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The 4 Best Bose Headphones of 2020 Reviews

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Best Bose Headphones

We have currently tested 15 pairs of Bose headphones. They're a brand well-known known for their industry-leading active noise cancelling (ANC) features and comfortable designs.

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Best Bose Headphones


  1. Best Bose Headphones For Casual Use

    7.6
    Mixed Usage
    7.7
    Neutral Sound
    8.0
    Commute/Travel
    7.3
    Sports/Fitness
    7.8
    Office
    6.1
    Wireless Gaming
    7.7
    Wired Gaming
    6.9
    Phone Calls
    Type Over-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The best Bose headphones for casual use that we've tested are the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. Thanks to their lightweight design, they're one of the most comfortable pairs we've ever tested, making them a good choice to get you through your long work days. Their physical controls are easy to use, and while they don't look quite as premium as some of the competition, they still feel well-built and durable. Like most Bose headphones, their sound profile is very well-balanced. Their ANC (active noise cancelling) is one of the best we've tested, and they do a great job blocking out the low rumble of bus and plane engines. They last 20 hours off a single charge, and they support multi-device pairing so you can easily switch between your laptop and phone without having to mess around with settings.

    Unfortunately, like with all Bose headphones, their companion app doesn't give access to any EQ settings, so you can't change the way they sound. This may bother fans of bass-heavy genres like EDM or dubstep, as their default sound profile doesn't have as much thump and kick as some other popular options. They also tend to leak a fair amount of audio, so you may not want to blast your music if you work in a very quiet office. That being said, these are among the best headphones we've tested thanks to their incredibly comfortable design, excellent ANC, and very well-balanced sound profile.

    See our review

  2. Best Bose Headphones For Business And Travel

    7.3
    Mixed Usage
    7.0
    Neutral Sound
    7.9
    Commute/Travel
    7.1
    Sports/Fitness
    7.6
    Office
    6.0
    Wireless Gaming
    7.6
    Wired Gaming
    8.0
    Phone Calls
    Type Over-ear
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The best Bose headphones for business and travel we've tested are the Bose 700 Headphones. These well-built over-ears can be worn comfortably for long periods without fatigue, and they have an over 20-hour continuous battery life to help get you through your longest international flights. Their ANC feature can isolate against background noises like loud airplane engines and noisy chatter in a busy airport, so you can enjoy your favorite music without disruption. Also, their sound profile is neutral, with a little extra boom in the bass range to keep you motivated during long days on the go. These headphones even rank among the best Bluetooth headsets for phone calls we've seen, and they can transmit your voice clearly even if you're calling from a crowded, noisy train station. You can pair them with up to two devices at the same time, too, which is convenient.

    Unfortunately, the touch-sensitive controls on these headphones can be a bit tricky to use as the touch-sensitive surface is pretty small. Like most over-ears, they're also pretty bulky, and they don't fold down into a more compact format, so they take up a bit of space in your bag when you're traveling. They don't offer any sound customization features, either, which can be disappointing for some listeners. That said, these headphones have a decently versatile overall performance that can please many different listeners.

    See our review

  3. Best Bose Earbuds For Office Work

    7.2
    Mixed Usage
    7.1
    Neutral Sound
    7.8
    Commute/Travel
    7.6
    Sports/Fitness
    7.3
    Office
    5.7
    Wireless Gaming
    5.6
    Wired Gaming
    6.6
    Phone Calls
    Type Earbuds
    Enclosure Closed-Back
    Wireless Yes
    Noise Cancelling Yes
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The best Bose earphones for office work we've tested are the Bose QuietControl 30. They have a unique around-the-neck design, and they can be comfortably worn without a lot of fatigue. Their over 11-hour continuous battery life should be more than enough to get you through your work day, too. Their neutral and balanced sound profile is well-suited for a variety of audio content. They don't leak a lot of noise, either, so you can crank up the volume on your favorite tunes without disturbing your coworkers. They can help you stay focused, too, as their ANC feature can block out the sounds of office chatter. You can also pair them with up to two devices at the same time, so you can easily switch your audio source from your laptop to your phone.

    Unfortunately, the integrated microphone has a middling recording quality, so your voice may sound a bit thin and muffled to whoever's on the other end of the line. The mic can also struggle to separate speech from background noise, so they're best-suited to taking phone calls in a quiet environment. There are also some reports that the rubber coating on the neckband peels off easily after a couple of months of use, which is a bit disappointing. That said, these versatile, comfortable headphones are still a solid choice for office workers.

    See our review

  4. Best Bose Headphones For Sports

    6.8
    Mixed Usage
    7.5
    Neutral Sound
    6.4
    Commute/Travel
    8.2
    Sports/Fitness
    6.1
    Office
    5.8
    Wireless Gaming
    5.7
    Wired Gaming
    5.7
    Phone Calls
    Type Earbuds
    Enclosure Semi-Open
    Wireless Truly Wireless
    Noise Cancelling No
    Mic Yes
    Transducer Dynamic

    The best Bose headphones for sports we've tested are the Bose SoundSport Free. They're compact truly wireless earbuds that deliver a remarkably well-balanced sound profile in a semi-open design, which helps give them a more spacious, open soundstage than most earbuds. They have the same, comfortable earbud fit as the Bose QuietControl 30/QC30 Wireless but are a lot more portable thanks to their smaller footprint. They're very breathable, feel very well-built, and fit securely in your ear while running or working out.

    Unfortunately, their controls can be rather challenging to use - their buttons are very stiff and difficult to press, which can be irritating when you're trying to a sip a track mid-workout. Their battery performance is also mediocre, lasting only around 5 hours on a charge, though their charging case helps them last a bit longer. That said, they're still the best sounding wireless earbuds we've seen, making them a solid option for athletes who don't want to compromise on sound quality.

    See our review

Compared to other brands


  • Comfortable design. Comfort is one of Bose's strong suits. Not only are their over and on-ear models exquisitely well-padded without feeling too tight on the head, but their earbud headphones are also quite comfortable. You can usually wear their headphones for hours without discomfort.
  • Well-balanced sound. Bose prides itself on making headphones that don't require an equalizer to sound good, and lately, they've been living up to the expectation. The majority of their headphones we've tested have a very well-balanced sound profile that's versatile for a wide range of music genres without need for much tweaking.
  • Good noise cancelling. Bose has been known as one of the best brands when it comes to noise cancelling. Although the QC35 II's ANC performance was affected by a recent firmware update, the brand still delivers consistently good noise isolation overall.
  • Expensive, yet plasticky designs. Bose's headphones are lightweight and comfortable but don't feel as premium as their price would suggest. They're still fairly well-built but feel a bit plasticky compared to similarly-priced models from other brands.
  • Lackluster customization options. While most Bose headphones are compatible with a mobile companion app, it doesn't offer as many customization options as other brands' apps do. Bose's apps most notably don't provide any sound customization options like an EQ, which is disappointing if you like to tweak the way your headphones sound from time to time.
  • Leaky over-ear models. Although Bose in-ears and earbuds don't have this issue (most likely due to their smaller size), many of their over-ear models do leak quite a bit of sound at higher volumes, which could bother those around you.

Overall, Bose makes well-rounded headphones that provide an unparalleled level of comfort. Many of their headphones also have very good noise cancelling and tend to sound quite well-balanced. However, Bose tends to make comparatively expensive headphones that feel a little plasticky compared to other headphones in the same price range. Their over-ear lineup also tends to leak a bit at higher volumes, which might not be ideal for all environments.

Conclusion

Bose is a well-known brand, popular for their excellent noise cancelling and incredibly comfortable designs. They produce well-rounded and versatile headphones that also deliver in the sound department. However, their models tend to be comparatively more expensive and not as well-built as some other headphones in the same price range.

Check our recommendations for the best travel headphones.

Test results

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