Bose is once again attacking the in-ear headphone market and launches the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II, the successor to the first model, which already impressed us in our test in August 2021 with an outstanding ANC. For the new edition, the manufacturer even promises the “world’s best active noise cancellation” and wants to give top dog Sony a run for its money.
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II in detail
Everything is new with the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II. Already the design is very different from the admittedly somewhat clunky appearance of the first. Each earbud is about a third smaller than its predecessor and weighs just six grams. For further personalization, an earbud fit kit with a new two-part system is included, including interchangeable stability bands and earbuds that are supposed to ensure all-day wearing comfort.
But a lot has changed from a technical standpoint as well. For example, the 2nd generation QC Earbuds use CustomTune sound calibration technology, which allows you to adjust the sound of the in-ears to your own hearing.
Each time you take the earbuds out of the charging case, they play a special tone while a microphone measures the acoustic response of your ear canal in the process. The information that comes with this is used to tailor the audio and also noise-cancelling performance specifically for you. The whole procedure takes less than half a second.
“During audio playback, CustomTune fully optimizes the sound frequency profile for the unique characteristics of each ear, so the sound that reaches the eardrum sounds exactly as the artist intended,” Bose promises.
The manufacturer does not provide concrete details about the driver size. However, the QuietComfort Earbuds II are Bluetooth 5.3 capable, but only support the SBC and AAC audio codecs. However, there is no trace of high-resolution codecs like aptX, Bluetooth LE Audio or LDAC.
The best ANC in the world?
We were already impressed by the active noise cancellation (ANC) in the first edition, but for the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II, the manufacturer announces the “world’s best ANC” and wants to put the fear of God into Sony – for example, with the Linkbuds S (our review).
“Ever since we brought noise cancellation to market, we’ve been passionate about pushing the boundaries of engineering, technology and design. And the QuietComfort Earbuds II are the latest result of that commitment,” reveals Raza Haider, chief product officer at Bose.
Here, too, the CustomTune measurement comes into play, through which the ear canal is measured and the ANC is individually adjusted. For each ear individually. This should also enable better suppression of frequencies that were previously difficult to reduce due to the design.
Bose cites voices, crying babies and other mid- and high-frequency sounds as examples. In doing so, CustomTune’s active noise suppression continuously adapts to the ambient noise to achieve the best possible result.
Moreover, this also applies to the Aware mode with ActiveSense, which is supposed to allow a lifelike reproduction of voices and ambient noise. At the same time, however, loud noise is supposed to be suppressed, while conversations can be held with inserted earbuds.
Whether you can actually outrun the best ANC headphones with this, however, only a test has to show.
Battery and operation
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II offer a battery life of up to six hours with three additional charges through the case. So, a total of up to 24 hours of runtime should be possible.
The case can fully charge the headphones in one hour, while a 20-minute quick charge allows up to two hours of playback time. The case itself can be fully charged via USB-C in three hours.
The Earbuds are operated via capacitive touch controls on the left and right earbuds, which you can use to not only control media playback, but also increase or decrease the volume.
In addition, the Bose Music app offers other features such as shortcut settings, noise cancellation modes and customizable equalizers. More features are to be added at a later date via firmware updates.
Price and Availability
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II are available for pre-order now in Triple Black and Sandstone colors and will be available September 26, 2022. The manufacturer’s MSRP is 299.95 euros. For more details, visit the official product website.