Apple wasn’t the only company with new true wireless earbuds to debut today. Bose also has a new model on the way, the QuietComfort Earbuds II. As the name suggests, this set is an update to the first QC earbuds the company debuted in 2020. This time around, the company has retooled the design, tweaked the fit and added some heavy-duty sound calibration technology. But all of the upgrades come at a cost as the QuietComfort Earbuds II will be $20 more then their predecessor at launch.
Bose says these next-gen buds are about a third smaller than the previous version, which will be a welcome change. The first QuietComfort Earbuds were plenty big, so anything the company can do to trim the overall size will be an improvement. Bose explains that it has also changed the fit of the earbuds with what it calls a Fit Kit. Essentially, the ear tip is now two pieces, with an oval-shaped tip and a “stability band” that keeps the buds secure in your ears. There are three sizes of each, so you can mix and match bases on what works best for you. What’s more, the Bose app offers a fit test that checks for an adequate seal by detecting any leaks.
Inside, the QuietComfort Earbuds II are equipped with what Bose calls CustomTune sound calibration. The technology has been available on the company’s SoundControl hearing aids, but in this case it’s used to improve a bunch of core earbud features. By measuring the acoustic properties of your ear canal, Bose says CustomTune tailors both the audio and the active noise cancellation (ANC) to you. The process takes less than half a second and is completed every time you put the earbuds in your ears. The company further explains that CustomTune “fully optimizes the sound frequency profile to the unique properties of every ear, so the sound that reaches the eardrum is just as the artist intended.” For ANC, CustomTune calibrates the noise reduction signal and Bose says its noise-canceling tech is better at blocking human voices and crying babies. Plus, the ANC is continuously adapting to any changes, keeping distractions to a minimum.
CustomTune is also applied to ambient sound on the QuietComfort Earbuds II. When you’re using that transparency or Aware Mode, a feature called ActiveSense can pick up any loud noise and apply the appropriate level of cancellation until it stops. Bose says CustomTune also helps the QC Earbuds II offer an ambient sound that’s “as natural and lifelike as possible.”
The QuietComfort Earbuds II are IPX4 rated for sweat and water resistance, so you should be able to use them during workouts with no problem. Bose says it also improved call quality thanks to changes to the noise removal algorithm. And lastly, you can expect up to six hours of battery life with three more charges in the case. A quick-charge feature will give you two hours of use in 20 minutes.
The QuietComfort Earbuds II will be available on September 15th for $299, but you can pre-order them now. Only the black color option will ship on that date, but Bose is planning to sell a “Soapstone” version later this year. All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.