Bose QC Earbuds II review, silence please

Announced alongside the new iPhones, the new Bose QC Earbuds II simply offer the best noise cancellation. Verdict and test.

A little like the smartphone market, the market for wireless earphones is more than saturated, all specialized brands, electronics or telephony are present on the market with a complete offer ranging from entry-level to top of the line. And we can say that standing out is not easy. Now, some have a reputation that can make the difference. This is the case of Bose which, fortunately, is not new to the world of wireless headphones either.

Confident in his qualities and the recognition of the public, Bose has even allowed itself to maintain the announcement of its new QC Earbuds II the same day as the announcements of Apple’s iPhone 14, that is to say the level of confidence of the American manufacturer. Afterwards, we still talk about Bose, the inventor of active noise cancellation. Moreover, for the launch of its new headphones, Bose did not go there with the back of the spoon since according to the manufacturer, the QC Earbuds II quite simply offer the best active noise cancellation of all categories. We spent the last 10 days with it, here is our test of the Bose QC Earbuds II.

Buy the Bose QC Earbuds II

Overview and features of the Bose QC Earbuds II

We remember the very first QC Earbuds, released in 2020. If they were already impressive in terms of sound quality and active noise cancellation, we can decently say today that in terms of design, it really wasn’t that. They were big, even though they fit perfectly in the ear. In addition to that, we ended up with a box of the most imposing. As a result, the Bose QC Earbuds were more transportable than truly portable for wireless headphones.

With the Bose QC Earbuds II, we therefore discover much smaller and more discreet earphones (1/3 in terms of size compared to its predecessors), just compare them to its predecessors and you immediately notice the difference. Ditto with the box which has nothing to do with its predecessor. It’s not the smallest case on the market, but now you can put it in a jeans pocket without worrying too much about your pocket. In addition to protecting the headphones, the case allows you to recharge the QC Earbuds II up to three times. Moreover, the complete recharge is done in one hour and we remind you that with 20 minutes of charge, the QC Earbuds II provide up to two hours of autonomy.

Bose QC Earbuds II

At Bose, when we talk about autonomy, it is necessarily with active noise cancellation or transparency mode. Also, according to the American manufacturer, the Bose QC Earbuds II provide up to 6 hours of battery life. In our tests during a long day of walking, this is roughly what we measured and we are even sure to have more autonomy in reality. During our tests, we were in New York and we kept them all day without going through the charging box. So of course, it wasn’t 6 hours of continuous music but it gives you an idea of ​​the endurance of the QC Earbuds II.

And that brings us to the comfort of headphones themselves. We’ll keep it simple, with the small fin and the tip, all available in three sizes, the Bose QC Earbuds II are quite simply the most comfortable headphones we’ve tested to date. We remind you that we tested them while we were on a daily walk and they are never weighed in the ear canal. Moreover, they are not totally intra-auricular like others, they rest at the entrance of the auditory canal and with the small fin around each earpiece, the latter will wedge into the ear. Practice.

Bose QC Earbuds II

Currently only available in black, the white color will arrive next month. The finish is of course plastic but of good quality. We would have liked a touch control surface with a matte finish and not a glossy one. Suddenly, we are a little afraid that they could age badly but only time will tell. In any case, the touch controls are quite classic and above all, they work well, whether to pick up / hang up, control the tracks or manage the volume. Moreover, we greatly appreciate being able to control the volume, which is not always the case.

Bose Music, Custom Tune and ActiveSense

Available on iOS and Android, it is via this application that you will access all the parameters around the Bose QC Earbuds II. If Bose still does not really communicate on the purely technical characteristics of its headphones, we are happy to find equalizers. On the other hand, while we access the same multipoint screen as the Bose QC45 for example, the QC Earbuds II are not multipoint for the moment. What a pity. Maybe they will be in a future firmware update but in the meantime, this is not the case and above all, Bose has not told us anything about the possible arrival of this function.

Next to it, there is also the customization of the controls and more particularly of the long press which allows you to switch between active noise cancellation and Transparency mode. Note that the application allows you to create several profiles and therefore choose the level of transparency and/or active noise cancellation. Practice depending on the scenarios.

The Bose QC Earbuds II are capable of customizing audio and noise-canceling performance to the shape of each ear, which Bose says results in a listening experience unique to each user and effective noise-canceling. . This Bose CustomTune technology offers automatic customization each time the headphones are removed from their case and placed in users’ ears. Thanks to a microphone inside the earpiece, the said technology is able to measure the acoustic response of the user’s ear canal and thus to precisely adapt the audio performance and noise reduction. In fact, the Bose QC Earbuds II are thus able to better block the mediums, where the voices are often found, for example.

Bose QC Earbuds II

For Transparency mode (Aware at Bose), the manufacturer offers ActiveSense technology. According to Bose, this mode provides increased transparency for sound that is as natural and realistic as possible. Again, in fact, if Bose does not offer better than Apple, the American manufacturer is doing well. It really does feel like it sounds natural even though it also still feels like you have headphones on. Otherwise, the Active Sense technology is also able to apply the right noise reduction, depending on each user. This is possible thanks to the 4 microphones in each earphone (one inside and three outside).

Noise Reduction and Sound

Bose is known for the audio quality of its products and we will be short, the Bose QC Earbuds II are no exception to the rule. I have tried the predecessors again in the meantime and on these QC Earbuds II, we will notice a real step forward with a much more open and pleasant sound. The sound is dynamic and warm and we no longer have that somewhat muffled side of its predecessors. Also, the audio quality of the headphones is impressive. The bass is very present with this airy and dynamic side. As usual, we resumed our tests on compositions by Ryuichi Sakamoto or RAP by Rich Bryan without forgetting the Pop classics of the moment including the new albums by Drake and especially Beyoncé. The restitution of the instruments is precise and the voices are clearly distinguishable.

Bose QC Earbuds II

And for the active noise cancellation, we will also be short. She is impressive. In the streets of New York or in a crowded Coffee Shop on 5th Avenue, we stayed in our bubble all the time. The reduction is such that we can afford to have the volume at only 50%. At the same time, we had the Google Pixel Buds Pro, which we already found to be very good, and there it was a step up, in terms of comfort and noise cancellation. Impressive. Obviously, the QC Earbuds II do not completely cut the voice of third parties but reduce them so much that we no longer pay attention to them, which is not the case with many competitors. And finally, on the plane back, we barely noticed a difference with the QC 45, a headset, in terms of noise cancellation. We are waiting to test the 2nd Generation AirPods Pro but so far, the QC Earbuds II are the best.

On the other hand, unfortunately no surprise for the calls. We hoped to offer a clear sound to our correspondents and we find ourselves at best as if we were on loudspeaker and some told us that they had the impression that we were “far” from the smartphone.

Where to buy them?

The new BOSE QC Earbuds II headphones are available at the official price of 299 euros.

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