Bose QuietComfort Earbuds arrive to challenge AirPods Pro

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds arrive to challenge AirPods Pro
(Image credit: Bose)

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are official.

The brand first teased the existence of 'Bose Earbuds 500' and 'Bose Noise Cancelling Earbuds 700' when it launched its premium Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 over-ear headphones last summer. The two pairs of next-generation true wireless earbuds were due to arrive last Christmas but faced delays due to both the coronavirus pandemic and what Bose called a "longer than anticipated" product development process. 

Leaks since hinted at specs and design cues, with the most recent rumour this week suggesting the 'QuietComfort Earbuds' naming. And now Bose has quietly made them official. Please welcome the QuietComfort Earbuds (£250/$280) and Bose Sport Earbuds (£180/$180), both of which are now available to pre-order.

(Image credit: Bose)

The QuietComfort Earbuds are the challengers to the AirPods Pros (£219/$249), offering no fewer than eleven levels of active noise-cancellation that can be selected in the Bose Music app (three can be toggled between directly on the ear buds).

For isolated voice calls as well as music playback, the right earbud's microphone array works to pick up the sound of your voice while rejecting noise around you – something we found worked extremely well in the Noise Cancelling 700s.

Their familiar oval-shaped aesthetic – not a far cry from the Bose SoundSport Free's – includes a soft ear nozzle that Bose has designed to create a tight seal within your ear for passively blocking out noise, too.

Onboard is an 18-hour combined battery life – six in the buds, 12 in the case – which is less than the 24 hours offered by both their Apple rival and the What Hi-Fi? Award-winning Sony WF-1000XM3s. Quick charging offers two hours of playback from a 15-minute charge, while support for Qi wireless charging is also present.

Bose's Volume-optimized Active EQ technology works to automatically adjust the prominence of low and high frequencies so that you get a consistent performance across volume levels. 

Bluetooth 5.1 promises 30-feet range, and their IPX4-rated waterproof rating ensures they'll survive a rain shower.

The QuietComfort Earbuds are available in Triple Black and Soapstone finishes and can be pre-ordered now with shipping beginning on the 29th September.

(Image credit: Bose)

The Bose Sport Earbuds, meanwhile, are the sportier versions without noise cancellation. They share much of their sibling's specification, including IPX4 water resistance, Volume-optimized Active EQ technology, on-bud touch controls, Bose Music app compatibility, and support for both quick and wireless charging. 

Their battery life is 15 hours this time – five in the buds, ten in the case – and Bluetooth 5.0 is onboard. Bose says they are a "smaller and sleeker version" of the SoundSport Free. 

The Bose Sport Earbuds come in Triple Back, Glacier White and Baltic Blue (pictured above) and can also be pre-ordered now, with shipping commencing on 5th October.


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10+ years in the hi-fi industry, she has reviewed all manner of audio gear, from budget amplifiers to high-end speakers, and particularly specialises in headphones and head-fi devices. In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.