Let’s cut to the chase: German news portal WinFuture (opens in new tab) published 13 good quality images of the still unofficial Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II. If these images prove to be legit – and they certainly look genuine – the second iteration of the original, best-in-class Bose QuietComfort headphones could have pretty much shaved off their bulky driver boxes, if not their price.
Refreshing for a leak (which should still be treated as such, regardless of image quality), the images come with quite a bit of information, including a price tag of $299 (about £250, AU$430), which is US $19 more expensive than $279 / £249 / AU$399 release price of its big brothers from the September 2020 issue.
That pricing strategy means they certainly won’t join our best cheap headphones buying guide, although our best noise canceling headphones list can certainly accommodate them should they perform well under review.
While the new, unannounced Bose buds look similar to their predecessors in terms of color and branding (black and white are pictured, but there’s still no blue), the driver housings look a little smaller and appear to protrude less than the ear. . There also appears to be a reworked fin and eartip design – all of which is extremely welcome news, as the original QC’ Buds did not include fins that could be applied (or for me, removed) separately from their attached tips. .
However, according to the WinFuture leak, the QuietComfort Earbuds II will offer the same six hours of battery life as the buds, which is a little disappointing. That said, the alleged extra playtime offered by the cabinet (which also looks new) is still unclear. The original QuietComfort headphones had a total battery life of 18 hours, including the case – that’s fine, but it’s trumped by the Sony WF-1000XM4, AirPods 3, and even much cheaper options like the JLab Go Air Pop.
I really hope Bose can bump the battery life to at least 24 hours this time (as offered by the AirPods 3, with Spatial Audio enabled), if not the outrageously good 32 hours offered by the $20 JLabs.
Opinion: We welcome a smaller Bose Earbud
WinFuture is confident that the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II will be released in the next few weeks and I can’t wait to try them out.
As we said in our review, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds already offered a slightly sleeker design for Bose’s first attempt at true wireless buds, the chunky SoundSport Free, but even these earbuds aren’t what we’d call small. Each button measures 3.9cm x 2.6cm x 2.7cm and weighs 8.9g – it’s almost as bulky as the Sony WF-1000XM3 (which tilts the scales at 8.5g each) and comes out of the ear in the same way. For reference, the aforementioned JLab Go Air Pop only weighs 3.7g per earcup…
Ultimately, the current QC buttons are comfortable to use and the noise cancellation is great, but as ‘s fitness and wellness editor Matt Evans says, “They’re bulky. I’d be happy to wear them walking around town, but I’d be too nervous doing any movement above a light jog for fear their weight would rip them out of my ears. I know they’re not ‘training’ headphones per se, but I would like a smaller size.”
As someone with smaller ears, the search for a headset that fits securely is never ending. I think I’ve found the best headphones for smaller ears, but I welcome new competitors – and the new Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro is another big shout if you want smaller headphones.
Could Bose’s long-awaited QuietComfort Earbuds II join my list? Quite possible. As always, time will tell. We’ll bring you all official Bose leaks, updates, and announcements as they happen.