Bose’s highly regarded QuietComfort series is about to get slimmed down and transposed from over-head headphones to truly wireless earbuds. The company first teased the arrival when it put out the excellent but ambitiously priced NC700 headphones last year, but delays presented themselves. And now here we are.
Those promised QuietComfort Earbuds are due to arrive in Australia in just a few weeks, arriving alongside the new Sports Earbuds 500 to tackle this competitive category at all angles
Though it’s the QuietComfort Earbuds that are rightfully the most anticipated right now. Two decades of the QC series has kept Bose near the front of the pack for a reason, so we’re interested to see what the design team can do when the series is at its smallest.
Each QC bud comes in at just an inch long and 0.3 ounches in weight, tiny but still managing to fit in plenty of the electronics necessary to feature Bose’s refined QuietComfort system. The design includes new StayHear Max tips, geared to create both a soft and tight seal for improved noise cancelling, working with multiple microphones to sense, measure and send any remaining noise to a proprietary electronic chip loaded with an exclusive new algorithm.
Bose promises an instantaneous and precise ANC experience as the speakers work with tiny transducers to cancel external noise as little or as much as the user wants. There are 11 levels of noise control, with preset preferences easy to set and employ with a quick touch.
The QC Earbuds have been designed to avoid any manufactured “boosts” in select frequencies, instead sustaining natural and faithful reproduction that’s as close as possible to the audio source, regardless of volume. In fact, volume seems to be the grace feature for the QC’s, employing a volume-optimised Active EQ to automatically boost the lows and highs to maintain consistent balance no matter if you’re pushing these as loud as they can go, or keeping it low.
In terms of battery, you’re looking at six hours on a single charge, boosted by the wireless charging case which can offer two additional charges (18 hours in total). There’s also a quick charge mode that can provide two hours of juice in just 15 minutes.
As for how sturdy they are, expect an IPX4 rating, which is a decent degree of weather and dust proofing.
Turning to Sports
While the QCs will compete with lifestyle buds from Sony and Sennheiser, Bose seem to be gunning for Jabra and Jaybird as well with the new Bose Sport Earbuds. They have been designed with an entirely new acoustic system using a high-efficiency driver, proprietary port, and the same volume-optimised EQ as you’ll find in the QCs.
Bose is promising a “you move, they don’t” approach to the design here, which means the new buds attach to the StayHear Max tips and nothing else, locking in place for high-impact and low-impact exercise without hurting or budging.
The IPX4-rated Sport Earbuds will last for five hours in a single charge, lifted with an additional 10 with its charging case.
Expect a slick matte finish with metallic and gloss accents if you’re going for the QC buds, available in either Triple Black or Soapstone. The sportier buds have more range when it comes to colourway though, with these available in either Triple Black, Baltic Blue or Glacier White.
Availability & Pricing
For Australians, both set of buds will be available from October 5th 2020, along with Bose’s other big-ticket release, that being the new Bose Frames. The QC Earbuds will retail for A$399.95, while the Bose Sports Earbuds are priced at $299.95.