Travel Tech

The Latest Noise Canceling Earbuds Are Here – They Could Be Better Than the Apple AirPods Pro

Written by Charlie

The new Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II are here and they have improved in all the areas that needed to be – so are they are best of the bunch?

September and October are huge technology reveal months and this year has not disappointed so far! Of course, we have already seen the action camera space get lit up, Apple dropped their new phones with things like satellite connectivity and a brand new watch to go after Garmin. Google released their newest earbuds and Apple released their new AirPods Pro as well. So, what are these new earbuds?

The New Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II – The Best of the Bunch?

Link: Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II (this and the links in this post are affiliate links – thanks for the support!)

The Earbud Competition

If the earbud and headphone space was a battle for the best naming system between Bose and Sony, Bose would win every time! These new earbuds are meant to go up against the Sony WF-1000XM4 (whaaat?!) and having a name like Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II tells you way more than the Sony naming system does!

But, it isn’t about names (though that should definitely be a point in Bose’s favor) and it really isn’t Sony that Bose was going after. It was the entire noise canceling earbud market which has gotten huge! And, according to the early reviews, Bose did it – very well.

Bose has a big history of noise canceling excellence with their traveler favorite QC series of headphones, they have been doing noise cancellation and doing it well for a while. Yes, Sony has made great strides and even Apple has become very popular but I still think Bose is the one to go to.

In fact, I had sold my Apple AirPods Pro last year and ended up getting the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds because I felt they beat out Apple in comfort, noise cancellation, customization, and fit. The only negative? The case was a bit on the hefty side and the earbuds had a bit of their Sport Earbuds feel and look to them.

The New Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

With the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II, that size is totally slimmed down, both in the case and the earbuds. And, they have have tuned up the noise cancellation to make it better than ever. I honestly cannot wait to give them a try since I have gone wholly Bose in my noise cancellation drawer with the previous generation earbuds for short flights and other times and the awesome Bose 700 headphones for video editing and longer flights.

CustomTune Technology

So, what got better so that Bose felt comfortable asking $299, or $50 more than the Apple AirPods Pro 2022 edition? First, you still get the adjustable EQ, something Apple never really got into with their headphones. You also get a CustomTune technology that uses a special system to tune the earbuds to your ear canal for the best noise cancellation and sound performance. Pretty cool and something that should definitely help the earbuds. The biggest negative against earbuds over headphones is that you are losing out on the over the ear isolation that headphones provide which adds a passive noise cancellation as well. But, with this new tuning system, this could help the earbuds perform better than any other earbuds.

Battery Life

Speaking of negatives, battery life is always an issue with earbuds and you would think that since Bose shrunk these that the battery life took a hit. Nope, it is at the 6 hour mark for just the earbuds and the case charges them up 3 more times for a total of 24 hours of time away from the wall plug.

Plus, you get up to 2 hours of listening with just a 20 minute charge. So, if you use these on a long-haul flight, this could be a great way to get the whole flight with them, by charging them while eating or maybe napping. Speaking of napping, the smaller size should help you to be able to wear the while sleeping as well. I currently wear the original earbuds when sleeping (something I cannot do with headphones) so these should definitely be workable that way.

Worth It?

But, again, $299? Now you are in the headphone price space. But, earbuds are more than just for travel. You can use them in your day to day lifestyle as well plus Bose revamped the microphones to make them easier to use for phone calls. So, these could be great for the office, the commute, walking about town – all things that are likely better with earbuds than headphones.

I know I will likely get them to review but I believe I will stick with my original earbuds. The size isn’t horrible when traveling and I currently use the Beats Fit Pro for my daily drivers, thanks to their ability to be used for fitness (and, by the way, they are also noise cancelling!).

But, if you are looking for a pair, based on past editions of both, I would recommend these over the Apple AirPods Pro. Sure, you don’t get the magic sauce of Apple connectivity but I think Bose has packed enough in here to make them a better fit for most.

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • I have to imagine that these will be regularly discounted so that the street price is no more than the Apple ones.

    I have the Bose NC700 over-hear headphones, and while the sound is good and they’re comfortable, the firmware is incredibly buggy and they are horrible at connecting to my iPhone, and absolutely miserable when connecting to my Samsung TV (it sometimes takes a dozen tries before it connects properly). Going to be hard for me to consider buying another Bose product after that experience.

  • How do these compare to the noise-cancelling of the QC35 head phones? Can you turn the noise canceling on without listening to sound? I know they have the sleep buds but I prefer no white noise.

  • Most expert reviews give a slight edge in headphones to Sony over Bose in noise cancelation and a draw in comfort and sound. I prefer headphones over earbuds on airplanes: better noise cancelation, more bass, and much better audio detail.

  • Never been a fan of airpods pro. been using samsung earbuds and they have better design and equal sound quality if not better.

    • Why don’t you like the airpods pro? Fitting issues? I know some runners have issues with the seal loosening and for that reason I have avoided the airpods pro. I do have the normal airpods, but no noise isolation or noise canceling. They do stay while running and walking, etc…….

      • I know for me, it was the fit. The original AirPods fit very nicely for running. The AirPods Pro kept falling out. I wasn’t going to buy a third-party product for fit on something that was created to be of a better fit in the first place. I went with the Beats Fit Pro and they are fantastic for running and workouts. Plus, they still have the special Apple connection hookups across Mac and iOS devices.

        • I have had issues with pressure fit earbuds like the Airpods Pro and Beats Fit Pro in the past, so I decided to purchase the Powerbeats Pro that have the loop behind the ear. Will try them out when they arrive and give a review here. Every person has a different anatomy so earbuds fit better or worse.

          • You are absolutely right! The feel for each individual makes overall reviews on earbuds very difficult. I don’t care how good an earbud sounds if it doesn’t stay in my ear! 🙂
            I have the Powerbeats Pro and found them to be the best all-around for pretty much any fit, since it uses the around-the-ear design. The reason I didn’t make them be my daily drivers was that I wear sunglasses during like 90% of my runs and my sunglasses do not fit well with the Powerbeats Pro on my ears. I know, a little thing but I ended up getting bounce with my sunglasses so I chose to try something different.
            Definitely want to hear your review and perspective of them when you get them!

    • I was actually fortunate enough that my AirPods (one of them) had failed under warranty so they replaced them and I sold them without ever using them. I sold them on eBay for $150! Not bad. 🙂

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