The first generation Bose QuietComfort had great sound quality and the best noise-cancellation you could get in earbuds. Still, they were hard to recommend for everyone because they were big, bulky, and not very comfortable to wear for long periods. With the new Bose QuietComfort II though, Bose has addressed nearly all the shortcomings of the first version and improved upon pretty much everything else.
You can watch my review of the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II above or read on.
Smaller Case, Smaller Buds
Bose has overhauled the design of the QuietComfort II. Gone is the larger pill-shaped case from before which has now been replaced with a thinner, puck case that’s reminiscent of the AirPods Pro 2. The case is 30% smaller, is lighter, and retains 18 hours of battery for the earbuds. Gone is wireless charging but since it gives us a smaller case, it’s a tradeoff most will be happy with. The case charges over USB-C, taking 3 hours for a full charge and can quick charge the earbuds in 20 minutes.
Now the earbuds themselves have undergone a design overhaul as well. They are 20% smaller and 30% lighter than before, with a pill shape that’s got a sleek rubber band around the edge to secure the fit. As a result of the physical design and light weight (6.2 grams each) the QuietComfort II Earbuds stay in place and are very comfortable to wear for hours at a time.
Sound Quality ANC
Active noise cancellation (ANC) has always been a strong point of Bose headphones and earbuds and these QuietComfort II are no different. Activating ANC turns off the outside work so much so that you’ll hardly be able to hear yourself type once activated. The ANC is adaptive, meaning it adjusts to spontaneous loud sounds like a sneeze or noisy truck passing by. For frequent flyers the ANC will make engine noise mostly disappear. For times you need to hear the outside world, a long press on the earbuds will scroll through Aware mode or turning ANC off.
Aware mode uses the microphones in the earbuds themselves to funnel in outside sounds to your ears so, in theory, it’s like you’re not wearing earbuds at all. And the QuietComfort II do a good job at this, really giving you the feeling of not wearing earbuds for the most part. Aware mode is great for when you need to hear a gate announcement at an airport or listen for your name at a coffee shop.
Worthy Of Upgrade
There are a few minor gripes I have with the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II. Mainly that it (still) doesn’t have multi-point support and the long press to scroll through ANC modes is slow. Both of these issues could potentially be resolved with software updates but still, if you’re using the previous version, these are a worthy upgrade. For everyone else shopping for active noise cancelling earbuds, Bose has just made these a top contender you should take a close look at.