Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 leaked, and it’s the design I’ve been waiting for

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 leaked image on white background
(Image credit: WinFuture)

We'll get straight to it: German news portal WinFuture has posted 13 good-quality images of the as-yet-unofficial Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II. Should these images prove legit – and they certainly look genuine – the second iteration of the original and best-in-class Bose QuietComfort Earbuds could have plenty shaved off their bulky driver housings, if not their price-tag.

Refreshingly for a leak (which should still be treated as such, irrespective of picture quality), the images come with a fair bit of information, including a $299 price tag (around £250, AU$430), which is $19 more expensive than the $279 / £249 / AU$399 launch price of their September 2020-issue older siblings. 

That pricing strategy means they certainly won't be joining our best cheap headphones buying guide, although our best noise-cancelling earbuds list could certainly accommodate them, should they perform well under review. 

While the new and unannounced-by-Bose buds look similar to their predecessors in terms of colorways and branding (black and white are depicted, but no stone blue just yet), the driver housings look quite a bit smaller and seem to protrude less from the ear. There also seems to be a reworked fin and ear tip design – all of which is hugely welcome news, since the original QC 'Buds didn't include fins which could be applied (or for me, removed) separately from their attached tips. 

However, according to the WinFuture leak, the QuietComfort Earbuds II will offer the same six hours of battery life from the buds, which is a little disappointing. That said, the claimed extra playtime offered by the case (which also looks new) is still unclear. The original QuietComfort Earbuds had a total battery life of 18 hours including the case – that's okay, but it's beaten by the Sony WF-1000XM4, the AirPods 3 and even much cheaper options such as the JLab Go Air Pop

I truly hope Bose can boost the battery life to at least 24 hours this time around (as offered by the AirPods 3, with Spatial Audio on) if not the outrageously good 32 hours afforded by the $20 JLabs.

Opinion: we happily welcome a smaller Bose Earbud

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II leaked image on white background

Those large fins attached to the ear tips may have gone…  (Image credit: WinFuture)

WinFuture is confident that the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II will launch in the next few weeks and I cannot wait to try them. 

As we said in our review, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds already offered a slightly sleeker design to Bose's first ever stab at true wireless buds, the chonky SoundSport Free, but even these headphones aren’t what we’d call small. Each ’bud measures 3.9cm x 2.6cm x 2.7cm and weighs 8.9g – that’s almost as bulky as the Sony WF-1000XM3 (which tip the scales at 8.5g each) and they stick out of the ear just as much. For reference, the aforementioned JLab Go Air Pop weigh just 3.7g per earbud…

Ultimately, the current QC ’buds are comfortable to wear and the noise-cancelling is ace, but, as TechRadar's fitness and wellbeing editor Matt Evans says, "They are bulky. I would happily wear them walking around town, but would get very nervous doing any movement above a light jog for fear that the weight of them would rip them out my ears. I know they're not 'workout' headphones per se, but I would welcome a smaller size."

As someone with smaller ears, the quest for an earbud that fits securely never ends. I think I've found the best earbuds for smaller ears, but I welcome box-fresh contenders – and the new Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are another great shout if you yearn for smaller earpieces. 

Could Bose's hotly-anticipated QuietComfort Earbuds II join my shortlist? Quite possibly. As always, time will tell. We'll bring you all of the leaks, updates and official Bose announcements as they happen.

Becky Scarrott
Audio Editor

Becky became Audio Editor at TechRadar in 2024, but joined the team in 2022 as Senior Staff Writer, focusing on all things hi-fi. Before this, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.