Bose QuietComfort II Review

by Emma Baker, Senior Editor | Published February 15th, 2024 | Reviewed by Ted Wilson, Systems Engineer

The QuietComfort Earbuds 2 excel in delivering high-quality sound and top of the line noise cancellation. Their smaller size and weight compared to past versions make them more comfortable and practical for everyday use, while the customizable ear tips and stability bands ensure a secure fit.

In this review, I will delve into the specifics of the QuietComfort Earbuds 2, examining their innovative features and how they stand out in the crowded market of noise-canceling earbuds.

Bose QuietComfort IIs Infographic

Comfort and Fit of the QC IIs

In my opinion, the QC IIs are a display by Bose to show that they are listening to their users. The many complaints made against the last iteration of these earbuds, including the large size of the earbuds and the oversized carrying case, have all been fixed.

The new earbuds are 30% smaller. The carrying case has gotten a makeover too, shrinking by 40%.

The difference is night and day! The earbuds now fit so much better and feel incredibly comfortable, especially when I’m on the go or hitting the gym.

Each earbud in this new generation is not just smaller, but lighter, weighing less than a quarter of an ounce. It’s not just about the numbers – this change means they stay put in my ears, even when I’m moving around a lot. But, just to set the record straight, they’re not quite on par with the Bose Sport Earbuds for intense workouts.

sound Quality and Noise Cancelling

Bose has really knocked it out of the park (again) with the noise-canceling tech in their QuietComfort Earbuds 2 – the bass has that perfect punch, and the mid-range is as clear as a bell.

They’ve upped their game with this ActiveSense technology in the QuietComfort Earbuds II. This was a great perk for me during my city commutes. I could stay in my bubble but still be fully aware of what’s happening around me. 

What really sets these earbuds apart is how they handle noise cancellation all on their own. Some might miss having a manual off-switch for the ANC, but I found the automatic mode just makes life easier.

In my tests, they were even better than some of my old favorites, like the WF-1000XM4, at shutting out those low hums and buzzes. Sure, they might let a high-pitched noise slip through now and then, but that’s a small price to pay for such an overall amazing experience.

Comparison of Sound Profiles

Feature/Earbud Bose QuietComfort II Apple AirPods Pro 2 Beats Fit Earbuds
Bass Profile Enhanced bass, more thump and boom Improved bass extension, slightly warm Slight v-shaped, extra bass adds punch
Suitability for Genres Great for EDM, hip-hop; less neutral Versatile for various audio content Bright vocals and instruments, may be harsh for some
Mid-Range Vocals can be muddy in mixes Adaptable EQ, suitable for cozy mixes Bright mid-range, lacks sound customization
Customization Graphic EQ and presets in app No built-in EQs, iOS accessibility for customization No sound customization features
ANC Impact on Sound More bass with ANC on, subjective differences Adaptive EQ affected by ANC status Clearer, less boxy sound with ANC off
Additional Notes Subjective experience may differ from tests Volume-dependent bass and treble adjustment ANC status may not affect EQ activation

Battery Life

While the battery life of the QuietComfort Earbuds 2 aligns with comparable headphones, offering up to six hours of playback with ANC active, the absence of wireless charging is a notable omission for an otherwise very standard battery performance.

When it comes to recharging, Bose claims that the earbuds can be fully recharged in the case within an hour, and if you’re pressed for time, a quick 20-minute charge can give you about two hours of playback.

While the QCE II may not be breaking any new ground in terms of battery life, the earbuds hold enough juice to last you through most situations.

Bose QuietComfort 2s vs. AirPods Pro 2

Feature Bose QuietComfort 2s AirPods Pro 2
Battery Life Up to 6 hours of playback (18 hours with charging case) Up to 6 hours of playback (30 hours with charging case)
Sound Performance ANC, Aware Mode, custom EQ settings Personalized Spatial Audio, ANC, Transparency Mode
Active Noise Cancelling Capabilities Best low-frequency noise cancellation, capable of dialing back midrange frequencies Excellent noise cancellation, Adaptive Transparency mode for dynamic sound environment handling
Comfort Ergonomic design, available in multiple colors Four pairs of oval eartips for a customizable fit
Responsive Controls Capacitive touch controls, customizable via Bose Music app Press or press-and-hold gesture on the stems, capacitive touch gesture for volume

The Downsides

These earbuds exhibit some notable omissions, including the absence of wireless charging, which, given their price point, might leave potential users questioning their overall value

The QuietComfort Earbuds II lack some of the bells and whistles found in competing models, such as head-tracking spatial audio and location-based sound profiles. 

The magic of these earbuds lies in their self-sufficient approach to noise cancellation.

In my own little testing world, these earbuds outperformed some of my previous go-tos, like the WF-1000XM4, especially when it came to muffling those annoying low-level hums and buzzes.

They’re not perfect – a sharp, high-pitched sound might sneak through occasionally – but that’s hardly a dealbreaker considering the top-notch experience they deliver overall.

FAQs

Are the QuietComfort Earbuds 2 worth the investment?

The QuietComfort Earbuds 2 offer exceptional audio quality, comfort, and top-tier noise cancellation. If these features are your primary focus, they are indeed worth the investment. However, the absence of wireless charging may disappoint some users.

How do the QuietComfort Earbuds 2 compare to other models in the market?

In the realm of noise-canceling earbuds, the QuietComfort Earbuds 2 reign supreme. While they may lack some of the bells and whistles found in competing models, Bose has made substantial strides in the ANC department, offering a remarkable audio experience in a compact form factor.

Can you customize the touch controls on these earbuds?

Yes, the QuietComfort Earbuds 2 offer touch controls that can be personalized to some extent through the companion app compatible with iOS and Android. This allows you to designate specific shortcuts that align with your preferences.