Last week, Bose indicated that it was revisiting the "stability issue" of its recently released in-ear headphones. At a media event today at its New York City Columbus Circle store, the company filled in the blanks on the somewhat vague invitation it issued last week--and the result is good news for any existing or prospective owner of the headphones.
Bose will be releasing an updated version of the in-ear headphones starting next week (March 15). Physically, the "new" headphones are identical to the existing models, except for the addition of a zebra-like black-and-white color scheme on the headphone cabling (the earbuds themselves remain black). But the new version will include improved interchangeable ear tips (small, medium, and large), which Bose has redesigned to offer a better, more-snug fit in the ears of the wearer.
But the upgrades don't stop there. Later this year, Bose plans to offer two more accessories for the in-ears: A wire clip and a neck lanyard. Using either the clip or the lanyard provides additional support for the headphones during physical activity, such as jogging or working out in the gym--in other words, your waist-mounted audio player will tug at the clip or the lanyard rather than on the earbuds themselves. Combined with the improved ear tips, that should mean far fewer instances of the headphones popping out of place.
Consumers who've already purchased the in-ear headphones will be able to get all three so-called stability upgrades at no charge. Starting March 16, owners can order the new accessories on the company's Web site (www.bose.com/enhance) or by calling 800-819-7032. Bose says the ear tips will be sent out by the end of March, followed by the clip and lanyard by the end of June. (By that time, the clip and lanyard will also be included in the box with updated in-ear models as they're shipped.)
In the past, CNET's found plenty of Bose products to be very good to excellent, some that were merely good but not great, and others about which we're decidedly less enthusiastic. Indeed, the first iteration of the in-ear headphones fell into the final category (though users liked it considerably more), but we'll be re-evaluating them as soon as we've spent some time with the improved ear tips and the clip and lanyard (once they become available). Whether or not the rating changes substantially, however, is almost beside the point--Bose deserves kudos for offering these product improvements to existing customers free of charge.