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Best Bose headphones 2022: noise-cancelling and wireless

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Best Bose headphones Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best Bose headphones you can buy in 2022.

Bose is synonymous with great headphones and with noise-cancelling too. The US audio firm was the first to offer its customers the silent treatment and is still very much at the top of the game, which can make choosing the best Bose headphones tricky.

The good news is that Bose has won a string of awards for its most recent noise-cancelling headphones. The company's ground-breaking tech blocks out ambient noise – aeroplane engines, the rumble of a train, office chatter – offering a neat solution to you personal audio problems.

Bose as also diversified into other types of headphones, including sporty true wireless earbuds and premium wireless over-ears. So, whether you’re looking to shut out the world, bring your favourite songs to life or smash your fitness goals, Bose has a pair of headphones to suit your needs.

Browse the list below for our pick of the best Bose headphones on the market...  

Best Bose headphones 2022: noise-cancelling and wireless

(Image credit: Bose)

1. Bose SoundSport Wireless

The sporty, lightweight and sweat-resistant ones.

Specifications
Bluetooth: Yes
Noise-cancelling: No
Battery life: 6hr
Charging: USB
Built-in mic and controls: Yes
Reasons to buy
+
Comfortable
+
Fun sound
+
Strong wireless performance
Reasons to avoid
-
Less-than-stellar battery life

Want to get active and cut the cord at the same time? There’s a lot to love about these sporty, lightweight wireless earbuds. They offer surprisingly rich sound and punchy bass that'll get your toes tapping (or feet pounding the treadmill, maybe).

Aimed at gym-goers, they're IPX4 sweat- and splash-resistant, too, so won't baulk at a sweaty workout out in the rain. Slip them on and you’ll find that the comfy silicone ear hooks hold them in place while jogging or busting out a HIIT workout. You shouldn’t experience too many drop-outs, either, thanks to Bose's reliable Bluetooth chipset. They’re not truly ‘wireless’, though, as they have a neckband cable featuring a lightweight remote. 

Battery life is average but six hours playback is plenty for a commute or a workout. If you’re seeking some accomplished wireless buds to accompany you on a sporty adventure, you'll be hard pressed to find a better option for less money. 

Read the full review: Bose SoundSport Wireless

Best Bose headphones 2022: noise-cancelling and wireless

(Image credit: Bose)

2. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

Fantastic wireless earbuds with some brilliant built-in tech.

Specifications
Bluetooth: Yes
Noise-cancelling: Yes
Battery life: 6hrs (18hrs with charging case)
Charging: USB-C
Built-in mic and controls: Yes
Reasons to buy
+
Exciting, entertaining sound
+
Superb balance
+
Impressive noise-cancelling
Reasons to avoid
-
Average battery life

Bose's first-ever pair of noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds have proven hugely popular. They feel lightweight enough for the average commute or exercise session (the QuietComfort Earbuds are both sweat and weather-resistant) and are great to live with. 

Battery life is a claimed six hours from a single charge, with the charging case supplying an extra two charges, making 18 hours in total – a decent reserve, but by no means class-leading. You can customise some features and controls, and adjust the excellent noise-cancellation, in Bose's handy companion app.

The sense of enthusiasm and excitement conveyed by the Bose buds is highly infectious. Sound is shot through with power, poise and dynamism. Bass notes sound full-bodied; go deep and the QuietComfort Earbuds squeeze out lots of detail.

All in all, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are sensational all-rounders, capable of impressive musicality and topped off with excellent noise cancelling. These wireless earbuds are more than a match for any rival.

Read the full review: Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

Best Bose headphones 2022

(Image credit: Bose)

3. Bose SoundSport Free

True wireless buds for those who like to feel the burn.

Specifications
Bluetooth: Yes
Noise-cancelling: No
Battery life: 5hr
Charging: USB/Case
Built-in mic and controls: Yes
Reasons to buy
+
Weighty, full-bodied sound
+
Deep, powerful bass
+
Even tonal balance
Reasons to avoid
-
Thanks to an update, not a lot

True wireless earbuds are a modern miracle. Somehow, Bose has crammed a battery, amplifier and Bluetooth chip into these tiny ear buds. What's more, they're rugged, sporty and water-resistant. How do they do it?

Sure, they’re a little on the chunky side – but Bose hasn’t compromised on performance. Expect rich, expansive bass and sparkling vocals. Battery life is a respectable five hours but slot the buds into the carry case/charger, and you can inject them with an extra ten hours of power. Which should be long enough for even the most long-lasting of gym bunnies. 

They're packed with useful features, too. Like the five LEDs on the outside of the case that indicate how much charge is left. And forgetful types will appreciate the ‘Find My Buds’ feature, too, which shows their location on your phone. Handy.

These five-star beauties are laden with features but it's the impressive sound quality that makes them a cut above the rest. 

Read the full review: Bose SoundSport Free

Best Bose headphones 2022

(Image credit: Bose)

4. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Better wireless fidelity, better noise cancelling, same great sound.

Specifications
Bluetooth: Yes
Noise-cancelling: Yes
Battery life: 20hr
Charging: USB
Built-in mic and controls: Yes
Reasons to buy
+
Next-gen noise-cancellation
+
Comfortable and stylish
+
Crystal-clear, upfront sound
+
Intuitive touch controls
Reasons to avoid
-
Lack class-leading insight
-
Rivals have better battery life
-
Expensive

A breakaway from the QuietComfort range, the 700s are the beginning of a more premium series of Bose noise cancellers. Both the acoustics and digital signal processing have been redesigned. There is an eight-microphone system (six to cancel noise, two for voice pick-up) and you can adjust the level of noise-cancelling control by increments from 0-10. That's a serious level of control that most rivals can't match.

Both the silencing effect and the call quality is impressive and definitely an improvement on the QuietComfort range. Voices are more intelligible when phoning and high levels of noise cancelling seem more subtle and less like listening in a vacuum. Even if you're not playing music, just activate the noise-cancelling to block out unwanted noise.

Comfort and aesthetics are spot-on too and, sonically, the neutral-to-lean character makes for uncomplicated listening, although some may prefer the musical richness and the class-leading Sony WH-1000XM4  but these are still a great option.

Read the full review: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Best Bose headphones 2022

(Image credit: Bose)

5. Bose QuietComfort 45

The QC45 have solid noise cancellation, but they can be bettered in sound quality.

Specifications
Bluetooth: Yes
Noise-cancelling: Yes
Battery life: 24hr
Charging: USB-C
Built-in mic and controls: Yes
Reasons to buy
+
Effective noise cancellation
+
24-hour battery life
+
Comfortable build
Reasons to avoid
-
Sparsely featured comparatively
-
Beaten for dynamics and timing
-
No aptX Bluetooth

If you want a set of robust, travel-friendly wireless over-ear headphones you can put on and largely extinguish the outside world for up to 24 hours, the Bose QC 45 has the edge over most of the competition at the price.

Thanks to Bluetooth 5.1, the Bose QuietComfort 45 now offer true multi-point pairing. These headphones also have better microphones than their predecessor's the QC35 II (below), so you can expect better voice pickup when taking phone calls.  

Sound is delivered with excitement and zeal across the frequencies. Mids are pleasingly three dimensional and bass is weighty, but timing isn't as cohesive as we'd like. Sonically, the class-leading Sony WH-1000XM4 have more to offer.

Settings are basic, and if you want 11 levels of noise-cancellation, you'll need to opt for the company's flagship Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 (above). Still, there's plenty to like about the Bose QC45; they're based on a tried and tested product that will likely stand the test of time.

Read the full Bose QuietComfort 45 review

Best Bose headphones 2022

(Image credit: Bose)

6. Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Cutting-edge, premium noise-cancelling with Google Assistant.

Specifications
Bluetooth: Yes
Noise-cancelling: Yes
Battery life: 20hr
Charging: USB
Built-in mic and controls: Yes
Reasons to buy
+
Sophisticated noise-cancellation
+
Crystal-clear voice calls
+
Stylish design
Reasons to avoid
-
Rivals feel more premium

It's hard to believe but these headphones made their debut in 2017, quickly proving that choosing noise-cancelling headphones didn't mean compromising on sound quality. 

They might have been trumped by the 2021 QuietComfort 45 but these headphones remain a decent buy, especially if you can get them at a decent discount. They offer powerful, controlled bass, three noise cancellation settings (‘low’, ‘high’ and ‘off’) and plenty of bells and whistles. 

Built-in Google Assistant reads out text messages and online notifications while you’re on the move, and you can even dictate a reply or rifle through your music library using voice commands.Battery life is 20 hours (the QC 45 up that to 24 hours).

If you’re looking for ultra-comfortable, cutting-edge noise-cancelling, these will tick all your boxes. 

Read the full review: Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Best Bose headphones 2022

(Image credit: Bose)

7. Bose Sport Earbuds

These Bose wireless earbuds are a solid option for sporty types.

Specifications
Bluetooth: Yes
Noise-cancelling: No
Battery life: 5hr (15hr with case)
Charging: USB/Case
Built-in mic and controls: Yes
Reasons to buy
+
Enthusiastic delivery
+
Balanced presentation
+
Weighty, agile bass
Reasons to avoid
-
Slight connection issues
-
Music lacks subtlety and refinement
-
Midrange could be more expressive

The Bose Sports Earbuds are a sort of mash up between the QuietComfort Earbuds and the Bose SoundSport Free.

The housings are smaller and a little rounder than the ones you get with the QuietComforts but, understandably given the relative prices, they do feel a little cheaper. All the same, Bose's umbrella-shaped silicone pads and soft wing tips makes them comfortable over long listening periods.

The Sport Earbuds are sweat and weather resistant, battery life is average but should be enough in combination with the case. There's also voice assistant support and both good noise isolation and noise cancelling too.

Sonically, these are some expertly balanced buds for tone. Every track we play through them is handled fairly and squarely. High frequencies never annoy or grate and low frequencies aren’t overcooked as is often the case with lower-end wireless earbuds. There’s a richness and fullness to bass notes, but they never sound fat and slovenly. On an initial listen they really draw you in, but better buds offer more expression, clarity and can uncover a touch more detail. The Sport Earbuds are still very listenable, they just don’t make music sound quite as special as the very best at this level.

Read the full Bose Sport Earbuds review

Tom has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Men's Health, ShortList, The Sun, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include mobile tech, electric cars and video streaming.