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CNET First Look
Bose SoundLink On-Ear Bluetooth: top on-ear wireless headphoneBose's first on-ear wireless headphone is compact, comfortable, and sounds excellent for a Bluetooth headphone.
[MUSIC] This is the first on ear wireless headphone from Bose the [UNKNOWN] Blue Tooth on ear which retails for 249.95 and comes in two colors at launch, black and white. Hi, I'm David Carnoy and as you can see here these guys look similar to Bose's sound true on ear wired headphones. But they're aren't quite as compact, and don't fold flat in their carrying case. So the overall package is bigger. Still, at 5.4 ounces or 152.6 grams, these are quite light for a Bluetooth headphone. And like their wired siblings, quite comfortable to wear. They fit snugly on your head, but it's worth mentioning that they will move around a bit if you shake your head vigorously or jump up and down. They're not really meant for running, but you can certainly use them at the gym while you're lifting or doing lighter cardiovascular exercise. I wouldn't sweat on them too much, though. As for features, the remote control buttons are well placed on the right ear cup. And to answer calls, you tap the middle control button. Which also let's you skip tracks forward and back, when play music. There's a new two way microphone system and something Bose calls adaptive audio adjustment technology, which automatically changes volume based on speech level and ambient noise. Whatever it does, it does well because I had no problem making calls on the noisy streets of New York. I also had no problem pairing the headphones with both iOS and Android devices and experienced a minimum of wireless hiccups. Along with the carrying case, you get a cable for using the headphones in wired mode plus a micro USB charging cable. Battery life is rated at 15 hours, which is pretty decent. As for the sound, this is one of the best Bluetooth headphones I've heard. And at the moment anyway, it's arguably the best on your wireless headphone. I can't say it sounds as good as certain wired-on-ear-headphones in this price class. Such as the Beyerdynamic T51P, but for a Bluetooth headphone, it sounds pretty natural with strong, but not overpowering, bass and good clarity. You get a touch of what we call Bluetooth artifacting, but average listeners probably won't hear any of that. As I said, this headphone costs $249.95 and that's pretty pricey, but it does cost significantly less than the popular Beat Studio Well SN over the ear model. The Beats gives you a bit more sound isolation, has active noise cancellation, and arguably sounds slightly better, however this Bose has a lighter, more compact headphone that travels better and that makes it a very compelling choice in the market of premium BlueTooth headphones. I'm David Carnoy. Thanks for watching.