Bose Triport (over-ear) review

Sorry for the time I’ve been gone. I’ve had lots of stuff going on and have been working; I swear. Although most of my writings will be on the topic generally of computers, on occasion I’ll bring you special pieces on the mobile and audio fronts. I’m heavy on both, as well as Linux/Open-Source news, and tech news in general. Today, I’d like to bring you a special review of the Bose Triport headphones. Let’s get started.

I haven’t mentioned this before, but I’m a big headphone enthusiast. I’ve been the proud owner of a set of Sennheiser HD-280 PROs for over 2 years now, and have used them every day. Well, once again I’m in the market for a new pair of cans and have been shopping around. An evening with my girlfriend at Target found me wandering around the electronics section, where I spotted these Bose units. Out of all the headphones I’ve used, the Bose have been by far the lightest and most comfortable. They come in silver and “glacier blue”. I happend to pick up the silver ones.

The retail packaging is pretty standard for retail packaging. Hard plastic that takes some finesse, precision, and rage when using scissors. I happend to use a utility cutter from work; worked like a charm 🙂 The first impression of these headphones is that their light. The second impression, almost simultanious with the first, is that they’re flimsy. The construction definitely isn’t worthy of the $139.99 price tag. From various user reviews, many have broken them within a week, but Bose is great about replacements from my understanding. All I know is that these will break much sooner than my Sennheisers. However, this is why they’re so light. If you’ve ever used full-size headphones before, you’ll know they’re not the lighest things in the world. you can’t do more than walk average pace with them, and they look very, very dorky since the inception of the “earbud” style headphones included with every MP3 player since 1990-something. For full-size over-ear ‘phones the Bose definitely look sleek, and are comfortable to boot. Despite the construction being that of a $50 pair, what really matters in a good set of headphones (or any headphones for that matter) is the sound.

At almost any electronics store (or stores like Wal-Mart and Target that sell electronics), You’ll find a Bose display with floor models of their headphones and/or speakers. Of course, they have their own songs for the demos, and they sound really nice. I’ll admit it, the demos sounded great. It’s always songs you would’ve never heard on the radio, from artists you probably never would’ve heard of, but the tracks sound really good. Now that I’ve got a pair home to test my own tracks with, let’s see how it performs. Keep in mind, I spent a few months with a set of Shure E2C’s and my usual Sennheiser HD 280 Pro’s, so I’ll be comparing these to them.

The first song I listened to was “I Get Money”, by 50 Cent. The song features a very bassy percussion with a synthesized tune. The bass sounds a bit too deep. It doesn’t sound natural, but if you like bass, natural or not, these things have good bass. The tune and voice sounds rich and full.

The next track I loaded up was Viva La Vida by Coldplay. The percussion bass was fairly tight, but the bass notes sounded dead. Everything else sounded a bit muffled. The voice sounded great though. The song is great for representing everything else but purcussion as this song has very little of it.

After Coldplay, I played G.I.N.A.S.F.S. by Fall Out Boy. The symbals sound like a 128Kb/s track, the voice sounds great, and the rest of the percussion is right on. The rest of the track sounds muffled compared to the Senns though.

I decided to change things up and try a live recording of “Landslide by Fleetwood Mac. The guitar sounds beautiful, and the vocals sound awesome. Some of the bass notes in the upper range lose their punch. While this was noticeable with other cans, it especially caught my attention with the Triports.

In Upside Down by Jack Johnson, the percussion really shined. The deep bongos sounded great on the Triports. The guitar sounded perfect, and the voice quality was unparalelled. The chorus’ of the song featured the bongos, drums, tamberine, guitar and jack, and was the busiest parts of the song. With a good set of cans, you can pick out each instrument; something you’d be hard pressed to do with any speakers.

With You’ve Got A Friend by james Taylor, the bass, guitar and vocals all sound awesome. The rest of the song again sounded muffled and compressed.

I decided to shy away from guitar based music and decided to try Hamburg Song by Keane. The organ sounded good, yet a bit warmer than it should be. The Piano sounds compressed, and vocals aren’t any different.

I decided to try some classical pieces. The first was Mozart’s Ave Maria. Compared to the Sennheisers, It sounds very similar, but much warmer. The Senns made the track sound a bit flat, while the Bose units bring it out better here.

The second was Shenandoah by Vienna Boys Choir. Since this song is all vocals, it didn’t surprise me that the Bose really did this track justice. Again, my Senns can be sorta flat at parts and particularly with this track. The Triports really picked out the bassy notes better.

A piano rendition of Pachelbel’s Canon in D allowed the Triports to bring out the lower notes, but higher notes sounded again compressed and shrilly.

Mr Roboto by Styx has always been one of my favorite songs to listen to and the Triports did a commendable job. The whole song sounded good, but sounds better on the Sennheisers.

Overall, the sound from the Bose Triports was great with music featuring more bass, acoustic guitar or speech. Past that, the higher and middle end of the audio spectrum was lacking. Most of the tracks I played with the Triports sounded muffled and compressed, while the bass was notably better than the Sennheisers.

I’m not saying these headphones aren’t bad. If you’ve never heard good headphones (and most haven’t), then these will blow your socks off. The bass and percussion delivery of theses headphones is top notch, and everything sounds fairly clear (just muffled compared to pro audio “phones), The sound will make any budding audiophile want them, but the price will scare most away. They MSRP at $139.99. A fair price for good headphones, but these aren’t deserving of that price. Bose always makes good products, but not exactly what they’re worth. These headphones are great, but not $140 bucks great. You can pick up a set of Shure E2C (in-ear) canal-phones for $100, or some Sennheiser HD280 Pros for $80-$100. For at or just under the $100 mark, there are much better options to be had.

If you’re in the market for good headphones, I suggest you check out http://www.goodcans.com for more information about headphones and makes/models. Thanks for your time, and keep checking back for new writings. If you have any questions or comments, my email is ahale1987@gmail.com.

-That Linux guy

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