May 28, 2020

Bose Quietcontrol 30 & Soundsport Earbuds, My Travel Mate

Bose Quietcontrol 30 Noise Cancelling Earbuds

At that point in time, circa sometime in 2016 I decided to refocus on my career path. Got a job as a Regional Sales Manager selling European premium industrial solutions to the defense, education, aerospace, automotive, medical and coating industries. I traveled much in my role, usually to Europe, Middle East, and all over ASEAN & China. Yep, China was the biggest market in the world for anything & everything, so it can't be ignored.

With this change, I lost most of my hifi & AV baggage, as I aim to de-clutter my home, to the happiness of my other half who has always been accusing me of being the hoarder in the family! For more than 3 long years, only my Bose Bluetooth headphones & my Huawei smartphone was my go to musical salvation. As I was always on the move, wireless was the way to go, even if I had to sacrifice some sound quality. I would always have music in the hotels, trains, planes & when I am waiting for someone or something.
Comes wit a nice travel pouch too!
As per my usual habit, I would shortlist a number of suitable candidates to try on. One of my choice earbuds was B&O E8, it was cool looking and had the right credentials, but in my audition, while it did sound plenty good, it's bass wasn't full-filing to my diet of music, mainly 70's, 80's rock and Canto Pop of similar vintage. The B&O would sound great if I had veered towards jazz or classical music. However the matter that would put it out of contention was it's poor Bluetooth compatibility with Android phones, you see B&O only saw fit to optimize the E8 for Apple phones. I heard the current Gen 2 B&O E8 is much better in this regard, but never tried it anyways. 

The next contender was Bose, remember how I've always loved 'em? The Bose Quietcontrol 30 Noise Cancelling Earbuds were on X'mas sale at the Dubai airport, on one occasion when I fly buy Dubai! I tried them on as they were a neckband design, even if I didn't fancy having something on my neck. And boy did it sound good to me, especially with the noise cancellation dialed down to about 10%, while the high frequencies wasn't as refined as the B&O E8, the music flowed with rhythm and that signature Bose beat with meaty bass sealed the deal. With the sale discount thrown in, it was a mighty sweet deal too! 

Happy times with that Bose Quietcontrol 30 didn't last long tough. With constant use, that soft neckband was starting to bother me and felt cumbersome. The noise cancellation feature was effective in shutting out outside noise, but it started to sound eerie with only the music and no background noise accompanying it. Worst is at the airports, I couldn't hear my flight callings, and had a few near flight misses as a result. It was then Bose launched a new line of wireless earbuds called Soundsport! 

The Bose Soundsport have 2 models in the range, the basic which came with a wire connecting between the master and slave buds, and the Soundsport Free, which is pure L & R earbuds, minus the connecting wire. Everything else looks the same, not sure if it sounds the same though, but the Soundsport Free did include a small charging box that is similar to the B&O E8 which could extend play time by a few hours more on a single charge and yet also nearly doubling the cost! As they say, The Price Of Freedom!

I was smitten as soon as I put on the Soundsport(the one with L & R connecting wire!) alas, I was not totally free, but much relived to lose that constricting neckband! That connecting wire didn't feel like anything at all as I've always had wired headphones prior to going Bluetooth. One thing immediately stood out with this BOSE was bass......... lot's a nice meaty BASS, which worked well with my musical diets. Did I mentioned it was also half the price of the discounted Quietcontrol 30? 

The Soundsport had similar top to bottom end sound quality as the Quietcontrol 30, but it had way....... more bass. It was slightly noisier as it didn't have noise cancellation, and would leak in some ambient noise too. But you know what, that means I could still hear my flight being called at the airports, which is a good thing for me! Love it, love it, love it!

Bose Soundsport Wireless Earbuds

Both the Bose Quietcontrol 30 & Soundsport ushered me in to the new hifi-less world, where the act of listening to music was just that, without the distraction of hifi. However a footnote for those looking to make the leap from wired to wireless headphones or earbuds, the price of going to wireless is at the expense of sound quality and musical resolution. If you think MP3 is bad, wait till you lose another 30% from there on! See freedom is never cheap, but for that on the go me at the time in point, I didn't really cared for hifi anyways. I treasured the go anywhere with music(or what's left of it) more than ever. Like I used to say but never really thought I could do it, "I could lose my hifi, but not my music!"

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