Mirror, mirror on the wall, who helps make the fairest sound-cancelling earbuds of all? Is it Apple, with its warm-selling $249 AirPods Professional (2nd generation), or Bose with its $279 QuietComfort Earbuds II?
Following producing in-depth reviews of every single leading-shelf item, and then living with them for various added months, my brief solution is you just can’t go completely wrong with both. In excess of time, even so, I have arrive to value important persona variances and use-scenario scenarios where by one performs improved than the other. I hope my observations assistance you come to a decision which buds are for you.
If you’re a repeated flyer, bus rider, or prepare hauler, you’ll want to tote the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II. The maker states these are best sound-eradicating phones it has at any time built, like its above-ear designs. In the course of a modern cross-state air adventure, I observed them to be just as handy at sound blocking and entertaining as Bose’s most recent, greatest QuietComfort 45 above-ear headphones. A lot more to the point, the QC Earbuds II are notably remarkable to the Apple AirPod Pros (2nd generation) when it comes to blocking out the noisy interruptions of the planet.
Equally sets of buds eradicated the bulk of loud jet motor rumbling on my flights, but only the new Bose proved able of also irradicating a persistent, small-frequency hull rumbling that resonated like a ghost in the equipment when Apple’s buds had been in my ears. The only way I could mask that noise with Apple’s buds was to crank up the tunes, but that shouldn’t be important with sounds cancelling. You should really be capable to hear at reduce quantity to protect against ear fatigue and probably steer clear of hearing harm. And when you’re employing noise-cancelling earbuds sans new music to capture some Z’s, you shouldn’t uncover yourself changing 1 aural distraction with a further.
The Bose QC Earbuds II also proved capable of simultaneously masking distinctive noises for the duration of a visit to a crowded Starbucks, chopping back again on the home chatter as properly as dish clatter. And again household, in my bed room and house office environment, only the Bose solution totally eradicated the whirring admirer noise from my air purifiers.
I finally learned the QC Earbuds II’s Achilles’ heel even though seated on the reduced deck of a Megabus touring the New Jersey Turnpike: Bose’s ANC algorithm shown a horrible habit of amplifying the metallic shaking and sputtering sounds of the bus’s loose suspension system each time its tires strike a pothole or an enlargement strip.
The noise produced me believe there were being free screws rattling all around in the buds, in my cranium, or each. I repeated the circumstance with a second set of the Bose just to be absolutely sure I was not tests a faulty pair, but I bought the really very same final result. The Apple AirPods Pros dealt better with these bad vibrations, cutting down the seem of the rattling by at least 50 percent.
Most effective audio overall performance: Bose for bass-a-holics, Apple for spatial audio
As I’ve previously stated, both equally sets of earbuds are large-doing headphones for songs-listening classes. Choosing which is best for you is dependent on how you system to use them.
Eight instances out of 10, the Bose QC Earbuds II offered more fulfillment from deep dives into a selection of new music, delivering far more ahead, in-your-confront sound. They dig further into bass frequencies still control to audio a lot more nuanced at the similar time. On my jet-aircraft encounter with Tom Petty & The Hearbreakers’s newly released, 33-monitor, addresses-weighty Live at the Fillmore, 1997, tunes like Lucille, Louie Louie, and Phone Me the Breeze, Bose’s earbuds sent way extra bounce to the rockin’ ounce.
But it’s not just all about that bass. In the silent of my bedroom, the QC Earbuds II squeezed out a lot more mid-assortment nuance in the achy breaky vocals of Luciano Souza on the Brazilian artist’s tribute album The Book of Chet also did far better by Taylor Goldsmith’s bemused, bothered, and bewildered observations on the latest Dawes’ album Misadventures of Doomscroller. When that wry observer muses “There’s a Joke in There Someplace,” the QC Earbuds II are greater at emotionally digging it out.
Even a cursory glance at the way these points are intended is revealing. The QC Earbuds II are a lot more eccentrically formed to stuff and seal superior in the ear canal. And their automated equalization, based on a series of take a look at tones that measure the user’s ears, appears more subtle than Apple’s automobile-EQ, which is based mostly on an evaluation of visuals of the listener’s ears and facial framework just after they’ve snapped photos with their iPhones.
But that’s not the complete story, possibly. With considerably less bass getting in the way, the AirPods Professional offer you a brighter choose on trebly oriented tunes (believe tremulous acoustic guitar plunks, splashy cymbal-riding drummers, and scorching violin soloists.) And the tables surely turned in the AirPods’ favor with content from the Apple New music streaming provider combined and served in Dolby Atmos. When the AirPods Professional see an Atmos flag in the facts stream, they activate Spatial Audio manner, which folds in some exciting period-shifting and timing results to set a sharper edge on and additional air about voices and devices.
I also suspect that activating Spatial Audio method cranks up the AirPods Pro’s quantity, relative to the other information I’ve fed them from a assortment of sources. Listening to Harry Connick Jr.’s holiday break album Make it Merry, the Christmas tunes did not appear rather as playful or twinkle-star magical when listened to in plain aged stereo by means of the Bose buds. If you’re an Iphone or iPad consumer as very well as an Apple Songs subscriber, you are going to get some aural advantages by marrying your supply content with the AirPods Professional.
In normal, I’d argue that the additional aggressive, in-your-encounter nature of the Bose buds make them superior companions for both of those on-the-go use (due to the fact of their top-quality sounds cancellation) and for severe, sit-down-and-hear periods. I have no issues about the musicality of the additional laidback, lighter-toned AirPods Professional, and listening to Dolby Atmos tracks is very satisfying.
Ideal for generating and having phone phone calls: Tie
When it will come to generating and getting hands-free telephone calls, both equally sets of earbuds are great. They supply wonderful sound at both of those ends of the phone, no matter whether you are outdoor or in a silent zone. This one’s a attract.
Greatest for comfort: Apple’s are lighter, the Bose cling in tighter
This one’s a toughie, ripe for a Biblical Solomon (or Decide Judy) to adjudicate. Most enhanced-ergonomics honors go to Bose, as the radically redesigned, smaller sized, and lighter Tranquil Ease and comfort Earbuds II do a a lot far better position of dwelling up to their identify than the first-generation product or service, which get started hurting my ears just after two hours of use.
Weighing just .2 ounces each—compared to .3 ounces for the primary QC Earbuds and .15 ounces for the second-gen AirPods Pro—I can put on Bose’s latest buds easily for a whole four several hours. The engineers at Bose changed the very first-generation’s oversized wing stabilizers with small rubbery hinges that effortlessly lock into the rims of your ears for a pretty secure in good shape. In simple fact, they put up a bit of battle when you pull them out—and which is a good factor.
The AirPods Professional look to rely a lot more on gravity and the stickiness of their silicone ear recommendations to retain them in place. This has not worked for me during severe sweat-creating physical exercise classes, or even when I was just pulling a sweater more than my head. On the positive side, the lighter weight and semi-bulbous human body shape of Apple’s buds make them even more relaxed in my ears—I can pay attention for up to 6 hours—which just so occurs to be the utmost runtime of the AirPods Pro’s battery. Bose features the very same variety of several hours, but you can recharge the QC Earbuds II only three situations with the backup battery in its situation, wherever you will get 4 rates out of Apple’s circumstance.
If you obtain the second-gen AirPods Pro and turn into dissatisfied with the in good shape, you are going to uncover a sizable cottage field of aftermarket memory-foam ear guidelines and increase-on ear-wings that promise both of those superior clinging and bass reaction than the manufacturing facility-presented tips provide. I purchased a established of Lanwow strategies on a friend’s suggestion, but have so significantly resisted the urge to toss my working experience with them into this now intricate shoot-out.
Finest for customization: AirPods Pro for possibilities, QC Earbuds II for simplicity
Apple’s AirPods Pro offer you a ton a lot more customizable equalization profiles than the Bose earbuds, in particular if you’ll be utilizing the AirPods Professional with an Apple iphone, iPad, or iMac. You will discover a couple dozen EQ settings you can personalize in accordance to the type of new music you are listening to, ranging from electronica and hip hop to jazz and classical.
The AirPods Professional also offer equipment to help maintain and keep your listening to. You can keep an eye on the decibel output level, website link to your linked iPhone’s microphone and repurpose the buds as hearing aids, or place them into a volume-reduction method to use them high-tech ear plugs. You can wirelessly recharge the buds and their carrying scenario utilizing a Qi charger, an Apple Watch’s Magnetic Rapid Charger, or with a USB-to-Lightning cable. If the AirPods Professional or their scenario go missing, you can use your Apple’s Come across My perform to enable find them.
If simplicity of procedure is extra your factor, go for the Bose buds. The three-way (bass, midrange, and treble), consumer-customizable EQ configurations in the Bose New music Application are as quick to use as they are enjoyment. I also like how you can allow some ambient noise in for situational recognition without entirely defeating lively sounds cancellation. When you uncover the right blend, you can store this value as a preset—one for four—that can be recalled from in Bose’s app or with a tap on one of the thermal manage panels on every single bud.
Those similar pads can also be employed to modify the quantity, participate in/pause the present keep track of, skip up or down your playlist, and take care of cellular phone phone calls. They are considerably much easier to accessibility and manipulate even though on the move than the controls found on the AirPods Pro’s very small stems.
Ideal ANC earbuds general: It’s Bose by a nose
We really don’t hedge our bets at TechHive, so we’re naming the Bose Silent Convenience Earbuds II as the winner of this levels of competition by virtue of their excellent lively noise cancellation and bolder audio. That stated, no a person should really invest in a merchandise centered on a single criterion, and Apple’s AirPods Pro supply a incredibly refined listening experience as perfectly.
The true base line below is that you cannot go improper with either option, but recurrent vacationers and extensive-length runners may favor the QC Earbuds II, when marathon listeners and multi-taskers might be happier with the next-gen AirPods Pro.
For those people who even now can not come to a decision, we’ve boiled down just about every product’s pluses and minus in this article:
Finest options of the Bose Silent Convenience Earbuds II
Excellent sound cancellation
Fuller bass, hotter all round presence
Cling additional securely in your ears
Less difficult actual physical controls
Disadvantages of the Bose Peaceful Consolation Earbuds II
Marginally bulkier and heavier
They put on out their in-ear welcome quicker
ANC freaks out with unfastened bus suspension clattering
Best functions of the Apple AirPods Professional (2nd generation)
Pretty comfy healthy
Very clear, in depth seem
For a longer time collective battery daily life
Decodes Dolby Atmos
Disadvantages of the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd technology)
Not as functional at cancelling a number of noises simultaneously
Bass reaction isn’t as entire bodied
Not as very good at staying in the ears for the duration of robust exercise routines