We have currently tested 17 pairs of Bose headphones. They're a brand well-known known for their industry-leading active noise cancelling (ANC) features and comfortable designs.
The best Bose headphones for casual use that we've tested are the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. These well-built over-ears have a very versatile overall performance that makes them suitable for lots of different listeners. They're amazingly comfortable, so you don't feel a lot of fatigue after long listening sessions. Thanks to their neutral sound profile, they're suitable for listening to lots of different audio content. They also have outstanding noise isolation, and with their ANC feature turned on, they can really block out background noises typically found in your office or during your commute. They also last for 20 hours off of a single charge, which should be more than enough to get you through long days on-the-go.
Unfortunately, unlike other premium headphones, they don't have any sound customization options. They also leak a bit of noise, which can be distracting for those around you if you're listening to music at loud volumes. Also, their integrated microphone has a mediocre recording quality, so they really aren't ideal for taking phone calls, especially if you're in a noisy location. That said, these versatile headphones still rank among the best headphones we've tested.
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. They even rank among the best Bluetooth headsets for phone calls we've tested, 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 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.
The best Bose earphones for office work are the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds. These noise cancelling truly wireless in-ears do a great job of blocking out noise across the frequency spectrum, so you shouldn't hear much in the way of construction vehicles passing by your window, the chatter of nearby coworkers, or even the high-pitched hum of an AC unit. They leak very little audio, allowing you to listen to content at relatively high volumes without fear of annoying people nearby. Meanwhile, their seven-hour-plus continuous battery life should get you through long days at the office, especially if you put them back in their case to recharge occasionally. They have a very well-balanced sound profile that's versatile enough for a wide range of content, from EDM music to audiobooks and podcasts. They're also very well-built, with premium-feeling high-grade plastic construction.
Unfortunately, while they do have a decently comfortable fit, they're bulky for truly wireless in-ears, and they protrude quite far from your ears. While their companion app does have configuration options for control remapping and ANC adjustment, it doesn't offer any sound customization options like an EQ, or even audio presets, which is a little disappointing for high-end headphones. Still, if you're looking for well-built truly wireless in-ears that are well-suited for office use, these are a good option.
The best Bose headphones for sports and fitness are the Bose Sport Earbuds. These truly wireless in-ears have a comfortable, amazingly stable fit, allowing them to stay firmly in place even during intense workouts. They're small enough to be carried almost anywhere and are made of sturdy-feeling plastic that should easily survive a couple of drops and bumps. They also have an IPX4 rating for water resistance, though it should be noted that we don't currently test for this. Their sound profile is quite well-balanced, so they should suit whatever kind of content you like to listen to while you're at the gym, whether that be an audiobook or EDM music. They block out very little ambient sound, which is helpful if you like to run outdoors and want to stay aware of your surroundings.
Unfortunately, they only provide a bit more than four hours of continuous playback on a single charge, which may not be enough for longer marathon distances. Their touch-sensitive control scheme is limited in terms of overall functionality, as there are no on-board volume controls, which could interrupt your rhythm if you want to adjust, by forcing you to pull out your phone. Still, if you're looking for Bose in-ears that can easily cope with workouts, they're a great choice.
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.
Feb 03, 2021: Minor changes to text; no changes to product picks after verifying their suitability and availability.
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.