In the last 47 years, Bose Corp. has created high-end home theatre systems, stereo speakers, headphones and headsets to cater to a variety of needs and settings. The company has striven to deliver the quintessential Bose ‘sound' with every product it launches. It comes as a surprise then that Bose breaks away from the usual and takes on the likes of Plantronics, Jabra and Nokia in launching the Bose Series 2 Bluetooth headset, its first ever. The only other Bluetooth earpieces in its portfolio were those designed for aviation. The Bose Series 2 Bluetooth headset comes to India within weeks of its international debut. Here are my first impressions.
Pairing the headset with my Nokia handset wasn't much of a task. After the first search, the headset connects instantly. For subsequent use, I had to keep the Call/End button on the handset pressed for about five seconds for it connect to the phone again. The signal was strong even if I left my handset on the desk and I was at a distance. The Bose web site says that the Series 2 headset is not designed to actively reduce noise reaching the ear. However, it uses adaptive audio adjustment to automatically adjust the volume in response to the changes in noise level around you, so any conversation sounds about the same in a quiet or loud environment.
I could press the ‘Call' button for about five seconds to quickly switch back to using the handset instead of the earpiece. To reject an unwanted call, I held the same button for about three seconds.
Voice quality on the headset was natural, with impressive clarity even in noisy environments. I caught up with a couple of friends while commuting to work and my voice was relayed loud and clear to the other end despite there being a lot of traffic around.
The power button and, the Call and Volume rocker are on opposing sides of the body. They are placed in a way that I had easy access to either when I needed to use those functions. Next to the earpiece are two LED indicators that keep you updated on the battery status and whether your Bluetooth is connected or not. Although the headset doesn't exactly look as sleek as some of the Jabra Bluetooth headsets Smartbuy has reviewed, it's one of the snuggest, most comfortable fits we've found in the market. It's also ultra-light, weighing in at just 12 grams. The unit is sized at 1.9cm x 4.6cm x 3.2cm. Bose has thrown in separate ear tips for the right and the left ear, in three different sizes. The soft, flexible silicone gel tips - StayHear Tips - were comfortable enough to be worn for about 2-3 hours on end. The headset is charged by a non-replaceable lithium-ion polymer battery and offers talktime up to about 4 hours.
The Bose Bluetooth Headset Series 2 uses A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile), a technology standard that lets you stream audio content. You can hook it up to your GPS system or smartphone to listen to turn-by-turn directions, music, podcasts and other media content.
The headset however, doesn't support voice commands, a feature that a lot of other comparatively low-end headsets include.
A proprietary dual microphone system in the headset works to deliver clearer speech than conventional Bluetooth headsets. To keep incoming voices clear, Bose TriPort acoustic structure and Bose Adaptive Audio Adjustment technology react automatically as noise levels change; there's no need to adjust volume settings or strain to hear a conversation. The new internal antenna in the Bose Bluetooth headset Series 2 helps reduce reception difficulty.
The Bose Bluetooth headset Series 2 is compatible with any device using the Bluetooth 2.1 (or previous gen) specifications that support the Bluetooth hands-free or A2DP profiles. In the box come a portable zipper case, a one-foot USB cable, a power adapter and three StayHear tips (small, medium, large).
The Bose Bluetooth headset Series 2 delivers excellent sound and A2DP functionality. It's simple to hook up with and is comfortable enough to be used for a couple of hours. However, it comes with a premium price tag, leaving behind the likes of Plantronics Voyager Pro and Jabra STONE2, both hardcore audio communication players in the market.
Love -Excellent clarity, pairs easily
Hate -Pricey, no voice commands