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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bose AE2 part1: Aesthetics

BOSE is quite well-known for emphasizing the low frequency response on their products, whether they are loudspeakers, radios, or headphones; and it is the very reason why serious audiophiles simply disregard their products when it comes down to Hi-Fidelity. However, when I purchased the original AE1 Triport, the sound quality was not that bad..

In order to further investigate the matter, I initially requested BOSE a test sample of their all-new AE2, but I have not received a single reply back. Well, I guess they are not really interested in blog media. So I just decided to purchase the headphone by myself. Since the price has been reduced from the regular MSRP $199 to $149, it was a good chance anyway.

The packaging

AE2's packaging design is very simple, and the plastic container protecting the headphone was really a pain in the butt to open! Unless you cut-open the container with a scissor or a knife, which is very destructive, there is no other way to take the headphone out. 
Since many enthusiasts want to keep everything that comes with their headphone intact, I think BOSE has to do something about it. It gets even simpler when everything's out: there are a carrying bag, a product manual, a warranty card, and finally, AE2.

The design

AE2's design is typical of BOSE: minimal and robust. A pair of memory foam covered with a urethane cushion is still there. The weight of this headphone is very light, just like the original AE1, yet there are a lot of improvements made by BOSE to address the durability issue arose from the previous model.
First, the headband. The overall diameter is much thicker, with height-adjusting joints heavily reinforced. This was the weakest point of AE1, and I even broke it here. Shortly after the incident, I had a phone call with their representative asking for a revised version of AE1, and she said, "Currently, we do not have any plans for the future model of Triport."

Second, the swivels on ear cups. Not to mention that these make adjusting the headphone's placement on the head very precise, they also help the headphone stay flat in a backpack, which is definitely a plus for travelers.
Third, the detachable cable. This is yet another durability improvement from AE1, since A LOT of users were complaining about the weak cable. Of course, headphone cable enthusiasts can also take advantage of this new feature.

Well, nothing to complain about the appearance. Considering all of the cosmetic improvements, it seems BOSE really listened to users' opinions carefully.

Continued to part 2.

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