The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless are premium earbuds with a great ANC feature. They're very well-built, decently comfortable, and offer over seven hours of continuous playback time. While they don't isolate noise as well as over-ear headphones such as the Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018, they can cut down quite a bit of sound around you. However, the trade-off is in their bulky look, which slightly sticks out of your ear. If you're looking for a pair of truly wireless headphones that deliver a solid ANC feature, they offer versatile performance and a neutral sound profile that should please most users.
Update 01/21/2021: We've changed the type from 'In-Ear' to 'Earbuds', which incurred a few small changes in the sound tests. We have updated our results.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are good for mixed use. These comfortable headphones do a great job of reducing ambient noise like bus engines when you're commuting or ambient chatter at the office. They're also stable enough for working out and have an IPX4 rating for water resistance, although we don't currently test for this. Thanks to their neutral sound profile, they're also well-suited for most audio content. That said, while they have roughly seven hours of continuous playback time, they may just barely get you through your 9-5.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are decent for neutral sound. Thanks to their fit, they're able to deliver audio consistently. They also have a well-balanced and neutral sound profile with a touch of extra bass. However, a slight overemphasis in the treble range can make vocals and lead instruments sound a little harsh. They also have a closed-off soundstage and they don't have an EQ to further tweak their sound.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are great for commute and travel. These well-built headphones have a great ANC feature that helps to reduce bass-range noise like bus and plane engines. They're also comfortable enough to wear for long commutes to work, but their 7.3-hour battery life may not be enough if you're on a long-haul flight. Still, they're portable and lightweight, which makes it easy to take them with you wherever you go.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are great for sports and fitness. Although they have a bulky design, these comfortable and well-built headphones are portable enough to take with you on-the-go. They're stable, so they shouldn't fall out of your ears. They also have an IPX4 rating for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are satisfactory for office use. While they're comfortable enough to wear throughout a workday, their continuous battery life may not be enough if you're using them all day long. That said, they have a great ANC feature that can help cut down ambient chatter around you and they have a standby mode to help conserve battery life when not in use.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds aren't recommended for wireless gaming. While you can connect them to a Bluetooth-enabled PC, the latency is likely to be too high for gaming. They also aren't compatible with Xbox One or PS4 consoles.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are Bluetooth-only earbuds and can't be used wired.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are alright for phone calls. The integrated mic's recording quality results in your voice sounding thin and a bit distorted. It also struggles to separate your voice from moderate ambient noise around you. That said, thanks to the ANC feature, you can focus on your call rather than noise around you. The companion app also offers a 'Self Voice' feature so that you can better hear yourself during a call.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are bulky oval-shaped truly wireless earbuds. They're vertically-oriented, which makes their design stand out from other truly wireless headphones. They're also quite large, so they're easily noticeable. They come in two color variants: 'Triple Black' and 'Soapstone'.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are decently comfortable. The tips and stability fins feel good and don't go too deep into your ears. However, the buds stick out a bit and could get in the way if you're wearing a hat. For more comfortable headphones, check out the Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds have decent touch-sensitive controls. The left earbud controls only the ANC feature and with a double-tap, you can cycle through your favorite settings set via their companion app. The right earbud controls everything else. You can swipe up or down to raise or lower the volume, or double-tap to play/pause. You can also touch and hold for a voice assistant. There's good sensitivity when tapping controls but there's no audible feedback for volume or play/pause. There are no controls for skipping tracks, either. It can also be a bit tricky to register a touch slide to adjust the volume.
Update 03/25/2021: We have tested these headphones for breathability.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds have outstanding breathability. They don't trap in much heat and you shouldn't feel a big difference in temperature or sweat more when wearing them while working out or running.
These headphones are outstandingly portable. Although they're much larger in size than a lot of other truly wireless earbuds, they can still fit into most pockets. Their carrying case can also fit into a larger pocket or bag.
The carrying case is good. It has five LED lights to indicate your battery level as well as a Bluetooth pairing button. There's also a lock mechanism to help keep the headphones from falling out. However, some users may find it a bit bulky.
They have a great build quality. They feel durable, dense, and sturdy, so they should be able to survive a few accidental drops. The case is pretty durable too, though it's a bit bulky too. The headphones are also rated IPX4 for water resistance, although we don't currently test for this.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are very stable headphones. Thanks to their stability wings, they don't move around, which makes them well-suited for physical activity. However, they slightly stick out of the ear and can get hooked on something.
Update 01/21/2021: Based on user discussion, we've changed the headphone type from 'In-Ear' to 'Earbuds' and reran several sound tests, which slightly changed the scoring of some boxes. The following tests have been updated: 'Sound Profile', 'Raw Frequency', 'Bass Accuracy', 'Mid Accuracy', 'Treble Accuracy', 'Peaks and Dips', 'Imaging', and 'Weighted Harmonic Distortion'. The following tests have changed in scoring: 'Mid-Accuracy' was lowered from 9.3 to 9.1, 'Treble Accuracy' was raised from 7.6 to 7.8, and 'Peaks and Dips' was lowered from 8.4 to 8.2. All other boxes have retained the same scoring.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds have a very neutral sound profile with just a touch of extra thump and rumble. However, some users may find that vocals and lead instruments also sound a little harsh. That said, they're suitable for a variety of audio content.
These headphones have an outstanding frequency response consistency. Like most earbuds, if you can achieve a proper fit using the included stability tips, their bass and treble response should be the same each time you use them.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds have outstanding bass accuracy. They're slightly overemphasized across the range, resulting in a bit more thump, rumble, and body in audio genres like EDM and hip-hop. However, the range is still fairly flat and even, which makes them suitable for most audio content.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds have fantastic mid accuracy. The range is fairly flat and even, so vocals and lead instruments sound present and detailed. There's a small bump in the high-mids, which can make vocals and lead instruments sound slightly harsh.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds have good treble accuracy. There's some overemphasis in the low-treble range, so vocals and lead instruments can sound a little harsh. The dip in the mid-treble also can also slightly dull sibilants like cymbals.
These headphones have great peaks and dips performance. While there are a few very minor peaks and dips, the peak between the high-mid and low-treble makes vocals and lead instruments a bit harsh. The dip in between the low-treble and mid-treble also dulls and weakens sibilants like S and T sounds. There's also a peak in the mid-treble which can make the upper harmonics of sibilants piercing.
These headphones have an excellent imaging performance. Their weighted group delay response falls below the audibility threshold, ensuring tight bass and transparent treble. The L/R drivers of our unit are also well-matched in frequency, amplitude, and phase response, which is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects in the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.
Like most earbuds, they have a bad passive soundstage. By design, they bypass the outer ear altogether, which is a big factor in creating a speaker-like and out-of-head soundstage. Since they also have a closed-back design, they feel less open and spacious than open-back headphones.
These headphones don't have a virtual soundstage feature.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds' weighted harmonic distortion performance is great. Although there's a couple of spikes in the treble range, all frequencies fall within good limits, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction.
These are the settings used to test the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds. Our results are only valid when using these settings.
These headphones have great noise isolation. Thanks to their ANC feature, they can cut down quite a bit of bass-range noise like bus and plane engines. They can also reduce some mid-range sound like ambient chatter as well as high-pitched noise such as the hum of an AC unit.
The leakage performance is great. A significant amount of the leakage is concentrated in the mid-mid to treble range and sounds thin. Even if you're listening to your audio at high volumes, you shouldn't disturb those around you.
The Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Earbuds have an integrated mic.
The integrated mic's recording quality is just okay. Your voice sounds bright, although a little static-like and unnatural.
Update 03/25/2021: There seems to be a noise gate built into the microphone, which we couldn't turn off for our testing. As a result, the original score of 8.7 matched the mic's capacity to handle small or low noises but not loud noises. We have retested the mic after fixing the noise gate. The scoring of this box has changed to better reflect real-life usage.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds' microphone's noise handling performance is just mediocre. It struggles to separate your voice from moderate ambient noise around you, such as a busy street or subway.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds have an okay battery performance. Although they're advertised as having six hours of continuous playtime, we measured seven hours, which is roughly on par with other truly wireless headphones with an ANC feature such as the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live Truly Wireless. Luckily, they also into standby mode when you remove the earbuds from your ears so that you can conserve battery life. The carrying case comes with two additional charges, which should help when you're on-the-go.
The Bose Music app is a great companion app. While it doesn't offer an EQ, you can see the battery and volume level as well as adjust the ANC level. You can also save three ANC presets that you can cycle through. You can also set particular commands such as play and pause to automatically trigger depending on whether the earbud detects your ear or not. There's also a 'self voice' feedback feature, which allows you to hear your own voice during a call.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds have decent Bluetooth connectivity. They support Bluetooth 5.1 but unfortunately, don't have either NFC or multi-device pairing. Although they have very high latency on PC, their latency on iOS and Android is a lot lower, which makes them suitable for streaming video. That said, apps and devices seem to compensate for latency differently, and your mileage may vary in real-life usage.
These are Bluetooth-only earbuds.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds can't be used wired. They come with a USB-C cable to charge their carrying case.
These earbuds can only connect to Bluetooth-enabled PCs and aren't compatible with PS4 consoles. Because of their very high latency on PC, they aren't recommended for gaming.
These earbuds are Bluetooth-only and aren't compatible with Xbox One consoles.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds come with a charging case that holds two additional charges. It can be recharged using its USB-C cable or wirelessly via Qi-enabled chargers. It doesn't have any additional inputs.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds come in two color variants: 'Triple Black' and 'Soapstone'. You can see their label here. We expect both color variants to perform similarly to our test unit.
If you come across a different variant, let us know in the discussions and we'll update our review.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are premium truly wireless headphones. Although they're bulkier than other similarly designed earbuds, they house a powerful ANC feature that helps cut down a great amount of ambient noise around you. They also deliver a neutral sound profile that's suitable for a variety of audio content and offer roughly over seven hours of continuous playtime. Check out our recommendations for the best noise cancelling earbuds and in-ear headphones, the best noise cancelling headphones, and the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless are slightly better headphones than the Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless. The Bose have a significantly better ANC feature and have a better-balanced sound profile. Their fit is more stable too. However, the Sony have an auto-off timer and you can customize their sound profile using their graphic EQ or presets in their companion app.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless and the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless have different strengths and you may prefer one over the other depending on your usage. The Apple headphones are more comfortable and have a better performing ANC feature. However, the Bose are slightly better-balanced, their ANC is still great in comparison, and their integrated mic has a better recording quality. The Bose also have a better companion app and a lower latency on iOS and Android, although some apps compensate for latency differently.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless are better headphones than the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2. The Bose are more comfortable and stable. They have a more neutral sound profile, which some may prefer, and their ANC feature can reduces more noise than the Sennheiser. Their battery performs better overall. However, the Sennheiser offer a graphic EQ and presets via their companion app, which is nice if you like to tweak their sound to your liking.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless and the Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless are similar headphones, so depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The Jabra are more comfortable, and they leak less sound. You can customize their sound using their graphic EQ and presets. However, the Bose are more stable, have better noise isolation, and longer continuous battery life.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless are better headphones for most uses than the Bose Sport Earbuds Truly Wireless. The QuietComfort Earbuds have a better-balanced sound profile, a great ANC feature, and a better battery performance. However, the Sport are better for physical exercise as they're more comfortable and stable.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless and the Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless have different strengths and depending on your usage, you may prefer one over the other. The Bose have a more neutral sound profile, and their ANC feature can significantly isolate more noise around you. However, the Jabra are better built, support multi-device pairing, and have an IP55 rating for dust and water resistance, although we don't currently test for this. Their companion app also has a graphic EQ plus presets.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless are better headphones for mixed use than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless. The QuietComfort Earbuds are closed-back headphones with a more neutral sound profile and a great performing ANC feature. They have longer continuous battery life and their integrated mic has a better recording quality. However, the SoundSport Free are semi-open headphones, which is nice if you want to stay alert while exercising outside, and they're more comfortable.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless are better headphones than the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live Truly Wireless. The Bose are better-built, have more consistent audio reproduction, and their sound profile is better-balanced. They also have a better ANC feature, leak less sound, and their integrated mic does a better job overall. However, the Samsung have EQ presets available via their companion app.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless are better headphones than the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless. The Bose are more comfortable, stable, and have a better-balanced sound profile. They also have an ANC feature that significantly cuts down more ambient noise, and they have longer continuous battery life. However, the Sennheiser's companion app has a graphic EQ so that you can tweak their sound to your liking.