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Bose refreshes headphone line with new branding and colors

While not exactly new, the company has introduced new versions of its on-ear, around-the-ear, and in-ear models under its new SoundTrue and Freestyle brands.

The new $179.95 SoundTrue around-the-ear will replace Bose's exisiting AE2 headphones. Bose

Could it be that Bose is trying to get hipper in its old age?

That's what it seems like if you examine its latest announcement, which boils down to putting a fresh, more modern face with bolder colors on some of its current models.

According to a Bose PR rep, the new SoundTrue around-ear and on-ear headphones replace the AE2 and OE2 products in the Bose headphone line, while the new FreeStyle earbuds ($129.95), which come in Indigo and Ice Blue, complement the existing IE2 , MIE2 , and MIE2i in-ear headphones but do not replace them.

The on-ear and around-the-ear SoundTrue models, which both cost $179.95, will come in black and white, as well some "two-tone" designs -- purple/mint (on-ear headphones only) and black/mint (around-ear headphones only).

The new FreeStyle earbuds complement the existing line of Bose in-ear headphones. Bose

The same PR confirmed that the changes are cosmetic and that the new models' sound is in line with that of the older models. They will also all feature in-line remotes with a microphone. Previously, that wasn't the case.

"The audio performance is comparable to our AE2 , OE2 , and IE2 headphones," the rep said. "There are no notable improvements."

All these headphones are among the most comfortable in their categories. Their sound is good, too, though you can find competing models that deliver even better sound for the money. (Picking the right headphone always involves balancing comfort with sound quality.)

The new models are shipping now, and we'll give them a whirl in the near future to confirm that they really do sound the same.

The comfy SoundTrue on-ear comes in new colors for $179.95. Bose