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Should you buy Beats headphones or Bose headphones?

There are many things to consider when shopping for the perfect pair of headphones. Durability, sound quality, price: all of these factors will play a role in your decision. Bose and Beats are two highly rated, leading brands, but who makes the better pair of headphones?

Beats headphones tend to be louder and provide more bass, whereas Bose headphones typically utilize a built-in equalizer that smoothes out the sound. Understanding the key differences between these two brands is the best way to ensure that you are choosing the headphones that are right for you.

Beats headphones

Beats was launched in 2006 by famous music producer Dr. Dre and record executive Jimmy Iovine. The partners had identified the poor sound quality delivered by most earbuds being sold at the time and wanted to create a pair of headphones that was stylish, portable and sounded great.

Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones

Primarily optimized towards hip hop and pop music, Beats by Dre delivers enhanced bass and comes with features like noise cancellation and on-ear controls. While Beats specializes in wireless headphones, which are particularly convenient if you like to listen to music on the go, they also have a wired option called Beats EP. The prices of Beats headphones can range anywhere from around $39-$270. 

Pros of buying Beats headphones

  • Great for bass lovers: If you love loud, bass-heavy music, then you’ll be pleased with the sound delivered by Beats headphones.
  • Style: Every Beats product comes in at least three different colors, letting you choose the style that best fits you.
  • Battery life: Most of the larger headphone models offered by Beats deliver up to 22 hours of battery life.

Cons of buying Beats headphones

  • Unbalanced: While Beats headphones are specially optimized to enhance the bass in your music, some users find that this comes at the cost of the overall sound quality.  
  • Fewer Options: With only eight headphones currently on the market, Beats doesn’t give you very many headphones to choose from. 

Best Beats headphones

Beats Solo Pro

Beats Solo Pro

These on-ear headphones have up to 40 hours of battery life and high-quality noise cancellation. Compatible with both iOS and Android devices, the Solo Pro also has a built-in microphone for voice controls.

Available at Amazon

Beats EP

Beats EP

The only wired on-ear headphones currently sold by Beats, Beats EP feature a durable, aluminum headband and adjustable sliders for maximum comfort. One drawback of this model is that it has no noise-cancellation feature.

Available at Amazon

Bose headphones

Founded in 1964, Bose has long been one of the leading manufacturers of high-quality audio equipment. The company began selling aviation headsets in 1989 and first brought its consumer headphones to the market in 2000. 

Bose headphones deliver impressive sound and often come with features like a built-in microphone, noise cancellation and touch controls. Some models, like the wireless Bose Noise-Canceling 700, are specially optimized for Alexa and Google Assistant. Bose headphones can range from around $100-$375.

Pros of buying Bose headphones

  • Sound quality: With almost every model utilizing a built-in equalizer, Bose headphones consistently deliver exceptional sound, regardless of which model you choose.
  • Features: In addition to common features like noise cancellation and a built-in microphone, certain models come with innovative features like Bose AR, an augmented reality technology that feeds you real-time information about your surroundings. 

Cons of buying Bose headphones

  • Price: At around $100 on the lower end, Bose headphones are considerably more expensive than their counterparts. 
  • Compatibility: Some models have features that can only be used with certain operating systems, meaning you may not be able to use every feature if you want to connect to both your Apple and Android devices. 

Best Bose headphones

Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones 700

Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones 700

These over-the-ear headphones come with powerful noise cancellation and crystal clear, balanced sound. Touch controls let you access Spotify with a simple tap on the right earcup if you’re using an iOS device.

Available at Amazon

Bose Sport Earbuds

Bose Sport Earbuds

Perfect for workouts, these affordable earbuds deliver big sound in a small package. A single charge offers up to 5 hours of battery life and they’re designed to stay secure and comfortable, even during vigorous exercise.

Available at Amazon

Which headphones should you buy?

All in all, Bose headphones are the better choice if you can afford them. With unrivaled sound quality and impressive features to boot, Bose headphones are hard to beat.

That being said, if you prefer bass-heavy music and want a wider selection of colors to choose from, then Beats might be the brand for you. Either way, both Beats and Bose headphones are great options for consumers who want impressive sound in a stylish package.


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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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