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Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Nov 23, 2022 at 12:07 pm
Latest change: Writing modified Mar 30, 2023 at 10:09 am
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless Picture
7.3
Neutral Sound
8.5
Commute/Travel
8.4
Sports/Fitness
7.5
Office
5.7
Wireless Gaming
5.6
Wired Gaming
6.3
Phone Calls

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless are the next generation of the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless. If you value noise isolation, you'll want to check these buds out. Like their predecessor, Bose outperforms competitors like the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless and Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 when it comes to blocking out background noise, thanks to their active noise cancelling (ANC) system. Bose has also changed the design of the buds themselves, making them less bulky and more customizable, improving their overall comfort and fit. There's also an additional charge in their carrying case compared to their predecessor.

Our Verdict

7.3 Neutral Sound

The Bose QuietComfort 2 are satisfactory for neutral sound. Out of the box, they have a more bass-heavy sound than our test rig measures due to the shape of our rig's ear canals. However, the added bass subjectively muddies and clutters vocals and instruments. If you prefer a different sound, their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets to help you adjust them. They're in-ear headphones, and their passive soundstage isn't very immersive due to their design.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets available in companion app.
  • Very comfortable and stable fit.
Cons
  • Bad passive soundstage.
8.5 Commute/Travel

The Bose QuietComfort II are excellent for commute and travel. These well-built buds have a powerful ANC system, which can easily block out the low rumble of bus and plane engines as well as passenger chit-chat. They also have a comfortable fit and are very portable, thanks to their small and lightweight design. They have over six and a half hours of continuous battery life, and their carrying case supplies an additional three charges if you need it.

Pros
  • Incredible noise isolation performance.
  • Very comfortable and stable fit.
Cons
  • Bad passive soundstage.
8.4 Sports/Fitness

The Bose QuietComfort 2 are great for sports and fitness. These buds have a well-built, comfortable, and stable design that won't fall out of your ear during tough workouts. They're also certified IPX4 for resistance against water splashes. Their wireless design also ensures that nothing snags the buds and pulls them out of your ears.

Pros
  • Very comfortable and stable fit.
  • Certified IPX4 for water resistance.
Cons
  • Bad passive soundstage.
7.5 Office

The Bose QuietComfort 2 are good for office use. They have a comfortable fit for long days at the office, and their ANC easily tackles office chatter so that you can focus on your work. While their 6.7-hour continuous battery life may not last the whole day, their carrying case supplies an additional three charges, which is handy in a pinch.

Pros
  • Incredible noise isolation performance.
  • Very comfortable and stable fit.
  • Low leakage at high volumes.
Cons
  • No multi-device pairing.
5.7 Wireless Gaming

The Bose QuietComfort 2 are Bluetooth headphones and aren't designed for wireless gaming. Their latency is also likely to be too high for gaming.

5.6 Wired Gaming

The Bose QuietComfort 2 are Bluetooth-only headphones, and you can't use them wired.

6.3 Phone Calls

The Bose QuietComfort II are passable for phone calls. These buds have an integrated mic, and it does an okay job of capturing your voice as speech sounds a bit boxy, like you're talking from farther away than you are. The mic also has a hard time separating speech from ambient noise, and your voice can be easily drowned out by background noise. However, if you want to tune out the outside world, the ANC does a fantastic job of reducing sound around you.

Pros
  • Incredible noise isolation performance.
Cons
  • Mic has poor noise handling performance.
  • 7.3 Neutral Sound
  • 8.5 Commute/Travel
  • 8.4 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.5 Office
  • 5.7 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.6 Wired Gaming
  • 6.3 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Mar 30, 2023: We've added a comparison to the Status Between Pro True Wireless in the Battery box.
  2. Updated Mar 13, 2023: Bose has released firmware update 1.3.26+g1226f68, which added single-bud listening. This firmware update has also changed their sound. As a result, we have updated the following tests, and the scores have changed: all of Sound and Bluetooth. There have been no changes to Noise Isolation.
  3. Updated Dec 09, 2022: Updated the text in the Bluetooth box for accuracy.
  4. Updated Nov 23, 2022: Review published.
  5. Updated Nov 15, 2022: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Bose QuietComfort 2 come in two color variations: 'Triple Black' and 'Soapstone'. We tested the 'Triple Black' variant, and you can see our model's label here. If you come across another variant of these headphones, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Bose QuietComfort 2 are the next generation of the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless. Their ANC blocks out significantly more ambient noise than their competitors like the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless, which are among the best noise cancelling earbuds we've tested, and even outperforms Bose's own over-ears like the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless. They're also a lot more comfortable than their predecessor, thanks to the new design, which is less bulky and has ear tips and stability fins as separate attachments, allowing you to customize their fit.

If you're looking for more recommendations, check out our picks for the best noise cancelling headphones, and the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds.

Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless are better in-ears than the Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless. The Bose are more comfortable, have a more neutral sound profile, although it's still bass-heavy, and their ANC blocks out significantly more ambient noise. However, the Sony headphones have better build quality, and their continuous battery life is longer too.

Beats Fit Pro True Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless are better in-ears than the Beats Fit Pro True Wireless. The Bose are more comfortable, have a significantly better noise isolation performance, and their continuous battery life is better. They also have sound customization features to help you adjust their sound to suit your tastes. That said, you may still prefer the Beats if you're an iOS user. They have an H1 chip for seamless pairing with your Apple devices and support Apple's Spatial Audio for a more immersive sound.

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless and the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless are both great in-ears with different strengths. The Bose are more comfortable in-ears, and their ANC system is significantly better. Their companion app also offers graphic EQ and presets to help you customize their sound to your liking. However, the Apple headphones are well-designed for Apple users. They have a more premium feel, have an H2 chip for seamless pairing with other iOS devices, and support Spatial Audio. They also have a slightly more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer,

Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless are better in-ears than Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3. The Bose are more comfortable, and their ANC system can block out significantly more ambient sound. However, the Sennheiser are better-built and have better overall battery life.

Jabra Elite 7 Pro True Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless are better in-ears than the Jabra Elite 7 Pro True Wireless. While both in-ears are well-built, the Bose are more comfortable and have a significantly better noise isolation performance, which is great for noisy offices or commutes. However, the Jabra have a more neutral overall sound profile, which some users may prefer, and their battery performance is better too. They also support multi-device pairing, meaning you can connect them with up to two devices at a time.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless are the next generation of the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless. The successor's design has changed, and now the buds have separate fins and ear tips to help you get the best fit, making them a lot more comfortable. They also have significantly better ANC, and their carrying case holds an additional charge than their predecessor. However, the original gen have better build quality and feel less plasticky. They also have a more neutral sound, which some users may prefer.

Google Pixel Buds Pro Truly Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless are better in-ears than the Google Pixel Buds Pro Truly Wireless. While both buds are well-built, the Bose are significantly more comfortable, have a better battery performance, and their ANC can block out a superior amount of ambient sound. However, the Google headphones support multi-device pairing with up to two devices at a time.

Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 True Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless are  slightly better earbuds than the Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 True Wireless. The Bose are more comfortable, and are more customizable, thanks to their companion app's graphic EQ and presets. They're also able to block out significantly more background noise and their battery performance is significantly better too. However, the Bowers & Wilkins are better-built, support aptX Adaptive codec for streaming high-quality audio, and their carrying case can be used as a wireless transmitter.

Status Between Pro True Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless are better earbuds than the Status Between Pro True Wireless. Although more expensive, the Bose have a powerful active noise cancellation (ANC) as well as a companion app with graphic EQ and presets, neither of which are offered with the Status buds. However, the Status have a longer continuous battery life.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Type Earbuds
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Transducer Dynamic

The Bose QuietComfort 2 have a sleeker and more refined look than their predecessor, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless. They're a lot smaller and have a stem design. The manufacturer's label is on the outward-facing side. Unlike other Bose earbuds, the stability fins and ear tips are separate pieces instead of one unit, which makes it easy to swap out if you prefer a different fit. They come in two color variants: 'Triple Black' and 'Soapstone'.

8.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.03 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

These buds are very comfortable. Compared to their predecessor, they're less bulky and don't go as deeply into your ears. The stability fins also feel softer on the skin, and since they're now independent from the ear tip, it's easier to ensure a comfortable fit. The buds don't put much pressure on the ear and feel lightweight. They don't pop out of your ear over time like the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless either.

7.7
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control Presets
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

These headphones have good controls. There's a touch-sensitive surface on each bud, which is easy to use and has good sensitivity. You can use either bud for controls, but there's no audio feedback to let you know when you've registered a command. You can also accidentally switch between ANC modes if you're adjusting the buds using the stem.

On either bud:

  • Single tap: Plays and pauses audio. Also accepts calls.
  • Double tap: Skips to the next track. Also ends calls.
  • Triple tap: Skips to the previous track.
  • Touch and hold: Cycles between ANC modes: 'Quiet', which is ANC on, and 'Aware', which is a talk-through mode, so that you can hear your environment without taking your earbuds out. You can also remap these controls to add voice assistant control.
  • Swipe up: Raises the volume.
  • Swipe down: Lowers the volume.

9.4
Design
Portability
L 1.0" (2.6 cm)
W 1.3" (3.4 cm)
H 1.1" (2.8 cm)
Volume 1.45 inยณ (23.70 cmยณ)
Transmitter Required No

Like most in-ears, these buds are very portable and can easily fit into most pockets or bags without an issue. However, the case is a lot bulkier (and heavier) than that of other truly wireless headphones like the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 2.6" (6.6 cm)
W 2.3" (5.9 cm)
H 1.1" (2.7 cm)
Volume 6.36 inยณ (104.20 cmยณ)

These buds come with a good carrying case. It's mostly made of plastic, but it feels of better quality than the first generation. The lid feels flimsy compared to the rest of the case, and there's no locking mechanism, so it's easy to open up the lid by accident. There's a single LED light indicator to let you know when the buds are charging. The back of the case also has a Bluetooth pairing button that's slightly indented. Unfortunatly, the case doesn't support wireless charging, which is a step down from their predecessor.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

These buds have a good build quality but don't feel quite as premium as the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless. They're mostly made of glossy plastic, except for the touch-sensitive surface on the stems, but it feels a bit cheap. The case is also made of plastic and is a little flimsy. The fins and tips are also thinner and seem prone to tearing due to the thin area where they lock onto your ears. They're certified IPX4 for resistance against water splashes, though.

8.0
Design
Stability

These buds have a very stable in-ear fit thanks to their stability fin design. You can wear them during a run or workout, and they won't fall out of your ears.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Bose QuietComfort 2 earbuds
  • 3x stability bands
  • 3x ear tips
  • USB-A to USB-C charging cable
  • Carrying case
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
2.24 dB
Treble Amount
-1.3 dB

After firmware update 1.3.26+g1226f68, the Bose QuietComfort II have a more bass-heavy sound profile than we originally mentioned. You can see a comparison between the original frequency response and our new pass here. However, even though we tried to achieve the best seal using our testing rig, we subjectively hear more bass from the buds than our graph indicates. It's due to the shape of our test rig's ear canals, which can't capture what we hear subjectively. Overall, if you like genres like EDM and hip-hop, you'll like the extra thump, punch, and boom, but they don't sound that neutral. Vocals are particularly muddy and cluttered in mixes. Luckily, if you prefer a different sound, their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets to help you customize their sound.

9.4
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.12 dB

These buds have outstanding frequency response consistency. Assuming you get the best fit using the included stability fins and ear tips, you'll experience consistent bass and treble delivery.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.5
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.1 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10.75 Hz
Low-Bass
4.21 dB
Mid-Bass
0.98 dB
High-Bass
0.08 dB

After firmware 1.3.26+g1226f68, these buds produce more bass than our graph indicates. It's due to the shape of our test rig's ear canals, and subjectively, you can expect more thump, punch, and boom in mixes. While the extra bass is well-suited for genres like EDM and hip-hop, it also muddies and clutters vocals and instruments.

8.1
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.55 dB
Low-Mid
-0.41 dB
Mid-Mid
-2.55 dB
High-Mid
-1.38 dB

The mid response is more uneven after firmware update 1.3.26+g1226f68, than when first released. Unfortunately, our test rig can't adequately capture the amount of bass produced by these buds due to the shape of our rig's ear canals. Subjectively, this extra bass extends into the low-mid, and muddies vocals and instruments. A dip in the mid to high-mid also nudges these sounds to the back of the mix and weakens them. In songs like I'm Good (Blue) by David Guetta and Bebe Rexha, the female vocals and piano are muddied by the bassline and sound distant.

8.6
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.21 dB
Low-Treble
0.93 dB
Mid-Treble
-0.59 dB
High-Treble
-9.48 dB

The Bose QuietComfort 2 have excellent treble accuracy. The treble response is a little tilted, resulting in detailed vocals and instruments. Sibilants are also present but not overly bright. In songs like Miss You by Oliver Tree and Robin Schulz, the high-pitched vocals in the chorus sound crisp without being piercing.

7.3
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.81 dB
Dips
1.2 dB

The peaks and dips performance of these buds is decent. There's a small peak in the low-bass, which adds extra thump and rumble to your mixes. A dip in the high-mid affects the right driver more prominently, weakening vocals and instruments. A couple of peaks in the low to mid-treble make the upper harmonics of vocals and instruments sound harsh while sibilants like S and T sounds are piercing.

8.7
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.23
Weighted Phase Mismatch
4.91
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.98
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
0.92

The imaging performance of these buds is excelling. Bose has pretty good quality control with their products, and usually, their headphones have well-matched drivers. Our unit's L/R drivers are also well-matched in group delay, phase, amplitude, and frequency response. Although there's a bump in our unit's phase response, it's a very small area and can be hard to hear with real-life content. It seems that audio becomes louder in the left driver at around 920Hz, and afterward, it becomes louder in the right driver. However, imaging varies depending on the manufacturer's quality control as well as ergonomics.

0.8
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
0.5
Acoustic Space Excitation
2.2

The passive soundstage performance of these buds is bad, which is normal from in-ears. To create an immersive soundstage, your outer ear has to be activated by sound. However, in-ears bypass your outer ear. This results in a soundstage that feels small, unnatural, and as if sound is coming from inside your head rather than from speakers placed in the room around you.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No
7.9
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.268
WHD @ 100
0.099

The weighted harmonic distortion performance is very good. There's a spike in the mid-treble, but it's a bit hard to hear with real-life content. The rest of the frequencies fall within good levels, resulting in mostly clean and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
1.1.14+ge8c6141
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
Maximum
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test these headphones, and our results are only valid in this configuration.

Isolation
9.5
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-26.81 dB
Noise Cancelling Yes
Bass
-24.83 dB
Mid
-30.01 dB
Treble
-26.24 dB

The noise isolation performance of the Bose QuietComfort 2 is fantastic. They can block out a significant amount of ambient noise, especially compared to their predecessor or their competitors like the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless. Overall, they're well-suited for reducing low engine rumbles, ambient chatter, and the high-pitched hum of AC units.

8.1
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
33.04 dB

The leakage performance of these buds is great. Most leakage is concentrated in the treble range and sounds fairly thin. If you like to crank up the volume to your favorite tunes, others around you won't hear it.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
Mic Yes
6.6
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
369.71 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
3.69 dB
HFE
3,568.48 Hz
Weighted THD
0.437
Gain
18.7 dB

The recording quality of the integrated mic is okay. Your voice sounds boxy and as if the mic is a little far from your mouth. That said, your voice is still understandable.

4.3
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
40.21 dB
Noise Gate
Always On
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
4.5
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
4.0
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The mic's noise handling performance is poor. The mic sits far away from your mouth, and as a result, it has a hard time capturing your voice clearly, especially in noisy environments like a busy office. That said, if you're talking in a quieter environment, like at home, you won't have problems being heard clearly.

Active Features
7.1
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
6.7 hrs
Additional Charges
3.0
Total Battery Life
26.8 hrs
Charge Time
1 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Standby mode
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The Bose QuietComfort II's battery performance is decent. Like the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless, the manufacturer advertises them to last six hours continuously, and we measured over that. However, battery life can vary depending on use. Luckily, the carrying case holds three additional charges, which is handy in a pinch. Firmware update 1.3.26+g1226f68 also added single bud listening, so you can use either bud while the other one charges in the carrying case. If you're looking for in-ears with a longer continuous battery life, check out the Status Between Pro True Wireless.

8.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Bose Music
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
Graphic + Presets
ANC Control
Presets
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
Yes
Button Mapping Yes
Surround Support
No

The Bose Music app is great. It's pretty simple to use and offers a lot of features. You can see a video of the app in use here. You can check the battery level, adjust volume, and remap controls. You can also select different modes, which you can then set to a custom amount of ANC, which is handy if you prefer more or less noise isolation depending on your activity or location. To ensure you get a good fit, there's an ear tip fit test, and there's a graphic EQ as well as presets to help you adjust their sound as well.

Connectivity
7.3
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.3
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
316.60 ft (96.50 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
173 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
25 ms
Android Latency
75 ms

The Bose QuietComfort 2's Bluetooth performance is decent. They don't support multi-device or NFC pairing, but their latency is quite low on Android and iOS devices, making them a solid choice for streaming video. Their PC latency is higher, and you'll notice that your audio and visuals fall out of sync. Latency can vary depending on the app and device you're using.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection
No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

These headphones come with a USB-C to USB-A cable to recharge their carrying case.

Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
No
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No

These earbuds can connect to Bluetooth-enabled PCs with full audio and mic compatibility. However, this is the only way you can connect these headphones to your PC.

Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
No
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
No
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
No
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No
0.4
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Charging Case
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
USB-C

These headphones come with a carrying case with a USB-C port for charging their case.