Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Does the music through your headphones sound monotonous? Have your headphones broken after a month? There are many manufacturers of headphones, but only a few get it right. Bose is one of the companies that make headphones that actually sound good. But not only that: they are robustly built and have a long lifespan, which is why they are very reliable.

Sound quality is not a big buying criterion for Bose headphones, as it is actually a standard. However, there are other criteria you need to consider when buying Bose headphones. For this reason, we have selected the most important points in our large Bose headphones test 2021 to help you choose a pair of Bose headphones.


  • Bose distinguishes between in-ear and over-ear headphones. The earcup of in-ear headphones is worn in the ear, while the earcup of over-ear headphones is worn above the ear.
  • Bose over-ear headphones are generally a little more comfortable to wear, but it depends a lot on individual preference. The important thing is that the Bose headphones fit the ear and are comfortable.
  • In general, Bose is known for very good sound quality, which is also true for Bose headphones. To convince yourself of their quality, Bose offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on their webstore, which applies to all products.

The best Bose Headphones: Our Picks

Buying and rating criteria for Bose headphones

Depending on the type, Bose headphones can differ greatly in appearance. However, you do not have to forego functions such as noise-cancelling when choosing a type. Bose offers many different functions for both types of headphones, in-ear and over-ear. The most important functions or purchase criteria are as follows:

To make choosing a model easier, the following sections explain in more detail what these buying criteria are and what to look for.

Connection type

This is the type of connection between the headphones and the smartphone or PC. The data is sent either via a cable or via Bluetooth.

  • Bluetooth: Since no cable is needed, the user is freer. No cable interferes with movements, which is an advantage for sporting activities.
  • Cable: The cable ensures a good connection. The audio quality is therefore higher and jerks never occur.

Some Bose headphones also support both connection types. This means that you can decide which connection type is more suitable at that moment, depending on the situation.


Noise cancelling can be translated as noise suppression. Bose headphones that are equipped with noise-cancelling cancel out unwanted noise from the environment through anti-noise. This makes the sound of the Bose headphones clearer and purer, which benefits the sound quality.

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Bose noise-cancelling is also very suitable for studying, for example, as the ambient noise is cancelled out. This makes it easier to concentrate.
(Image source: / Francis Bouffard)

Such noise-cancelling systems from Bose are complex in nature, which is why noise cancellation is a feature that makes headphones more expensive.

Water resistance

Whether or not Bose headphones are waterproof is especially important for the athletes among you. If you plan to listen to music while exercising, you should make sure that the headphones are at least sweat-resistant. However, for intensive outdoor sports in the rain, it can be an advantage that the Bose headphones are even waterproof.

Battery life

Wireless headphones must, of course, run on battery power. Bose offers battery runtimes of 5 to 20 hours for its headphones, whereby the design has an influence.

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Over-ear headphones from Bose have a longer battery life due to their size, but they are not as practical for transport. The easiest solution is to carry them in a backpack.
(Image source: / Anubhav Arora)

In-ear models are much smaller and therefore have smaller batteries. Thus, they need to be charged more often than over-ear headphones.

Device compatibility

Bose has specially adapted the software of some headphones to individual operating systems, because Bose offers a supporting app for the headphones. Basically, a distinction is made here between Apple and Android, so care should be taken to ensure that the headphones are compatible with the correct operating system.

Normally, however, these models are offered in two versions: one version for each operating system.

You just have to make sure that you choose the right version.

Decision: What types of Bose headphones are there and which is right for you?

Bose divides the headphones into in-ear and over-ear headphones. This subdivision depends on whether the headphones sit in the ear or on the ear. Under over-ear, a distinction is made between on-ear and around-ear.

Type of headphones description
In-ear headphones are placed in the ear
On-ear (over-ear) headphones are placed on the ear
Around-ear (over-ear) headphones are placed around the ear

What exactly these two types are and what their advantages and disadvantages are will be explained in more detail in the following paragraphs.

What distinguishes in-ear Bose headphones and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

In-ear Bose headphones are designed to be worn in the ear. They are much smaller and therefore lighter. The look is also quite different from over-ear Bose headphones. Otherwise, they are not very different from over-ear headphones, because many functions are supported by Bose for both types.

  • Easy to carry
  • Shield from noise
  • Cheap
  • More dangerous for the eardrum
  • Unpleasant for sensitive ears
  • Tends to have poorer sound quality

The small and lightweight design is an advantage because it makes in-ear headphones much easier to transport and they cost less. Such models fit in any trouser pocket, which is why they can be taken anywhere and at any time. In-ear headphones also shield better from ambient noise if they are placed correctly in the ear.

What distinguishes over-ear headphones from Bose and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

In general, over-ear headphones are much larger and heavier than in-ear models. Therefore, this type of construction also has its advantages and disadvantages:

  • Better sound quality
  • Tend to be more comfortable to wear
  • Longer life
  • More difficult to transport
  • Poorer insulation
  • More expensive

The larger design is more robust, which is why over-ear headphones have a longer lifespan. It also allows for better audio quality. Over-ear models also tend to be more comfortable to wear, as they are designed to be used for longer periods of time. However, wearing comfort can be very subjective and also depends greatly on the models.

Bose over-ear headphones are worn over the ear, i.e. the ear cup sits either on the ear or around the ear. This is why Bose over-ear headphones are divided into on-ear and around-ear headphones.

Guide: Questions to consider before buying Bose headphones

We have prepared more important information about Bose headphones for you below.

What makes Bose headphones different from other manufacturers?

Bose products are known for their high quality. This applies not only to the sound, but also to the construction and the electronics. On the one hand, Bose headphones are made for private use, on the other hand, they sell headsets for pilots, for example. Thus, companies also put their trust in the hands of Bose, which speaks for high reliability.

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Headphones from Bose are always stylish and go with any look.
(Image source: / Rayan Almuslem)

Those who value good audio quality will not be disappointed by Bose. On the contrary, all music lovers are in good hands with Bose headphones.

How do I know that Bose headphones are good?

You're not convinced by all the talk about sound quality? No problem: Bose offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can see for yourself.

If something about the headphones doesn't fit, you can simply return them.

All Bose products are also guaranteed for at least one year, whether they are small in-ear headphones or large speakers. In addition, free product support is offered, which is available for any question.

What are the alternatives to Bose headphones?

Besides headphones, Bose produces two other types of products: speakers and audio sunglasses.

  • Speakers: In addition to headphones, Bose also offers speakers. These allow several people to enjoy the music together. Here, too, a lot of emphasis is placed on good sound quality. Models are available in many different variations.
  • Audio sunglasses: These are not sunglasses that visualise audio, but sunglasses that have small speakers built into the arms of the glasses. These audio sunglasses are available with round or square frames. Basically, however, the audio components are the same.

How do I connect my Bose Bluetooth headphones to a device?

If Bose headphones are wireless, they need to be connected to the device via Bluetooth. There are only a few steps to follow:

  1. First, the Bluetooth on the headphones must be switched on. To do this, Bose headphones usually have a switch and an LED light that comes on when Bluetooth is active.
  2. Secondly, the Bluetooth must be switched on on the device that is to be connected to the Bose headphones. This is usually possible on smartphones, tablets or PCs under the settings.
  3. If the device does not find the Bose headphones, you may have to search for the headphones using the scan function.
  4. If the Bose headphones are found, they only need to be selected for pairing.

How do I care for my Bose headphones?

From time to time, Bose headphones should be wiped with a damp cloth. If this is not enough, you can add a little washing-up liquid. However, the cloth should never be dripping wet, but only damp so that the electronics are not damaged.

Basically, caring for Bose headphones is pretty simple

In the case of over-ear headphones, Bose recommends dabbing the ear cushions with a soft cloth after prolonged use to remove sweat residue. Attention should also be paid to the connectors on the earcup. These should be kept free of lint and dust.

How do I replace the ear cushions on my Bose headphones?

If the ear cushions of Bose headphones are worn out and no longer usable, they can easily be replaced with new ones. Here's how:

  1. The first thing to do is to remove the old ear pads from the Bose headphones. These should be removable by hand.
  2. Optional: If the ear pads have already been removed, this can be used to clean the inside of the ear cup. However, care must be taken not to get the electronics wet.
  3. The replacement ear cushions can then be fitted. To do this, they must be placed over the earcup and carefully pressed in along the edge until they are firmly seated.

Image source: dennizn/