Step aside, AirPods. There’s a new ANC hero in town


  • Unparalleled noise canceling high quality
  • Easy Contact is intuitive and environment friendly
  • Suits snugly over the ear for hours on finish
  • The app has an adjustable EQ for a customized listening expertise


  • Poor microphone high quality
  • Large design and charging case
  • You need to navigate the appliance for optimum use

September was a giant month for wi-fi earbuds. Apple was on Samsung’s tail after its launch of Galaxy Buds 2 Professionalput AirPods Professional 2 As the primary shoots to win. And now, Bose is right here to play…and never content material with the second.

With three main manufacturers, amongst others, vying for a spot in your ears, heated competitors is bringing a wealth of recent know-how and enhancements for all shoppers to get pleasure from. With Bose’s QuietComfort Earbuds II, the corporate is relying on the supremacy of Lively Noise Canceling (ANC) for achievement.

I have been testing the QuietComfort Earbuds II over the previous week, doing my justifiable share of always-spirited NYC subway journeys, understanding in an lively launch room atmosphere, and understanding within the health club insisting on placing Ed Sheeran within the loop. On nearly all fronts, these earbuds usually are not solely early adopters, however they belong in a category of their very own.



4 in every earphone


Earpads: 1.2 x 0.68 inches

Charging case: 2.6 x 2.34 inches


Bluetooth model 5.3


As much as 6 hours on a single cost | Earphone charging time: 1 hour | Charging case time: 3 hours


Earbuds: IPX4

bluetooth vary

as much as 30 ft


iPhone, iPad and Android gadgets through the Bose Music app. Guide setup is out there for macOS and PC gadgets.


Triple Black and Soapstone



Design and match

Let’s take the apparent: These earbuds sound from their facet and look from their facet, too. The QuietComfort II earbuds do not have the “headphone cut-out” look of the AirPods, or the fashionable, pebble-like look of Google and Samsung gadgets. As an alternative, they appear rectangular and resemble previous Bluetooth earbuds. Because of this the ear buds are fairly large however practical and distinctive. In contrast to AirPods Professional 2 which solely connect to my ears, Bose matches completely inside.

Bose QuietComfort II Earphones & Case

The Bose QuietComfort II earphones are out of the charging case.

Christina Darby / ZDNET

The inside design intently mimics the form of a typical ear canal, serving to to lock in each the earbuds and the audio. Like a puzzle piece, the buds match completely into the ear with out having to always alter them. For added consolation – therefore the title itself – every headset is provided with a gentle ear tip across the inside speaker and a gentle stability band that constricts the exterior earpiece. The ear suggestions and encompass pad all are available massive, medium, and small—the latter one I used to be notably enthusiastic about. Everybody’s ears are completely different, in spite of everything.

With earphones, there generally is a noticeable quantity of strain build up within the ears after sporting them for hours on finish. Surprisingly, the QuietComfort earbuds felt much less intrusive than different wearables I examined, and there have been loads of moments once I felt so engrossed in passive noise cancellation that I inadvertently ignored my boss’ compliments. (Sorry Jason!)

extra: Samsung Galaxy Buds Professional 2: Greatest earphones for Galaxy customers

Touchpad that works…nearly very properly

The earbuds’ vast floor space is not only for appears; It doubles as a touchpad for management and gestures. I discover this function notably helpful once I’m dragging groceries round city and easily have to faucet on the earbuds to play, pause, skip, and even reply cellphone calls.

Actions solely require a delicate contact to play and pause, and once I scroll up and down the quantity adjusts exactly—one notch at a time. The one “negatives” I’ve encountered with the touchpad are extra resulting from person error than the rest. I’ve a behavior of placing my hand to the facet of my face once I’m concentrating, and I typically discover myself by accident turning off the sound. Should you’re a standard palmist like me, watch out for touchpad sensitivity.

Putting the Bose QuietComfort II earphones into the charging case

ZDNET’s Emery Wright has returned the earbuds to their large charging case.

Christina Darby / ZDNET

huge field for delivery

One design choice I am not so keen on is the charging case. It is a chunky capsule, particularly in comparison with nearly each different wi-fi earbud case I’ve used. Certain, I’m able to put it in a again pocket or backpack. However should you often slip your earphones case into your entrance pocket, do not anticipate to have room to suit the rest. Large measurement apart, I’ve really discovered a Bose case simpler to seek out than, say, an AirPods Professional 2 case, particularly once I’m fishing round my bottomless bag or within the depths of my sofa cushion. The bigger case additionally matches a better battery capability for charging.

MORE: 5 Greatest Wi-fi Headphones

efficiency and sound high quality

Now the query of the hour: How do you hear these earbuds? As a (trendy) voice snob, the Bose QuietComfort II is the perfect I’ve heard. A lot in order that, after receiving it, I pressured everybody I interacted with to insert earphones, take heed to The Weeknd’s “blind lights,” and immerse themselves within the readability and roar of the opening synthesizers. The truth is, ZDNET’s Sabrina Ortiz described the sound high quality as “a bat in my ear.”

Pose on a green background

Bose QuietComfort II earphones within the charging case.

Christina Darby / ZDNET

Bass is noticeable and heavy by default, however it’s also possible to use the Bose Music app to regulate the equalization of all frequencies. What I preferred essentially the most about Bose’s sound efficiency was how even after elevating the bottom ranges, the devices and different sounds weren’t blown away. The identical goes for adjusting the quantity. The dial did not essentially make the output look smaller, and the dial did not worsen the general readability.

Subsequent-level ANC

For the final word QuietComfort expertise, you may want to change to Quiet Mode, which is Bose’s interpretation of lively noise cancellation. When you flip it on, your atmosphere switches to silent mode, and that track, film, and even audiobook you are listening to takes heart stage. At solely half the quantity, I could not even hear the conversations happening just a few ft away or the fixed soundtrack of the New York Metropolis chaos from exterior my window. The sound and my ideas are on the forefront of my thoughts and my ears.

Bose says it will possibly obtain such a feat with its “CustomTune know-how.” The sound take a look at performs a ringing in your ears, which is picked up by the microphones and provides the buds an thought of ​​what your ear canal will appear like. From there, the ANC is tailor-made to how your ears understand sound.

bose-ii-earbuds-in front of the taxi

Confirmed: Earphones can block out the “hustle and bustle” of New York.

Christina Darby / ZDNET

Bose Music lets you set a number of ‘modes’ in which you’ll repair noise cancellation ranges to fit your wants. Personally, I drown out the sound of the treadmill when jogging, so I’ve “Train Mode” which turns noise cancellation to just about full amplitude.

There’s additionally a default “conscious mode” just like the “transparency mode” on competing earbuds. Whereas the setup turns off the ANC simply sufficient for ambient listening, I discovered myself turning the quantity down an affordable quantity—often two to 3 levels—to listen to somebody speaking to me good or the subway conductor asserting a cease.

Additionally: The very best headphones you should buy proper now

microphone high quality

For me, my household, and my co-workers, nearly all cellphone or Zoom calls are filtered by the wi-fi earbuds. This makes good microphone high quality a should for me. Sadly, that is the place the Bose headphones let me down. Not solely did I’ve to show the quantity nearly as much as hear my cellphone calls – regardless of the setting – everybody I referred to as had bother listening to me resulting from sound points or the earbuds choosing up a number of background noise.

Higher than AirPods Professional 2?

Apple’s AirPods Professional 2 debuted simply two days after the Bose QuietComfort II earbuds had been out there for pre-sale. In fact, there’s going to be some comparability, and I have been lucky to check each not too long ago.

For me, AirPods Professional 2 do two issues higher: clear mode and microphone high quality. Whereas the “consciousness mode” on the Bose earbuds is okay, the AirPods’ clear mode lets you hear each sound and your environment clearly and with out drastically adjusting the quantity. Whereas the AirPods’ microphone high quality is not good, it does a greater job of filtering out background noise and choosing up extra vibrant sound.

In any respect different camps, Bose takes the cake. Sound high quality and noise cancellation are much more subtle, making each tone synthesizer sound highly effective and each frequency easily flowing out and in of your ears. Should you simply need to remove distractions, the QuietComfort II earbuds have consolation and high quality that Apple hasn’t achieved but.

reconsidering: AirPods Professional 2 supply two huge upgrades however the connection litter is not tamed


Within the hotly contested wi-fi earbuds market, Boses’ newest contribution – the QuietComfort II earbuds – combines consolation and high quality whereas setting a brand new customary for lively noise cancellation. Whereas these might not have the perfect mic high quality or a case that does not bulge out of your pants, when you slide the buds inside, you may have an audio expertise that makes the shortcomings extra forgiving.

Alternate options to contemplate

In addition to Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II, these are the wi-fi earbuds it’s best to contemplate: