Finally, Bose has ruled out its answer on the best-selling Apple AirPods Pro and Samsung Galaxy Buds Live. The company, known for its amazing active noise cancellation modeled on the Bose QuietComfort 35s and the Bose 700 Series, is bringing its acoustic intelligence to its wireless earbuds.
According to Bose, the AirPods Pro’s new competitors are the “world’s most effective noise-canceling earbuds”. Dubbed the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds – Bose clearly believes its QuietComfort brand is stronger than the 700 Series One used in its latest over-the-ear headphones – the headphones are available for pre-order now for £ 249.95. This is a bit more expensive than competitors like Apple’s AirPods Pro and the Sony WF-1000XM3, which both sell for £ 220, but can be found a bit cheaper now that they’ve been out for a short while.
Bose QuietComfort earbuds feature adjustable levels of noise cancellation. To be exact, there are 11 different levels of noise cancellation available with these earbuds. According to Bose, this means that you will choose “exactly how much of the world to let in or out”.
There is also a dedicated transparency mode that allows the sound around you to enter your ears – ideal if you need to quickly listen to a tannoy advertisement in the airport, train, or quickly speak to someone when exiting the supermarket but you don’t have a shipping bag to deliver “buds in” .
Noise canceling levels are not handled on the buds themselves. Although there are touch-sensitive panels on the outside of these wireless earbuds, those are intended for controlling music playback and invoking the voice assistant baked in your smartphone (Siri for iPhone owners, Google Assistant or Alexa for the vast majority of Android devices, and Bixby for users Samsung who insist on using Bixby).
Samsung’s new AKG headphones bring Bose and Sony features on a budget
Like most similarly priced earphones (and a few more affordable ones), the earbuds will automatically stop playing once you remove them from your ear.
In addition to the famous noise canceling that comes to these little buds, Bose promises to bring excellent sound quality to QuietComfort earbuds. The sound company pledges to deliver “consistently balanced sound” – even when listening at low volume.
According to Bose, “As you turn the volume down on most earphones, the bass tends to disappear, leaving your music looking tiny and cramped.” This is something Bose claims to have fixed thanks to its Volume Enhanced Active EQ technology, which dynamically changes the equalizer to boost lows and highs whenever you change the volume on the QuietComfort earbuds.
Of course, we’ll have to hear these new sprouts to see how they work in practice, but that sounds very promising. The combination of volume-enhanced active equalizer and active noise cancellation should mean that you are able to get full volume sound at low volumes – without the inconvenience of the coffee machine / office printer / airplane engine in the background.
The connection is handled by Bluetooth 5.1, which should provide a hiccup-free connection up to 30 feet from your device. Therefore, you will be able to leave your smartphone charging in the kitchen while still wearing these earbuds while doing your gardening outside.
Each QuietComfort headphone has a battery life of six hours, with a carrying case that provides an additional 12 hours – for a total of 18 hours of listening before needing to be plugged back into the socket. These new Bose earbuds don’t look like they’re going to be a competition to battery life champions (this tribute still stands strong with the Samsung Galaxy Buds +) but there should be enough here that you don’t need to be charged every night.
Along with the QuietComfort earbuds, Bose has also launched a new, redesigned pair of Bose Sport Earbuds, which come with an improved silicone tip to ensure a better seal inside your ear – cutting off the outside world. While there’s no smart active noise cancellation here, Bose is confident that the so-called StayHear Max Tip (as found on the more expensive QuietComfort Buds) suffices from the hurdles you’ll still be able to listen to without distraction.
The Bose Sport Earbuds will set you back £ 179.95 and are IPX4 rated for sweat resistance.
Both the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds and Sport Earbuds are available for pre-order at the moment and will start landing in mailboxes on October 5, 2020.