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Bose vs Sennheiser – Detailed Comparison

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Bose and Sennheiser are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry that produces high quality speakers, headphones, and soundbars.

In this article, we will cover a general overview of both brands, looking specifically at sound quality, durability, price and so on. Of course, each brand has different devices at different price points, however we will compare them as closely as we can.

Quick History

Bose Quick History

Bose is an American audio equipment company established by Amar Bose in early 1964. It is well-known for making high-end speakers, headphones, car sound systems, and other professional audio equipment.

Amar Bose started Bose because he was unhappy with the sound quality of a stereo he had bought. He did this to try to make sound systems better than they were at the time. Amar had taken the time to find out how important sound reverberation was to the sound system‌.

As a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Amar Bose knew how important research was to making excellent products. Therefore, he had made this the driving force for the company’s growth over the past few decades.

Sennheiser Quick History

Sennheiser was founded in 1945 in a laboratory called Laboratorium Wennebostel (Lab W) by Fritz Sennheiser and seven other engineers of the University of Hannover. Lab W started producing microphones in 1946 with DM1 and in 1947 with DM2.

The company produced many different products, including the Noise-Compensated microphone (DM4) and miniature magnetic headphones, before it was transformed into a limited partnership (KG) in 1973.

In 1982, Sennheiser started producing modern wireless microphones and won the 59th Academy Awards for its MKH 816 shotgun microphone.

Sennheiser is headquartered near Hannover, in the municipality of Wedemard, Germany. Today, Sennheiser is well known for producing professional-grade headphones and microphones.

Sound Quality

Bose Sound Quality

There is a lot of criticism about Bose speakers as it relates to sound quality. Many people believe Bose is an overhyped company that focuses too much on marketing and not enough on R&D to improve the quality of their speakers.

Many audiophiles for example lament the fact that Bose speakers tend to not have clearly defined highs and lows (bass). This is where the phrase – no highs, no lows, must be Bose came from.

While the above may be true, to Bose’s credit, some psychoacoustics has been a primary focus in the development of Bose audio equipment. This focuses on the effect of the reflected sound arriving at the listener’s head and thus tries to mimic a live performance with all their speakers.

This psychoacoustic design began with the Bose model 901, which was manufactured in 1968, and as a result of its success, it is still in production to this day.

But because Bose’s psychoacoustic approach is unusual and most audiophiles criticize it, but that doesn’t make it sound any less impressive. The sound fills the room, making it seem like a live performance without losing any of the high, mid, or low frequencies.

Sennheiser Sound Quality

ANC blocks out the low rumble of plane engines and vehicles together with ambient chatter. With aptX and aptX-LL codecs, these headphones deliver incredible sound quality with lower latency.

The bass is heavy and decently adds extra thump, rumble, and boom to mixes. This makes Sennheiser headphones more suited for genres like EDM and hip-hop.

In addition, the infrared transmission technology and the multi-channel RF wireless transmission technology contribute to the popular Sennheiser sound signature.

Features

Bose Features

Bose has features for expressive audio, intuitive controls, and modern components for better use. It is pretty easy to identify a Bose product when you see one. Some of the most common features of Bose devices are patented and device-specific.

Most Bose speakers support all audio formats, like Flac and Wav. They also have voice support, like Amazon Alexa, built-in music streaming platforms, like Deezer and Spotify, and seamless wireless connectivity for listening to music in multiple rooms through the Sonos set up and SoundTouch.

You can also expect to find a micro USB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack/aux cable on a typical Bose device.

Most Bose headphones also have a background noise canceling feature that blocks out all the surrounding noise and allows you to focus on the sound from the headset. Because of this feature, Bose headsets are a great choice for professional uses like conference calls.

Sennheiser Features

The following features are characteristic of all Sennheiser headphones:

  • Modular construction that makes it easy to repair or replace parts
  • Snug fit
  • Excellent cup padding
  • Air Traffic Control
  • Professionally inspired
  • Total harmonic distortion <0.08% (1kHz, 94 dB)
  • Resonator chamber to remove masking resonance
  • Para-aramid reinforced cables
  • German-made 7mmXWB transducer – for naturally balanced sound
  • Intuitive controls
  • Lightweight (around 140 grams)
  • Supra-aural design

Build Quality

Bose Build Quality

Bose products are not something you can rely entirely on when it comes to build quality. The build quality can be divided into the internal build and the external structure.

However, for a brand that has been a big player in the audio equipment industry, Bose seems to focus more on the internal build quality at the expense of the structural delivery. Therefore, this leads to a great-sounding device that has a poor structure.

Although, another factor that might be worthy of note is the fact that the build quality varies from device to device. While some Bose products fall short of expectations, others are extremely durable.

For example, while most Bose speakers are usually reviewed to be of below-standard build quality, the headphones have enjoyed excellent reviews. An example of this is the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones, which most users have reported to have one of the best build quality.

Sennheiser Build Quality

The headphones are built with a rugged and flexible design. The durable metal hinge and sliders add appealing style.

Sennheiser black headphone

Even for long periods of use, they often remain in good condition. The latest ones are made from ZR01 amorphous zirconium, a metal used to drill the face of Mars, ensuring toughness and longevity.

Ease of Use

Bose Ease Of Use

A great number of Bose products are easy to use. This means that even without technical know-how, you can operate them without stress.

For example, the QuietComfort 35 II headphone has a design that can be turned 360 degrees, adjusted to an angle, and can be folded easily.

The Soundlink Micro is another Bose portable Bluetooth speaker that is designed with a freestanding mount which makes it ideal for use anywhere including the bedside, bookshelf and other places. This includes poolside too since the Bose Soundlink Micro is waterproof and can stand easily.

Sennheiser Ease Of Use

Sennheiser headphones come with various connectivity options making them very easy to connect and use for multiple occasions.

The customizable touch controls put you in control of your listening experience, from audio and phone calls to Siri and Google Assistant.

Cost

Bose Cost

One of the most important pieces of information you need to understand before choosing a Bose product is the fact that they are quite expensive. However, most people will unconsciously prefer to buy Bose products. This is basically for two reasons:

  1. Bose has a brilliant marketing strategy which makes them one of the most popular brands in the world.
  2. Bose speakers have a sound that makes your brain mimic the feeling of being in a live show. This is because of the tremendous investment by Bose in research and development.

Unfortunately, there are so many brands in the audio equipment industry with less prestige than Bose but which offer similar quality products at a lower price.

Check out the price tags for their most common products:

  • Bose earbuds: $180 – $450
  • Bose headphones: $100 – $550
  • Bose bass module speakers: $400 – $850
  • Bose Soundbar: $300 – $850

Sennheiser Cost

Headphones: $20 – $500

Microphones: $50 – $1000

Space Requirements

Bose Space Requirements

Most Bose products, including the home theater, AV receiver, and speakers, do not require too much space as they aren’t normally large and bulk. They include shelf speakers, minimal home theaters, and AV receivers with pretty sleek designs.

Bose speakers such as SoundLink Color Bluetooth speakers can be used on the bookshelf without disturbing the arrangement of books.

Sennheiser Space Requirements

Sennheiser headphones are perfectly built for the ear. Whether you are buying over-ear, on-ear, or in-ear headphones, their construction is compact and easily fits the head and ear without exerting extra pressure.

Besides, the headphones are lightweight, and wearers may not feel the weight even after longtime use.

Remote Controls

Bose Remote Controls

entertainment without stress. They add this remote to almost all Bose products except for the headphones.

A pretty interesting factor to admire about the Bose remote control is the fewer buttons. The remote control adds usability to its delicate design. It allows you to perform all the desired tasks with a few clicks of the buttons.

Sennheiser Remote Controls

Although Sennheiser headphones do not come with remote controls, they support wireless streaming such as Bluetooth listening.

Also, you can control some of your Sennheiser headphones with the Sennheiser Smart Control app. The app helps you access firmware updates and allows you to choose adaptive ANC and anti-wind ANC for the first noise-canceling level.

Connectivity Options

Bose Connectivity Options

Here are the main connectivity options compatible with most Bose speakers:

  • Bluetooth
  • Wi-Fi
  • RCA
  • HDMI

Sennheiser Connectivity Options

Here are the connectivity options for Sennheiser:

    • Bluetooth multipoint
    • Fast auto-connect
    • SBC
    • aptX
    • aptX LL
  • AAC
  • Wired listening with a 2.5 mm cable

Power Range

Bose Power Range

The power rating of Bose devices is not shown on most of their devices. But, according to different reviews from their users, the power range depends on the kind of device.

For example, the power range of an average mini home speaker like the Bose SoundLink Mini 2 is around 30 to 50 watts. The wattage of a larger speaker, such as the Bose Soundbar 300, is around 65 watts.

Sennheiser Power Range

Sennheiser headphones consume very little power to deliver incredible sound quality. Besides, the potable ones utilize either rechargeable or non-rechargeable AAA batteries and will deliver up to 100.45 dB/mW SPL.

Frequency Response

Bose Frequency Response

Most Bose speakers have a frequency response of around 25Hz to 20kHz. However, for most Bose headphones, the frequency range is between 100 Hz and 10 kHz.

Sennheiser Frequency Response

Sennheiser headphones perform well and widely exceed limits with ranges of 4 Hz to 51 kHz. The wide range helps prevent bass or treble roll-offs. Users also feel more frequencies and get a more immersive listening experience.

Conclusion

For those looking for a sound system that can simulate a live performance, Bose products are the best option. However, most audiophiles feel this is not a natural sound and it is hence heavily criticized amongst audiophiles. Sennheiser produces high-quality headphones and microphones. The devices support numerous features and are energy efficient. They are however more expensive than the competition.

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