Review: Bose IE2 headphones

In-ear headphones by Bose are comfortable and stay put thanks to StayHear tips


Music is an important part of my run, but struggling with headphones has been a constant source of frustration for me. I’ve tried every shape of earbud imaginable, wrestled with cords to no end, and attempted too many duct tape repairs to count.

In my quest to find the perfect running headphones, I recently tried Bose IE2 audio headphones, and was pleasantly surprised.

Fit and Comfort: What sets these headphones apart are the unique StayHear tips, silicone pads that sit inside your ear, molding to both fit comfortably and keep them in place. Unlike plenty of other sets, these tips are soft and pliable to the point where you hardly feel them. And the headphones come with a small, medium, and large set of StayHear tips for customization.

Resistance to movement: The StayHear tips do more than keep you comfortable. The top rests under the ridge just above your ear canal, and stay there despite any jostling that comes their way. I’ve always struggled with earbuds falling out, thinking I have irregular ears or some other malady, but because these mold to fit, I didn’t have any problems over the course of an hour-long run.

Sound Quality: Excellent. Bose has built its legacy on improving your listening experience, and these headphones are no exception. You can still hear a bit of ambient noise as well, keeping you aware of your surroundings.

Cord Length: Longer than average, and includes a small clip to attach them to your clothes if you have issues with tangling. Also includes a carrying case so they don't get jumbled up in your gym bag either. 

The Downside: Several customer reviews on the Bose website mention the wire coating eroding after a year or so of use. I haven’t had them that long and can’t attest, but if you’re looking for a pair of headphones to pass down to your great-grandchildren, these might not be your best bet.

Price: You can find them on the Bose website or for $99.95 plus tax (but $89.95 if you order before January 25th), so they’re a bit pricey. But to be fair, I’ve probably purchased at least eight pairs of ten dollar headphones over the years, so perhaps these will be the last in a long line of cheap earbuds.

Overall: While these aren’t specifically made for running or exercise (those by Bose are regularly about $50 more and include an armband), I found that the IE2 worked better than models I’ve previously tried. Judging from this list on, when it comes to higher end earphones, these have a price tag that’s about middle of the road. If you struggle with keeping in-ear headphones actually in your ear, I would definitely recommend checking these out. 

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