Bose is finally back in the earbud space, with not one, but two pairs of true wireless earbuds: the QuietComfort Earbuds and the Sport Earbuds. The names are simple and straightforward, which we appreciate, and the tech behind both of these is impressive. They’re both up for preorder now and will begin shipping on September 29.
Bose’s entry back into the earbuds space is a big one. With the Quietcomfort, they look to compete with AirPods Pro and Sony’s WF-1000XM3. And they just might do that with the knowledge and technology that Bose has in its arsenal. Over 20 years of noise-canceling tech will now be implemented in a smaller build than ever before. Bose is stating that the QCs can recognize and block noise within a fraction of a millisecond.
While the Sport Earbuds lack noise cancellation, they aim to compete with other traditional true wireless earbuds. Likely with better sound, a balanced approach to music playback and the ability to stay in your ears without hooks during activity. Out of the two, the Sport Earbuds are a bit of a tougher sell especially at $179.
The nearly $300 QuietComfort Earbuds remind us a bit of the Sony WF-1000XM3s, though the Bose seem to stick out a bit less.
Along with a balanced EQ for music playback (as Bose has always offered), these feature both active and passive noise cancellation. The StayHear Max tips create a strong seal but don’t apply too much pressure to the ear canal itself. These are made from silicone and don’t stray too much from other ear tips we’ve seen. The active noise cancellation rig is powered by several microphones, a processor and a proprietary algorithm that listens for noise and reacts in order to block it in a fraction of millisecond. Like the over-ear Noise Cancelling 700s from Bose, these will listen to the environment and block out the world around you. You’ll get 11 levels (why just stop at 10?) of noise cancellation and a transparency mode to quickly let the world in around you when that’s what you want.
Bose promises six hours of battery life from the QuietComfort Earbuds, with an additional two charges from the carrying case. They’ll pair with the Bose companion app for iOS and Android as well.
Those looking for earbuds fit for a workout — or to spend $100 less — should take a look at the Sport Earbuds. They have a similar design to the QuietComfort Earbuds and we’re expecting the sound experience to be nearly identical. The big difference is that these lose any form of noise cancellation.
Unlike other sport earbuds that rely on ear hooks, like Powerbeats or Powerbeats Pro from Beats, Bose is betting big on the StayHear Max tip that sits in your ear canal and the wingtip along the back of the Sport Earbuds. These two pieces of silicone working together should eliminate the possibility of these falling out. Bose specifically mentions the ability to stay in during an indoor cycle ride or HIIT workout. You can also drop your fears of sweat destroying these as they carry an IPX4 rating for sweat and water resistance.
The Sport Earbuds feature a custom driver from Bose inside, and they aim to meet the standard of accurately reproducing music to sound the way the artist intended. It’s normally a fairly balanced mix with some vibrancy thrown in. The Sport Earbuds deliver five hours of battery life from a single charge and two more from the carrying case.
Bose is having a little more fun with color names here: Triple Black, Baltic Blue and Glacier White. The Sport Earbuds are up for preorder now at $179.95 and will begin shipping on September 29.