Bose TriPort In-Ear Headphones (Black) review: Bose TriPort In-Ear Headphones (Black)

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Bose In-Ear Headphones - headphones

(Part #: 40226) Released: 14 Nov 2006
2.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The Bose TriPort In-Ear headphones have strong bass and good overall detail, and they're not intrusive in your ear canal.

The Bad The Bose TriPort In-Ear headphones don't block out any noise, and the fit doesn't feel quite as secure as advertised. The silicone tips come off very easily, and pick up tons of dirt.

The Bottom Line The Bose In-Ear Headphones are a hybrid set, falling right between regular earbuds and canalphones. They don't block out noise, but they do provide much more bass than stock earbuds--almost too much, in fact.

5.7 Overall
  • Design 4.0
  • Features 6.0
  • Performance 7.0

If you're looking for noise-isolating earbuds, the Bose TriPort In-Ear Headphones ($99) are not for you. Although they have silicone tips that protrude slightly into your ear canal, they are not meant to protect your ears from screaming children on airplanes--nor from the drone of the engine. They provide far better bass than your MP3 player's stock headphones, but the overall sound isn't a match for similarly priced in-ear 'phones. If you have a tough time sticking things deep into your ear canal or are paranoid about walking around without hearing much of what's going on around you, these are worth a listen, despite some physical design flaws.

The Bose TriPort In-Ear Headphones have an unusual if not unique design. They resemble the earbuds that come with the Samsung Yepp YP-K5; they look like regular earbuds but with silicone tips that funnel the sound directly into your ear canals. The symmetrical cables have an antitangle slider and terminate in a 3.55mm gold-plated straight plug. The plastic plug housing is oddly bulky and rectangular--seemingly just so the company could fit its logo on it.


You'll want to keep the Bose TriPort In-Ear Headphones' included case on hand to avoid cable tangles and keep the eartips clean.

Bose's tips are very soft and comfortable with no rough edges. They snap onto small tubes that protrude from the earphones, but they don't stay on very tightly--you're virtually guaranteed to lose them, and you only get one set each of small, medium, and large tips. (Replacements cost around $5 per set.) Of course, as one user recommended, you can always superglue the tips to the earphones. Bose also includes a padded leather case that has an integrated cable winder and magnetic flaps. It's a must if you want to avoid having to wash the silicone tips constantly, since they pick up every last bit of lint and dirt in your pocket.

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