The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones Wireless are top-of-the-line noise cancelling (ANC) headphones. While they look similar to the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless, they have CustomTune technology; the headphones can adjust their sound profile and noise cancelling based on your unique hearing capabilities and environment. Like the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds Truly Wireless, they also have Immersive Audio, which offers head tracking to give you a more exciting audio experience. They even support aptX Adaptive, a codec that dynamically adjusts its performance based on your usage, whether you're streaming high-quality audio or watching video.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones are decent for neutral sound. These headphones have CustomTune technology, allowing them to adjust their sound based on your unique hearing characteristics. Their sound profile is bassy, with extra thump, rumble, and boom. That said, the extra bass doesn't overwhelm vocals and instruments, which are still clear and present in mixes. If you prefer a different sound, their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets. They also support a head-tracking feature, creating a more immersive audio experience.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones are great for commute and travel. They have a well-built design that's comfortable for long days on the go. They're also equipped with a superb ANC system, so they can block out the low rumble of bus and plane engines and last almost up to 30 hours with their ANC on. Their carrying case helps protect the headphones from damage, too.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones are satisfactory for sports and fitness, although over-ears may not be the best choice overall for this purpose. While they're very comfortable, they're also bulky and can fall off of your head with moderate movement. They also lack an IP rating for water resistance, but that's very common for over-ears.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones are great for office use. These headphones have a comfortable fit and last well throughout your work day, so you don't have to worry about recharging them every day. They also support multi-device pairing so you can stay connected to your PC and smartphone simultaneously. Thanks to their ANC system, you can block out chatty coworkers and the hum of computer fans with ease.
The Bose QC Ultra Headphones are Bluetooth-only headphones. Unfortunately, they have high latency using SBC codec, so your audio and visuals won't be in sync. Luckily, they support aptX Adaptive, which is a codec that adjusts its performance based on your content, so if you're gaming, it can ensure a lower latency experience. However, there's still some delay present.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones are decent for wired gaming, though there are a couple of caveats. First, they only support audio via analog, and second, the headphones still need to be powered on to use the analog connection, so you'll still need to keep an eye on battery life while using them. That said, these headphones have a bassy sound profile that can help emphasize sound effects in your gameplay. They also have a comfortable fit suitable for long gaming sessions.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones are good for phone calls. They have an integrated mic, which has a good recording quality, so your voice is clear and easy to understand. That said, the mic has trouble separating speech from background noise, so it can be hard to hear you clearly if you're making a call from a busy office. On the upside, they have an outstanding noise isolation performance thanks to their adaptive noise cancelling system.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones come in three color variants: 'Black', 'White Smoke', and 'Sandstone'. We tested the 'Black' model, 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 QuietComfort Ultra Headphones are premium over-ears and are a step up from the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless. There are new features like CustomTune technology, so the headphones can adjust their sound and noise cancelling adaptively based on your hearing characteristics and environment. Like the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds Truly Wireless, they also support Immersive Audio, a head tracking feature similar to Apple's Spatial Audio. As with most Bose products, you can expect a high level of noise isolation, outperforming similarly premium picks like the Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless and Apple AirPods Max Wireless.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphone Wireless have the edge over the Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless. The Bose are significantly more comfortable, better-built, and have a more neutral sound, which some users may prefer. Their noise isolation performance is better, too. However, the Sony support LDAC codec, which is nice if you want to stream high-quality audio, and you can use them passively via analog. If you want to use the Bose wired, you'll have to turn them on.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones Wireless have the edge over the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless. While both models look similar, there are a couple of changes. The Ultra are better built and have a different control scheme with a volume slider. They also have CustomTune technology, which automatically adjusts their sound and noise cancelling performances based on your unique hearing characteristics and environment. They support Immersive Audio, too, which is an adjustable head-tracking feature that can create a more immersive sound. That said, the Ultra need to be powered on to be used via analog, while the QC45 support passive playback.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones Wireless and the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless are both high-end headphones, and depending on your needs, you may prefer either pair. The Bose are more comfortable, have a slightly more neutral sound, which some users may prefer, and their mic offers a better overall performance. They also support aptX Adaptive, which is a codec that automatically adjusts its performance based on your audio content, so you'll be able to listen to audio in higher quality or, if you're streaming video, reduce lip sync mismatch. The Sony have a better overall noise isolation performance, though, and support passive playback and LDAC codec, which allows you to stream audio in higher quality than the default SBC codec.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones Wireless are a later generation of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018. While they look similar, the Ultra are better built, have CustomTune technology, so the headphones automatically adjust their sound and noise isolation performances based on your unique hearing capabilities and the environment around you. They also have a head tracking feature, whereby audio follows your head movements for a more immersive experience and a longer continuous battery life. However, the QC35 II have a more neutral sound, which some users may prefer, and they support passive playback. You have to turn on the Ultra to playback audio via analog.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones Wireless are better-over ears than the Anker Soundcore Space Q45 Wireless. The Bose are premium headphones with a more comfortable and well-built design. They also have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, can access an Immersive Audio feature, which allows audio to follow your head movements, and they support aptX Adaptive, a codec that automatically adjusts to your content, ensuring either low latency or high audio quality. That said, the Anker are still worth considering if you're looking for significantly cheaper over-ears. They have better noise isolation in the bass range, which is where sounds like rumbly bus and plane engines reproduce, and can be used completely passively.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones look very similar to the Bose QuietComfort Headphones Wireless and the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless. Overall, they look fairly minimalist, especially with the manufacturer's name modestly embossed on the center ear cup. The most noticeable difference is that the yoke is silver instead of completely black, and a similar design choice is made on the other color schemes. The 'White Smoke' model has silver yokes, while the 'Sandstone' model has gold yokes.
These headphones are pretty comfortable. They're quite similar to their predecessors but have plusher, thicker padding on the top of the headband and around the ear cup. The ear cups are angled to give you more depth without rubbing against your ears.
The control scheme is different than the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless with a touch-sensitive slider so that you can adjust the volume and only two buttons. All the controls are on the right ear cup, and there are chimes to let you know when you've powered the headphones on and off and when you've reached min or max volume. There are also voice prompts to indicate the battery level, ANC status, and pairing. There isn't feedback if you're pausing or skipping tracks, though. The volume slider is also a bit inconsistent, and you must use the tip of your finger to get the right volume increment. This slider also lets you access a shortcut command (which is settable in the companion app) by pressing and holding it in place.
Like most over-ears, they don't have the most portable design. That said, their ear cups can swivel to lay flat, helping them save some space.
The carrying case is great. It's very similar in quality to other Bose products but is rounded. It's still very sturdy, though, and is made from plastic and faux leather. It has a zipper that's covered to protect it from damage and soft, molded padding to ensure you place them correctly within the case. There's even a pouch to store your cables when not in use.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones have a great build quality. They're mostly made of plastic with aluminum and leather detailing, which makes them feel durable and sturdy. There's also a good amount of plush padding. That said, the folding hinge can wear down with time and lose its snappiness. Leather can also wear down with continual use.
These headphones are decently stable. They'll stay on your head if you jam to music at your desk or on the couch. However, they can shift around in place with head movements and can even fall off if you're vigorously moving your head. As a result, they're not the best choice if you want to use them during tough workouts.
The Bose QC Ultra Headphones have a bassy sound profile, similar to other headphones in this lineup, like the Bose QuietComfort Headphones Wireless. They deliver extra thump, rumble, and boom. That said, there's treble roll-off, which results in vocals and instruments sounding veiled, while sibilants like cymbals are a bit dull. On the upside, if you prefer a different sound, their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets so you can fine-tune their sound to your liking.
These headphones have Bose's CustomTune technology, which allows the headphones to automatically adjust their noise isolation and sound profile based on your personal listening capabilities. As a result, it's difficult to get consistent measurements as the headphones constantly adapt and retune their sound. That said, you'll still experience a drop in bass if you have thick hair or wear glasses.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones' bass accuracy is good. The response is overemphasized across the range, which results in extra thump, rumble, and boom throughout your mix. This can be pleasing if you're listening to especially bass-heavy mixes like Starboy by The Weeknd.
The mid accuracy is outstanding. The response is pretty flat and neutral here, which results in natural-sounding and present vocals and instruments. That said, these sounds still lack a bit of detail due to a slight dip in the high-mid, which also extends into the low-treble.
The treble accuracy is satisfactory. There's treble roll-off starting in the low-treble, which impacts the detail and clarity of vocals and instruments. Sibilants like S and T sounds are also a bit dull.
The peaks and dips performance is good. Aside from a few peaks, the headphones can control their sound profile quite well. There's a bump in the low-bass, which adds extra thump and rumble to mixes. The low-treble is slightly uneven, though, as a peak causes vocals and instruments to sound harsh while a dip weakens their detail. A peak in the mid-treble causes sibilants like cymbals to sound piercing.
These headphones have very good imaging. We've tested many Bose products, which are also very consistent, which indicates the manufacturer's quality control and ergonomics. That said, imaging varies across units. Our unit has mismatched group delay in the bass range. This results in very loose bass, so already thumpy and rumbly tracks like The Weeknd's Starboy miss out on their initial attack and sound off and uncontrolled. That said, our unit is still well-matched in amplitude, frequency, and phase response, which helps ensure a stable and even stereo image.
The passive soundstage performance is poor, which is normal for closed-back headphones. Their soundstage doesn't feel very open or spacious. Audio seems like it's coming from inside your head and feels unnatural. On the upside, the soundstage is quite large.
Like the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds, these headphones support Bose's Immersive Audio. This is a head-tracking feature that can make your audio feel more spacious and real-life. It doesn't utilize any surround content, though, and only uses regular audio content. There are two settings (other than off): 'Still', which virtually places the speakers in front of you and tracks your head to keep audio placed in relation to your original position, and 'Motion', which allows the virtual speakers to move as you move your head, always keeping them placed in front of you. That said, these headphones can't play surround content like Dolby Atmos as they have to downmix this content to stereo. That said, they use digital sound processing (DSP) to virtually create a wider stereo soundstage.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones' weighted harmonic distortion performance is decent. There's a bump in both drivers at max volume throughout the mid range, but the overall amount of distortion is still quite low and very difficult to hear unless you're an astute audiophile. All frequencies otherwise fall within acceptable levels, which results in mostly clear and pure audio reproduction.
These are the settings used to test these headphones. We also used the CustomTune feature on our test rig so that it could adapt to its ear shape. Our results are only valid when used in this configuration.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones' noise isolation performance is outstanding, which is normal for a brand built on noise cancelling (ANC) technology. Unlike the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless, they support Bose's CustomTune feature, so their ANC automatically adjusts to your hearing capabilities and surroundings. As a result, they can easily block out the low rumble of bus and plane engines and ambient chatter. They also reduce the hum of AC units very well.
If you're looking for a bit more customization and control over your noise isolation performance, you can access ANC modes in the companion app, as well as adjust and set your own ANC presets. Although there's an ANC slider, it doesn't affect the strength of the ANC itself but the strength of talk-through mode, which allows the headphones to let in your desired amount of ambient sound.
The leakage performance is decent. Leakage is most significant in the mid-range and sounds somewhat full. If you like to crank up the volume on your favorite tunes, others around you won't hear it unless you're in a very quiet environment.
The mic's recording quality is very good. Your voice sounds natural and clear, although a bit thin.
The mic's noise handling performance is fair. If you're taking calls in a moderately noisy environment like a train station, it can partially drown out your voice. It's still audible, but it'll be hard for the other person on the line to hear you clearly.
The Bose QC Ultra Headphones' battery performance is great. The manufacturer advertises them to last 24 hours continuously, but we measured 29 hours. That said, battery life varies on use, including your volume levels. Unfortunately, unlike other models like the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless, you can't use these headphones passively. You can use them wired, but the headphones must be on to work.
The Bose Music app is great; you can see a video of how it works here. You can access a graphic EQ and presets and Immersive Audio, a head-tracking feature for a more immersive experience. You can switch between different ANC modes and create ANC presets and immersion modes. While there's an ANC slider, it doesn't adjust the strength of the ANC but the talk-through strength, which is the amount of ambient sound the headphones let in. Additionally, you can adjust features like the auto-off timer, on-head detection, and Bluetooth source detection (if you want to connect the headphones to more than one device at a time).
The Bose QC Ultra Headphones come with a 1/8" TRS to 1/16" TRS cable that you can use for analog audio. However, you have to turn on the headphones to use this connection. There's also some latency when using this connection. While it's minor, the delay can be frustrating if you're gaming competitively or working on sync-sensitive content. The headphones perform an analog-to-digital conversion, amplifying the source and possibly adding any EQ customization onto the signal, which adds latency.
They also come with a USB-A to USB-C cable for recharging the headphones. You can't use it to passthrough audio, though.
These headphones have good Bluetooth connectivity. They support multi-device pairing, so you can stay connected with two devices, like a PC and smartphone, simultaneously. While they have high latency if you're using the default SBC codec, they also support aptX Adaptive, which automatically adjusts to your audio content. If you're listening to high-quality audio, it'll enter its High-Quality mode; however, expect a lot of latency. However, this codec can also shift into a low latency mode. If you're streaming videos, latency is significantly reduced, but it's still noticeable. That said, some devices compensate for latency.
You can pair these headphones with Bluetooth-enabled PCs with full audio and mic support. However, if you connect them via analog, you'll only be able to receive audio.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones only support audio via analog on PlayStation consoles.
You can plug their audio cable into your Xbox controller's AUX port, but this only provides audio support, so you won't be able to use their mic.