Bose isn’t a name you’d usually associate with fitness gear, but last year it launched its first ever fitness headphones product the Bose SIE2 and SIE2i. The two versions have a very slight difference. The SIE2 headphones are available in green for £104.95. The SIE2i headphones have the addition of an inline remote and microphone for use with the iPhone. They are available in either green or orange for £129.95.
I have to say I took to these earphones right from the start for two reasons. First, I like the ‘extension cable’ they come with which means I could run them right down by back and into the pocket of my joggers, which is where my music player lives.
There’s a clip on the cable that’s easily moved to the precise location that suits you best and it sits on a rotating hinge so that is has play while holding the cable in places. It’s a light touch, clever and really useful extra that helps keep the cable secure.
Second, I love the system for keeping the earphones in place. I’ve tried a lot of different earphone styles in my time. Over the ear options can have a tendency to interfere with my glasses, and in-ear only options can pop out as I get sweaty.
While the system used here might look extremely strange and not a little unwieldy in fact it works exceptionally well. The silicon bud fits round the inside of the ear holding the tips in place very securely yet I hardly noticed they were there. There are three pairs of buds provided in different sizes so most ears should be catered for. Bose calls these StayHear tips. Whatever.
One of the reasons I don’t like listening to music while exercising outdoors is that I can feel disconnected from my surroundings. That dog that’s barking as it runs up to bite me, the person shouting to warn me about the approaching dog, or other sounds, can be effectively blocked out.
Bose has thought about this and the tips are designed to let ambient sounds in. So the tips don’t push right into your ear canal and shut out external sounds. I like this much more than the full in-ear systems though it won’t be to every taste.
Just as importantly for most of us music quality is great. It’s arguable how good you need sound output to be when you’re just using the music to give you that extra push along during exercise, but if you like your bass tones rich and great quality output at lower volumes then the SIE2i can certainly deliver.
If you opt for the SIE2i with inline remote then that is built with a watertight button housings and a hydrophobic acoustic windscreen to reduce the effects of wind noise and moisture. Should you want to answer calls on the run or issue voice based instructions to your iPhone then you can.
The SIE2i also come with a Reebok designed armband that you can use without that extension cable I mentioned earlier. It will accommodate your iPhone and has a little storage space for a single key too. If you need to carry three housekeys like me, then you’ve no chance of getting them into the armband. Oh – and the iPhone 5 is a bit of a squeeze too, though it will fit.
I developed a soft spot for the Bose SIE2i as soon as I fitted them for the first time. In fact, I’ve started using them as my everyday earphones. The short cable works well when my music player is in the top pocket of my coat, and the earbuds resist being pulled out when the cable snags on clothing. That everyday usability also sweetens the price.
And as for using them for training? Well, they’ve been a good companion on longer runs, though I have to say I’ve left the armband at home more often than I’ve used it.
- Great in-ear fitting
- Good sound quality
- Option for short or long cable
- Good clothing clip
- Armband not suitable for iPhone 5
SRP: £99 Bose SIE2 £104.95, SIE2i £129.95