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Bose QC Earbuds: Big ANC, small package

Bose QC Earbuds
(Image credit: Bose)

AirPods Pro...where? Bose, the gold standard in active noise-cancelling headphones is coming for the truly wireless earbuds market with its new QC Earbuds. Oh, you need something for the gym? Bose is also launching its Sports Earbuds. 

Both will be available on September 29 with the Bose QC Earbuds and Sport Earbuds costing $279 and $179, respectively. Preorders open today in case you want to secure a pair before the holiday rush.

Meet the QC Buds

Bose QC Earbuds

(Image credit: Bose)

Despite being only an inch long and weighing 0.3 ounces, Bose claims it’s managed to cram plenty of the company’s proprietary technology into the minuscule casing. What Bose is claiming definitely gives me pause, a cautiously optimistic pause, but a pause nonetheless. 

The company says the QC Buds will have the same level of ANC power as its headphones. Like Bose 700 headphones, the buds have multiple mics, some are there to capture your voice when you’re talking on the phone or issuing voice commands. The rest work to eliminate ambient noise by pumping in a negative sound wave by way of a proprietary chip and algorithm. 

Bose QC Earbuds

(Image credit: Bose)

The Buds have 11 levels of noise cancelling, one more than the 700s, so I’m definitely itching to get these in my earholes sooner than later. And of course, there’s a Transparency Mode for when you need to be more aware of your surroundings. 

In terms of battery life, Bose is claiming 6 hours of battery life with an additional 12 hours from the charging case. In total, the 18 hours is short of the AirPods, which doles out 24 hours of battery life with the charging case. But we’ll have to put the battery life to the test.

Still, as good as the QC Buds very well may be, $279 is a lot to ask when the AirPods Pro cost $249. 

Bose gets sporty

Bose QC Earbuds

(Image credit: Bose)

With gyms starting to reopen in certain areas and more people getting their exercise by walking or jogging outside, Bose has its new Sport Earbuds. They don’t have what might be the QC Buds best-in-class ANC, but what they do have is an ultra-secure fit and IPX4 rating (water and sweat resistance). 

That means whether you’re on the rowing machine or lifting weights, the earbuds will stay in place, at least according to Bose. They also come in more vibrant colors than their ANC brethren, including Baltic Blue, Triple Black and Glacier White.

Bose QC Earbuds

(Image credit: Bose)

So, how do the Sport Earbuds stay so securely in your ears? Bose has something called its StayHear Max Tip eartips, which look to be an elongated wingtip. It should fit comfortably into the curve of your external ear. And as someone who’s embarking on a fitness journey, I’m looking forward to testing out the Sports Earbuds. 

The Sport Earbuds are estimated to last 5 hours on a charge with 10 hours of additional charge via its charging case. 

Bottom line

Bose is not playing any games. With the QC Earbuds, the company is promising to bring its stellar ANC technology to an incredibly small casing. It seems the goal here is to not only surpass the likes of the AirPods Pro and Sony WF-1000XM3 but to match the 700s, the company’s flagship product. 

At $279, I hope Bose can live up to the hype, especially since that price makes it one of the most expensive truly wireless earbuds on the market. To find out how the Bose QC and Sports Earbuds stack up to the competition, stay tuned for the review.