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The 4 Best Bose Headphones of 2020
Reviews

Best Bose Headphones

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

Updates

Best Bose Headphones


  1. Best Bose Headphones For Casual Use

    Test Methodology v1.4
    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 we've tested so far are the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. They're remarkably comfortable Bluetooth over-ears that not only have an impressively well-balanced, neutral sound profile, but also an outstanding active noise cancelling (ANC) feature. Whether you're listening to jazz at home or hip-hop on the bus, these headphones will help block out bothersome noises around you so you can focus on your music. Their 20-hour battery life is great and they even have an auto-off timer to help them last even longer. You can even connect to two devices at the same time, which is super convenient if you often switch from using your laptop to your phone.

    On the downside, they tend to leak quite a bit of sound, which can be bothersome if you're standing next to someone on the bus. Since these headphones do such an excellent job at isolating noise, you hopefully shouldn't have to listen to your music too loudly. However, if you just enjoy your music a bit louder than average, keep in mind that others around you might overhear what you're listening to. Besides that, they deliver an impressive all-around listening experience and are among the overall best headphones we've tested.

    See our review

  2. Best Bose Headphones For Business And Travel

    Test Methodology v1.4
    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 are the Bose 700 Headphones Wireless. These wireless over-ears feel better-built and less plasticky than most of Bose's headphones. They boast the best Bluetooth microphone performance we've seen to date, making your voice sound clearer and easier-to-understand, even in noisy environments like a busy street, than other Bluetooth headphones. They also have excellent noise cancelling, great 20-hour battery life, and a well-balanced sound.

    Unfortunately, they're quite bulky, and the ear cups don't fold inward to help save space at all, even in their carrying case. While they're still very comfortable, they're also a bit heavy compared to the Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018, and their touch-sensitive controls can be more challenging to use. That said, whether you have to make a last-minute call at the airport or run a remote meeting while working from home, their great phone call quality make them a solid choice for busy professionals.

    See our review

  3. Best Bose Earbuds For Office Work

    Test Methodology v1.4
    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 are the Bose QuietControl 30. They have a lightweight neckband design that makes them a better option if you find over-ears too bulky for all-day use. They have soft, comfortable earbuds that fit securely without applying unnecessary pressure and use an effective active noise cancelling system to help block out noise. Their 11-hour battery life is on the shorter side, but should still get you through your work day with a bit to spare. There's also an auto-off timer that'll kick in if you forget to turn them off for lunch, which is helpful. They sound very well-balanced and don't leak much noise either, so you can crank up your music if you'd like without having to worry too much about bothering those around you.

    Unfortunately, there have been many reports of these earphones have issues with their long-term durability, namely with the rubber sleeve along the neckband peeling off after only a couple months of use. This problem doesn't affect all units but isn't very uncommon either. That said, it's mainly an aesthetic concern and doesn't seem to affect how well the earbuds perform.

    See our review

  4. Best Bose Headphones For Sports

    Test Methodology v1.4
    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 so far 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.

    On the downside, 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 to date, 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 BoseĀ 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 too. 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.

Lineup

Bose doesn't offer as many headphone types and variations as some other brands. However, they deliver a solid series of headphones that cover most uses.

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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