Bose is a well-known brand in the audio industry, especially when it comes to noise-cancelling technology. The company has been producing some of the best over-ear headphones with active noise cancellation (ANC) for years and recently entered the true wireless earbuds market with the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds. These earbuds quickly became my top recommendation for anyone looking for the best ANC performance in a compact and wireless form factor.
However, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds were not so perfect. They had some drawbacks, such as a bulky charging case, a lack of support for high-quality wireless codecs, and no single-earbud mode. That’s why I was excited to hear that Bose had released a second-generation model, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II, which promised to address some of these issues and improve on the already excellent sound quality and noise cancellation.
So, how do the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II compare to their predecessor and the competition? Are they worth the premium price tag? Let’s find out in this detailed review.
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II
What comes inside the packaging of the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II?
- Two Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II (left and right)
- A charging case
- Three pairs of ear tips (small, medium, and large)
- Three pairs of stability bands (small, medium, and large)
- A USB-C cable
- A quick start guide
- A safety sheet
|Specs||Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II|
|Headphone Fit||In Ear|
|Noise Control Type||Adjustable Noise Cancelling|
|Bud Single||1.23″ H x 0.79″ W x 0.96″ D (0.017 lb)|
|Case||2.61″ H x 2.34″ W x 1.05″ D (0.132 lb)|
|Entire Product System||3.5″ H x 3.51″ W x 3.4″ D (0.56 lb)|
|Product Material||Plastic (PC-ABS)|
|Product Case Material||Plastic (Hard)|
|Battery Life||6 hours|
|Battery Charge Time||1 hour|
|Charging Accessory included||Yes|
|Charging Interface(s)||USB C PORT|
|Wireless Connectivity||A2DP Bluetooth Audio Streaming, HFP Bluetooth|
|Bluetooth Range||30 ft|
|App||Bose Music App|
What are the Design and Comfort Features of the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2?
One of the biggest improvements that Bose made with the QuietComfort Earbuds II is the design. The earbuds are noticeably smaller and lighter than the first-generation model, which makes them more comfortable and less noticeable in your ears. They also have a more sleek and modern look, with a matte finish and subtle branding.
The ear tips are also different from the previous version. Instead of having a single piece of silicone that covers both the ear canal and the outer ear, the ear tips are now separate from the ear fins, which Bose calls stability bands. This allows you to mix and match different sizes of ear tips and stability bands to find the best fit for your ears. The ear tips are also oval-shaped, which conforms better to the natural shape of your ear canal.
The fit is very important for both sound quality and noise cancellation, and I have to say that the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II fits me perfectly. They are very secure and stable in my ears, even when I’m running or working out. They are also very comfortable, and I can wear them for hours without any fatigue or discomfort.
The charging case is also much smaller and more pocket-friendly than before. It’s still not the smallest case on the market, but it’s definitely a huge improvement over the first-generation model. The case has a magnetic lid that snaps shut securely, and a button on the back that lets you check the battery level or pair with a new device. The case charges via USB-C but unfortunately does not support wireless charging.
The controls on the earbuds are also better than before. You can now control everything from the earbuds themselves, without having to reach for your phone or voice assistant. You can play/pause, skip tracks, adjust volume, switch between ANC modes, and activate your voice assistant with simple taps or presses on either earbud. With the Bose Music app, you can also customize the controls, which lets you choose what each earbud does when you tap or press it.
The earbuds also have in-ear detection, which means that they will automatically pause your music when you take one out of your ear, and resume it when you put it back in. This is very convenient and saves battery life.
|Design and Comfort||Smaller and more comfortable earbuds and case||No wireless charging|
|Customizable ear tips and stability bands|
How is the sound quality of the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2?
Bose is known for its sound quality, and the QuietComfort Earbuds II does not disappoint in this regard. They have a balanced and natural sound profile that suits most genres of music and podcasts. They also have an auto-EQ feature that adapts the sound to your ears and your environment, ensuring that you always get the best possible sound quality.
The bass is deep and punchy, but not overpowering or boomy. It adds warmth and richness to your music, without drowning out the mids or highs. The mids are clear and detailed, with good presence and clarity. Vocals sound natural and expressive, while instruments sound realistic and accurate. The highs are crisp and bright, but not harsh or sibilant. They add sparkle and airiness to your music, without causing any fatigue or distortion.
The soundstage is also impressive for true wireless earbuds. It feels spacious and immersive, with good separation and imaging of different sounds. You can easily pinpoint where each sound is coming from, which adds realism and depth to your listening experience.
The sound quality is also consistent across different devices and sources, thanks to the standard SBC and AAC codecs that are supported by most smartphones and computers. However, some audiophiles might be disappointed by the lack of support for higher-quality codecs like aptX or LDAC, which offer better sound quality over Bluetooth.
|Sound Quality||Balanced and natural sound profile||No support for high-quality wireless codecs|
|Spacious and immersive soundstage|
How effective is the noise cancellation of the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2?
The noise cancellation is where the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II really shine. They have the best ANC performance that I have ever experienced in true wireless earbuds, and they rival some of the best over-ear headphones in this regard.
The earbuds use a combination of passive and active noise cancellation to block out external sounds. The passive noise cancellation is achieved by the tight seal of the ear tips, which prevents most of the ambient noise from entering your ears and active noise cancellation is achieved by the microphones on the earbuds, which pick up the remaining noise and generate an opposite signal to cancel it out.
The result is a very effective and impressive noise cancellation that can block out almost any sound, from low-frequency rumbles like engines and trains, to mid-frequency noises like voices and traffic, to high-frequency sounds like sirens and alarms. You can also adjust the level of noise cancellation from 0 to 10 via the Bose Music app, or switch between three presets (High, Low, and Off) with a tap on the left earbud.
The noise cancellation also adapts to your environment and your movements, thanks to the motion sensors on the earbuds. This means that the earbuds will automatically adjust the level of noise cancellation depending on how loud or quiet your surroundings are, and whether you are still or moving. This ensures that you always get the optimal level of noise cancellation for your situation.
The noise cancellation also works well for phone calls, as the earbuds use a beamforming microphone array to isolate your voice from background noise. Your voice will sound clear and natural to the person on the other end of the line, even if you are in a noisy place.
|Noise Cancellation||Best-in-class ANC performance||None|
|Beamforming microphone array for phone calls|
|Adjustable and adaptive ANC levels|
What is the battery life like for the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2?
|Playback with ANC||Up to 6 Hrs|
|Playback without ANC||Up to 8 Hrs|
|Charging Case Battery||18 Hrs (ANC on), 24 Hrs (ANC off)|
|Earbuds Charging Time||1 hour|
|Case Charging Time||Up to 3 hours|
The battery life of the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II is decent, but not outstanding. The earbuds can last for up to six hours of continuous playback with ANC on, and up to eight hours with ANC off. The charging case can provide an additional two full charges, giving you a total of 18 hours of battery life with ANC on, and 24 hours with ANC off.
The battery life is slightly better than the first-generation model, which had five hours of playback per charge and 15 hours with the case. However, it is still lower than some of the competitors, such as the Sony WF-1000XM4, which has eight hours of playback per charge and 24 hours with the case.
The earbuds also support fast charging, which gives you two hours of playback with a 15-minute charge. The charging case does not support fast charging, however, and it takes about two hours to fully charge via USB-C.
|Battery Life||Slightly better than the first-generation model||Lower than some competitors|
|No fast charging for the case|
How do you control Bose QC Earbuds 2?
Here are all the control features that QuietComfort Earbuds 2 provides.
MEDIA PLAYBACK AND VOLUME
|CONTROL||WHAT TO DO|
|Play/Pause||Tap an earbud 1x|
|Increase the volume||Swipe up on an earbud|
|Decrease the volume||Swipe down on an earbud|
|Skip to the next track||Double-tap an earbud|
|Skip to the previous track||Triple-tap an earbud|
|CONTROL||WHAT TO DO|
|Decline a second incoming call and stay on the current call||Tap an earbud 1x|
|End/Decline a call||Double-tap an earbud|
|Answer a second incoming call and put the current call on hold||Tap an earbud|
|Decline a second incoming call and stay on current call||Double-tap an earbud|
MOBILE DEVICE VOICE CONTROL
|CONTROL||WHAT TO DO|
|Access mobile device voice control||Touch and hold an earbud until you hear a tone. Release, then say your request|
|Stop mobile device voice control||Tap an earbud 1x|
Pros and Cons of Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II
|Smaller and more comfortable design||No wireless charging|
|Best-in-class noise cancellation||No support for high-quality wireless codecs|
|Balanced and natural sound profile||No single-earbud mode|
Comparison With Other Popular ANC Earbuds
|Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II||Sony WF-1000XM4||Apple AirPods Pro|
|Price: $299 USD||Price: $279 USD||Price: $249 USD|
|Battery life: 6 hours (ANC on), 8 hours (ANC off)||Battery life: 8 hours (ANC on), 12 hours (ANC off)||Battery life: 4.5 hours (ANC on), 5 hours (ANC off)|
|Charging case: 12 hours (ANC on), 16 hours (ANC off)||Charging case: 16 hours (ANC on), 24 hours (ANC off)||Charging case: 19.5 hours (ANC on), 24 hours (ANC off)|
|Wireless charging: No||Wireless charging: Yes||Wireless charging: Yes|
|Bluetooth version: 5.3||Bluetooth version: 5.2||Bluetooth version: 5.3|
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II are excellent true wireless earbuds that offer superb sound quality and noise cancellation. They are also very comfortable and easy to use, thanks to their improved design and controls. They are ideal for anyone who wants to enjoy their music or podcasts without any distractions from the outside world.
However, they are also very expensive, costing $299 USD at launch. They also have some drawbacks, such as a lack of wireless charging, a lack of support for high-quality wireless codecs, and no single-earbud mode. These might not be deal-breakers for everyone, but they do make the earbuds less competitive against some of the cheaper alternatives.
If you can afford them and value sound quality and noise cancellation above all else, then the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II are definitely worth buying. They are arguably the best noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds you can buy right now. However, if you are looking for something more affordable or more versatile, then you might want to consider other options.
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds IICheck Price