Bose AE2i headphones
Bose AE2i review: Comfortable but expensive headphones with good sound
- Well built
- Good bass and detailed soundstage
- Build quality not as good as pricier Bose models
Bose’s AE2i headphones, which now have an in-line volume control for iPod and iPhone support, are reasonably well constructed and comfortable. They also sound good, but they’re expensive and lack Bose’s signature noise cancelling -- which appears on the company’s more expensive (and better built) headphones.
Price$ 249.95 (AUD)
The Bose AE2i headphones are an update designed to appeal to the Apple crowd, with an in-line volume control and multifunction button that works with iPhones, iPods and MacBooks alike. They’re well put together, comfortable and sound good. However, the Bose AE2i headphones also quite expensive given their lack of active noise cancelling technology, and other Bose models are built more solidly.
Bose AE2i: Design, construction and comfort
Bose’s AE2i headphones sit over the wearer's ears, but only just — they are compact for full-size headphones and can be easily stowed away in a briefcase or handbag (they come with a soft carry case). The headband telescopes in two places to accomodate heads large and small, and the AE2i’s metre-long headphone cord detaches from the headset if pulled — a safety net to avoid any damage.
The Bose AE2i headphones are well built. The plastics are tough and high-quality, but compared to the QuietComfort 15 they feel slightly hollow. The AE2i headphones are light enough to wear for a long time without fatigue, which is an advantage over Bose’s more expensive noise cancelling models which include comparatively heavy batteries and circuitry. The ear-cups of the Bose AE2i headphones are finished in a soft-touch leatherette with cushioned padding, which means they are comfortable without being itchy.
The Bose AE2i headphones don't have any integrated active noise cancellation, but they do a good job (for small headphones) of blocking out ambient noise.
Bose AE2i: Sound quality
The Bose AE2i headphones are reasonably accurate in their representation of music, but do have a slight emphasis of low mid-range and bass, as well as a slight sharpness to treble notes. We listened to music in a range of styles and found that the most telling was classical orchestra — the thrums of double basses and the beat of bass drums reverberate and are slow to decay, and cymbals and high piano notes have an almost electronic ring to them. The AE2i headphones are nonetheless detailed and we enjoyed listening to them.
The soundstage of the Bose AE2i — the headphones’ ability to separate left and right audio channels, and to play back positional audio — is also excellent. Even when you’re not listening to music, the AE2i headphones’ good passive noise cancellation blocks out a lot of high-frequency background noise, such as people typing. They aren’t sealed enough to hide the low-frequency hum of an air conditioner, though.
We were able to turn the volume all the way up on our test iPhone 4 and MacBook Pro without the sound of the Bose AE2i becoming too harsh or fatiguing. The headphones aren’t painfully loud either though — when walking through a busy shopping centre we had them almost at maximum volume. This might make it hard to drown out very loud outside noise, but will protect your hearing in the long run. If you are in an environment with loud ambient noise, we’d recommend some high quality active noise cancelling headphones anyway.
Bose AE2i: Conclusion
Bose's AE2i headphones are expensive given that they don't have any integrated active noise cancelling. However, they are light and comfortable and possess good sound quality — three important traits for a pair of portable headphones.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Smart LED Bulb LB130
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Apple's AirPods could deliver audio with multiple wireless protocols
- First look: Nuheara IQbuds smart Bluetooth ear buds do more than just music
- Convoy International restructures business focus
- Beats Solo2 headphones go wireless for $399
- Astro A38 review: A staggering price to pay for convenience
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTApplication Support Analyst/DeveloperNSW
- CCSalesforce - Functional Analyst (BA)NSW
- CCWeb Ops EngineerACT
- FTMonitoring Tools Support l NimSoft , SMARTS, ehealth, TivoliNSW
- FTTelecommunications Services Manager - Voice/Data/UCQLD
- FTJava Developer - Fixed Term ContractQLD
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)ACT
- CCSecurity Analyst - multiple rolesACT
- FTFinancial ERP Customer SME / Solution Consultant / System AccountantNSW
- TPIT Project CoordinatorVIC
- TPEnvironment Specialist(DevOps)QLD
- TPSenior Java Developer - ContractQLD
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- FTPresales Solutions ArchitectQLD
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- CCDesktop RolloutVIC
- TPOrganisational Change Manager - ICT Services TransformationQLD
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerNSW
- FT.Net DeveloperNSW
- FTJunior Software Engineer - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)VIC
- FTLevel 3 Support AnalystVIC
- TPAnalyst Programmer (Adabas)SA
- TPBI & Report Developer (SQL Developer)QLD
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)WA
- CCSenior .NET DeveloperNSW