We have currently tested 18 pairs of Bose headphones. They're a brand well-known known for their industry-leading active noise cancelling (ANC) features and comfortable designs.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018 are the best Bose headphones for casual use that we've tested. These wireless over-ears are lightweight, well-built, and have an amazingly comfortable fit. Their default sound profile is quite neutral, with some overemphasis in the bass range that adds a bit of extra punch and thump to mixes. They have an active noise cancelling (ANC) feature that blocks out an incredible amount of background noise, from the low rumble of bus and plane engines to ambient chatter at the office. The ANC is also adjustable through their companion app, so you can change the amount of background sound that you hear. Their battery lasts for roughly 20 hours off of a single charge, and they support NFC pairing as well as multi-device pairing.
Unfortunately, their app doesn't have any sound customization features, such as an EQ or presets. Their Bluetooth latency with PCs is maybe too high for them to be suitable for streaming video or gaming, and their integrated mic has a mediocre recording quality, so your voice sounds a bit thin and muffled over the phone. Otherwise, their variety of useful features and incredible noise isolation performance make them a solid choice if you're looking for versatile over-ears.
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 truly wireless in-ears have a very premium-feeling, sturdy build. Their impressive ANC feature effectively isolates you from a wide range of background noise, from the low rumble of traffic outside your window to background conversations at the office. Also, they hardly leak any sound, so you can listen to music at high volumes without worrying about bothering people nearby. Their sound profile is very neutral and well-balanced, with a small amount of extra bass that adds a bit of thump and rumble to mixes, and it's suitable for a variety of genres as well as content like podcasts and audiobooks. They last for around 7.3 hours from a single charge and come with a case that stores about two additional charges, so you can easily top them up if you run out of battery.
Unfortunately, while they have a great companion app that offers useful features like button mapping, it doesn't offer any sound customization options like an EQ or presets. They also have a fairly bulky design for truly wireless in-ears and protrude quite a bit from your ears. That said, their great noise isolation and versatile sound profile help make them a great option if you're looking for wireless in-ears to use at the office.
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 onboard 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.
Aug 02, 2021: Checked picks to ensure that they represent the best recommendations and that the products are available.
May 04, 2021: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.
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.