Bose Soundlink 2 Around-Ear Headphones Review

Balanced but not bassy, Bose brings a more budget beneficial bargain than their QC25’s, but lack the noise cancelling.

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Hey everyone, Jimmy with Jim’s Review Room. Bose just released some new over-the-ear headphones. The SoundTrue 2’s are the wired models while the Soundlink 2’s I have here are wireless. Both a complete redesign at least aesthetically, a lot less bulky compared to last years. The Soundlink 2’s I personally paid for at the retail price of $279. And for another $20, you can get the wired but one of the best, if not the best in active noise canceling performance, the Bose QC25’s. For more recent updated pricing, of course, click on the affiliate link above, just in case you’re looking at these later in the year.


PHYSICAL FEATURES
This is not a direct comparison video to the QC25’s, but I gotta say, they Soundlink II’s looks and feel almost like them. The same quality are placed into the Soundlink 2’s with the foam band lined with Alcantara, the top has leather though, and the arms extending down are reinforced with aluminum rails. In Bose’s fashion, it feels like subtle, simple, and refined luxury. But the quality is there too. Doing my stress test, nothing broke, no seams were exposed, everything really stayed together perfectly fine. You do hear a little play, but nothing of concern at all. Overall, very well put together.

Moving down to the earcups, they do turn a full 90 degrees for stowing and pivot enough to fit most heads. They, unfortunately, don’t fold inward for easy stowing. For travelers, the supplied carry case footprint isn’t that large, but it’s something to take into consideration. A little bit over 50% of the case is covered in fabric with the rest, a soft leather. Inside, this is felt lined with a neoprene carrying pouch for your supplied cables – more on that a little bit later.

But heading back to the earcups, each side is labeled for easy channel identification. The earpads are just plush enough for long-term wearing, but I’ll discuss that in my comfort test shortly. As for connections, although this is a wireless pair of headphones, the left side offers not a 3.5, but a 2.5mm input and the cord provided is about 3 feet and 10 inches, just enough to keep your phone in your pocket. The cord and input do not have a locking mechanism, however, attempting to simulate a yank or pull on the cord, the wire stays in very very well. On the right side, volume up and down with pause and play in the center which is very easy to reach and identify physically, and the same center button can also be used to accept phone calls.

CHARGING & BATTERY PERFORMANCE
Several last features are the on and off switch on the side that also provides voice prompts of which device you’re connected to and the percentage of battery remaining. And speaking of batteries, the Micro-USB port is located on the bottom and Bose does a phenomenal job of offering quick charging. 15 minutes gives you 2 hours of use, while fully charging the headphones will take you 3 hours for 15 hours of playtime. Battery life is decent when I compared this to some of the competitors out there – other headphones were around the 13 to 15-hour battery life mark.

COMFORT & SOUNDLEAK
But as for comfort, these are still the lightest pair of headphones I have ever tested. They weigh exactly the same as the QC25’s at 6.9 ounces or 192 grams. And because they’re so lightweight, the minimal cushions and design still work fine. Wearing these for 3 hours straight was no problems and I didn’t have issues with the headphones clamping too hard on the jawline. Overall, very comfortable. As for sound leaking, there is a bit though at higher volumes. Not too bad but compared to other headphones I’ve tried, the Soundlink 2’s do leak slightly a bit more.

AUDIO REVIEW
Overall, similar to the other Bose products, they’ve always provided clean, balanced audio. Right out the box, the Soundlink II provides a characteristic that leans towards mainstream users – not audiophiles.

Some very much prefer this sound signature as it relatively remains flat. Not too strong on bass, not too strong on the high notes, but it’s far from underwhelming as well. The Soundlink II’s in my experiences provides a neutral tone that works for many genres’s, more so for classical, rock, and/or other heavier vocal and string focused music. The Soundlink II’s does work good for EMD, hip-hop and rap, but those who listen to those genres, I would think would favor a bit more bass, to have the constant 808 beat in the background stand out a bit more. But the Soundlink II offers clear sound, virtually no distortion in its quality, and listening to these for those three hours straight, I had no listening fatigue whatsoever.

There’s just enough bass to be enjoyed in general, vocals are just enough forward, and highs are not tinging and ear ringing. For the price range, the soundstage is decent with hearing audio separation, but distance isn’t as well distinguished as some of the higher-end headphones. Overall, if you’re looking for great well rounded audio quality, a great build that’s super lightweight, the Soundlink II’s are a… great choice. If you’re looking for better spacial sound, deeper bass or something with a bit more bass boost, there are definitely others out there. As for the price, let me know what you think below: would you be willing to shell just $20 more and go wired with the QC25’s for the amazing active noise cancelling features?

So I hope this review helped you in some way. Remember to add me on social media on either Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Again, I’m Jimmy with Jim’s Review Room. You guys take care, and I’ll see you on the next one.