Bose QuietComfort Earbuds evaluation: They beat AirPods Professional on sound and noise canceling however not design

It took Bose fairly awhile to get them into shops, however the brand new $280 (£250, $AU400) noise-canceling QuietComfort Earbuds are lastly right here. In some ways, they’re wonderful true wi-fi earbuds, significantly in relation to their sound and noise-canceling, which is arguably the very best on the market proper now in a set of earbuds. Efficiency-wise, they clearly have a leg up on Apple’s best-selling AirPods Pro true wi-fi noise-canceling buds. Nevertheless, the AirPods Professional’s smaller design, considerably extra comfy match and superior voice-calling capabilities make it arduous to declare the Bose the straight-up champ. In the end, it will depend on what your priorities are.


  • Greatest-in-class noise canceling with transparency mode
  • High-notch sound
  • Comfy, safe match
  • Rock stable wi-fi connection
  • Respectable battery life for noise-canceling earbuds (as much as 6 hours)
  • Wi-fi charging (and USB-C)
  • Respectable voice calling with sidetone “self voice” characteristic
  • IPX4 splash-resistant

Do not Like

  • Buds are pretty giant (they stick out of your ears)
  • Noise discount for calls could possibly be higher
  • Fairly dear

High-notch noise-canceling

Let’s begin with the noise-canceling. Bose was, in fact, the gold commonplace for energetic noise cancellation (ANC), however Sony and others have upped their noise-canceling recreation in recent times. The QuietComfort Earbuds, previously generally known as the Bose Noise Canceling 700 Earbuds, do not disappoint in that division. As I stated, they’re arguably the very best true wi-fi earbuds on the market for muffling sound round you.

You possibly can toggle by three customizable noise-canceling settings, together with a transparency mode that lets sound in — it is the quantity “0” on the settings — by tapping the left earbud utilizing the contact controls. At their high setting, these did a greater job at muffling sound than the AirPods Professional and Sony WF-1000XM3, a noise-canceling chief within the class.

I did not take the Bose earbuds on a aircraft — like quite a lot of people, I am simply not touring on planes today — however I’ve an air con system in my condo that is fairly loud and does an honest job simulating airplane cabin noise. The QuietComfort Earbuds nearly utterly eradicated the fan sound. Whereas the Sony and AirPods Professional did a superb job tamping down the sound, the Bose was higher.

I additionally used them within the streets of New York to spectacular impact. They do not eradicate all noise, however you’re feeling fairly sealed off from the world and it is price noting that for security causes, lots of people use the transparency mode when strolling across the metropolis to listen to site visitors. This could additionally come into play if you happen to have been working in trafficked areas.


Bose’s new QuietComfort Buds subsequent to its Sports activities Buds, which do not have noise canceling.

David Carnoy/CNET

On a facet word, I do suppose Bose ought to label “0” as transparency as a result of some folks may learn it merely as noise-canceling off. It might have additionally been good if Bose had a damaging quantity that may increase sound from the skin world. That characteristic was out there in its limited-release Hearphones (now discontinued), which have been designed to enhance sound. “The purpose with transparency in our QuietComfort headphones is to faithfully mimic what the world would sound like with out the buds in your ears,” a Bose spokesperson advised me. Apple has the identical goal for the AirPods Professional’s transparency mode.

Wealthy sound

The QuietComfort Earbuds additionally sound higher than the AirPods Professional. They’re simply richer sounding with higher element and extra highly effective bass that is additionally well-defined. The Bose are proper up there with the best-sounding true wi-fi earbuds and go toe-to-toe with the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2, which retail for $300. They work properly for a wide range of music genres however followers of hip hop and EDM will discover they’ve loads of kick to their bass.

The Sennheiser is a bit more laid again than the Bose. The mids (vocals) are a bit extra ahead with the QuietComfort Earbuds, which is a bit more aggressive general with extra vitality within the bass. On well-recorded tracks like The Police’s “Spirits within the Materials World,” Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill,” Marvin Gaye’s “Interior Metropolis Blues” and Frank Zappa’s “Night time Faculty” which have a good variety of devices taking part in on the similar time, you’ll be able to distinctly hear every instrument so these are fairly articulate headphones. Bob Dylan’s “Man within the Lengthy Black Coat” sounded clear and open.

They match comfortably and securely however they are not precisely discrete.

David Carnoy/CNET

With modern tracks reminiscent of Main Lazer’s “Know No Higher” and Travis Scott’s “The Plan” (from the Tenet soundtrack), the Bose sounded extra dynamic than the Sennheiser and had bolder bass that hit tougher. Some folks might favor the tonal stability of the Sennheiser — all people’s ears and brains are completely different in spite of everything — however the level is the Bose delivers high-quality sound. For higher or worse, at present there is no equalizer within the Bose Music app for iOS and Android that means that you can tweak the sound. 

Name high quality analysis

The QuietComfort Earbuds additionally good for making calls and have a sidetone characteristic (Bose calls it “self voice”) that means that you can hear your voice within the earbuds so you’ll be able to modulate it and never shout. However they are not fairly nearly as good because the AirPods Professional for calls, primarily as a result of their noise discount (skill to scale back background sound) is not as robust. Nonetheless, they’re considerably improved on this space over Bose’s earlier SoundSport Free, which solely had mono sound in a single bud for calls.

The QuietComfort Earbuds successfully decreased a specific amount of ambient sound within the streets of New York throughout calls and callers stated they might hear my voice properly, although they did choose up some background noise. My voice was clear and I may hear callers rather well (the noise-isolation is nice throughout calls). It is doable that Bose may tweak the firmware to enhance the background noise discount, although proper now it is merely good not not stellar. It is not on the extent of Bose’s full-size Noise Canceling 700 Headphones or Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Plus and even some sub-$100 earbuds I’ve reviewed lately.

Bose StayHear Max suggestions — I bought a good seal with the biggest tip. A good seal is essential for optimum sound and noise-canceling. 

David Carnoy/CNET

You can use a single bud — both left or proper — for calls or listening to music and whenever you pull one bud out the opposite one routinely goes into transparency mode so you haven’t any weirdness of listening to one bud with noise canceling on.

You stand up to six hours of battery life on a single cost or about an hour greater than the AirPods Professional. The buds are sweat- and weather-resistant, with a splash-resistant IPX4 rating — the identical because the AirPods Professional.

Presumably because of the truth that the Bose incorporates the most recent Bluetooth 5.1 commonplace, my wi-fi connection was rock stable and the buds paired simply with each my iPhone 11 Professional and a Samsung Galaxy Notice 10. However there is no multipoint Bluetooth pairing that makes switching between a pair gadgets, together with a Home windows or Apple PC, a seamless affair. You must manually change between gadgets and it would not at all times go based on plan with Home windows PCs specifically.

Dimension issues

As I hinted within the intro, the QuietComfort Earbuds do have some downsides. The AirPods Professional and standard Android-oriented buds like Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Plus and Galaxy Buds Live are considerably smaller and lighter and have actually compact charging instances. You gotta love that. In that sense, these buds are extra just like the Sony WF-1000XM3, and maybe the ethical of the story is that to get actually good sound and noise canceling you merely have to go along with a bigger earbud (jamming the electronics, high-quality driver and a battery sufficiently big to energy the bud for at least 5 hours is an engineering problem).  

I did discover the QuietComfort Earbuds comfy to put on. They use Bose’s new StayHear Max suggestions which have an built-in wing. With the biggest tip I bought a good seal and actually safe match. And whereas they’re smaller than Bose’s earlier SoundSport Free, the QuietComfort Buds do stick out of your ears a good quantity. And if you happen to tuck the case into the entrance pocket of a good pair of denims, let’s simply say it leaves a noticeable bulge.

That stated, the case is smaller than the case for the Beats Powerbeats Pro, so it is not gigantic. It has wi-fi charging capabilities (in addition to USB-C charging) and offers you an additional two fees. There’s additionally a fast cost characteristic that banks two hours of battery life with a 15-minute cost.

The worth query

I am unable to evaluate the Bose to the whole lot that is on the market and a few folks will get on my case for speaking a lot in regards to the AirPods Professional, however they’re (as far as we all know) the best-selling true wi-fi noise-canceling earbuds and Apple simply added a brand new — and downright spectacular — spatial audio virtual sound feature to them. And regardless of a listing value of $249, the AirPods Professional have roughly settled to a street price of $219, they usually’ve not too long ago been on sale at main retailers for as low as $199. In different phrases, they’re a gorgeous different to the QuietComfort Earbuds for anyplace from $30 to $80 much less. 

I feel it comes down as to if you’ll be able to reside with the Bose’s bigger dimension and general design. For lots of people, the reply will likely be no. The AirPods Professional’s smaller type issue and lighter design (sure, they’re a bit extra comfy than the Bose) will outweigh the Bose’s efficiency benefits. As I stated, the QuietComfort Earbuds clearly sound higher and have higher noise canceling. It is no contest. That stated, the AirPods Professional do not sound unhealthy in any respect (they sound good however not nice). Nor do they lack efficient noise-canceling (it is also good).

After speaking to a couple of us who’ve each the AriPods Professional and Bose QuietComfort buds (with the lengthy delay for Bose’s next-generation buds to reach, some Bose followers could not wait and went out and acquired the AirPods Professional), it looks like they might each have a spot in a single’s headphone arsenal. “Will go along with the AirPods Professional for on a regular basis use and calls and the Bose for motion pictures, extra vital listening and planes,” one twin proprietor advised me who finds the AirPods Professional extra comfy.

Personally, I lean towards higher sound so I have been gravitating towards the Bose for on a regular basis listening even with the AirPods Professional sitting on my desk.    

Bose’s Sport different

The opposite Bose different is the cheaper Sport Earbuds ($180, £180, $AU300), which have the identical IPX4 water-resistance score however no noise canceling and an hour much less of battery life. They do not sound fairly as dynamic and their bass would not go fairly as deep because the bass on the QuietComfort Earbuds, however they’re well-balanced with good element and punchy bass. Total, they sound wonderful and likewise are good — although not nice — for making calls. Whereas they do stand out from your ears, they’re smaller and lighter than the QuietComfort Earbuds and their case is about 30-40 p.c smaller.

Sports activities Earbuds (left) are a bit smaller and lighter than QuietComfort Earbuds.

David Carnoy/CNET

I discovered them barely extra comfy and whereas you should utilize the QuietComfort Earbuds for sporting actions, the Sport Earbuds will likely be higher for runners (for biking each the Sport Earbuds and QuietComfort Earbuds stand out from your ears and create wind noise — the Galaxy Buds Reside are higher for biking). When you do not want energetic noise-canceling or do not like its sensation, the Sport Earbuds will definitely match extra folks’s budgets. They compete properly in opposition to different earbuds of their value class and do sound barely higher than cheaper fashions just like the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus. Nevertheless, the Buds Plus are extra discrete.

As for whether or not it is price spending the additional $100 on the QuietComfort Earbuds, I feel that if nice noise-canceling is what you are after, you should not hesitate. They’re dear at $280 and can hopefully come down in a bit in due time. It would be additionally good if Bose managed to enhance the noise discount for calls a bit by a firmware improve. Different corporations, like Jabra with Elite 75t, have carried out simply that and infrequently superior earbuds like these and the AirPods Professional do enhance over time.

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Hey, I'm Sunil Kumar professional blogger and Affiliate marketing. I like to gain every type of knowledge that's why I have done many courses in different fields like News, Business and Technology. I love thrills and travelling to new places and hills. My Favourite Tourist Place is Sikkim, India.

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