It’s not just Apple with a new pair of high-end noise cancelling earphones, as Bose updates its QuietComfort Earbuds for version two.
Near the end of 2022, you probably already know just how much choice you have available to you when it comes to picking up a new pair of earphones.
Whether you shop online or offline, the choices are wide and varied, coming from the folks who make the phones you own to the folks who have specialised in sound for ages, and then a few other brands peppered about who don’t match either just for good measure. The amount we all have to choose from can make things awkward, which is where reviewers like us come in handy: by subjecting our ears to the vast assortment and applying a regular sound test as part of a reviewing methodology, we can help you work out which pair you might want to spend your money on.
And this week, there are more options on the way, as September looks set to end with at least two newly refreshed and updated models.
The first you might have heard about earlier in the week, with Apple’s second-gen AirPods Pro which look the same but contain totally new innards.
The second, however, is from audio specialist Bose, which used the day of the launch of the iPhone 14 to talk up what it has coming for ears this year, offering a sequel to 2020’s Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, coming in the aptly named Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II.
Upon first glance, Bose’s 2022 edition of the QC Earbuds appear smaller, with size one of the main issues in our review of the first QC Earbuds. With that in mind, the QC Earbuds 2 have shedded one third of their size, with the case appearing much, much smaller, so much that it can reportedly fit in your pocket. You couldn’t say that about the original, that’s for sure.
The new earbuds will also come with a custom two-piece ear tip fit kit that includes the silicone eartip itself and a stability band to hug the contour of your ear, with three sizes of each coming in the box. A fit test will come with the app to ensure a seal, and Bose is also bringing along a sound calibration check called “CustomTune” that will play a sound and measure the response of the sound inside your ear canal using a microphone in the earphone itself.
If this sounds a little like how Nura measures your ear in the NuraTrue (or even the original Nuraphones, for that matter), it’s because CustomTune is one of the many ear checking services out there, using this data to build a custom sound frequency profile, which Bose says doesn’t just help with audio, but also to calibrate the noise reduction tech used for active noise cancellation.
To do this, CustomTune is reportedly always active, working as a form of adaptive noise cancellation to focus on high-pitch distractions not normally compatible with how noise cancellation works, which is often great with repeatable drones of noise — engines, traffic, the choir of humans all talking in unison — but less so with individualised sound such as children screaming and people talking next to you.
That’ll be married to an assortment of other features you might want, including an IPX4 sweat resistance rating, touch controls, and up to six hours of battery life per charge with three more charges in the case for 24 hours total.
“Since we brought noise cancellation to market, we’ve remained passionate about pushing boundaries in engineering, technology, and design, and the QuietComfort Earbuds II are the latest result of that commitment,” said Raza Haider, Chief Product Officer at Bose.
“We believe in the power of sound — it can transport you to your favourite concert, evoke a meaningful memory, or simply brighten your mood. QC Earbuds II do exactly that,” he said. “They’re uniquely tuned to you — delivering immersive audio that brings you closer than ever to your content.”
Bose’s QC Earbuds II look to replace the existing model, though not until they’re released in Australia in late-September, appearing on shelves and online from September 29. When that happens, however, you’ll find them locally for a recommended retail price of $429 in black, with the more beige “soapstone” colour arriving later in the year.