Pros:Epic sound. Luxurious comfort. Thoughtful design. Two supplied cables and semi-hard travel case. Supports iPhone.
Cons:Somewhat steep initial cost. Pads can harden up in cold weather. Thin-ish cables.
The Bottom Line: If there's only one product that Bose has undeniably done right, its these headphones. These are a quality product that, Bose-basher or not, should not be overlooked.
Its easy for audiophiles and "informed" consumers alike to bash Bose. To claim Bose sells inferior products through aggressive marketing tactics for premium prices may very well be true, but take note that nothing was spared on this particular set of headphones.
Recommend this product?
The Bose On-Ear headphones reproduce sound with rather jaw dropping clarity and depth. The bass output from these headphones are so great, some of my friends who own special "Bass Boosting" sets which require 2 AAA's to power a small amp can't even compete. I swear I've heard sub-sonic sounds from these headphones I've not heard from my $300 subwoofer at home. The bass, though intense, is still clear and balanced with the rest of the frequency ranges. Low rumbling sounds never seem to vibrate violently or cough in your ears -- no sign of struggling whatsoever. The mid-ranges do not sound muffled nor overpowering. Anything from electronica to classical music will sound, for a lack of better word, perfect. High tones do not pierce the ear, not get lost in the background. They're not tinny nor too shimmery. There's really no better way to describe the sound these headphones put out other than "Epic."
To say these headphones put out 100% accurate sound similar to a studio monitor set would not be true. The Bose On-Ear headphones are consumer-use multimedia headphones intended for enjoyment listening. While these probably do not produce the perfect sonic reproduction true audiophiles yearn for, I'm almost entirely certain that using these in conjunction with your laptop or MP3 player will MORE than satisfy year ears.
After all, what good is a good sounding pair of cans if you can't wear them for long? Bose got something right with the on-ear headphones -- the comfort level provided by the overall design is almost a feeling of luxury. The pads are so plush and soft, the first thing that comes to mind are Tempurpedic mattress commercials -- they're kind of like that. The pads conform to the shape of your ear rather than placing pressure on your ear to stay on. It turns out, these pads are actually a large part of why the Bose headphones can produce such incredible bass. The pads create a seal on your ear which forces air to pass through small ports on the backs of each can, very similarly to a subwoofer. It's a very clever [and welcome] design.
The pads create incredible isolation from the outside, making these a good investment for commuters. While not noise-cancelling, they will make you think "geez, why would I even need noise cancelling?"
The comfort of the pads allow me to listen for countless hours on end. I believe once I wore them for nearly 6 hours and there wasn't a hint of soreness on my lobes. The headband equally features a plush leather and cloth pad to keep your skull happy.
Construction wise, the On-Ear headphones are great, but not spectacular. The headband is metal, and everything else is plastic [though, a very high quality plastic.] I've owned these headphones for a year now, and to be honest they still look brand new -- and I haven't been using the supplied carrying case. The hinges, though plastic, are much sturdier than some of the other triport headphones, so don't be afraid that they'll break a month after buying them. These headphones were intended for home, office, and commute usage. They wouldn't fare very well for joggers or other active types. Though the contruction is above average, they just aren't intended for rugged use.
On the bottom of the left side there's a detachable cable, which in itself ensures a long life. If your cable breaks, you can get a new cable instead of a whole new pair -- if you cable does break that is. If your cable snags on something while wearing them, the worst that usually happens is that it will just break away and you can reattach it no harm done. Detaching the cable makes storing them in a bag a whole lot easier since things won't get all tangled. Bose also supplies a half-length cable to use with wired remotes [such as the iPod and PSP wired remote.] For those with a first generation iPhone, you'll find these cables useful since they fit natively into the recessed jack. For iPhone users, it's also interesting to note that Bose has an available in-line microphone cable, to get functionality similar to the earbuds supplied with it.
Lastly, for those travelling, Bose offers a sturdy travel case that keeps the headphones and both cables well protected while in a bag or luggage. These aren't the cheapest headphones out there, so it's nice that Bose offers a little something to keep them lasting.
If there's only one product that Bose has undeniably done right, its these headphones. The price seems steep at first, but make the expense and I assure you, the expense will melt away over time. These are a quality product that, Bose-basher or not, should not be overlooked.