The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are here to take on the Apple AirPods Pro

bose earbuds
(Image credit: Bose)

Bose has finally lifted the lid on its latest true wireless earbuds, which could rival the the AirPods Pro and the Sony WF-1000XM3 with what the audio company says are "the world's most effective noise-cancelling earbuds".

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds – not the Bose Noise Cancelling Earbuds 700, as we thought they may be called – are available for preorder now, costing $279.95 / £249.95 / AU$399.95.

That makes them pricier than both the AirPods Pro and the Sony WF-1000XM3 (the latter are our pick for the best true wireless earbuds of 2020). So, what specs has Bose included to make these earbuds a viable choice over its less pricey competitors?

Impressive specs... mostly

Bose says that the new QuietComfort Earbuds "feature all the noise cancelling performance of our best over-ear headphones" – and if they can match the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, these buds should be very effective at blocking out environmental noise, as well as applying noise cancellation to your voice during phone calls. 

The level of noise cancellation is adjustable, with a Transparency mode that allows the sound of your surroundings to pass through the buds – handy feature if you need to quickly tune into your environment.

The sound quality should be pretty good too, if the QuietComfort Earbuds can deliver on Bose's promise of "constantly balanced sound", even when listening at low volumes. 

Bose says that, "as you lower the volume on most earphones, the bass tends to disappear, leaving your music sounding tinny and small", a problem it claims to have solved with its Volume-optimized Active EQ technology, which automatically boosts the lows and highs" as you change the volume. 

bose earbuds

(Image credit: Bose)

The new earbuds feature oval-shaped outer housings that sport the Bose logo in gray. With silicone eartips and small earfins, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds should provide a strong seal against the ear canal, while staying snugly in place, possibly making them suitable for working out. An IPX4 water-resistance rating should protect them from any sweat or rain if you do use them for this purpose. 

Touch sensitive housings allow you to control your music playback and summon your voice assistant without digging your phone out of your pocket, while an auto-pause feature means your music will stop the moment you remove an earbud. 

Connectivity comes courtesy of Bluetooth 5.1, which should provide a strong connection of up to 30 feet away from your device.

For the price, the battery life is a little disappointing; you get six hours from the earbuds themselves, with a further 12 hours provided by the wireless charging case. It's not the worst battery life we've seen, but it's certainly not the best. 

With that in mind, the noise cancellation and audio quality will have to be really spectacular for the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds to truly compete with its rivals – including the rumored AirPods 3 – and we can't wait to test them out for ourselves.

(Image credit: Bose)

Getting sporty

The high-end QuietComfort 'buds aren't the only new Bose headphones in town. The audio company has also released a Sport Earbuds as well which, Bose claims, was "built from the ground up".

That's because it's given Bose the ability to improve on the existing Bose SoundSport Free 'buds. Bose promises that the new Sport Earbuds have better audio quality than the older model and, more importantly, are a smaller and lighter package. The SoundSport Free are one of the bulkiest true wireless 'buds on the market at the moment, and the new Sport model are "about half their size", says Bose.

How well they perform as a workout buddy or as just a regular go-to set of headphones remains to be seen, but they're a tad more affordable than the new QuietComfort Earbuds at $179.95 / £179.95 / AU$299.95.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing camera kits or the latest in e-paper tablets, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She's also the Australian Managing Editor of Digital Camera World and, if that wasn't enough, she contributes to T3 and Tom's Guide, while also working on two of Future's photography print magazines Down Under.