QuietComfort Earbuds 2: Bose promises the best noise reduction on the market

In its press release announcing the launch of its new QuietComfort Earbuds 2 wireless headphones, Bose speaks of a ” unprecedented listening experience ” and of ”
the world’s most effective noise reduction for headphones or in-ear headphones.

Impossible to confirm or deny this rather bold statement before having been able to test these headphones which arrive on the market on September 15 at 299.95 €. In any case, in fact this new model displays 20€ more than its predecessor.

The QuietComfort Earbuds 2 have undergone some welcome changes. The headphones are around 30% more compact and their case has also been slimmed down by 40% to slip more easily into a pocket, which was more than necessary given the imposing case of the first model.

The QuietComfort Earbuds First-gen models offered excellent active noise reduction (RBA) and good audio quality, but they were quite heavy and protruding. The QC Earbuds 2 each weigh just under 7 grams, according to Bose. They are still not very svelte, but they are definitely less bulky.

New tips

The other big change concerns the end caps. Bose ditched its one-piece StayEar system for a two-piece Fit Kit, with separate eartips and stabilizers in three different sizes. This provides more flexibility to find a secure fit and effective passive sealing which is essential to ensure optimal sound and noise reduction performance. Like other brands, Bose has developed a test to assess the best configuration via the mobile application.

There is also a new CustomTune audio calibration system to optimize noise reduction and sound quality for each user. Bose explains that each time you insert the headphones into your ears, a specific sound is broadcast and a microphone measures the acoustic response of the ear canal. ”
This information is then used to fine-tune audio and noise reduction performance specifically for the user in less than half a second.
says Bose.

Although the speakers appear to be identical or very similar to those of the QuietComfort Earbuds, the manufacturer indicates that thanks to CustomTune technology, the sound is significantly improved, with more “shades, clarity, depth and gaining precision. CustomTune also improves the natural rendering of transparency mode. The most efficient systems give the impression of hearing the outside world without wearing earphones or headphones.

As for active noise reduction, Bose claims to have targeted mid and high frequencies that were previously difficult to attenuate:
the voices of close colleagues, the cries of babies and family distractions in your home office
“. Many headphones and earphones with RBA are good at reducing low frequencies such as airplane cabin noise, but are more difficult to attenuate noise in a broader spectrum of frequencies. Sony and Bose have been vying for the title of best active noise canceling for the past few years and we’ll see if Bose has regained the upper hand.

QuietComfort Earbuds 2 have four microphones in each earbud, two of which are dedicated to picking up voice. The performance of the QuietComfort Earbuds for hands-free calls was good but could be improved. According to the firm, improvements have been made in this area, with better noise reduction and better voice pickup during calls. To be confirmed during our test.

Six hours of battery life

Battery life is rated at six hours with RBA enabled. The case provides three additional charges. It has a USB-C connector but is not compatible with wireless charging. Most headphones in this price range offer this feature. Like their predecessors, they are splash and sweat proof (IPX4) and feature touch controls including a swipe gesture for volume control.

QuietComfort Earbuds 2 are Bluetooth 5.3 compatible and support AAC and SBC audio codecs, but not aptX. However, they are equipped with a Qualcomm Series 5 audio chip that manages multipoint Bluetooth and the aptX format. So there’s a good chance that multipoint Bluetooth will come later in future firmware updates, perhaps alongside other features.

Note that the noise reduction is adaptive but there is also a manual setting at three levels. The app has an equalizer to customize the sound to your liking. This is a notable development for Bose, which has long relied on the performance of a single audio profile. That said, it’s likely that most users will stick with the default sound setting and let the CustomTune technology do its thing.

Check back soon for our full review of the QuietComfort Earbuds 2.

CNET.com article adapted by CNETFrance

Picture: Bose

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