Recently, I went shopping for a new set of headphones. I wanted a pair that I could use for listening to music (obviously), as well as have the ability to use as a BlueTooth headset for phone calls. I knew that BlueTooth was a must, since I hate having those pestering wires hanging from my headset, they always get snagged on everything and just turn into a nightmare. After doing a lot of research and reading, the final decision was between the Beats Studio Wireless and the Bose AE2W. Both sets have very similar sets of features and perform nearly the same. I decided to buy both and try them both out, and return the set I wasn’t pleased with (or at least AS pleased as the set I did decide to keep). I kept both pairs for about a month, trying each one of them for a day or two, then switching to the other pair.
Beats Studio Wireless
Beats By Dre, if you’ve been outside of your house and spent more than a couple hours in public, you’re almost definitely going to see some trendy teenager walking around with a set of Beats headphones blasting as loud as can be. I typically try to stay away from trendy technology, due to the fact that the product is usually over priced and designed poorly. However, I will admit that these headphones are a very good product. Right from the beginning, its obvious that Apple tries to portray the quality of the headset from the moment the box is open. Even the box seems high quality, as well as the case that comes with the headset for storing it while its not in use.
Weight: 5.3 oz
Battery Life: 10~12 Hrs (Wireless)
Battery Guage: Yes
Bluetooth Pair Limit: 1
Noise Canceling: Yes
- Design – The Beats are with out a doubt designed very well, I can see these headsets lasting a long while, and even taking a beating.
- Sound – Definitely a requirement for headsets, especially headsets that range in prices close to four hundred dollars!
- Battery Life – The battery life on the beats among the best, I didn’t once have the headset die on me while in use (Granted, I didn’t listen to it for longer than 10-12 hours a day)
- Comfortability – Initially, they felt very comfortable, they felt like little pillows on my ears! But after a couple hours of use, I ended up getting a headache. Granted, my ears are larger than the average persons, but I’m not sure that was a factor.
- Price – While you are definitely buying an overall good product, it’s not really any better than some other pairs that cost much less, (EG: Sennheiser MM 550-X or Bose Soundlink). Basically, you’re paying somewhere between $50 to $150 extra just for the brand!
- Microphone – I tested the BlueTooth feature on plenty of calls, the majority of the calls, I ended up having to disable BlueTooth and use the phone itself because the person on the other end couldn’t hear me very well.
I chose the AE2W headphones by Bose as a runner up to the Beats because after reading up on a few reviews or checking out the features, it seemed like a very viable candidate. Plus, I’ve owned a few Bose products in my day, and I have yet to have any issues with a single one of them. One of my favorite features that the AE2W has that I couldn’t find on the Beats (Or a number of other BlueTooth headphones), would be the ability to connect with more than one device via BlueTooth. Aside from the not-so-pretty BlueTooth unit that noticeably protrudes from the left side, I had a hard time finding anything about this unit that I didn’t like.
Weight: 9.17 oz
Battery Life: 8~10 Hrs (Wireless)
Battery Guage: No
Bluetooth Pair Limit: 2
Noise Canceling: No
- Design – The Boes are with out a doubt designed very well, I can see these headsets lasting a long while, and even taking a beating.
- Sound – These are created by Bose… need I say more?
- Price – For all of the bells and whistles included with the AE2W headset, the price is very reasonable. After purchasing the Beats shown above, I had buyers remorse almost the very next day! However, I was very happy with my purchase of the Bose.
- Comfortability – With the Beats, I got a headache after a couple hours of use, especially if I fell asleep with them on. But with the Bose, I could wear them all day, and at the end of the day, there was no headache or earache to complain about.
- BlueTooth Multi Pair – One of my favorite features, the ability to pair multiple devices with the headset. I can pair my iPod and listen to music, and have my Android phone paired as well. When I’m listening to music on my iPod and receive a call, the headset will alert me to the incoming call, and allow me to switch over to my phone and accept the call.
- BlueTooth Unit – The BlueTooth unit actually can detach from the headset itself. This is useful because if the battery dies, you can just detach it from the headset to charge it, and plug your headset into your audio device for use. Most headphones that come with BlueTooth don’t come with this feature.
- Microphone – Worried that this microphone might be just as inefficient as the microphone on the Beats, I tested it extensively. Thankfully, I wasn’t let down at all. Most of the people I talked to couldn’t tell the difference from when I was using BlueTooth as opposed to using the phone without BlueTooth.
- Appearance – Though it’s definitely not an ugly pair of headphones, it’s not nearly as pretty or presentable as the Beats or some other comparable sets of headphones.
- No Battery Gauge – This may not be a very big con, but it’s a con. It does get a little annoying not knowing how long you have left on your battery, and having your headset just die on you.
- Not Noise Canceling – Yep, no noise canceling on these babies, sometimes you find yourself listening to music while “in the zone”, only to get interrupted by the slight noise of the outside world. Solution? Turn up the volume!
At the end of the day, I ended up going with the Bose. Why? After using both of the headsets extensively for about a month, the only feature that the Beats had that was noticeably absent in the Bose, would be the noise canceling feature. The features that the AE2W had that the Bose lacked, were: sound quality, comfortability and the ability to pair to multiple devices at once. So while the noise canceling feature is handy, it’s definitely not a deal breaker, and doesn’t out weigh the other features that the AE2W came with, especially if you include the price difference between the two headsets. Theres no doubt that both headsets are high quality headphones, but with the Beats, you’re paying around $100 extra just for the “B” on the side, which some people don’t mind paying extra just to show off the brand, It’s something of a fashion statement… But I decided to take the logical route and get more for less!