Bose Wireless Earbuds Reviews | U.S. News

Bose was established in 1964 and is known for its innovative headphones, speakers, and audio tech. The idea for the company came after its founder, Dr. Amar Bose, bought a hi-fi stereo system to celebrate earning his PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Bose, who’d been working with electronics his entire life, was disappointed in the system’s sound quality. According to the Bose website, he said to himself, “I could make this better.” It’s been nearly six decades since the company’s founding, and Bose continues to innovate audio tech. In 2000, Bose introduced QuietComfort noise-canceling headphones to consumers, and in 2020 they debuted QuietComfort Earbuds.

Bose Wireless Earbuds Reviewed

Pros:

  • Exemplary noise-canceling

Cons:

  • Pricier than other options

Bose QuietComfort earbuds place No. 8 in our Best Wireless Earbuds of 2023 rating and No. 5 in our Best Noise-Canceling Earbuds of 2023 rating. They’re also our No. 1 pick for Best Earbuds for Voice Calls. These earbuds are best known for their noise-canceling technology and sound quality, which professional reviewers say are top-notch.

At $279.00, Bose QuietComfort earbuds are one of the pricier options on the market. They’re also one of the larger options, weighing in at 8.5 grams. Because of the larger size, the included charging case may not fit in some pockets. However, professional reviewers point out that the earbuds have a comfortable fit, and the packaging includes three different sizes of eartips for fit customization.

Bose QuietComfort earbuds are true wireless, meaning there is no wire connecting the two headphones. It takes two hours to charge them, and they hold six hours of battery life. The earbuds feature Bluetooth 5.1 with a range of up to 30 feet.

Bose QuietComfort earbuds stand out for their best-in-class noise-cancellation technology and rich, clear audio quality. The earbuds feature 10 noise-cancellation settings, with a choice for “aware mode,” which lets sound in. Professional reviewers praise the vibrant sound quality, adding that they can hear each layer of instruments and vocals.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds: Price

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds retail for $279.00, making them the priciest option on our list of Best Wireless Earbuds 2023. Other earbuds on the list range from $99.00 to $249.95 in price, with four options falling below $150. According to professional reviewers, industry-leading noise cancellation and high-quality audio set these earbuds apart from competitors. Bose is well-known for its noise-cancellation, and these earbuds are noted for standing up to the company’s reputation.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds: What’s Included in the Box

The box comes with two Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, a charging case, a 12-inch USB-C charging cable, and a quick start guide and safety sheet. It also comes with three different sizes of eartips (size 2 comes pre-attached to the earbuds) to help you find your optimal fit. Additional charging cords and eartips can be purchased separately.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds: Design

Bose QuietComfort earbuds weigh 8.5 grams, making them the largest on our Best Wireless Earbuds 2023 list, weighing in at 8.5 grams. The earbuds are oval shaped and stemless, and are offered in two colors: soapstone and triple black. Each earbud’s size is 1.02″ x 1.54″ x 1.06″, and the charging case is 3.5″ x 1.25″ x 2″. There are three different-sized eartips (sizes 1, 2, and 3) included in each package, offering a customizable fit. Another thing to note is that Bose QuietComfort earbuds don’t have buttons. Instead, they have a touch interface that allows you to control volume and phone calls on the right earbud, and shortcuts and noise-canceling modes on the left earbud.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds: Audio Quality

Drivers are speakers that create pressure waves to make sounds in your ear canal. This is how sound is delivered through earbuds. Bose doesn’t offer information on its proprietary driver technology, but reviewers praise Bose QuietComfort Earbuds for their exceptional sound quality compared with other Bose products. Volume-optimized Active EQ tunes the sound and balances highs and lows for a more consistent audio quality. The earbuds support AAC and SBC audio formats, the universal standard for most Bluetooth devices. Professional reviewers point out that Bose QuietComfort Earbuds provide an excellent way to listen to music. These earbuds also earn our Best Earbuds for Voice Calls.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds: Noise Cancellation

Noise cancellation is technology that monitors any sound around you and emits an opposite signal to cancel out that sound. Say you’re listening to music and a phone rings in the next room. Noise canceling headphones use tiny microphones to detect the sound of the ringing phone and then create an audio barrier so you don’t hear it. Bose is a leader in sound-canceling headphones, and their QuietComfort earbuds are no exception. Professional reviewers tout these earbuds as having best-in-class noise-cancellation features, utilizing both active and passive noise-canceling technology. You can choose from various different noise-cancellation levels (some options may only be accessed through the Bose Music app), including an “aware mode” that allows sound in.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds: Charging Speed and Battery Life

Bose QuietComfort earbuds get about six hours of listening time per charge, and can be fully recharged in about two hours. For quick charging, it takes about 15 minutes of charge time for up to two hours of listening time. This is pretty typical of the earbuds that make our list of Best Wireless Earbuds 2023, though a few professional reviewers mention feeling disappointed by the battery life on the charging case. Bose QuietComfort earbuds are wirelessly charged by placing them in the charging case. The case holds about two full charges, and takes around three hours to recharge.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds: Connectivity and Bluetooth

Bose QuietComfort earbuds can be connected to any mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. They can connect through the device’s Bluetooth settings, and customizable options are available in the Bose Music app. They are true wireless, meaning there is no wire connecting the two earbuds. They feature Bluetooth version 5.1 with a range of 30 feet.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds: Water-Resistance

Bose QuietComfort earbuds have a water-resistance rating of IPX4. IPX is a standardized measure of how well electronics can keep water from entering, and the ratings run from zero to 9. An IPX0 rating means there is no protection from water at all, while a rating of IPX9 means the device is protected from high pressure or temperature water jets. With a rating of IPX4, Bose QuietComfort earbuds can take some splashing and inclement weather. However, they can’t be submerged in water. That means these earbuds probably won’t work for swimmers, but could likely hold up in rain.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds: Mobile App

The Bose Music app is available to help you pair, set up, and control the earbuds. The app has a few other features that allow you to manage Bluetooth connections, set noise-canceling preferences, monitor power levels, create shortcuts, customize virtual assistant preferences, and get new features and updates.

Beats Fit Pro  »

Best Earbuds for Working Out

Price
$199.99

Wireless Charging

Noise Cancellation

Waterproof Rating
IPX4

Battery Life
6 Hours

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds vs. Beats Fit Pro 

Beats, a subsidiary of Apple, created its Beats Fit Pro earbuds ($199.99) with the same technology found in Apple AirPods Pro. Professional reviewers rave about the Beats Fit Pro’s superior sound quality, comfortable and secure fit, and serviceable active noise cancellation (ANC). Featuring a winged tip rather than a stem, these earbuds are meant to stay in all day, whether you’re at the gym, the office, or anywhere in between. Apple users will find easy integration and extra features with Beats Fit Pro earbuds. However, the app has limited features for Android users. Another drawback of Beats Fit Pros is that they don’t have a wireless charge function.

According to reviewers, Bose QuietComfort earbuds and Beats Fit Pro earbuds both feature quality audio and all-day comfort. Bose QuietComfort earbuds stand out for their noise-cancellation technology, so they may be best for those who are taking meetings on the go, traveling frequently, or working in loud offices. Meanwhile, the comfort and security of Beats Fit Pro earbuds make them great for Apple users with active lifestyles.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds vs. Apple AirPods Pro (1st Gen) 

Apple AirPods Pro ($249.00) were introduced in October 2019 as an upgrade to the original AirPods. Reviewers say AirPods Pro offer a better fit, design, and sound than the original AirPods, but still leave something to be desired. Some reviewers found AirPods Pro noise-cancellation to be just okay. Others said the sound quality didn’t quite live up to the product price compared to other earbuds (though deals may be found on these earbuds now that newer generations have been introduced). Still, most reviewers feel AirPodsPro earbuds are a solid option for Apple enthusiasts, thanks to their sound quality and simple integration into the Apple ecosystem.

While Bose QuietComfort earbuds are priced higher than AirPods Pro, they’re highlighted by reviewers for their top-notch noise cancellation and sound quality. For those who need quality noise cancellation for work or travel, Bose QuietComfort earbuds may fit the bill. If you’re a fan of Apple and are looking for something that will easily integrate with your devices, Apple AirPods Pro are likely your better option.

Bose SoundSport Wireless earbuds tie for ninth in our Best Wireless Earbuds 2023 rating with Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3. At $129.00 they’re one of the more affordable options on the list. Reviewers praise them for their quality sound, comfort, and security for active use.

These earbuds are the largest on our list, weighing 22.68 grams (over four times as much as the majority of other earbuds on the list). They feature a floating fit, meaning they sit loosely on your ear and protrude from it, rather than being nestled inside and sealing off your ear canal. Winged tips help ensure they hold securely to the ear, allowing for exercise and activity. Some reviewers complain that the fit is too bulky and that the earbuds protrude noticeably due to the floating fit.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Bose SoundSport Wireless earbuds are not true wireless, so there is a wire connecting the earbuds. The wire includes earbud controls and a microphone for voice commands and calls, plus a clip to attach to clothing for further security.

Bose SoundSport Wireless earbuds cannot be charged wirelessly, and professional reviewers note that the Bose Connect App has low functionality and doesn’t add much value. Another downside is that these earbuds don’t offer noise-cancellation technology.

All in all, the Bose SoundSport Wireless earbuds could be a strong choice for those looking for top sound quality and who don’t need features like wireless charging, noise cancellation, or function-adding apps.

Bose SoundSport Wireless: Price

Bose SoundSport Wireless earbuds are priced at $129.00, making them one of the more affordable options in our rating of the Best Wireless Earbuds 2023. Released in 2016, these earbuds are one of the older sets in our ratings. They’re bulkier, and the tech may not be as cutting edge as more expensive options. For example, they lack wireless charging and use Bluetooth 4.2, while all other earbuds in our rating use at least Bluetooth 5.0.

Bose SoundSport Wireless: What’s Included in the Box

In the box, you’ll find a pair of Bose SoundSport Wireless earbuds, a carry case, three sets of different-sized sports eartips, and a USB charging cable. The different sizes of eartips can help you find a customizable fit, so the earbuds stay on while you’re active. Additional eartips, carry cases, and USB charging cords can be purchased separately.

Bose SoundSport Wireless: Design

Bose SoundSport Wireless are the bulkiest earbuds on our list of Best Wireless Earbuds 2023, weighing 22.68 grams. The earbuds are stemless with a floating fit, and are offered in three colors: aqua, black, and citron. The three different sizes of sport eartips included offer a customizable fit and ensure the earbuds fit snugly and comfortably. It’s important to note that Bose SoundSport Wireless earbuds are not true wireless, which means the two headphones are connected by a wire. To operate the headphones, there is a Bluetooth/power button on one earbud, plus an inline microphone and remote with volume controls and a multipurpose button to control the set. There’s also a clip on the wire that attaches to clothing for added security.

Bose SoundSport Wireless: Audio Quality

Wireless earbuds contain drivers that create pressure waves, resulting in sound to your ears. Bose does not publish information on its proprietary driver technology, but professional reviewers note that Bose SoundSport Wireless earbuds excel for their sound quality. Bose Active EQ balances the highs and lows so the sound is delivered evenly to the user. The set supports AAC and SBC audio formats, meeting the universal standard for most Bluetooth devices. Reviewers note that sound quality is strong for both music and making calls, with minimal Bluetooth interruption.

Bose SoundSport Wireless: Noise Cancellation

Noise-canceling earbuds use tiny microphones to monitor the sounds around you, and then create an audio barrier so you can’t hear them. Bose SoundSport Wireless earbuds do not offer noise cancellation, and they do let some noise in because of the floating fit.

Bose SoundSport Wireless: Charging Speed and Battery Life

Bose SoundSport Wireless earbuds get six hours of battery life and take around two hours to charge. They don’t charge wirelessly, so you’ll have to plug them in to charge them. A charging case with a micro USB wire attached can be purchased separately.

Bose SoundSport Wireless: Connectivity and Bluetooth

Bose SoundSport Wireless earbuds can connect to any mobile device, whether it’s a phone, tablet, or laptop. The mobile device must be paired with the earbuds by using either Bluetooth wireless or Near Field Communication (NFC), another wireless technology for sharing data. The earbuds can store up to eight paired devices and connect to two devices at once. These eight paired devices can be stored on the earbuds, or they can be managed through the Bose Connect App. Bose SoundSport Wireless earbuds use Bluetooth 4.2 and have a range of up to 30 feet. They are not true wireless, so they do have a wire that connects both earbuds.

Bose SoundSport Wireless: Water-Resistant 

Bose SoundSport Wireless earbuds are rated IPX4 for water resistance. IPX ratings look at how water resistant electronics are, and they’re typically rated from zero (no water protection) to nine (protected from high pressure or temperature water jets). A rating of IPX4 means the earbuds can handle splashing or inclement weather, and are good for most activities except swimming. As sports earbuds that are meant to hold up to heavy workouts, Bose SoundSport Wireless should handle sweat and inclement weather without issue.

Bose SoundSport Wireless: Mobile App

Bose SoundSport Wireless earbuds are compatible with the Bose Connect App, which allows you to connect and switch between devices, customize your settings, update your software, and disable voice prompts.

Bose SoundSport Wireless vs. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 earbuds ($249.95) are true wireless (no wire connects the earbuds) that feature 5.2 Bluetooth with a range up to 300 feet. Professional reviewers say these earbuds are well-performing, with quality audio and good noise cancellation. However, reviewers also seem to agree that while these earbuds are high quality, they are nothing special for the price point. However, if you’re looking for a longer Bluetooth range and popular modern wireless headphone features like noise cancellation, Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 earbuds could be a solid option.

The Bose SoundSport Wireless do have the signature Bose sound, but are much larger and bulkier than the Sennheiser. The Bose SoundSport Wireless earbuds are geared more toward those who are looking for a sturdy earbud set for outdoor activities and life on the move.

Sony WF-1000XM4  »

Sony WF-1000XM4

Best Wireless Earbuds of 2023

Price
$279.99

Wireless Charging

Noise Cancellation

Waterproof Rating
IPX4

Battery Life
8 Hours(NC On)/12 Hours(NC Off)

Bose SoundSport Wireless vs. Sony WF-1000XM4

Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds ($279.99) are our top pick for Best Wireless Earbuds 2023. They’re consistently praised by professional reviewers for their outstanding noise cancellation, impressive audio and call performance, and decent battery life. The earbuds are true wireless. They are quite large at 7.3 grams, and some reviewers complain that they aren’t comfortable long term. Still, the Sony WF-1000XM4 may be a good choice if you’re looking for a solid pair of headphones that will last for hours longer than the competition (eight hours with noise cancellation on, 12 hours without).

As for how they compare to the Bose SoundSport Wireless, the two options are quite different. The Bose earbuds don’t have noise cancellation, and they’re primarily designed for active use. Reviewers of the Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds mentioned that the Sonys aren’t great for working out, so the Bose SoundSport Wireless might be the better choice if that’s your intended use for the earbuds.

Whether you should buy Bose earbuds depends on what you plan to use them for. Bose wireless earbuds are known for their top-quality sound and best-in-class noise-cancellation technology, but they can also be on the pricier side. If you’re on the go frequently and need noise canceling for music and voice calls, you should look at Bose QuietComfort earbuds. If you’re active and want quality sound while you exercise, Bose SoundSport Wireless earbuds might be the right choice. However, if sound quality is less important to you or you’re looking for a budget option, there are other earbuds that might better fit your needs.

You can purchase Bose wireless earbuds directly through the Bose website, or from major online and brick-and-mortar retailers such as Best Buy, Target, PC Richard & Son, or Amazon. They may also be made available through wireless carriers. Note that Bose SoundSport Wireless are no longer available through Bose, but instead can be found on Amazon.

How long wireless earbuds last can depend on a number of factors, including how they’re used and taken care of. Bose wireless earbuds come with a limited warranty for one year from the date of purchase. If you have issues with your Bose wireless headphones, you can contact Bose by call, text, or chat, or you can put in a service request on the website using your unique serial number or four-digit headphone code. Be sure to have your serial number on hand when you contact Bose.

To clean your Bose wireless earbuds, first remove the eartips. Gently wash the eartips and then thoroughly air dry them, so no moisture gets into the earbuds. Next, use a soft, dry cloth to lightly wipe down the mesh screens on the openings of the earbuds. For earwax buildup, a small amount of hydrogen peroxide can be used to soften the earwax, and then you can gently remove it with a soft toothbrush. Be sure not to soak the earbuds or allow excess moisture into them, and thoroughly air dry them on a soft towel before resuming use.

Bose offers a limited one-year warranty on its wireless earbuds, which covers your product in case of defective materials or workmanship. If you exercise the warranty, Bose will either repair the product, replace it with an equivalent product, or partially or fully refund you. The warranty doesn’t cover user error, improper maintenance, or wear and tear, and you may be required to provide Bose purchase details (they will only provide a warranty on purchases from certified retailers). If you need to exercise a warranty on Bose wireless earbuds, you can contact the company by phone, text, or chat.

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Why You Can Trust Us: 65 Earbuds Researched

At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Hospitals, Best Colleges, and Best Cars to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. Our 360 Reviews team draws on this same unbiased approach to rate the products that you use every day. To build our ratings, we researched more than 65 earbuds and analyzed 15 reviews. Our 360 Reviews team does not take samples, gifts, or loans of products or services we review. All sample products provided for review are donated after review. In addition, we maintain a separate business team that has no influence over our methodology or recommendations.

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