Bose MIE2i review

An accomplished design that's pretty much nailed the microphone-meets-headphones category Tested at £120

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A different approach to earbud design that also breeds a different sound – but one that’s up there with the best


  • +

    Non-burrowing design is very comfortable

  • +

    remote and mic unit

  • +

    wide, well-organised soundstage

  • +

    solid and tonally balanced


  • -

    No noise isolation

  • -

    can be beaten for outright detail

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Bose has gone for a fundamentally different approach to other companies, by designing in-ears that sit outside the ear canal, rather than burrowing in.

They don’t isolate noise like most rivals do, but that can be a good thing for commuters who like to be aware of what’s going on around them.

Besides, the upside is a comfortable, unintrusive fit – and thanks to that soft gel flap, they stay in your ears far better than most.

Chunky, full-bodied sound
The MIE2is have clearly been voiced to compensate for the extra distance between eardrum and earbud, so rather than a thin, washed-out delivery you get a chunky, full-bodied presentation.

They sound pacey and detailed, too, and the soundstage is lovely and wide, with good separation on tracks that allow it.

They might be less starkly detailed than something like the Etymotics hf3s, but they’re no less valid as a result.

The mic and three-button remote work well, too.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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