Bose Sound Link On Ear Review
Design 9
Features 9
Performance 8

The new Bose SoundLink On-Ear supra-aural headphone is a success despite a high price. Comfortable and light, it is powerful but not perfect

Summary 8.7 Excellent


  • Pros: Small but powerful, the Bose SoundLink On-Ear offers a very friendly design and easy to use controls. The performance is great and the headphone comes with a carrying case.
  • Cons: The price is always so high, and sometimes severe.
  • In Short: Evolution of existing models, Bose finally offers a supra-aural Bluetooth headphone. With a modern and comfortable design, its sound performance should be perfect for electronic hip-hop lovers!


  • Supra-Aural
  • Bluetooth
  • Autonomy up to 15 hours
  • Controls from earphones
  • Carrying case


Bose SoundLink On-Ear Review

Bose has renewed its line of headphones and headphones, including the recent Bose Sound True and Bose Freestyle, and a third generation Sound Link Bluetooth speaker. As for the Bluetooth headphones, the Sound Link replaces the Bose AE2w (circum-aural headphones) and only a supra-aural headphone was missing to complete the new line of the manufacturer, it is now done with the output of Bose SoundLink On-Ear.
A particularly compact jig, featherweight design, suede-style materials, and very soft earpieces make the Bose SoundLink a very attractive supra-aural headphone – before you put it on and experience a Bluetooth Practical and simple to use, excellent sound, and respectable autonomy.

Bose SoundLink On-Ear Review

However, the advertised price is once again very important, as is often the case with the brand. Is this a good investment? This is what we will discover in the rest of our review.

Read our reviews on other Bluetooth Headphones:

Bose QuietComfort 35 Complete Review

Parrot Zik 3 Complete Review

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 On-Ear Complete Review

Design and ergonomics

Bose used to impress us with the physical design and comfort of its headphones. Our recent review of the Bose Sound True convinced us and it is one of the most comfortable headphone we have ever tried. This was also the case with the newest active noise canceling models of the brand, the QuietComfort 25.
The supra-aural headphones suffer from a stereotype: either they crush your ears while trying to stay in place, or they are too loose and do not hold in place at the slightest movement. One example is the V-Moda XS, a direct competitor of the SoundLink On-Ear, which could cause some discomfort during extended listening. It was also one of the problems of the Marshall Major (but maybe the second generation will correct all this, waiting to get their hands on it).
For its part, Bose has succeeded in limiting the clamping effect by combining a flexible hoop and atriums covered with a thick padding (itself covered with artificial leather). The result is a soft touch that does not cause any discomfort after several hours. At the level of the maintenance, it is also more than correct, although it will be advised to the sportsmen rather to turn towards a model specially conceived for.
Although it is comfortable to wear, SoundLink does not give that luxurious feeling that would seem normal for this price level. Indeed, the latter uses mostly plastic materials, unlike the V-Moda model. However, this one inspires us a certain sensation of solidity and robustness, and it should hold in time provided to make a minimum care. The headphones, which are therefore positioned directly on the ears, pivot easily to adapt perfectly to your morphology and ensure an optimal support.

Design and ergonomics Bose SoundLink On-Ear

For the look, two colors are available. A black version with a few touches of dark blues, and a second white and beige version, with a touch of turquoise blue this time. Both are rather pleasing to the eye but do not break bricks either. The black version is more discreet and less flashy.
The Bose SoundLink On-Ear comes with a zippered carrying pouch, which should give an extra boost to the longevity of the device. The earcups fold inwardly to the inside of the hoop to fit into the holster, so it will be very simple to carry the hoop around with you by sliding it into your bag.

Functionality and use

Unlike previous Bose models, the SoundLink On-Ear is a Bluetooth headphone. It allows to listen to music wirelessly, but no worries, you also find a 3.5mm audio jack to connect your wired devices.
Pairing the SoundLink headphone is simple, although we regret the absence of an NFC module in this price. Once it is charged, hold the small ignition switch (located on the outside of the right earpiece) until the Bluetooth indicator next to it lights up. The headphone will identify itself as “Bose OE SoundLink” on your source. A voice-over will confirm each stage of the match. According to Bose, this headphone can be paired with two devices at the same time, but we managed to connect three simultaneously.
If the voice-over disturbs you, you can turn it off by pressing both volume buttons (up and down) simultaneously for three seconds with the headphone turned on.
On the right earphone, there are different buttons to manage the headphone when you are connected wirelessly. They allow you to perform several actions, such as hanging up a phone call or switching from one music track to another. The controls are easy to access and relatively intuitive.
As explained above, you can, therefore, use your headphone directly for your phone calls, and two invisible microphones, as well as the “Adaptive Audio Adjustment” technology, allow you to adjust the volume of your voice in real time according to the ambiance and the surrounding noises. In practice, all this works perfectly and the conversations are crystal clear.

Functionality and use Bose SoundLink On-Ear

On the side of the autonomy, Bose announces 15 hours of reading, obviously, this figure can vary according to the volume of listening. We used it several hours for a few days without having to recharge it. To fully recharge the battery, take about 1h 30 minutes, while a 15-minute charge will allow you to leave for about 2 hours of listening. Note that when the battery is flat, you can continue to use the headphone in wired mode, but the controls on the earphones will no longer be active.

Audio Performance

The SoundLink On-Ear delivers a good sound, but not without favoritism. A preference for the lower part of the sound spectrum gives vibrating, dynamic, and very well-enveloped reproduction. The bases do not necessarily envelope the high frequencies but are more prominent in the songs that use the entire spectrum. When they appear alone or mixed with mediums, the treble is detailed and generally sharp.
With pieces of the electro or dance genre, we found that the bass was powerful, without being invasive. There was a high level of detail throughout the spectrum, although not ideal. The great variety of condensed frequencies in each piece gave the impression that the juxtaposed rhythms and melodies varied in intensity when entering and leaving the piece. This sound jamming was more present in some songs than in the others.

Audio Performance Bose SoundLink On-Ear

Bose has made SoundLink a very energetic headphone. The sound level of 50% is more than ideal for a working environment, while 100% is simply too strong. The best thing is that the volume does not come at the expense of quality; at full power, you will feel a slight drop in quality, but if you leave it at 95%, you will get the best. The design of the earpieces helps to give a slight passive noise canceling, but as a result, the headphones tend to let the sound through the ear cups, at high volume.


Bose is a premium brand in the medium-high segment of the consumer audio market. This has a price, a high price. Even if the SoundLink supra-aural headphone is not the best audio product at this price level, it creates an experience that is not just sound. We like its comfortable design and especially very light, its intuitive use and its autonomy great for its size. On the sound side, tastes and colors vary, but the basses remain very present, or even too much. Rap and electro lovers should be satisfied with its audio spectrum, and only the price can then become a brake on the purchase.

Bose SoundLink On-Ear

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