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CNET First Look
Bose SoundTrue Ultra: Bose's best sounding in-ear headphone yetNot only is the company's first noise-isolating in-ear headphone really comfortable but it also delivers clean, well-balanced sound.
[MUSIC] I'm David Carling from cnet.com and I'm here with Bose's SoundTrue Ultra, the company's first noise isolating in ear headphones. Don't confuse noise isolating with active noise cancellation. These aren't a powered headphone, however, what makes that Ultra different from Bose's earlier in ear headphones. Is that it's tip is designed to fit snugly in the base of your ear canal. And block out a lot of ambient noise. Now a lot of people don't like having ear tips jammed in their eyes. Which is why Bose's earlier in your headphones have a looser fitting open design that lets some sound in have become so popular. The ultra on the other hand is designed more like a traditional in-ear headphone, but once again the key to its fit is the soft silicone stay ear tip, which Bose calls StayHere Ultra for this model. Not only are these among the most comfortable if not the most comfortable in-ear noise isolating headphones you can buy But the stay ear ultra tips keep the buds securely in your ears. It's a great design and you should be able to wear these headphones for long stretches with little-to-no discomfort. It also helps that the buds themselves are light-weight. They are plastic, which may leave you wondering why they cost a hundred and fifty dollars. But they are made of high tech plastic if that's any consolation. The headphone comes in black or white and in two flavors. One with a remote that's designed to be used with android phones, and another that's compatible with Apple iOS devices. The headphone works well for making calls. You can hear people better in noisier environments, thanks to the noise isolation And it does come with a nicely designed compact carrying case. As for the sound, the Ultra is an even handed, very clean sounding headphone that's designed to make all music sound good. The bass may be a little lean for some who crave that extra thumb to their [UNKNOWN] but it was punchy enough for me. The treble was smooth and the mid-range clear and warm without being too laid back. I didn't have a problem with the volume level, but some people have complained about it not being high enough. The Ultra's top volume is about 10 to 20% lower than a lot of in ear headphones on the market. I believe Bose did that on purpose to keep people from damaging their ears, but if your hearing is a little bit shot, these may very well not play quite loud enough for you. Anyway I like the Ultras a lot for both their comfort and their sound and I wasn't the only one in the CNET office who did. Home audio editor Ty Pendlebury also approved of them. True they are a little expensive at $150 but if you're looking for a clean-sounding pair of really comfortable in-ear noise isolating headphones It really stays in your ears. The soundtrue ultra should be on your short list. I'm David Carnoy. Thanks for watching.