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.
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.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds are great for commuting and travel. They're comfortable and portable, and their seven-hour battery life can be supplemented with extra charges from the included case if you're in a pinch. As expected, the ANC performance is fantastic 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.
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.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds are good 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.
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.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds are Bluetooth-only headphones, and you can't use them wired.
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 incredible noise isolation performance makes it easier to follow conversations without any distractions on your end.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds come in three color variations: 'Black', 'White Smoke', and 'Moonstone Blue'. We tested the 'White Smoke' variant, and you can see our model's label here. If you encounter another variant of these headphones, please let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.
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 a superb noise isolation performance but have a longer battery life.
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 outstanding 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.
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 a better noise isolation performance and 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.
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 superb 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.
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.
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. It's worth noting that both buds have an outstanding noise isolation performance, but the Devialet block out more mid to treble range sound passively than with ANC on. In comparison, the Bose's ANC blocks out more sound across all ranges compared to the buds' passive capabilities.
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 color variants: 'Black', 'White Smoke', and 'Moonstone Blue'.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These are the settings used to test the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds, and our results are only valid in this configuration.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds have a superb noise isolation performance 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.
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. You can see the difference in ANC performance over different listening sessions here. While our results also indicate that these headphones are marginally outperformed by their predecessor when it comes to noise isolation, this is likely due to limitations in our testing methodology. We checked to see if extending the sweep had an impact on the ANC's ability to dynamically adapt to sound and found that performance improves with longer sweep lengths when seated in the same position, indicating that these buds provide greater attenuation when given some time to adapt to their environment. However, our test rig can't fully account for the adaptive nature of the manufacturer's ANC and CustomTune technologies. Subjectively, it's also very difficult to hear any differences in noise isolation performance between this unit and the QuietComfort Earbuds II, based on everyday use.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These headphones come with a USB-C to USB-A cable to recharge their carrying case.
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, but they also support aptX Adaptive, which can help lower latency if you're streaming video. Some apps and devices compensate for latency, though.
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. If you've experienced any such issues, please let us know in the forums.
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.
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.