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Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.7
Reviewed Nov 06, 2023 at 12:19 pm
Latest change: Writing modified Apr 04, 2024 at 09:12 am
Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds Truly Wireless Picture
7.3
Neutral Sound
8.1
Commute/Travel
8.4
Sports/Fitness
7.4
Office
5.7
Wireless Gaming
5.5
Wired Gaming
6.2
Phone Calls

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds Truly Wireless are the next generation of the QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless. They're premium, wireless in-ear headphones that feature industry-leading active noise cancelling (ANC) technology, making them an excellent choice for those who want to block out external sounds so they can focus on their tunes. Released less than a year after their predecessor, these buds utilize the same sleek design but add Immersive Audio, a new virtual soundstage feature developed by Bose that aims to bring the kind of spatial audio features seen in the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless to the QuietComfort lineup.

Our Verdict

7.3 Neutral Sound

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds are decent for neutral sound. Their sound profile is similar to their predecessor and features an overemphasized bass response that lends well to genres like EDM and hip-hop. However, this strong bass presence can mask vocals and lead instruments in the mid-range. There are plenty of EQ presets to choose from if you want to tailor the sound to your liking. Like most in-ear designs, they have a poor passive soundstage performance. However, the Immersive Audio feature tracks your head and can add extra width to the soundstage to compensate for this.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
Cons
  • Poor passive soundstage.
8.1 Commute/Travel

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds are great for commuting and travel. They're comfortable and portable, and you can supplement their seven-hour battery life with extra charges from the included case if you're in a pinch. As expected, the ANC performance is excellent and isolates well against everything from low engine rumble to high-frequency sounds like office chatter and fridge hum. You can also customize the ANC performance via the app and create presets for your needs.

Pros
  • Excellent noise isolation performance.
  • IPX4 certified against splash damage.
  • Comfortable fit and lightweight design.
  • Easy-to-use, intuitive control scheme.
Cons
  • Poor passive soundstage.
  • No multi-device pairing.
8.4 Sports/Fitness

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds are impressive for sports and fitness use. They have a lightweight design that forms a stable fit in your ears, thanks to the variety of stability fins and ear tips provided. They're also IPX4 certified against splashes of water, and their ANC can be adapted to incorporate more ambient noise, which is great for runners who like to stay aware of their surroundings.

Pros
  • IPX4 certified against splash damage.
  • Comfortable fit and lightweight design.
  • Easy-to-use, intuitive control scheme.
Cons
  • Poor passive soundstage.
7.4 Office

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds are decent for office use. They're comfortable enough to wear all day, and their ANC does an excellent job of shielding you from background chit-chat and other distracting noises. That said, their seven-hour continuous battery life won't be enough to get you through a long day at the office without re-charging from the case.

Pros
  • Excellent noise isolation performance.
  • Comfortable fit and lightweight design.
  • Easy-to-use, intuitive control scheme.
Cons
  • Case doesn't support wireless charging.
  • No multi-device pairing.
5.7 Wireless Gaming

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds are Bluetooth headphones not designed for wireless gaming. Their latency via SBC is quite high and can cause lip-sync issues. That said, they also support aptX Adaptive, which can adjust its performance to help lower latency if you're gaming.

5.5 Wired Gaming

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

6.2 Phone Calls

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds are mediocre for phone calls. The integrated mic is far away from your mouth, and as a result, your voice sounds thin and distant. It also struggles to separate your voice from loud environments, like a busy street. However, their excellent noise isolation performance makes it easier to follow conversations without any distractions on your end.

Pros
  • Excellent noise isolation performance.
Cons
  • Mic struggles to separate your voice from background noise.
  • 7.3 Neutral Sound
  • 8.1 Commute/Travel
  • 8.4 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.4 Office
  • 5.7 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.5 Wired Gaming
  • 6.2 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Apr 04, 2024: The ColorWare custom color option has been added to theDifferences Between Variants and Style sections.
  2. Updated Apr 04, 2024: We've retested ANC Wind Handling with updated methodology.
  3. Updated Apr 04, 2024: The following test groups have been updated following Test Bench 1.7: Noise Isolation - Full Range, Noise Isolation - Common Scenarios, and ANC Wind Handling. There have also been text changes made throughout the review, including to the usages and product comparisons to match these results.
  4. Updated Apr 04, 2024: An update in Bluetooth Connection mentions the Creative Aurvana Ace 2 True Wireless when discussing aptX Adaptive and aptX Lossless codecs.
  5. Updated Apr 04, 2024: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.7, which updates our Noise Isolation test. We've also expanded the scope of this test to include Common Scenarios in addition to Voice Handling and Wind Handling.
  6. Updated Nov 28, 2023: We've checked our unit for noise while the ANC is on and have updated Sound Profile with our findings.
  7. Updated Nov 16, 2023: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.6 , which updates how we measure latency. We've updated and renamed the following test groups: Wired Connection, Bluetooth Connection, and Wireless Connection (Dongle). We've also added new codec latency measurements and provided an audio sample of recorded latency.
  8. Updated Nov 07, 2023: We've added a comparison between these headphones and the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones Wireless in Virtual Soundstage.
  9. Updated Nov 06, 2023: Review published.
  10. Updated Oct 27, 2023: Early access published.
  11. Updated Oct 23, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  12. Updated Oct 20, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  13. Updated Oct 03, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds come in three standard color variations: 'Black,' 'White Smoke,' and 'Moonstone Blue.' We tested the 'White Smoke' variant; you can see our model's label here. At an additional cost, you can get a custom color version with engravings through ColorWare's website, and apart from the color, they're the same model. If you encounter another variant of these headphones, please let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Bose QC Ultra Earbuds Truly Wireless are the next generation of the QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless. Their class-leading ANC performance has set them apart from other popular wireless earbuds like the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless, and they now have their own version of Apple's Spatial Audio feature called Immersive Audio. That said, their noise isolation performance is similar to their predecessor, and the two share a closely aligned sound profile. If you're still looking for in-ears for travel and commuting, the Sony WF-1000XM5 Truly Wireless also have an amazing noise isolation performance but have a longer battery life.

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

Sony WF-1000XM5 Truly Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds and the Sony WF-1000XM5 Truly Wireless are both premium wireless in-ears with similar strengths. Choosing between them is a matter of personal preference. Both buds are great for commuting and travel use as they have a comfortable fit, decent battery life performance, and excellent overall ANC performance. The Sony headphones have a warm sound profile by default, but users that prefer bass-centric music genres, like electronic and hip-hop, will appreciate the rumble and punch present in the Bose. Ultimately, you can tweak the sound profiles of both buds to your liking via their EQ. The Sony headphones are a slightly better choice for those who prioritize taking phone calls, however, due to their superior noise handling performance.

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds are better for most uses than the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless. Both earbuds are equipped with virtual soundstage technology and have decent neutral sound performance, but the Bose headphones have better sound customization options. They have access to a graphic EQ and presets via their app, while you can only tweak the Apple headphones' sound profile through the accessibility settings of a paired iOS device. The Bose have the edge when it comes to noise isolation, and they have a more comfortable fit, too, making them an ideal choice for the office and on-the-go use. The Bose feature Google Fast Pair for rapid integration with Android devices, but if you're an iOS user, you'll prefer how the Apple headphones' H2 chip lets you pair seamlessly with other Apple devices.

Jabra Elite 10 True Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds are better all-round earbuds than the Jabra Elite 10 True Wireless, but the Jabra are a better fit for some uses. Both have well-built and portable designs, but the Bose's outstanding ANC performance makes them a better choice for commutes and longer journeys. Both earbuds are also decent for neutral sound, but the Bose headphones provide a slightly more comfortable fit. However, the Jabra are better for phone calls as they support multi-device pairing, and their mic does a much better job of separating your voice from background noise.

Technics EAH-AZ80 True Wireless

Both the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds Truly Wireless and the Technics EAH-AZ80 require a serious outlay, but you'll be rewarded with a similarly excellent all-around performance. Some differences between the two might sell you on one over the other. The Bose have a more comfortable fit, combined with a superior noise isolation performance that's great if you travel a lot and like to enjoy your peace. They also deliver audio more consistently across different listening sessions and an Immersive Audio head-tracking feature that can artificially widen the soundstage a little. There's not much else to separate the two regarding sound profile, as they both boast a pretty balanced default sound that leans towards the warm side. The Technics have more niche features, like LDAC support and 3-way Bluetooth multi-point connectivity, which will sway some users.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds are the next generation of the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless. That said, the differences between them are fairly minimal. Both buds share a similar sound profile that you can further tweak via the Bose Music app, and they're both equipped with Bose's excellent ANC technology. The QuietComfort Ultra are equipped with Bose's new Immersive Audio feature, though, which can help offset the poor passive soundstage performance that's commonplace with in-ear designs.

Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds Truly Wireless have better noise isolation and feel more comfortable and stable than the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3. While the Bose are more bass-heavy than the Sennheiser, they also have more treble for an overall more excited sound. Both have similar Bluetooth codec support. The Sennheiser mic better separates noise while retaining your voice, although the mic recording quality alone is similar. The Sennheiser also have a better continuous battery life, although the Bose isn't far off.

Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 4

The Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 and Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds Truly Wireless have a lot in common, like their similar battery lives. Both earbuds support aptX Adaptive, including aptX Adaptive (Low Latency). Only the Sennheiser support multi-device pairing and wireless case charging. Their sound is less excited in the highs and lows, with a five-band EQ. Their noise isolation reduces more midrange noise consistent across the frequency spectrum. They also have dust resistance with an IP54 rating, instead of just water resistance on the Bose's IPX4 rating. However, they're not as comfortable as the Bose. You're less likely to accidentally trigger a command on the Bose because they're easier to grip. These have a bassier and brighter sound profile by default, and you have an EQ but with only three bands. Of the two, only the Bose earbuds include virtual surround sound. Their noise cancelling filters out more low, rumbling noise, like engines on a bus, and they do a similarly great job of blocking high-pitched noises.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds Truly Wireless a newer version of the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless, and are quite similar. Both have an excellent noise isolation performance and a somewhat bass-heavy sound profile out of the box. The Ultra are equipped with Immersive Audio, which can help improve their soundstage performance compared to other in-ears. 

Devialet Gemini II True Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds Truly Wireless and the Devialet Gemini II True Wireless are both premium buds. The Bose are more comfortable, have a spatial audio feature to help give you a more immersive sound, and they have a better overall battery performance. They support aptX Adaptive too, which is a Bluetooth codec that dynamically adapts to your content, giving you either lower latency or better sound quality. However, the Devialet are better built, have a more neutral sound, which some users may prefer, and support multi-device pairing. While the Devialet have a better overall noise isolation performance, their ANC system performs worse than when the buds are off beyond the low-mid range. 

Creative Aurvana Ace 2 True Wireless

The Creative Aurvana Ace 2 True Wireless and Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds Truly Wireless both support the aptX codecs for high-quality audio. The Bose additionally have a more effective active noise cancelling (ANC) system and a significantly longer battery life to a single charge. If surround sound is on your list, these have that as well. They use aptX Adaptive which adjusts audio quality based on your connection, with a gaming mode. The Creative buds have ANC, but it's not as effective. Their app has an EQ that gives you more control over the tuning. You also get aptX Lossless, which unlike aptX Adaptive consistently outputs lossless audio. However, you don't get surround sound with these.

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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 Ultra Earbuds have kept the same sleek, streamlined look of the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless. These buds have a stem design and feature the manufacturer's logo embossed on the glossy exterior. As with the previous gen, the stability fins and ear tips are part of a swappable design that makes it easy to try out different fits. They come in three standard color variants: 'Black,' 'White Smoke,' and 'Moonstone Blue.' Customized buds can be purchased in various glossy or matte textured finishes at ColorWare for an added fee. On the site, you can mix and match a variety of neutral shades all the way through iridescent and neon colors with engravings on the case. Besides the exterior, these are all the same model.

8.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.03 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

These earbuds are very comfortable. Their ergonomic design ensures that the tips can create a good seal without going deep into your ear canal. The included selection of silicone ear tips makes it easy to achieve a comfortable fit, and the variety of stability fins provided allows you to find a set that feels snug and stable. The form factor of these buds does mean that they stick out of your ear slightly, and their fit can loosen if they get snagged on something or if you're lying down on your side.

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 buds have good controls. You can tap the touch-sensitive surface on either bud to activate functions, and they have a nice responsiveness. However, it's easy to accidentally tap them while placing them in your ears. There's also no audio feedback to let you know when you've successfully registered a command, except for switching ANC modes and a max/min volume warning.

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: By default, this 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 a shortcut of your choice.
  • Swipe up: Raises the volume.
  • Swipe down: Lowers the volume.

9.5
Design
Portability
L 1.0" (2.5 cm)
W 1.6" (4.0 cm)
H 0.8" (2.0 cm)
Volume 1.22 in³ (20.00 cm³)
Transmitter Required No

Like most wireless in-ears, they have a very portable design, which you can slip into bags or pockets while taking up minimal space. Their case is also small enough to fit into bags or coat pockets.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 2.3" (5.9 cm)
W 2.1" (5.3 cm)
H 1.1" (2.7 cm)
Volume 5.16 in³ (84.50 cm³)

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds come with a good carrying case. It's made of hard plastic with a matte coating that feels smooth. The lid is magnetically secured, but it's made of hollow plastic that's not as sturdy as the rest of the case. There's also an LED power indicator to let you know the buds are charging. Sadly, this case doesn't feature wireless charging, which has been missing since the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

These earbuds have a good build quality that aligns with their predecessor, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless. The buds are made of plastic with a metal strip on the stem that houses the touch-sensitive control surface. They're also certified IPX4 for resistance against splashes of water. The case feels decently sturdy despite its plastic construction. However, the case lid feels flimsier than the rest of the case, which detracts from the overall build quality. The silicone ear tips are also made of a soft, pliable material that may tear if you're not careful with them.

8.0
Design
Stability

These buds have a very stable in-ear fit thanks to their stability fin design. There are nine different fin and ear tip combinations, so you can find a stable fit for your ear shape. You can wear them during workouts, and they won't fall out of your ears.

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

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

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
1.64 dB
Treble Amount
-0.92 dB

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds have a bass-heavy sound signature similar to their predecessor, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless. The overemphasized bass response is great for genres like electronic music and hip-hop, as there's plenty of boom and punch on tap. The slightly tilted response across the upper-mid and treble ranges emphasizes the detail of vocals and lead instruments, while sibilants, like cymbals, sound bright and present. If you prefer a different sound profile, the companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets that let you tweak the sound to your preferences.

Users contacted us regarding a high noise floor while the ANC was on, resulting in 'coil-like' sounds and beeps. While subjectively listening to the buds for a while with ANC on, we could also hear this kind of noise from our unit at random times, mostly from the left earbud. These buds also have a somewhat high noise floor, meaning the headphones generate quite a bit of their own sound. If you've experienced this issue, please inform us in the forums.

8.3
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.33 dB

These Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds have great frequency response consistency. The manufacturer has implemented their CustomTune technology with these earbuds. This technology analyzes your ears and adjusts the ANC and sound profile over repeated uses. The manufacturer claims they'll adapt to your ears, listening environment, and musical preferences over time to optimize their performance. This means that the frequency response between listening sessions is slightly inconsistent compared to previous QuietComfort iterations, as the earbuds slightly re-tune the ANC and sound profile every time you use them. As a result, you might find it easier to get a more consistent sound after a few listening sessions.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.6
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.01 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
13.35 Hz
Low-Bass
3.78 dB
Mid-Bass
1.31 dB
High-Bass
0.6 dB

The bass accuracy is excellent. The response is overemphasized across the lowest bass frequencies, which results in boomy sub-bass reproduction and kicks with plenty of slam. On tracks like Young Thug's Wyclef Jean, the subby bassline has plenty of rumble and punch, which complements the track's paired-down production.

8.4
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.11 dB
Low-Mid
-0.01 dB
Mid-Mid
-2.22 dB
High-Mid
-0.84 dB

These buds have impressive mid accuracy. They generally follow our target curve quite well, but there's a dip in the mid to high-mid that nudges vocals and instruments to the back of the mix. This is particularly noticeable in bass-heavy tracks, where prominent drums and basslines often overshadow vocals and lead instruments. In songs like Mitski's I Love Me After You, the boomy, reverb-drenched kicks in the intro make the lead vocal and piano sound distant and less clear.

8.2
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.81 dB
Low-Treble
1.73 dB
Mid-Treble
0.32 dB
High-Treble
-10.26 dB

The treble accuracy is great. The overall response is slightly tilted but quite neutral across the entire range. There are also some peaks and dips across the range. Sibilants, like cymbals, sound bright and present, while the peak in the low-treble, in particular, makes vocals and instruments sound detailed and exciting.

7.3
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.86 dB
Dips
1.07 dB

These earbuds have a decent peaks and dips performance. There's a peak in the low-bass, which adds plenty of rumble to your mixes. A dip in the mid-mid affects the left driver more noticeably than the right, pushing instruments and vocals a little further back in the mix. There's a peak between the high-mid and low-treble range that makes the harmonics of vocals and instruments harsh and another peak in the mid-treble that makes sibilants, like S and T sounds, piercing.

9.1
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.23
Weighted Phase Mismatch
2.93
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.24
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.31

The imaging performance is outstanding. Bose has demonstrated consistent quality control and ergonomics across their previous products, and the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds indicate this. Our unit's L/R drivers are well-matched in group delay, phase, amplitude, and frequency response. While the group delay falls slightly above audible levels in the low-bass, making low frequencies sound a touch loose, this is only noticeable if you intentionally listen for it in bass-centric genres like EDM and hip-hop. There's also a slight bump in our unit's phase response between the low and high-mid, which is difficult to hear in real-life audio content. However, imaging tends to vary across units.

0.8
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
0.9
Acoustic Space Excitation
2.2

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds have a bad passive soundstage performance, which is normal for in-ears. Their design bypasses your outer ear, which needs to be activated by sound to create an out-of-head soundstage. As a result, sound seems to come from inside your head rather than from speakers placed around you.

3.3
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
On/Off
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
Adjustable
Virtual Surround
No

Like the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones Wireless, these buds feature Immersive Audio technology that you can use in either 'Still' or 'Motion' mode. 'Still' places the virtual speakers in front of you and tracks your head to ensure sound comes from the original direction of the audio. If you swivel your head to the left, the audio will seem like it's playing to your right. By contrast, the 'Motion' mode tracks your head to ensure that these virtual speakers stay positioned in front of you at all times. However, this feature can't be described as true virtual surround sound as these buds lack the processing capabilities for multi-output surround sound content like Dolby Atmos. Instead, they use Digital Signal Processing (DSP) to virtually model a wider stereo soundstage.

8.1
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.238
WHD @ 100
0.084

The weighted harmonic distortion performance is very good. Although there are a few spikes in the treble range, these can be difficult to hear in real-life content unless you intentionally listen out for them. Other frequencies fall within good levels, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
1.7.4+gddf41be
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.2
Codec
aptX Adaptive, 24-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
Quiet
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds, and our results are only valid in this configuration.

Isolation
8.5
Isolation
Noise Isolation - Full Range
Noise Cancelling Yes
Overall Attenuation
-22.39 dB
Bass
-22.03 dB
Mid
-19.97 dB
Treble
-25.51 dB

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds have an excellent noise isolation performance. Like the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless, they use CustomTune technology, which adapts the ANC performance depending on your environment and ear shape, increasing and decreasing attenuation levels across different frequency ranges. As a result, ANC performance can differ across listening sessions, even if you achieve a similar in-ear fit. Using the Quiet mode, which is the maximum setting for this feature, they can reduce higher frequency sounds like office chatter and fridge hum very well, but they excel at providing isolation against bass-range noise like low engine rumbles.

8.7
Isolation
Noise Isolation - Common Scenarios
Airplane Noise Attenuation
-20.15 dB
Airplane Noise Isolation Audio
Office Noise Attenuation
-19.44 dB
Office Noise Isolation Audio
Street Noise Attenuation
-22.06 dB
Street Noise Isolation Audio

They do an excellent job tackling sounds you'll likely encounter in your day-to-day life. Their ANC system can isolate you from a large range of airplane noise, which is handy for long trips, as well as street noise. The ANC system also effectively tackles office noise like coworkers talking.

Isolation
Noise Isolation - Voice Handling
Female Voice 1
Male Voice 1
Female Voice 2
Male Voice 2
Isolation
ANC Wind Handling
ANC Wind Noise

Unlike other sounds, wind directly interacts with the ANC's microphones. Even though this sound doesn't reach your ears, the ANC system still tries to cancel it out, causing loud and unwanted noise. At the same time, the amount of wind noise can vary depending on the angle due to the buds' shape and size. Unfortunately, they lack a wind reduction feature to help limit the annoyingness of this sound.

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

The leakage performance is great. Most of the leakage is between the mid to treble range, and escaping audio sounds thin. Even at higher volumes, your audio won't disturb people around you.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
Mic Yes
6.5
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
459.13 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
3.63 dB
HFE
3,673.05 Hz
Weighted THD
0.149
Gain
34.39 dB

The integrated mic's recording quality is okay. The mic is far from your mouth, so your voice lacks body. However, you'll still be understandable to whoever's on the other end.

4.3
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
29.17 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. Due to the mic's distance from your mouth, it struggles to separate speech from background noises in busy, noisy environments. Your voice sounds distant and lacking in clarity as a result. However, this won't be an issue if you take calls from a calmer environment, like at home or in a quiet office.

Active Features
7.2
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
7 hrs
Additional Charges
3.0
Total Battery Life
28 hrs
Charge Time
0.9 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Standby mode
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The Bose QC Ultra Earbuds have a decent battery performance. The manufacturer advertises up to six hours of continuous battery life (up to four hours with Immersive Audio enabled), but we measured a little over that. The case also holds an additional three full charges, which can be useful if you need to recharge on the go. There's even a useful power-saving feature that puts the buds on standby mode when you take them out of your ears. It's also possible to use one of the buds while the other charges in the carry case. However, battery life can depend on use.

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
Yes
Playback Control
Yes
Button Mapping Yes
Surround Support
No

Bose Music is a great companion app for these earbuds. It allows you to customize your audio experience by using EQ (both a graphic EQ and presets), and you can turn the spatial audio function on/off, as well as toggle between Still and Motion modes to change how head tracking affects your audio. You can adjust the volume, remap controls, and change the Bluetooth source. There's even a handy earbud seal test that can tell you if you've achieved a good fit. Finally, there are plenty of options for adjusting the intensity of the ANC. You can toggle between three ANC modes by default: 'Quiet', 'Aware', and 'Immersion', but you can also create new ANC presets and set custom levels for ANC and immersion levels. Moving the ANC slider doesn't decrease the strength of the ANC; it instead increases the Talk-Through strength relative to the ANC level. Increasing the Talk-Through strength will incorporate more audio from your surroundings, as captured by the built-in mic. You can see a video of the app in use here.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Wired Connection
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable
No
Length
N/A
Connector
No Wired Option
Latency - Analog
N/A
Latency - USB
N/A
Recorded Latency
N/A
Recorded Latency Connection No Wired Audio

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

7.0
Connectivity
Bluetooth Connection
Bluetooth Version
5.3
Multi-Device Pairing
No
Quick Pair (Android)
Yes
Quick Pair (iOS)
No
Line Of Sight Range
334.65 ft (102.00 m)
Latency - SBC
292 ms
Latency - aptX
N/A
Latency - aptX Adaptive (High Quality)
372 ms
Latency - aptX Adaptive (Low Latency)
94 ms
Latency - LDAC
N/A
Recorded Latency
Recorded Latency Codec aptX Adaptive (Low Latency)
AAC Support
Yes

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds have decent Bluetooth connectivity. They don't support multi-device pairing, so you'll have to disconnect from your phone to pair with your laptop. However, they do support Google Fast Pair, which lets you seamlessly connect to Android devices. They have high PC latency when using their default SBC codec. Still, they also support aptX Adaptive, which can help lower latency if you're streaming video and a gaming mode in the app to compensate for latency.

AptX Adaptive uses variable transfer rates by design, so it can provide high-quality audio under ideal conditions. However, it's not consistent like the newer aptX Lossless codec, which is less common. Still, if you prioritize lossless audio above all, you can get it on the Creative Aurvana Ace 2 True Wireless. By comparison, the upside of aptX Adaptive is that you can prioritize low latency for watching video content without going out of sync.

Some users online have reported connectivity issues with these buds, whereby they would disconnect after a few minutes of playback. We tested them with a few devices but haven't encountered any connectivity issues. Please let us know in the forums if you've experienced any such issues.

0
Connectivity
Wireless Connection (Dongle)
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Latency - Dongle
N/A
Recorded Latency
N/A
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, there's no other way to 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

The headphones come with a carrying case that charges via a USB-C cable. However, unlike previous QuietComfort models, you can't charge the case wirelessly.