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Something to look forward to: Bose is one of the premier headphone makers and yet have been conspicuously absent from the truly wireless space. However, the new QuietComfort Earbuds and Sport Earbuds seem to provide a much needed challenge to popular Apple's AirPods.
Until today, Bose's only entry into the truly wireless earbuds market was their SoundSport Free earbuds. However, other companies such as Apple, Samsung, Sony, Jabra, Microsoft, and Google have all thrown their hats into the proverbial ring with their own respective wireless earbuds. Bose is finally fighting back with two new models, the $279 QuietComfort Earbuds and the $179 Sport Earbuds.
The QuietComfort Earbuds are noise-cancelling earbuds that compete directly with the likes of Apple's AirPods Pro and Sony's WF-1000XM3. Bose is well-known for their noise-cancelling prowess with their more expensive headphones. The QuietComfort Earbuds promise up to 11 levels of noise cancellation with redesigned ear tips for even more sound isolation. This seems to lend credence to Bose's claim of "the world's most effective noise cancelling earbuds".
The QuietComfort Earbuds are rated IPX4 for weather and dust resistance so they should be okay while jogging in the rain. Bose promises up to six hours of play time, with the included charging case adding two additional full charges. Speaking of the case, 15 minutes of charging will give the earbuds an extra two hours of listening time. The case itself can also be charged wirelessly using any Qi-compatible charging mat.
As for actual sound quality, Bose claims a "faithful reproduction" of music and that even at lower volumes, bass is still strong. The earbuds have Bose's "Active EQ" technology that automatically boosts the treble and bass depending on the volume.
The Sport Earbuds are the successors to the SoundSport Free and meant to compete with cheaper options such as the Samsung Galaxy Buds and Jabra Elite 75t. While both Sport and QuietComfort earbuds are rated IPX4, Bose is emphasizing the superior fit of the Sport Earbuds while exercising. The Sport Earbuds come with three sizes of eartips and feature an extended "wing" to keep the buds in place.
The Sport also feature Bose's Active EQ system for boosting frequencies at different volume levels. The Sport Earbuds don't have active noise cancellation but still feature passive cancellation due to the tight seal the eartips make. Battery life is slightly shorter at five hours, while the case adds 10 more hours (although it lacks wireless charging).
Both earbuds come with Bluetooth 5.1 and a "new data transfer method" that should improve wireless performance. Both versions also have have built-in touch controls for common commands and pause automatically when one of the earbuds is taken out. One surprising omission is multi-point Bluetooth which allows multiple devices to be connected at the same time, a feature newer competitors are starting to incorporate by default.
The Bose QuietComfort and Sport Earbuds will be available September 29th with pre-orders starting today.