In America, Bose are a marketing machine. Products like their Triport headphones are widely sought after and considered by many to be the Rolex of their respective product categories. In Australia, Bose's marketing is far less prominent, but the Triports still command a spot in the line-up of premium headphones. With the kind of competition being offered up by Audio Technica and Koss however, the headphone market is awash with high quality products, so the Triports really had their work cut out for them.
- Noise cancelling, Comfortable
- Poor bass quality, Overall poor sound, Flimsy construction
If they were $150 cheaper they would be a very reasonable choice but as it stands the TriPorts are a little too expensive and suffer from over-emphatic bass.
Price$ 249.00 (AUD)
Overall, we found they came up somewhat lacking. We have criticised a lot of Bose products in the past for being too costly to justify their features, and whilst the Triports are overpriced, they aren't nearly as bad as some of Bose's home entertainment offerings. Like their more expensive brothers, the Quiet Comfort 2, the Triports are noise canceling headphones, which works in their favour However for a similar or slightly lower price you can get some In Ear Monitors such as the Etymotic ER6i which will offer superior sound quality and better isolation from external sound.
This really is the problem with the Triports; they aren't a particularly bad pair of headphones, but they just don't outperform the competition in any one area. Sound quality was quite good, but not stellar. When we first started using them we were impressed, but by the end of our session we couldn't wait to take them off. The Triports are made to appeal to the masses. They are very bass heavy, which we don't mind, but the bass is of poor quality, with a thick, bloated sound that really takes its toll on the rest of the musical spectrum. This bloated character is also represented in the mid range, which lacked the clarity necessary to properly handle complex instrumentals. As the only standout characteristic, the treble range is considerably better, with crisp, sweet highs that really shine through the messy bass.
The soundstage is also impressive. Whilst instrumental separation across the low and mid end was not particularly good, sound placement was excellent. The virtual space created by the Triports was wonderful, with sound coming in from all angles at once. It had the feeling of a large concert hall, which is great for orchestral music. For acoustic or jazz you may prefer a more intimate soundstage.
Bass aside, one of the much criticised elements of the Triports is their design. They are often found in Apple stores as demonstration headphones alongside the iPods, and the vast majority of them have broken headbands or cups hanging out of their mounting. The build quality of these units is definitely below par, with a flimsy metal headband and plastic casing.
The upside is that they are extremely comfortable. Whatever Bose have padded their ear cups with, it feels great. They sit on your head perfectly, without the tightness or squeezing exhibited by other noise canceling models. We felt the construction looked a little alien, with a metallic blue colour scheme, but most over-the-head models make you look like a lunatic and at least the Triports are small.
As stated earlier, noise canceling is a big selling point of this model, and it works pretty well. Whilst not dampening external sounds completely when no music is going (as the Quiet Comfort 2 did) it certainly put you in one of those strange, soundless voids that only noise canceling headphones can achieve. With music going we were completely oblivious to anything outside, and whilst there was a tiny bit of sound leakage it was generally pretty quiet and more than suitable for an office environment.
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