbuds are ideal for your morning jog or evening train commute.

Tips

  • Because headphones are worn as a physical accessory, it’s a good idea to try them out for a few days and see how they feel in (or over) your ears. If extended use causes discomfort, return them and try another pair.

  • Both over-the-ear and in-ear Bose headphones can be modified with different size ear cushions or earpieces. Find out what size/shape fits your ears best, and modify your headphones for the perfect fit.

  • Don’t forget to charge any wireless headphones after every use. There’s nothing more frustrating than putting on your Bose headphones and finding them totally drained of power.

  • Doctors recommend keeping your headphones’ volume lower than 82 decibels if you’re listening for an extended period. Any louder and you could cause long-term hearing damage.

Other products we considered

Bose has one of the most comprehensive collections of high-quality headphones on the market. That made our task of choosing just five a difficult one. A few other models caught our eye (and ears). If you’re looking for a mid-range pair of headphones with the best of Bose craftsmanship, the Bose Soundlink On-Ear Bluetooth Headphones deliver sharp sound quality at a good price. If you’re shopping for a mini audiophile, the Bose BOSEbuild Bluetooth Headphones for Kids are too cool not to mention. With safe-volume limits and customized colored lights, any kid would be lucky to get these headphones as a gift.

Not all noise cancelling headphones are the same. Technology differs between brands, although Bose invented noise cancellation in headphones, which makes them some of the best on the market.

FAQ

Q. Is there a difference in sound quality between wireless and wired headphones?
A
. No. Whether your Bose headphones are wireless or wired, you’ll get the same crystal clear sound quality every time.

Q. Is noise cancellation necessary for the best sound experience?
A
. Although noise cancellation is a useful feature for those who need an audio barrier between themselves and the noise around them, you can get top-quality headphone sound without the help of noise cancellation.

Q. Does Bose make waterproof headphones?
A
. Some Bose headphones are weather-resistant, but that doesn’t make them waterproof. Just as you would with any personal electronic, you should take care not to expose your Bose headphones to water or any extreme weather.

The team that worked on this review
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    Alvina
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    Web Producer
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    Production Manager
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    Editor
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    Writer
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    Editor
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