Bose has long set the benchmark in portable sound. The AE2w maintains that tradition.
When we put the AE2w headphones on for the first time, we were instantly struck by how light they were and how comfortable they felt. Without feeling bulky, they have enough padding in the right spots. As a result, we were able to wear them comfortably for several hours.
Charging the AE2w was straightforward using USB. We charged our test set with an iPhone charger, although you could also use a computer. Battery life is claimed at about seven hours, although that can vary depending on the distance between the phone or iPad and the headset, volume levels and other variables.
Sound quality was outstanding with no distortion. We were able to bump the volume right up on several tracks we had purchased and everything sounded crisp and clear.
Unlike all the other headphones we tested, Bose has chosen to not place the controls on the cups. Instead, they have a small block that protrudes from the right side. This holds the power switch, Bluetooth radio and other controls.
Most of the controls were easy to use. However, the multifunction button was a little unintuitive in our opinion. A single press acted as a play/pause control. But pressing it twice skipped forward a track while three presses skipped back. Until we looked for this in the manual, we didn’t think the AE2w had a track-skipping option.
The AE2w could also be used for making and receiving calls. While calls sounded fine at our end, parties on the
other end complained that sounds were a little muted. The multifunction button could be used to invoke Siri to make calls hands-free.
Although the Bose AE2w headphones aren’t cheap, the comfort and sound quality are very high value.