I am a sucker for high fidelity sound and I love music on the trail but I don’t like giving up my sense of hearing as part of the deal. The Bose IE2 Headphones allow me the luxury of having my cake and eating it too.
I am a big music fan. I have a large eclectic collection and you can find everything from vintage country to club techno to fine classical in my iTunes library. I especially like the high intensity fast tempo stuff as motivation when I am chugging my way up the steeps at altitude. It is amazing what that beat can do for your attitude and performance when your activity requires sustained maximum effort. The problem with that in the wilderness setting is that you also need to be able to hear what is going on around you. A mountain biker coming up fast from behind, somebody calling on the radio, or the tumble of rocks above are all things you probably want to hear.
Traditional headphones or earbuds are great when you are racking out and want to squelch the world so you can get some sleep but they are not ideal for the other things we do out there. My solution is an open design that lets me enjoy my tuneage while staying aware of what is going on around me. That is a tall order but the Bose IE2 Headphones do it very well and better than any others I have tried. And I have tried models from every major brand.
The tone, texture and range of the sound is outstanding at normal listening volume and exceptional when it is cranked but still very good when turned down low. Bass is not as thumpy as my powered over the ear Beats of course but I can definitely feel it and that is an acceptable trade off given the environment I am asking them to work in. The flexible, soft, form fitting inserts fit my outter ear nicely, are extremely comfortable for long periods and keeps them firmly in place even when I accidently tug on the wire.
One warning though. Due to the design, wind can be an issue. The sound will be blotted out when your head is at a certain angle and the wind is blowing hard enough (20-25 mph or better) so you mountain bikers might want to keep that in mind.
If you like to plug in but not be deaf to the rest of the world then I recommend that you try these. I think you will agree that they work great.
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