QC Earbuds II, Bose’s answer to the best true wireless headphones of the moment

QC Earbuds II, Bose’s answer to the best true wireless headphones of the moment

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As usual, Bose wisely prepared its new weapon to return to the world of true wireless headphones. The brand is now drawing the QC Earbuds II, with the firm intention of establishing itself as the boss of active noise reduction, among other things…

Players are multiplying at breakneck speed, competition is becoming increasingly fierce in all segments, especially at the top of the basket, but that does not prevent Bose from getting on its high horse and landing by displaying the most great trust. The American manufacturer does not mince its words when presenting its QuietComfort Earbuds II, which “will transform the industry” and will offer “an unprecedented listening experience and the most effective noise reduction in the world”. The message to his rivals is therefore clear: Bose is back in the game, and he wants to make jaws drop.

New look for a new life

Before looking at the very heart of the promise, we already notice that Bose has drawn a line under the design of the previous model, the first QC Earbuds of the name. Exit the imposing “Saul Goodman’s hands-free kit” earphone, the QC Earbuds II embrace modernity, so to speak, with an almost “branch” format which is obviously reminiscent of a myriad of other headphones, including the AirPods Pro… which will soon also be back in a second version. This radical change in format allows Bose to announce a volume gain compared to the previous generation, which is not very complicated when you know what it looks like, as well as increased lightness, with now 6 grams on the scale by earphone.

QC Earbuds II, Bose’s answer to the best true wireless headphones of the moment

QC Earbuds II are IPX4 certified

© The Digital

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Another interesting point, the manufacturer’s emblematic StayHear tip has been given a facelift and has been split into two distinct parts: the semi-intra-auricular tip directly in contact with the entrance to the duct on the one hand, and the stabilizer which is housed to him under the conch on the other hand. With three pairs of different sizes, the QC Earbuds II therefore intend to offer an optimal wearing experience, as they are much more customizable. Our brief first hands-on clearly reassured us on this point; it remains to be seen what it can do over long sessions.

QC Earbuds II, Bose’s answer to the best true wireless headphones of the moment

From personalization comes sound optimization

It is also on the “personalization” aspect that Bose has gone all out with its QC Earbuds II by developing its brand new technology, the aptly named “CustomTune”. This has three purposes: to personalize the rendering of the headphones according to the morphology of the user while optimizing the performance of active noise reduction and the mode of listening to the environment. How does it work exactly? Each time the headphones are screwed onto the ears, they send and capture a specific signal in half a second (the “jingle” that accompanies the start-up of the manufacturer’s latest headphones/headphones) in order to obtain the response acoustics of each ear canal. Thanks to this data, the headphones then adapt the local signal processing, while continuing to analyze the characteristics of the surrounding noise in real time thanks to their two dedicated microphones.

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QC Earbuds II, Bose’s answer to the best true wireless headphones of the moment

As with some other competing models, the Bose app includes a headphone fit test to check for any sound leaks, and avoid a degradation of the sound experience.

© Bose / The Digital

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The listening mode of the Aware environment now benefits from an interesting new function, Active Sense, which can be activated at will by the user. When the latter is in a very noisy environment and the headphones are in Aware mode, the headphones react in real time by gradually switching to the appropriate noise reduction level to preserve hearing, then return to their initial state after having left this environment. We didn’t have the opportunity to test this mode during our short hands-on, but this addition seems relevant to us on paper, if however it executes seamlessly as promised.

QC Earbuds II, Bose’s answer to the best true wireless headphones of the moment

Calls are handled by two other dedicated microphones, for a total of four microphones per earpiece

© Bose / The Digital

Bose thus promises us “realistic, balanced sound with nuance, clarity and depth”, which we hope on our side will finally be truly natural, and an improvement in the performance of active noise reduction, in particular “in areas that were previously difficult to mitigate”, in other words the mids and high-mids, specifically the vocals. Bose has shared with us acoustic measurements (unfortunately confidential) which actually show an additional attenuation of around ten decibels in this particular region. The customizable aspect also makes sense with the companion application of the headphones, Bose Music, which would allow, among other things, to manage the level of noise reduction and to shape the sound reproduction somewhat. The earbuds’ touch controls are also slightly customizable.

A technical sheet shrouded in mystery

Bose, as usual, doesn’t share a ton of technical information. We currently know that the QC Earbuds II would offer 6 hours of autonomy (with three charges provided by the case, the latter being recharged only via USB-C). Built-in touch controls will allow direct control of volume, playback, calls, and track navigation. On the connectivity side, Bose has not commented on the possible support of LE Audio and the LC3 codec, despite a switch to Bluetooth 5.3 on the QC Earbuds II. The manufacturer only advances on compatibility with the “conventional” SBC and AAC codecs.

QC Earbuds II, Bose’s answer to the best true wireless headphones of the moment

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II, or QC Earbuds II, will be launched very precisely on September 29 at the equally precise price of €299.95, a particularly high price in view of what is done by direct competition, at Sony, Apple or even Sennheiser. Pre-orders will be launched tomorrow, September 8, on the manufacturer’s website. For the moment, only one color is marketed, but a second (called Soapstone, visible on the last visual) is planned for the near future.

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