7 Apr 2014


From: Bose

As of last week, Bose revamped their portable audio lineup with the revised branding called SoundTrue, covering new around-, on- and in-ear headphones. It's worth posting about because I'm a fan of Bose — their earlier on-ears were my first purchase and to this day my room is decorated by the Companion 5 system. They're very good.

But aesthetics have always seemed to be, not necessarily lacking, but somewhat misplaced if you know what I mean. They certainly don't have the clear visual identities such as that of AIAIAI's clean, modern pop; Beats' garish, colourful confidence; or the sleek maturity of Bowers & Wilkins. In my eyes Bose have always seemed a little outdated, with appearance design an afterthought to their unquestionably good sound qualities. (There was that commercial campaign where they claimed you no longer had to choose between sound and style — I never got where they were coming from at all.)

So they've launched the SoundTrue series, keeping the relatively new AE-2 and OE-2 models as they were, but encased in a fresh variety of styles. We'll start with the positive shall we, the matte black option is very tidy and I think a welcome addition as the main model to headline Bose's range. It has the right image of sophistication and direct appeal for what is ultimately a great set of personal audio equipment, highly competitive in its price bracket across the market. But sadly they didn't leave it there, and went on to include three more frankly ludicrous styles that simply emphasise that lack of identity, that confusion. These colours they've gone for in cheap white, stale blue and plastic mint appear woeful attempts of modernising their product to appeal to a broader market perhaps, but what a mess it's turned out to be. I mean the one on the right of the press picture above looks like a Beyblade toy. It's hard to know what exactly they were 'going for' really, what a shame.

Having said that, I would still recommend the all-black version of the on-ear style — still definitely a solid choice. You know, in case you were wondering.

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