Why now is a terrible time to buy the wireless Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

Why now is a terrible time to buy the wireless Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II
(Image credit: Future)

If you're in the market for a new pair of wireless earbuds and have a healthy budget, you are probably considering the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II as your potential next pair. 

If so, good choice. Based on our testing they are arguably the best-sounding true wireless earbuds out there. 

For people who can afford to look beyond the more affordable, but not quite as sonically compelling, Sony WF-1000XM4, the Boses are in our minds the best bet. They have class-leading active noise cancellation, benchmark sound quality and offer an exceptionally comfortable fit.

This is why we slapped a big five-star logo on their review and originally we wouldn’t have hesitated to recommend their purchase to anybody who wanted them even a few months ago. 

But now that we’re nine months on from when we first tested them, a little hesitation has crept in. No, not around whether these are still the best of the best – they absolutely still are. But because of their current price.

Wait (just weeks) for a Prime Day deal

At the time of writing, the Bose QC Earbuds II cost £279, the price they launched last September. However, they have dropped in price on at least three occasions since then at various retailers – first, during Black Friday when they fell to £249, and then in this year’s January sales and (Amazon’s) spring sales to between £229 and £239.

This price drop behaviour makes us pretty certain that the earbuds will be once again discounted by around 15 per cent, or perhaps even more, for Amazon Prime Day 2023 – not least as their previous lowest prices have been found on Amazon. And hey, we aren’t talking about a huge wait either – Amazon Prime Day is likely to be held just weeks away in mid-July (actual dates are tbc). Bose headphones and earbuds historically feature in Amazon sales and are often among the best and most popular deals in the headphones space, so we’re pretty confident this year’s Prime Day won’t buck the trend.

If you are happy to wait until Prime Day and are either a Prime member or will be next month (either by signing up or making use of the 30-day free trial), look out for a price around or below £230-£240.

We should caveat this by saying that while now might not be the best time to buy the QC Earbuds II considering they are full price, they are far – far – from a bad buy at their current price. In fact, they remain one of the best buys, hence their current What Hi-Fi? Award and inclusion in our best wireless earbuds buying guide. So if you don’t care much about discounts or simply cannot wait, then, by all means, buy them. Checkout (retailer prices are below) and be happy with your new buds.

The downsides, and alternatives to consider

What the Bose QC Earbuds II do not have among their many talents are multi-point connectivity and wireless charging – which individually may not be a deal breaker but together could be. Not least as they’re part and parcel of our second favourite pair, the Sony WF-1000XM4, which have been multi-Award-winners since their arrival in June 2021.

The Sonys have always been more affordable than the Boses, as they launched at £250 but have been available to buy for around £200 for the past year or so. They are currently at a new low of £149 at Amazon, so considering the huge price gap between the two models, you might be tempted to opt for the Sonys instead. They might not sound quite as sophisticated or block noise quite as effectively, but they still deliver a musical sound that most people will be more than satisfied by, and have the two features mentioned above.

Or, if rumours are to be believed, a new pair of Sony premium earbuds (probably called the WF-1000XM5) could launch before August. So you might want to hold out to see how they compare to the Bose QC Earbuds II in terms of features, sound quality and price before you make a purchase. We can’t say exactly when new Sonys will appear, but isn’t it annoying when you splash out on something and it’s bettered by something else weeks later?

If you’ve now decided to hold fire on the Bose QC Earbuds II until Prime Day, then perhaps new Sonys will have appeared by then and you will be able to make an informed decision between the two (or three).

Whatever your decision, buying a pair of premium wireless earbuds of this calibre will undoubtedly satisfy your commute or everyday listening. Happy shopping!


Intrigued by new Sonys? Read our Sony WF-1000XM5 rumour roundup

Torn between the Boses and Sony XM4? Here's the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II vs Sony WF-1000XM4 comparison

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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 eight years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.