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'Bose' Reviews

Review: Sennheiser's PXC 550 Wireless Headphones Should Put Bose on Notice

Last month we looked at Bose's wireless QuietComfort 35 noise-canceling headphones ($350) and came away with the feeling that – at least for those willing or able to test premium waters – Bluetooth-based audio fulfillment was finally a possibility. So it would be remiss not to turn next to rival premium headphone maker and well-regarded German audio company Sennheiser to see what it has to offer in the wireless noise-canceling space. Sennheiser has dipped its toes into the NC market before with the PXC 250-ii, PXC 450, and its lauded wireless Momentum series, but the firm announced its flagship PXC 550 travel cans ($400/£330) in an almost direct response to Bose's QuietComfort transition to Bluetooth, which makes comparisons here inevitable. First though let's look at the design and features of the PXC 550 headphones on their own terms.

Review: QuietComfort 35 Headphones Prove Bose Won't Miss the Headphone Jack

With the controversial absence of a headphone jack on the iPhone 7 now a reality, accessory companies are busily churning out wireless alternatives, and that's as true of Bose as it is of other big audio brands. Its latest QuietComfort 35 over-the-ear headphones ($350) are a wireless version of the company's flagship premium QC25 cans ($300), seen by some as offering the best active noise-canceling in the business. The QC35's retain the same established design and patented ANC smarts, so as an owner of a pair of original QuietComfort 25 headphones, I was interested to see how the new Bluetooth model compared. Design and Features The box that the QC35's come in is reminiscent of the QC25's, and the included compact travel case that the cans fold up into boasts the same assured sturdiness. You get a thinner 1.2 meter lead for wired connections, a micro-USB to USB-A charging cable, and the same airline adapter is also included. Taking the QC35 cans out though and weighing them against the wired model, it's clear the transition to Bluetooth meant the QC35's had to put on a little weight - 115 grams' worth, to be exact, for a total of 309g. So what brings the added heft?

'Bose' Articles

Bose Introduces HomePod Competitor With Display for $400, AirPlay 2 Support Coming in 2019

Bose today revealed the "Bose Home Speaker 500," a new smart speaker that comes with Amazon Alexa built into the device and support for Bluetooth music streaming from iOS and Android smartphones. The Wi-Fi enabled speaker has many of the same features as competitor devices like HomePod and Sonos One, including music streaming, smart home automation, smart assistant inquiries, multi-room music syncing, and more. In "early 2019," Bose says that it will introduce support for AirPlay 2 in the Bose Home Speaker 500, as well as in a pair of smart soundbars also announced today, the Bose Soundbar 500 and Bose Soundbar 700. For the Bose Home Speaker 500, the device includes an eight-microphone array for near-field and far-field voice pickup -- all when it's both silent and noisy from currently playing music. For music playback, users will be able to play Spotify or Amazon Music directly from the Bose Home Speaker 500 when it's connected to a home Wi-Fi network. Buttons on the top of the speaker will also allow customers to set up to six different presets for playlists, Internet radio stations, and more. Of course, with Bluetooth any audio can also be streamed from a smartphone or tablet. The company says the Home Speaker 500 has "the widest soundstage of any smart speaker available today," and is encased in an anodized aluminum shell that measures 8" high by 6" wide by 4" deep. Two custom drivers pointed in opposite directions ensure that sound reflects off surrounding walls to separate instruments and "place vocals where the artist did," all without "artificial effects

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Headphones Gain Alexa Support via Software Update

Bose has released an update for its QuietComfort 35 II wireless headphones that adds Alexa support as a voice assistant feature. Previously, the "Action" button on the popular noise-canceling cans was exclusively for invoking Google Assistant (Siri is accessed by holding down the multifunction play/pause button for two seconds). However, after updating the software through the Bose Connect app, QC35 II owners can now opt to use Amazon's ubiquitous virtual assistant instead via the app's Options menu. For those wondering, voice assistant support is the main difference between the Bose QC 35 Series II headphones and the original Quiet Comfort 35 Series I (reviewed here), although the later model does let you use the noise canceling feature in wired as well as wireless mode. So if voice assistant support doesn't interest you and you're looking to go wireless, the Series I cans are definitely still worth a punt if you can find them online – and you just might save yourself a few dollars in the

Apple Begins Selling Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker Online and In Stores

Apple recently added a new Bluetooth speaker to its retail and online stores, called the "SoundLink Micro" and created by Bose. Spotted by Japanese blog Mac Otakara [Google Translate], the $109.95 speaker seems to have appeared on Apple's website around October 11, and has subsequently launched in some retail stores as well. The SoundLink Micro is designed for durability and comes with an IPX7 waterproof rating, equivalent to the Apple Watch's rating and ability to withstand submersion up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. The speaker's durability can resist dents, cracks, and scratches, and the package also includes a tear-resistant strap to attach to a backpack or cooler. In terms of music playback, the speaker can last up to six hours, and if you have two of them they can be paired together for stereo or "Party Mode" playback. When synced to an iPhone, the SoundLink Micro supports access to Siri and lets you take calls right from the speaker. Bose's speaker measures at 3.87 inches tall by 3.87 inches wide, and includes a Micro USB charging cable. Two-day shipping is available as of writing for the SoundLink Micro, and it appears that the device has already arrived at most Apple retail stores. For the locations that don't have stock today, many list availability dates later this week, around October 18. Visit Apple.com to check out more information on the speaker, which also comes in Orange, Black, and Blue color

Bose Announces $250 'SoundSport Free' Wireless Headphones Launching in October

Bose today announced its first-ever pair of wireless in-ear headphones called "SoundSport Free," which will go on sale in October for $250. Similar to Apple's AirPods and other wireless headphones, the SoundSport Free are small buds that you place in your ears without any connecting wires, and which charge through an included case while you're on-the-go (via CNET). Bose's wireless headphones are more sport- and activity-focused, with silicone StayHear+ sport tips to ensure a comfortable fit during intense activities, as well as an IPX4 water resistance rating (Apple's AirPods are not rated for water resistance, although many users have noted their resilience through activities that coat them in sweat or water). The Bose Connect iOS app will also include a new "Find My Buds" feature, displaying the last known location and time of use in order to help you rediscover the lost headphones. In terms of battery life, Bose said that the SoundSport Free will last for up to five hours on one charge, and the charging/carrying case can fuel up the headphones with an additional ten hours of battery. The five-hour battery life aligns with the AirPods in terms of battery on the buds themselves, but when comparing the charging cases Apple's case provides an additional 24 hours of life to the AirPods. Controls are located on the top of the buds, giving you access to play, pause, skip track, take and end phone call controls, and even activate Siri or Google Assistant. Bose also explained that the SoundSport Free headphones include a Bluetooth antenna that is designed to provide

Bose Wireless Headphones Spy on Listeners, Lawsuit Alleges

Bose has been hit by a lawsuit that accuses the company of spying on its wireless headphone customers through its Bose Connect mobile app and violating consumer privacy rights (via Reuters). The complaint was filed on Tuesday in a Chicago federal court by Kyle Zak, who is seeking an injunction to stop Bose's "wholesale disregard" for the privacy of customers who download the app to their smartphones. The lawsuit alleges that Bose tracks the listening habits of users when they are wearing headsets like the company's QuietComfort 35 headphones, gleaning information through the app such as music tracks played, podcasts, and other audio listened to. According to Zak, who bought a pair of $350 QC35 cans, Bose sends all available information to third parties such as Segment.io, a data capture outfit whose website promises to "collect all of your customer data and send it anywhere". "People should be uncomfortable with it," Christopher Dore, a lawyer representing Zak, said in an interview. "People put headphones on their head because they think it's private, but they can be giving out information they don't want to share." Audio choices offer "an incredible amount of insight" into customers' personalities, behavior, politics and religious views, the complaint said, citing as an example that a person who listens to Muslim prayers might "very likely" be a Muslim.Zak is seeking millions of dollars of damages for customers who bought Bose headphones and speakers, including QuietComfort 35, QuietControl 30, SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II, SoundLink Color

'BOSEbuild Speaker Cube' Teaches Kids How to Build Their Own Bluetooth Speaker

Audio technology company Bose this week announced a new wireless Bluetooth speaker aimed at creating a do-it-yourself workflow for kids interested in electronics. Called the BOSEbuild Speaker Cube, the $150 kit connects with a companion Bose app, giving users a step-by-step set of instructions to build a fully functioning Bluetooth speaker, along with other experiments and activities (via TechCrunch). Once users put the focus on assembling the speaker, no extra tools are required in the process since Bose ships all the necessary equipment in the kit. There are customization options as well, with different colored lighting effects and "swappable silhouette covers" to add a personal touch to the finished speaker. This is more than just a speaker – it’s a journey. Starting from the very basic elements of sound and speakers, your child will build a deeper understanding as they move toward assembling their Speaker Cube. At every step, exploration is encouraged and curiosity is rewarded. Everything about the BOSEbuild Speaker Cube is carefully designed with kids in mind. The parts are rugged and resilient, and the app-driven construction steps are clear and easy to follow. Cables and connectors are big, bright, and easy to handle. Even the circuit board is clearly labeled. The Speaker Cube is just the first in the BOSEbuild line, which the company hopes will help spark the curiosity of its younger users through hands-on experiences and exploration. According to Bose, "when kids build something with their own hands and experience it with their own senses, it does more

Bose Pushes Noise-Cancellation Smarts in Wireless Headphones Market

Wireless bluetooth headphones have been gaining traction over the past few years as potentially reliable replacements to the traditional wired headsets offered with most smartphones. Interest has increased only further since rumors began suggesting that Apple's upcoming iPhone 7 may feature a thinner body with no headphone jack, leaving users to rely on the Lightning port and Bluetooth as ways to connect to the device. Meanwhile, other rumors suggest Apple could use new audio technology in the iPhone 7 to improve noise cancellation and even extend the feature to a new set of Apple-branded wireless headphones. Amid all the Apple speculation, the company best known for inventing premium noise cancellation technology – Bose – today unveiled a new wireless version of its flagship QuietComfort headphones, along with three other potential wireless options for the future iPhone 7 user. Priced at $350 and available in black or silver, the QuietComfort 35 headphones feature the same around-ear design as previous wired QC cans and Bose claims they offer similar audio quality to its QC25 headphones. The Verge says "they do a great job of making it feel like you're alone with whatever's playing through them", and that typical everyday ambient noise — subway stations, busy city streets, and so on — are "turned down to a whisper" by the QC35s. Bose also announced today an all-new pair of noise-cancelling earbuds called the QuietControl 30s, which have a black plastic band that wraps around the back of the neck. The level of noise cancellation in the