Bose has been revamping its headphone range to take on the new mobile generation. We reviewed the Bose SoundTrue on-ear headphones a few weeks back. The Bose FreeStyle is the new in-ear earbuds from the company and look a lot like the sporty Sie2 series launched last year. In fact, the Freestyle is almost an exact replica of the Sie2i as it comes in built with a mic and remote to take and make calls. The only difference is the colour combinations which are more louder, or younger, than before. Plus the there is no need for an extension cord as in the exercise friendly predecessor.
Design: The FreeStyle range has very trendy, and somewhat loud, colour combinations, which I fear might put off some who are not all that young at heart. The inline control is now just next to your mouth and not on the Y as usual. The earbuds come with silicone StayHear tips that keep them in place whatever you are up to. They also manage to keep out most of the sounds to improve your listening pleasure. One marked difference is the inclusion of openings behind the ear tip to sort of let the earphones breathe. Like the Sie2 this model is weather proof and will stay with you wherever you are.
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Performance: The TriPort is again the driving force behind this earphone. We didn’t find the sound quality dramatically different from the Sie2 or the IE2 range. This means the sound quality is pretty good. We tried the set with a wide genre of tracks and found no reason to complain. The earphones are not particularly partial bass and stay true to what the artist intended to make you hear. So while the soulful vocals from AR Rahman’s Kadal shone through above the rest of the arrangements, it gave Erica Sunn the perfect space as she sung Static Space. This is a headset for those who love all sorts of music and are not hung up on listening to just a couple of genres.
Calling: The inline remote doubles up as the mic for you to take calls. There is a receive button as well as volume control, which also let you skip songs. The call quality is really good on both sides.
Verdict: The new Bose FreeStyle is a good in-ear headphone set for people looking for something to replace what comes in the box of high-end smartphones. However, I would have liked Bose to add some new features so that it looked more than an upgrade. For those who already own a Bose set there is nothing new here.
* Estimated street price: Rs 8,550