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Review of Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2


Two years after the release of its beloved QuietComfort Noise Canceling Headphones, Bose is finally giving us a second act at its greatness. QuietComfort 2 . Headphones. These upgraded headphones offer an amazing level of noise-cancelling technology and are set to compete with comparable, popular in-ear headphones like Sony WF-1000XM4 and AirPods Pro second generation.

The recent addition to the Bose lineup offers an almost unimaginable level of active noise cancellation (ANC) against all types of noise, all with a secure fit and spin. The company’s new customization on Adaptive ANC. Bose’s latest buds make this big upgrade without sacrificing sound quality and are definitely sleeker than previous QC headphones.

I spent the whole week wearing these headphones around the house, to the gym, going for a walk, and even on the subway. Here’s what you need to know before investing in a powerful, $299 pair of Bose QuietComfort 2.

If you’re willing to spend the best noise cancellation you can get on a pair of headphones, the $299 Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 is for you. If you want longer battery life, wireless charging, and more premium sound, choose the new Sony WF-1000XM4 or AirPods Pro.

Bose QuietComfort II 4

Tobey Grumet / CNN Underscored

Let’s start with style. It makes sense for these headphones to be announced at New York Fashion Week as Bose has taken things up a few levels from its previous bulkier design. In fact, I gave the former QuietComfort headphones to my 6-foot, 5-inch husband because they were too unwieldy for my everyday listening needs. In turn, he was able to downsize even further and thus reaped excellent sound quality, even then.

For comparison, the QuietComfort 2 has evolved, featuring a more rustic body design with a basic oval shape, albeit a thicker, shorter, and sweeter body, and each earpad weighs just 6 grams each. They also lost the wings of the last iteration, and although I worried that would make the headphones less stable, I was rewarded with a comfortable, secure fit even in the gym. . Just tuck them in your ears and twist them slightly to lock them in place.

Bose claims the QC 2s are a third smaller than their original design, and they come with a trio of differently sized tips and a stabilizer band to help you find the perfect fit. I tried them all on and found that no matter which one I wore, the sound quality and ANC remained the same – although the mid-sized headband was the most comfortable for me.

And while they’re significantly smaller and lighter, each headset is equipped with a total of four microphones, two of which handle ANC and a pair for voice recognition for making and receiving calls.

The touch controls are still intact outside of the box, so you can tap or swipe to control playback and volume, and take or reject calls. But if you’re interested in customizing keyboard shortcuts, you’ll have to head to the Bose Music app for iOS or Android. Here, I was able to easily add the ability to switch from Quiet to AwareMode (more on that below) by long holding the right headset and activating the voice assistant with the left. I find all of these controls easy to set up and reliable for consistent use.

The app also lets you do things like customize the sound balance with an equalizer and four different presets (two for bass and two for treble) and choose up to 10 other additional ANC modes like Going to Work, Relaxing, Running and Working. I use the Work preset when I have to join Zoom meetings at home, and I never have to worry about the sound of traffic, construction, or those annoying kids.

Oh, and they also have an IPX4 sweat and water resistance rating, which is a great addition to gym workouts, outdoor runs/exercises, or just lounging by the pool or on the beach.

For the $299 price tag, they also come in a flip-flop charging case, and you can choose from a matte Black Triple color at launch alongside a white Soapstone that will launch on October 14.

Bose QuietComfort II 1

Tobey Grumet / CNN Underscored

The biggest update on the new QuietComfort 2 is noise cancellation, and since Bose initiated this technology, we tend to hold the brand to a higher standard. Luckily, the ANC on the QC 2 is extremely good – in fact, it’s the best I’ve ever used.

This is due to the way Bose presents adaptive ANC, which it calls CustomTune technology. The process simply calibrates the noise cancellation of the headphones each time you take them out of the box and put them in your ears. Once the headphones are properly sealed, you can check in the Bose Music app that a small chime lets you know that a microphone inside the headset is measuring your ear canal, then customizes it immediately to respond. reverb and noise cancellation filter – all for this particular use. Bose claims that if you put them back in the dock and someone else decides to use them, the ANC will automatically recalibrate and they’ll get their own CustomTune profile. Of course, one never knows what others are listening to, but for now we will take their word for it.

In real life, this means I prefer almost complete silence in Quiet Mode, with CustomTune constantly adapting to whatever environment I happen to be in. Joe’s shopping time is equally good. And when I use them at home, I can mute the background TV noise and TikTok sound from my minor’s phone, and enjoy the silence anytime anyone asks me anything. Whatever, this could be a blessing.

I did notice that it didn’t completely block out the noise of the subway as it raced in, although when I took out one of the headphones I realized it was noticeably muted and I definitely couldn’t hear the part. remainder of the general noise at the station. While I don’t expect problems with ANC and aircraft engine noise, I’m curious to see how comfortable they are for the long haul on my next long haul flight.

The other component of this new ANC is called AwareMode. And while most noise-cancelling headphones include something like that, allowing you to hear your surroundings more naturally while you’re listening, the QuietComfort 2 headphones personalize it even further by using Use the default ActiveSense feature. The idea was, when I was waiting for that subway, it would just mute the incoming tug and take off, then revert back to its normal transparency. While it doesn’t quite do the trick with trains, it works better with outdoor noise like construction or big trucks on the street. While I haven’t had a chance to review them extensively, Apple’s newly announced second-generation AirPods Pro offer this as well, and we’ll be doing a more in-depth comparison of the two soon. .

I love being able to easily switch from Silent to Aware by simply holding down my right earbud, and I’ve done that often when it comes to things like talking to Trader Joe’s cashiers, listen to the changes to my subway and chat with friends. run into the street.

Bose QuietComfort II 3

Tobey Grumet / CNN Underscored

As mentioned, I was sad to give up my last pair of QCs because of their weight. And my husband still likes to remind me how much better his music is than his AirPods. So now that all QuietComfort 2 is mine (he has strict requirements), I’m happy to report that the sound quality for music, movies, TV and podcasts is excellent.

Listening to playlists in my practice room, hip-hop tracks like Kanye West’s “Power” deliver live sound along with serious bass and percussion. Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life” is sadder, more complex giving nuance and texture to piano solos and more upscale vocals, while George Michaels’ pop anthem “Faith” flies gracefully swings from the opening organ note and smoothly transitions to sharp. , guitar staccato catchy throughout the song.

Better battery life and Bluetooth

Bose says QuietComfort 2 offers up to six hours of battery life, the same as the new AirPods 2, and a few hours less than our current one. best noise canceling headphones choose Sony WF-1000XM4. I got almost four days of listening on a single charge with my low to medium usage, but the charging case pumped everything up after another 24 hours. This should get you through most flights and trips, but the case also offers around two hours of playback on a 20-minute charge and a full one-hour charge. The case fully charges itself in three hours.

The included Bluetooth 5.3 may not break your heart, but it extends to a range of 100 feet compared to the previous 30 feet of the original QuitComfort headphones and connects you instantly to paired devices. . That’s great, as I tend to flip from my MacBook to my iPhone for listening, and have never had problems doing so with the QC 2.

Battery life is still slow and there is no multipoint

Bose QuietComfort II 2

Tobey Grumet / CNN Underscored

In my time using the Bose QuietComfort 2 headphones, I never ran out of battery. However, even with the extra 24 hours of charging the charging case, it falls short of the promised battery life of the second-generation AirPods Pro of six hours and the Sony headphones by almost 10 hours. That’s a pretty big amount of time.

I’m also disappointed that Bluetooth 5.3 doesn’t offer multipoint so I can connect to multiple devices at once, but I guess Bose wants to do the best – and ANC can’t be beat, at least for my ear.

And finally, for the $299 price tag, I was expecting wireless charging for the case, which the QuietComfort 2 doesn’t offer.

As a fan of Beats Fit Pro, especially when I’m at the gym, I miss Apple’s Spatial Sound feature, which gives a 3D surround sound feel when listening – also upgraded on the AiPods Pro 2. Sony also offers a similar features to his Reality 360 Sound. Unfortunately, you won’t find a comparable feature on QuietComfort 2.

As the arbiter of noise cancellation technology, Bose has gone overboard with QuietComfort 2 headphone. And while CustomTune ear mapping may sound like a marketing sassy, ​​it works if you’re really serious about finding the highest ANC levels. And, in addition to blocking out all the noises you don’t want to hear, the headset’s Sense Mode is simple to switch to with a single tap and injects natural sound into the outside when you need it – for example. such as when going to work, shopping or even at home.

While the QC 2 doesn’t lead in battery life or software extras (you’d be better off with $279 Sony WF-1000XM4 or $249 AirPods Pro 2 if that’s a priority), they cancel noise better than any other wireless earphones we’ve used to date – all with a sleek, comfortable design. And if that’s worth $299 to you, there’s nothing to sneeze at (though unless I turn on Aware Mode, I won’t hear you).



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