When looking for new headphones, some people will choose to go for value and others are more interested in sound quality. Most people however want to go for something in the middle. Bose is probably more famously known for its noise cancelling models and has been a major competitor in both around the ear and on ear designs shortened to AE and OE respectively. Its latest release for AE is the cheap Bose AE2, released in October 2010. Based on the TriPort, it has a similar design but has undergone some improvements. For starters it no longer uses the double cord design and now has a singular cord which runs to both headphones through the headband. The jack cable is detachable and so makes the headphones much more durable and also means you can grab a replacement should anything happen to it outside the warranty. The headphones also fold flat, meaning they are much easier to transport discreetly. It is worth doing price comparison before you buy.
The cheap Bose AE2′s don’t actually feature any active noise cancellation, but the tight seal which lies against the head around the ear offers a lot of filtering keeping out most of the noise from the world outside. The sound quality is accurate and precise and they do give out a kick in the bass department. The treble and some of the more tinny instruments can sound slightly over emphasised, but with a good Mp3 or CD player it can be adjusted on the equaliser if deemed necessary. Despite this they do still give a pretty spectacular sound quality for headphones in the price range and the comfort of the whole product does make up for the slight short-falling in the sound department.
As far as comfort is concerned, the cheap Bose AE2 really is a marvel. They feature the usual Bose black leather earpieces, which soften the squeeze significantly. The headband is covered in a neoprene layer which raises the comfort level by a huge amount and the whole product is lightweight. It comes with a simple cloth storage bad, which only offers minimal protection, but does mean that they are easy to carry around.
The main competitor for the cheap Bose AE2 in a similar price range is the Denon AH-D1100′s which share the around-the-ear with the AE2′s. The Denon design is pretty good, but is significantly heavier than the Bose. The headphones are not as comfortable over long periods of time and although the sound is slightly better overall in the AH-D1100′s, unfortunately the bass is lacking slightly. They feature a double cable design making them much more awkward than the AE2′s and do not pack flat. Also the cable is hard wired into both headphones and so if you encounter a problem they will need sending back to Denon to be repaired. The AH-D1100′s do come with an unusual extension cable which is 11.5 feet in length, so if you’re using them to listen to the TV from across the room then it might come in handy.
The design in the Denon AH-D1100′s is nowhere near as good as the Bose AE2′s, with the hard wired cable and non-flat pack design. The comfort levels are not too bad, but still not as impressive as the AE2′s. Although the treble in the AH-D1100′s is slightly less exaggerated, the bass quality is much better in the AE2′s and the treble is pretty good as well. The fact that the Denon AH-D1100′s are quite a bit more expensive than the cheap Bose AE2′s means that they do not offer the same value for money.