Bose QC Ultra earbuds evaluate: top-class noise cancelling with audio improve

Bose QC Ultra earbuds evaluate: top-class noise cancelling with audio improve

Bose’s commuter favorite QuietComfort earbuds have been given an improve, setting the usual with best-in-class noise cancelling and new immersive audio options.

Costing £300 (€350/$300/A$450) the QC Ultra earbuds are £20 greater than the superb QC Earbuds II they successfully change, rubbing shoulders with one of the best within the enterprise from Sennheiser, Sony and Apple.

Unlike the revamped QC Ultra headphones, the earbuds have solely been given a light-weight contact on the skin with a number of metallic accents right here and there. Otherwise, they seem like the Earbuds II: pretty giant in contrast with opponents with flat stalks that time in the direction of your mouth.

The charging case is stable with a superb flip-top lid, however it’s barely greater than one of the best available on the market. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The mixture of silicone earbud ideas and wings present a cushty and safe maintain in your ear. Each bit is available in completely different sizes within the field so you possibly can combine and match to get the proper dimension in your ears, with a match take a look at out there within the Bose Music app.

Touch-sensitive controls maintain quantity, playback, noise cancelling and sound modes, which work properly. The battery life stays the identical six hours of noise cancelling because the earlier fashions, with three full costs within the case for as much as 24 hours of playback, which means they compete with a few of their greatest rivals.


  • Water resistance: sweat resistant (IPX4)

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3 (SBC, AAC, aptX Adaptive)

  • Battery life: 6 hours (as much as 24 hours with case)

  • Earbud dimensions: 17.2 x 30.5 x 22.4mm

  • Earbud weight: 6.24g every

  • Charging case dimensions: 59.4 x 66.3 x 26.7mm

  • Charging case weight: 59.8g

  • Case charging: USB-C

Top-class noise cancelling with upgraded immersive audio

The oval ideas and out of doors silicone wings create a superb seal and maintain in your ear whereas remaining snug. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The earbuds have among the greatest noise cancelling you will get on any headphones, not to mention one thing as small as a set of earbuds. They match the QC Earbuds II of their means to dampen undesirable hums and roars in addition to the upper tones of keyboard clicks and background chatter.

The “consciousness” mode can also be superb, sounding pretty pure with an automated loud-noise discount system that stops you being deafened by the screech of practice wheels and different piercing sounds. The earbuds have the identical customisable modes because the Ultra headphones, so that you create completely different mixtures of noise-cancelling and sound modes to rapidly change between them.

Call high quality is superb, and capable of isolate your voice from background noise very properly whereas sounding pretty pure on each ends of the decision.

The Bose Music app for Android and iPhone handles settings, updates, adjustments modes and has a match take a look at for the earbuds. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The earbuds sound good, retaining Bose’s clear and managed audio processing, which adjusts the steadiness of the music relying on the amount, serving to present a full audio expertise even when listening quietly. They are bass-heavy however have an equaliser within the Bose Music app to regulate issues.

With the brand new immersive or spatial audio mode, the sounds seems to come back from audio system positioned in a digital area round you reasonably than piped straight into your ears. The “nonetheless” mode tracks the motion of your head in order that it all the time sounds just like the audio is coming from some extent fastened forward of you, including to the realism. It does a superb job of constructing motion pictures and TV reveals extra immersive, and works with any model of telephone, laptop or pill – not like most methods.

The earbuds are additionally one of many first Bose merchandise to assist Google’s immediate Bluetooth pairing and Qualcomm’s larger high quality aptX Adaptive audio format, along with the usual SBC and AAC codecs, that are wonderful enhancements for Android or Windows customers. Otherwise they’re commonplace Bluetooth 5.3 earbuds and straightforward to pair with a button on the case. Either earbud can be utilized by itself, which is helpful for calls, however they’ll solely hook up with a single system at anybody time.


Bose estimates that the batteries will final in extra of 500 full cost cycles however they aren’t replaceable and the earbuds will not be at the moment repairable, finally making them disposable.

Some alternative components together with ear ideas (£15) and a charging case (£90) can be found. The earbuds don’t comprise recycled supplies. Bose gives reductions for returning damaged merchandise. It doesn’t publish particular person product environmental influence studies however does publish annual sustainability studies.


The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds value £299.95 (€349.95/$299/A$449.95).

For comparability, QC Earbuds II value £279.95, the Sony WF-1000XM5 value £259, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 value £189, the Jabra Elite 10 value £230, Google Pixel Buds Pro value £199 and Apple AirPods Pro 2 value £229.


The Bose QuietComfort Ultra earbuds proceed to set the usual for noise-cancelling earbuds, dampening the undesirable sounds of the skin world higher than another.

They additionally sound good, have stable battery life, a steady and comfy match, and a superb case that’s solely slightly bit greater than one of the best.

The Ultra variations get slightly extra flashy with metallic accents. But the larger upgrades are new Bluetooth capabilities for Android and immersive audio for all platforms, which makes TVs and films sound a bit extra actual, even when it’s a bit hit or miss for music. That appears value an additional £20 the value of the already wonderful Earbuds II in the event you’re searching for a brand new set, however is actually not value upgrading for.

You can get better-sounding earbuds, these with extra options for particular platforms and ones which can be smaller and extra discreet. They are actually expensive, so store round, however for silencing the every day commute they’re laborious to beat.

Despite having spare components out there, they’ll’t be repaired and the battery can’t get replaced, finally making them disposable, shedding them a star.

Pros: Best-in-class noise cancelling, good sound with immersive/spatial audio, stable battery life and case, customisable and comfy match, sweat resistance, good controls, nice name high quality, aptX Adaptive assist for Android/Windows.

Cons: very costly, no multipoint connectivity, giant and fewer discreet than one of the best, unrepairable by Bose.

The earbuds totally cost within the case in an hour and the case takes as much as three hours cost through USB-C. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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November 13, 2023 at 08:09AM

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