Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 Full Review 2023: Boast The Best Noise-Canceling

The company behind the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II almost created noise canceling. Bose’s first attempt at genuine wireless earbuds, meanwhile, didn’t quite succeed as its over-ear cans did, and it swiftly fell behind competitors like Sony and Apple.

Bose’s second-generation QuietComfort Earbuds II (let’s call them QCE II for simplicity’s sake) nail a lot of what’s crucial, so the master is back in action.

Beginning with a completely new design, the new model is so much more comfy to wear than the outgoing one. Although there are smaller earbuds out there, the gen 2 is smaller, lighter, and finally looks to be competing with Sony.

Review of Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2: Features

Bose has found out how to tailor the QCE II’s acoustic response and noise reduction to each user’s unique ear canal. The company’s patented technology, called CustomTune, automatically adjusts ANC and sound frequency to the level that is most comfortable for your ear using an audio signal that is picked up by a microphone within each earbud. After using the QCE II for some time, we estimate the frequency response ranges from “very deep” to “quite high indeed.” Bose does not mention the specifics of the frequency response.

One 9.3mm full-range dynamic driver per bud, obviously, produces the sound, and the earbuds connect wirelessly via Bluetooth 5.3. Given Bose’s partnership with Qualcomm, we were anticipating Snapdragon Sound compatibility, so the fact that SBC and AAC are the only codecs supported is a bit surprise (the QCE II use the Qualcomm S5 Audio chipset). Perhaps over-the-air firmware upgrades in the future will bring about a change.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II review: the best ANC you can get | Digital  Trends

We did receive the Independent Single-Bud Usage capability as the first significant firmware update. Now, rather than having to pause playback like it did in the past, you may utilize only one bud to listen to music or answer calls. This permits music to continue even if the Bluetooth connection between any two earbuds is lost. Finally, you may switch buds to continue listening if you discover that one bud has run out of juice before the other.

Although the option to do so is meaningless because you can hear your surrounds anyway, you can even switch ANC settings when utilizing a single bud.

Multipoint connection, which lets you pair with two Bluetooth devices simultaneously, is another feature that we had hoped would be added to the QCE II. Although it hasn’t quite made it to the genuine wireless devices, to be fair, this is increasingly typical in wireless over-ear headphones and would be useful to have.

As wireless charging would. This comes as a bit of a surprise considering that competitors’ cases already accept wireless charging and that the Bose headphones are a quite expensive pair to do without it.

Bose claims that the QCE II provides three extra top-ups in the case in addition to up to six hours of use on only the earbuds each charge. That’s not really a significant advance over the previous iteration, which offered only two more top-ups in the case but added up to six hours on the earbuds.

While we didn’t quite manage to wear the Buds for the advertised six hours, we did have ANC running continuously and after two hours of use, we had only lost 20% of the battery (down to 80% from a full charge), indicating that you may go longer than that.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II hands-on: stunningly quiet | Digital Trends

If the buds are completely depleted, Bose guarantees that the charging case will recharge them in an hour; but, if you’re eager, a short 20-minute top-up will give you around two hours of playing.

Yet the QCE II truly shines when it comes to noise canceling. The QC Buds II, according to Bose, provide “the world’s finest noise cancelling of any headset.” We have to heartily concur. So, how did Bose accomplish this? The sounds may be cancelled out in “a fraction of a millisecond” thanks to some sophisticated mic work, including four in each bud (one inside) that sense undesired noises. Although we are unable to quantify this claim, we can attest that it performs amazingly well. We will give the QCE II high ratings based only on its ANC performance. It should be mentioned that the best effects come from having the appropriate fit; if not, you’ll find that ANC doesn’t completely block out the outside world as it claims to.

The ActiveSense technology, which is activated when the QCE II is in “Aware” mode, is another feature we truly enjoy. This automatically modifies the noise cancellation to allow you to hear what’s going on around you while still having your music somewhat muffled out by strong external noises. When you need to talk to someone, auto transparency is also a fairly cool feature to have. When you remove one bud and lower the ANC level on the other buds to its lowest setting, this automatically happens. Put the bud back on, and your ANC returns to its original settings without more action from you.

Although the Bose Music app hasn’t changed at all, it recently included an adjuster to allow you to customize the music to your tastes. This feature was absent when the earlier QC Buds were initially introduced. The QCE II is really simple to pair with, and the app allows you to remember ANC modes (up to four) and change the settings for various touch controls. It is also highly user-friendly and lots of instructions.


The new QuietComfort Earbuds II are far more realistically proportioned than the original QuietComfort Earbuds, which were, let’s be honest, absolute units. The new earphones are a complete revelation to this reviewer’s ears in compared to the previous ones, which she has been using as her daily headphones ever since they were released.

According to Bose, the new buds are 30% smaller than the first generation, which alone suggests that the entire design has been changed. The QCE II are from the “dangly stem” design school, but the stem is short and they are secure and comfy owing to three different ear tip and “stability band” choices. But, when we initially started using them, they didn’t seem particularly secure, and it took some actual shaking and jumping to reassure us that the buds wouldn’t come out.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Review and Detailed ANC Test - NoisyWorld

Of course, the Bose Music app has a fit test to assist you, but it takes some time to feel secure using it. While you may be aware of the ear tip size that works for you based on prior earbuds, it might be challenging to determine which stability band is best for you. To make a choice, we discovered that we had to test them all with our preferred ear tip and move each bud’s location in the ear while wearing each band. Finding the correct fit doesn’t take long despite how tiresome it may sound. Also, as we have previously stated, you should absolutely experiment because the ideal fit guarantees the greatest results in terms of sound stage and ANC performance.

Perhaps the false sense of security is caused by the overall weight of 6g each earbud (as opposed to 8.9g previously), but it doesn’t hurt either because that’s rather light for this sort of bud. The QCE II are incredibly pleasant to use for extended periods of time since even the ear tips and stability bands are quite soft.

The build quality, which includes the IPX4 water resistant certification we already observed, is also exactly what you’d expect from a device costing a premium and, well, from Bose.

Even the charging case has been updated; while having a slightly larger battery inside, it is now taller, slimmer, and lighter than the one carrying the earlier QC Buds. It is still a strong case and considerably simpler to open than its predecessor, despite the size shift.


Together with excellent ANC, Bose has enhanced sound quality with the QCE II. When we evaluated the earlier model, we felt the bass was lacking, but Sony handled the bass quite well. But, that has already been fixed, and whatever CustomTune is doing in the background makes serenading the new friends a very pleasurable experience.

You can pick up an exceptionally high level of detail that wasn’t feasible with the previous headphones because to the superbly balanced soundstage. This is especially clear in the bottom end, where bassy components like double bass and kick drums receive a fair bit of attention. For instance, you can distinguish the double bass from the piano (mids), saxophone, and cymbals when listening to Miles Davis or John Coltrane. Whether listening to blues, pop, or rock, bass drums don’t get drowned out because almost every instrument can compete with the vocals. And the instrumentation never overpowered the voice at any moment.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II True Wireless Noise Cancelling In-Ear  Headphones Soapstone 870730-0020 - Best Buy

To test how the EQ would respond, we even increased the bass, and listening to Klergy’s Caught In The Flames was wonderful. There was nothing we could blame, from JJ Cale to Royal Deluxe, Sarah McLachlan to Beth Hart, even Beethoven and Mozart. There were times when it felt like we were at a performance hall with outstanding acoustics, sitting in front of the orchestra. The lows aren’t drowned out by the strings, the winds keep up, and the piano sounds fantastic.

As CustomTune cannot be turned off for a point of comparison, it is unknown how it operates or what it does, but we don’t mind. In all honesty, we didn’t even need to change the EQ; we only did it out of curiosity. In other words, you should put on the QCE II and let it do its job.

But, the call quality may be a little better. In actuality, we discovered that the older Bose QC Buds performs somewhat better in comparison. Bose says that exterior sounds are filtered, however in practice, especially when it’s a bit breezy, this doesn’t happen. While using the QCE II, exterior noises like traffic and loud conversation do tend to leak in, although the Sony WH-1000XM4 handles wind a bit better.

Most persons we spoke to while using the QCE II commented that we sound like we are on a speakerphone, despite the fact that the SelfVoice function, which you can tune on the app, allows you to hear yourself pretty clearly.


If, buy them.

If noise reduction is important to you,

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II excel in noise cancellation, if there is one thing they do well. We believed the older ones to be excellent, but oh, were we mistaken. Without sacrificing sound quality, the second-generation buds are currently at the top of the ANC game.

You desire perfectly balanced sound.

Whatever CustomTune is doing in the ear, it’s doing an amazing job of it. We cannot emphasize how excellently balanced the sound is, with tons of textures and subtleties audible. Also, the EQ in the app may be used if you still feel the need to adjust it.

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