I review headphones for a living – and now is a great time to buy the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II in black on a desk
(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

I’m a big fan of the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II. They launched back in September 2023 and soon cemented their position as one of the best pairs of noise-cancelling earbuds on the market.

For me, they get all the basics right. You’d think that was a given at this level of the market, but wireless headphones can be tricky because prospective buyers have more priorities than just sound quality. For example, comfort and fit can make or break your relationship with a pair of headphones, and the Bose nail both of these.

The noise-cancelling works extremely well, they’re nice to use and they sound great. In fact, I’ve talked about my experience with them and some of their closest rivals such as the Sony WF-1000XM4 and, more recently, the WF-1000XM5 in a couple of articles.

But I realise that, like a lot of pairs of flagship wireless earbuds, the Bose aren’t cheap. We tested them at their launch price of £280 / $299 / AU$429 which puts them right at the top end of the market. We’re talking pricier than both the Sony WF-1000XM4 (their closest rival at the time, now succeeded by the Sony XM5) and the Apple equivalent (the AirPods Pro 2).

But there’s been a recent development, which I think you need to be aware of, that I think is already having a serious impact on their pricing.

There’s a new Bose flagship in town…

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds in Soapstone on red background

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

In case you missed the announcement, Bose recently unveiled a brand new pair of flagship wireless in-ears, the QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds (pictured above). We’ve already tested them and they are fantastic performers.

Would I recommend you upgrade from the old pair to the new one? No. But if the older QC Earbuds II were at the top of your shopping list and you’ve been delaying buying them, I think you finally have an excuse to take the plunge.

I know it’s hardly rocket science, but over time the emergence of a new model/version of anything tends to drive the prices of its predecessor down. It happens for any tech from TVs to laptops and these Bose are no different. The fact the Ultras are out and the QC Earbuds II are being phased out means conditions are ripe for a serious saving.

Which is good news for consumers

Noise-cancelling headphones: Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

(Image credit: Future)

And this is where I think you can make some serious savings. At the time of writing, for example, we’re seeing the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II down at their lowest price to date. They can be yours for just £178 on OnBuy or £189 at Amazon. Part of this will be because of the Amazon Prime Big Deal Days event, but I’ve seen them drop a significant amount in the build-up which indicates deals are usually on the way.

After the Amazon sales event ends, it will be interesting to see if they start climbing back up in price to the £250 mark or if they remain where they are. I would guess the former, before we start seeing price drops come around again for Black Friday.

Either way, I think if you can pick them up for under £200, or $200 if you’re on the other side of the pond, then I think this is a great price. There is a chance they might drop further, maybe by about £20/$20 at the very most, possibly as part of a Lightning Deal during Black Friday but there’s no guarantee.

If you want quality and comfort from your next pair of wireless earbuds and don’t mind the fact they’re not the hot new model, I think you’ll be more than satisfied with QC Earbuds II.


Read our Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II review

And our Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds review

I switched from the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II to the Sony XM5 and... I’m torn

See our pick of the best wireless earbuds you can buy

Andy Madden

Andy is Deputy Editor of What Hi-Fi? and a consumer electronics journalist with nearly 20 years of experience writing news, reviews and features. Over the years he's also contributed to a number of other outlets, including The Sunday Times, the BBC, Stuff, and BA High Life Magazine. Premium wireless earbuds are his passion but he's also keen on car tech and in-car audio systems and can often be found cruising the countryside testing the latest set-ups. In his spare time Andy is a keen golfer and gamer.