Why You Should Trust Soundguys
Not only is this our day job, but weve tested the best of the best out there for as long as true wireless has been a thing. But were a little different at SoundGuys: we show our work as well. Our singular mission is to lay the facts bare as they are, and we have the expertise, drive, and ethics to do it. We only make money when you find what youre looking for, and enjoy it enough to keep. We take our integrity very seriously.
We dont do paid reviews, on-site ads, or recommend products that our editorial staff doesnt feel are worthy of your time. We go out of our way to make sure that our recommendations are backed up by objective testing wherever possible so that you dont have to take our word for anythingyou can examine the facts for yourself if you want.
The Best Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
The Jabra Elite 85h Bluetooth headphones sound great, and theyre a pleasure to wear and use, which is why they are our top pick.
We know that the choice between in-ear and over-ear headphones is a personal one, so weve included picks for both types of noise-cancelling headphones. How do you decide between headphones and earbuds? Earbuds are more compact and easier to travel with, and they can sound just as good and cancel noise just as well as over-ear and on-ear models. They may also work better if you wear glasses, because a thick set of glasses frames may prevent over-ear and on-ear headphones from making a good seal against your ears and cheeks. The downside to earbuds is that you have to stick them into your ear canals, which some people find uncomfortable the battery life is often much shorter than that of over-ear headphones, too.
Are Bose Quietcomfort Earbuds Sweat Resistant
Yes. Bose QuietComfort® Earbuds have passed IPX4 testing, which means they are protected against sweat and splashing water from any angle. The interior of the charging case is also resistant to water or sweat that may remain on the buds when they are placed inside for charging however, it is not recommended that the outside of the case be exposed to water.
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Why Are There Three Pairs Of Eartips
To ensure proper comfort and headphone performance, Bose QuietComfort® Earbuds come with three sizes of soft eartips. Its important to find the appropriate tip size for your ears. Be sure to download the Bose Music app and go through the eartip-sizing tutorial. You may have to experiment to determine which tip size is the best fit for each ear and its not at all unusual to find you need a different size in each ear.
How Should Noise Cancelling Wireless Earbuds Sound
Noise cancelling earbuds shouldnt necessarily sound a certain way, but youll see commonalities between how the most popular headsets sound. Why? A majority of consumers prefer a sound profile with boosted bass and treble relative to the mids. Seeing how all of the earbuds we recommend here are marketed toward the general consumer, youll find a similar frequency response among these headsets.
In the chart above, you can see an example of a pretty standard frequency response from the Grell Audio TWS 1 noise cancelling earbuds. This headset very closely follows our target consumer curve, though it boosts sub-bas a bit more than we recommend but it remains tasteful. Perhaps youre in the minority who really likes bass, or have an aversion to it, in that case, you may need to EQ the sound.
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How Does The Microphone Sound To You
The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 is a very good set of noise cancelling earbuds in fact, its ANC edges out the Galaxy Buds Pro. What holds the Galaxy Buds 2 back from knocking the Buds Pro from its place as the best noise cancelling earbuds for most people is that the Buds Pro has a more durable IPX7 rating and has a slightly better frequency response for most listeners.
Theres a less exaggerated difference between lows, mids, and highs through the Buds Pro compared to the Buds Plus. This is important as neither the Galaxy Buds 2 nor the Galaxy Buds Pro has iOS app support, so what you hear is what you get. When you use the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 and Pro on Android, you can at least use the Galaxy Wearable app to choose from a handful of EQ presets to adjust the sound accordingly.
If you want to save $50 USD and feel that an in-app ear tip fit test would help you figure out which ear tips to choose, the Galaxy Buds 2 is a great pair of earbuds. For most listeners, however, the greater durability and better sound quality of the Buds Pro is worth the extra cash.
How Is The Total Noise Cancelling In Bose Quietcomfort Earbuds Achieved
Bose QuietComfort® Earbuds utilize both active and passive noise reduction technologies. They use a sophisticated proprietary approach for active noise reduction, placing microphones both inside and outside the earbuds. The electronics system senses the sound in almost any environment and then measures, compares, and reacts instantaneously to produce an opposing cancelling signal. The passive noise reduction is achieved by a combination of the acoustic design and proprietary eartip design.
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How Much Should You Pay For Noise
Unfortunately, true wireless technology is already relatively expensive when paired with quality drivers and compatibility with higher-quality Bluetooth codecs like AptX or AAC. Models that deliver on those fronts are typically already going to cost more than $100. Throw in ANC, and you can expect prices to get much higher.
Its safe to assume that any true wireless earphones delivering quality audio and ANC is likely to cost closer to $200. As you can see, some of our favorite pairs right now are also among the most expensive. But we’re starting to see some good, budget-friendly alternatives that deliver solid noise cancellation and sound quality for under $150.
We’ve included pairs here for as many different budgets as possible, so you can find the one that works best for you. Check out our individual reviews to help you out, and once you’ve found the perfect pair, head over to our five easy tips to extend the life of your headphones and eight ways you’re using your headphones wrong.
What Is A Shortcut How Do I Set It Up
In addition to the other gesture-based controls on the earbuds, Bose QuietComfort® Earbuds offer a Shortcut feature. It allows you to set up a custom command, like skip track or check battery level. You can set up your preference in the Bose Music app, then access the feature you prefer by pressing and holding the left earbud.
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Master & Dynamic Mw08
Master & Dynamic’s earlier MW07 and MW07 Plus delivered top-notch sound for true wireless, but they were a little lacking in the features department and weren’t so great for making calls. The new-for-2021 MW08 offer some significant improvements, including the addition of solid noise cancellation and call quality, that makes them one of the top models for 2021. Alas, they’re expensive at $299.
Battery life has improved a bit, up to around 12 hours of battery life at 50% volume versus 10 hours for the MW07 Plus. The earbuds are equipped with Bluetooth 5.2, active noise cancellation with three microphones on each earbud. Noise reduction during calls isn’t up to the level of the AirPods Pro but overall call quality has improved. The noise-canceling on the MW07 Plus was pretty weak the MW08’s is much more effective.
You can opt for two levels of noise cancellation in the new M& D Connect app for iOS and Android, as well as two levels of transparency that lets you hear the outside world. The app currently has no way to tweak the sound profile — I’m OK with that, because the sound profile is just fine for my tastes — and the earbuds have a physical button on each bud to control playback, not touch controls.
These truly wireless earbuds now support both the aptX and AAC audio codecs and have an extended range of more than 20 meters, according to Master & Dynamic.
Bose Quietcomfort Earbuds Review: Verdict
Bose set its sights on creating the best noise-cancelling experience in the true wireless space, and the QuietComfort Earbuds accomplish this with gusto. The fact that its almost capable of producing the same ANC performance as the Bose 700 is remarkable. Youre going to get some delightful sound and excellent call quality out of the buds as well, which makes the most out of the Boses noise-cancelling technology for undisrupted phone calls and video chats.
Yet despite their noteworthy debut, the QuietComfort Earbuds do come up short in a few categories. They are far from small and take up a lot real estate, on your ear and in your pocket. Battery life will also leave you wanting more, especially as ANC sucks up a lot of juice, and the wireless charging case holds less playtime than the AirPods Pro.
We can also harp on the luxury price point for arguments sake, but lets be honest. Those who have shopped for Bose headphones already know what that money is going towards: unbeatable noise cancellation and great overall performance. And thats the QuietComfort Earbuds in a true wireless nutshell.
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Top 6 Best Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headsets
However, noise-cancellation and Bluetooth connection are not the most important features of a high-quality headset. If you want to get an optimal model, pay attention to the quality and frequency range of the sound plus, mind the headset design, battery life and additional functions.
Why Arent There Any Buttons On The Bose Quietcomfort Earbuds
Instead of buttons, each earbud has a touch interface to access product controls.
The right bud controls these core functions:
- Swipe up and down for volume control – To enable this feature, open the Bose Music app and select your QuietComfort® Earbuds. – Tap the settings icon in the top-right corner of the screen. – Under the Control section, toggle on the Volume feature.
- Double-tap to pause or play your content and answer or end a call.
- Press and hold to decline an incoming call or access your voice assistant.
The left bud controls these functions:
- Press and hold to access your preset Shortcut .
- Double tap to cycle through your available modes. The default mode settings are Quiet Mode and Aware Mode . To add or change your mode settings, or to access all options, you can use the Bose Music app. You can also use the Bose Music app to change modes. When engaged, removing a bud will simultaneously pause your audio content and place the buds into full transparency so you can hear the world without any distractions. Putting the bud back in their ear will re-engage the prior mode setting and audio content.
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Can Bose Quietcomfort Earbuds Be Used With The Bose Music App
Yes. The Bose Music app makes controlling the earbuds and switching between multiple Bluetooth® devices easier than ever with a graphical interface. It also allows you to personalize your QuietComfort® Earbuds and access software updates and new features in the future.
The Bose Music app also contains many useful features. You can set your preferred noise cancelling levels, monitor power usage, customize your VPA preferences, and create a custom Shortcut.
Please note that QuietComfort® Earbuds cannot connect to other apps from Bose, like Bose Connect, Bose Hear, or Bose SoundTouch.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro are slightly superior to the new, slightly more affordable Galaxy Buds 2 — at least when it comes to sound, noise-canceling performance and water-resistance . They also have a couple of features missing from the Buds 2, including Samsung’s new 360 Audio virtual surround feature that’s similar to Apple’s spatial audio.
The Buds Pro are mostly impressive, although just how good you think they are will ultimately depend on how well they fit your ears. For some people, the smaller Galaxy Buds 2 will be the better fit — and better choice.
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Bose Quietcomfort Earbuds Review: App And Special Features
Those who own the Bose 700 are familiar with Bose Connect. The companion app is easy to navigate, looks clean, and has a few features to enhance the listening experience. Unfortunately, some features remain exclusive to the Bose 700.
The ANC slider is accessible to easily adjust noise cancellation levels. Hitting the Settings icon on the top right presents you with several toggles for ANC, on-ear detection, voice assistance, and voice prompts, along with the option to select a shortcut for the left earbud. You also get volume slider, playback management controls, and battery level indicators for both buds on the products home screen. The one feature youll definitely want to play with is Self Voice, so you can hear yourself louder on phone calls.
Whats missing? Well, two very serviceable features. Its a shame the QuietComfort Earbuds dont have the adjustable EQ to fine-tune bass, mids or treble. The Auto-Off option is missing as well, which would place the buds in sleep mode when not in use.
Another missing feature: multipoint technology. Granted this isn’t a widespread feature among wireless earbuds yet, but the opening was there for Bose.
What Is The Difference Between Bose Quietcomfort Earbuds And Bose Sport Earbuds
Both truly wireless earbud products offer comparable comfort and stability features, sweat and weather resistance, and battery life, but there are several key differences. First and foremost, QuietComfort® Earbuds feature noise cancelling technology while Bose Sport Earbuds do not. QuietComfort® Earbuds are ideal for periodic use all throughout the day, while Sport Earbuds are Engineered for Exercise. Lastly, Sport Earbuds are a little smaller and more compact than QuietComfort® Earbuds.
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What Is Active Noise Cancellation Anc Headphones Explained
Many of todays best headphones dont just pipe sweet sounds into your ears. They can also listen for and quieten and even completely silence outside noises that could disturb your listening pleasure.
But what is active noise cancellation , and how does it work? In this guide well explain how noise-cancelling headphones and earbuds reduce the volume of ambient sounds, examine whether you should pay more for the technology and take a look at which models are the best at active noise cancellation.
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The Best Noise Cancelling Wireless Earbuds: Notable Mentions
As a pair of workout earbuds, the Beats Fit Pro performs admirably. You get a secure fit with good isolation and simple, intuitive button controls. Best of all, this set of ANC buds works as well on Android as it does on iOS, if you can get its ANC to work at all. See, during our initial review period, we were able to get the noise cancelling to perform just fine, subjectively it was even quite impressive. However, as soon as we shipped our review unit over the boarder from the USA to our offices in Canada, the ANC just stopped working out of the blue. We have spent hours and hours trying to troubleshoot this issue and have yet to resolve it.
While user reviews have reported similar issues, it doesnt seem to affect everyone. If you arent afraid to take a risk on this gamble of a headset, it may pay off for you: again, this is a very solid set of IPX4-rated workout earbuds. However, the fact that the ANC can just stop working out of nowhwere is a reason it doesnt get a rec from us on this list. You can read our full Beats Fit Pro review to learn all about the headset and see if its still worth it for your needs.
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Anker Soundcore Liberty Air Pro 2
Anker’s Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro are a mostly excellent set of true-wireless earbuds that measure up pretty well against Apple’s AirPods Pro for significantly less money. Like the AirPods Pro, they have an IPX4 water-resistance rating, meaning they’re splash-proof.
While I had an issue with the included ear tips and had to use some other tips , they should fit most people comfortably. Sound quality is better than Anker’s earlier Liberty Air 2 and the noise canceling is effective. These also work well as a headset for making calls and are available in multiple color options.
While they usually list for $130, wait for them to go on sale for $100 or less before buying them.
What Is Active Eq
Active EQ involves electronically tuning the frequency response to closely match the proprietary Bose response curve for headphone audio. This response curve is the result of decades of research studying how sound travels to the ear. The closer the frequency response comes to matching the target curve, the more lifelike the audio performance.
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How Comfortable And Stable Are Bose Quietcomfort Earbuds
These earbuds are comfortable enough to be worn for extended periods of time and stable enough to stay firmly in place no matter how vigorously you move. The eartips have an extended flexible wing that spreads pressure evenly across the ridge of your ear. This unique design provides excellent stability without sacrificing comfort. In fact, the soft material and rounded profile allows the tip to sit comfortably in the bowl of the ear for long-term wear.