Earbud technology keeps getting better and better. And if you’re wondering what they’ll think of next or where it will all stop, I’m not sure I have those answers for you. They keep getting lighter and smaller, with increased battery power, and better sound without limits.
In my in-depth Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II review, I’m going to introduce you to one of the latest models of noise-canceling, true wireless earbuds out there. Some people argue they’re some of the best wireless earbuds you can buy. But, are they?
These are some higher-end earbuds so prepare to be impressed. I’ll take a look at all the good things and the bad things that may be. So, let’s talk about earbuds…
The Bose Brand
Bose has been killing it in the headphone and speaker market lately, especially with their Bluetooth speakers and true wireless earbuds. This is an American company that was founded in 1964 and got its start making loudspeakers and PA systems.
Now, they’ve turned their attention to Bluetooth products and are somehow managing to squeeze that big loudspeaker sound into small, portable packages.
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II – Overview
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II are made of durable plastic and come in 2 colors, white and black. They’re small and unassuming, making them a good fit for anyone. Since these earbuds are truly wireless, let’s look at the features that put them into this category.
First up, they have no external wires…
Inside, well, who knows – I haven’t opened them up! But true wireless means that they don’t need to be connected to a device or each other by any wires.
They fit into your ear canals and have a little dongle that hangs down a teeny bit. But for the most part, they’re really inconspicuous. They also weigh just 0.22 ounces (6.2g) each. So, they’re super-light, and that means you just pop them into your ears and forget about them. In fact, they are some of the lightest earbuds on the market.
Using the QuietComfort II earbuds…
They connect to your devices via Bluetooth, whether that’s your phone, tablet, computer, or smart TV. They do this effectively and seamlessly using the latest and greatest version of Bluetooth.
The buds also remember and keep track of the last six devices you connected to them with, which makes re-connecting a snap.
The battery life of these earbuds is six hours per bud, and the handy little charging case has three more charges worth of power. So, altogether you’re getting 24 hours of playback from fully charged buds and the case.
That’s a lot of listening!
Charging the pods in their case takes one hour for a full charge, or you can do a quick charge of 20 minutes to give you about two hours of playback. The case itself takes three hours to fully charge, so it can hold 3x more bud charges for you.
Have I mentioned the sound yet?
This is where these buds shine. The sound here is good – full-bodied and with powerful bass when you need it. You can adjust the EQ in the app to your liking. As a result, they are among the best-sounding wireless earbuds you can buy.
But the noise cancellation is the real star here…
First, you get three sizes of tips and stability bands to help you get a nice, firm fit. This does a good job of blocking out external noises passively already. But it’s the active noise cancellation (ANC) that gives you a great listening experience.
You can set your level to full Quiet Mode, or different levels of Aware mode, which is Bose’s name for transparency mode that lets in environmental sounds. The ANC works wonders and intelligently blocks out both constant and unique sounds to an excellent degree.
And, that’s not all…
These can be used to take calls as they have four built-in microphones in each bud. The mics focus on your voice and actively block out environmental sounds that can be distracting when you’re in a loud place.
You can take calls, turn your music on and off, skip tracks, and adjust your volume using the super-effective control zone on the back of each bud. This makes them way easier to use than most other wireless earbuds and some of the most convenient earbuds on the market.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II are rated IPX4. So, while they don’t have a rating for dust protection (the X means no rating), they score a 4 for water protection.
At this level, the QCIIs are sweat-proof and splash-resistant. You can wear them when you jog in the rain, but not in the swimming pool. That said, they are excellent wireless earbuds for working out.
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II – Top Features
Now that I’ve talked about these buds in general, it’s time to dive into some of their best features. You might also be wondering what the differences are between these 2nd generation buds and the original QuietComfort. So, we’ll look at what Bose has done to improve them, too.
Most users are going to find that the QCIIs sound pretty darned good. They may not be the clearest and sharpest buds ever produced, but they still sound great and give you a wide soundscape that’s full and exciting.
As mentioned, you can adjust the EQ using the Bose Music App (Android / iOS) following the presets there, or your own custom EQ. This latter is recommended if you want to get a lot of vibrant highs and lows from your music. The Bass Boost is an easy way to get the most boom out of your buds.
But, the coolest new feature of the QCIIs that wasn’t a part of the QCIs is Custom Tune Audio. With this feature, your buds interact with your ears to give you the best audio and ANC experience possible.
Here’s how it works…
The buds send out a chime into your ear canals, and listen for the reflections they get back. This essentially maps the size and shape of your ears. What a time to be alive, right?
The information that comes back is worked into the ANC and sound profile to give you an enhanced personalized listening experience. Bet you didn’t see that bit of tech coming!
Active Noise Cancellation
Once you have your ears mapped out, the ANC can do its very best to block out noise for you. This includes a test fitting program that you can run via the app to make sure you’ve got the best combination of ear tips and stabilizer rings to fit you.
This will help hold the buds in the right position for your ears, both in terms of comfort and noise isolation.
Then the four built-in mics in each bud come into play…
They sense the sounds around you and actively block them out by producing opposite sound waves. This can produce a little bit of pressure on your ears and takes a little getting used to, though no more than with any other brand.
But the results are better than pretty much anything else on the market…
The Quiet Mode is full ANC that isolates you from almost any environmental sounds. The Aware Mode lets in sounds around you but keeps loud noises from peaking in your ears, letting you have an awareness of your surroundings when you need it.
You can also set your own levels with two custom modes for more or less noise blocking. Bose says this is the “world’s best” noise cancellation, and honestly, I haven’t heard anything better on wireless earbuds.
The battery here is smaller than on the first gen buds but still provides the same 6-hour audio playback potential. Of course, this is for a moderate listening level, and cranking your volume could reduce this number.
You also get five hours of conversation use if you’re on the phone. That’s all still very good, and just as good as anything else in this roughly $250 price range.
The charging case lets you carry around three more full charges or 18 hours’ worth of playback. This isn’t quite as good as the AirPods Pro Gen 3, but it’s still a heck of a lot of power.
The charging speed is comparably good, too…
It gives you six hours’ worth of charge in one hour of charging. Quick charging works very well when you’ve forgotten to stay on top of things. So, 10 minutes can get you an hour’s worth of use.
The controls here are one of the other top features of the Bose QuietComfort II earbuds. Rather than using physical buttons (old school) or just taps (new school but undependable), the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II uses a combination of tap and slide commands.
You can tap to play and pause your music and to skip tracks, plus tap to take or end calls. But you can also slide up and down on the touch surface to increase and decrease volume. This is super-handy and a big step up from what everyone else is doing.
As I mentioned earlier, you can connect these earbuds to your devices quickly and easily using Bluetooth’s latest version, V5.3. This gives you the fastest and most solid Bluetooth connection to date.
Unfortunately, they don’t support multi-point connectivity, meaning they can’t be connected to two devices at once. But, the buds can keep track of up to six of your last paired devices and can quickly re-establish connections with them.
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Review – Pros & Cons
- Excellent soundscape, tailored to the user’s ears.
- Top quality ANC.
- IPX4 rating for water resistance.
- Latest and greatest Bluetooth v5.3 onboard.
- Great battery power and charging speed.
- No multi-point connectivity is supported.
- EQ presets are a bit flat and may need to be customized.
- Priced fairly high.
In the Market for a Great Pair of Earbuds?
We can help with that. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best True Wireless Earbuds, the Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds, the Best Earbuds for Running, the Best iPhone Earbuds, and the Best Wireless Earbuds For Small Ears that you can buy in 2023.
Also, have a look at our detailed Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Review, our Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro True Wireless Earbuds Review, our Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless Earbuds Review, and our Creative Outlier Gold True Wireless Earbuds Review for more great items currently on the market.
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Review – Summary
These earbuds can set you back over $200. So, it’s important to know what their best features are to see if they’re right for you. The sound quality here is good, verging on great, and the battery life and water resistance are right where they should be for this price point.
But, the best parts of these earbuds…
The very easy-to-use controls and superior ANC. I’d say that if ANC is your priority, these buds can’t be beat by anything else in their price range right now. They’re easy to control, sound good, and have the battery life to last you for just about any use.
They’ve got some of the best and most modern tech onboard, making them a great choice that will give you years of use.
So, until next time, happy listening.