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Bose QuietComfort Earbuds review

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds review

Bose isn’t known for its true wireless earphones, with the QuietComfort Earbuds only the second model released by the big audio brand. In the three years between the

Bose isn’t known for its true wireless earphones, with the QuietComfort Earbuds only the second model released by the big audio brand. In the three years between the Bose SoundSport Free and the QC ‘Buds, Apple and Sony have outpaced Bose, releasing the AirPods Pro and WF-1000XM3 that quickly became the best true wireless headphones to feature active noise cancelling.

 Bose QuietComfort Earbuds (Black) at Amazon for $269

 Those three years, though, were spent really well. The new Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are one of the best true wireless ‘buds we’ve tested, with what is arguably the best noise cancelling performance from any device in this class.

Bose has taken a leaf out of its Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 playbook and added 10 levels of ANC to the QC ‘Buds as well. And at maximum, you’re practically cut off from the rest of the world, encased in a cocoon of sound that’s made entirely up of your favourite tunes. You’ll only be able to hear some high frequency sounds like sirens (and even they’re muted to a large degree).

This kind of powerful ANC doesn’t come at the cost of comfort or sound quality. The QC ‘Buds have a much improved design that’s similar to the Sony WF-1000XM3 in bulkiness, but far and away better balanced than the SoundSport Free. There’s more accessories in the box to ensure a better fit – so whether you’re walking, running or doing jumping jacks, the QC Earbuds sit firmly and very comfortably in the ear.

No matter what genre of music you enjoy, the sound is absolutely enjoyable. You’re not going to get the pleasantly warm bass that Sony is known for, but the Bose QC Earbuds have just enough thrum at the low end to make the double bass in jazz sound ethereal. The QC ‘Buds definitely sound better at mid to higher volumes though, and no matter how loud you get, there’s no distortion and every layer within the music is perfectly clear. Vocals are crisp and every instrument in the background can be heard beautifully.

Battery life is competitive enough, with up to six hours of playback from the ‘buds alone. The charging case though, which is pretty bulky, only offers two more full charges, whereas you’ll get three extra charges from the Sony WF-1000XM3 case. This is a little disappointing, especially considering the premium price tag the Bose QC ‘Buds come with.

However, the Bose ‘buds are slightly more weather-ready than their Sony counterparts. Where the WF-1000XM3 has no IP certification, the Bose has an IPX4 rating. That means the Bose set is sweatproof and will survive a light drizzle, but that’s about it.

So if you’re after a slightly more secure, slightly more treble-heavy, and slightly more weatherproof ANC in-ear ‘buds than Sony can offer right now, then the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are the best alternative.

[Update: Bose seems to be on the verge of releasing a new version of its Sport Earbuds – and they look like the lovechild of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live and the Powerbeats Pro.

As spotted by The Verge, photos of the Bose Sport Open Earbuds were included in an FCC filing (Federal Communications Commission), which usually indicates a release is on the horizon – though it doesn't necessarily mean the wireless earbuds will ever go into production.

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