Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Announced
Bose invented noise-cancelling headphones and takes this tech to the next level with the launch of its latest true wireless model: QuietComfort Earbuds II.
Bose's QuietComfort II earbuds are an all-new design, roughly two-thirds the size of the model they replace while utilising a 9.3mm full-range dynamic driver in each earbud - and weight is similarly reduced to around 6g per earbud. In addition, Bose intends to further enhance wearer comfort with its ‘FitKit’ consisting of three sizes of eartip and three sizes of stability band for each earbud. That gives you nine options per earbud to achieve the perfect fit, which should be plenty for even the most unusual ears.
‘CustomTune’ is the biggest news here, though - it’s intended to tune both the audio performance and the noise-cancellation to the unique shape of each and every individual ear.
Sound calibration is activated every time the earbuds are taken from their charging case and placed in the user’s ear. In less than half a second, the earbuds play a proprietary tone, an internal microphone measures the ear canal’s acoustic response, and a bespoke sonic signature is arrived at as a result.
For noise-cancellation, ‘CustomTune’ targets those frequencies that are generally most resistant to noise-cancellation technology. Here the earbuds constantly analyse the user’s environment via three external and one internal microphone array on each earbud to adapt to changes in external conditions. According to Bose, ambient sounds are met with an equal and opposite signal to cancel them more effectively than ever before.
The intelligent personalisation of the ‘CustomTune’ suite of technologies extends as far as the QuietComfort Earbuds II’s transparency mode. It’s now dubbed ‘Aware Mode with ActiveSense’ - in practice, it means a transparency mode that responds instantly to significant and/or sudden external sounds by switching on noise-cancellation for as long as it might be necessary.
The QuietComfort Earbuds II uses Bluetooth 5.3 for wireless connectivity and has SBC and AAC codec compatibility. Battery life is a claimed six hours in the earbuds themselves, with a further three full charges in the case. Charging is via USB-C, and a 20-minute shot of mains power will provide a couple of hours of playback.
Each earbud has a capacitive touch surface covering the major controls, and there’s compatibility with your source player’s native voice assistant too. Additionally, the QuietComfort Earbuds II are compatible with the Bose Music control app, which features EQ adjustment and specific noise-cancellation modes, alongside the facility to fiddle with other customisation options.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II are initially available in a ‘triple black’ finish, with a ‘soapstone’ alternative to follow later. They’re on sale from September 29th and priced at £280. Pre-orders open on September 8th.
Simon was editor of What Hi-Fi? magazine and website and has since written for Wired, Metro, the Guardian and Stuff, among many others. Should he find himself with a spare moment, Simon likes publishing and then quickly deleting tweets about the state of the nation (in general), the state of Aston Villa (in particular) and the state of his partner’s cat.
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