Bose's new noise-canceling earbuds near release, get name change
The Bose Noise Cancelling Earbuds 700 have become the QuietComfort Earbuds, according to a launch video apparently released ahead of schedule.
David CarnoyExecutive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
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Bose fans have been waiting not-so-patiently for the company to release its perpetually delayed next-generation true wireless earbuds. Well, if an official-looking launch video courtesy of Australian retailer Harvey Norman is any indication, it appears that the product formerly known as the Noise Cancelling Earbuds 700 may be available soon under a new name: the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds.
Bose announced two new true wireless models last year. The Earbuds 500 -- now called the Sports Earbuds, according to Bose's UK site -- were previewed way back in June of last year and supposed to ship in 2019, but got pushed to 2020. The Noise Cancelling Earbuds 700 weren't scheduled to ship until this year, but Bose fans were hoping both new earbuds would ship earlier in 2020 as several competing models hit the market. In July, what appeared to be an early version of the new noise-canceling earbuds mysteriously showed up on YouTube, so anticipation for an official launch has been building.
(Update, Sept. 8: The original Harvey Norman video, linked above, was removed from Vimeo. It's now available on YouTube from Matrix Life. This video, embedded below, could be removed as well, since it's not on Bose's official YouTube channel.)
The QuietComfort Earbuds launch video offers up a few key product highlights and specs. Bose touts its noise canceling as the "world's most effective" and "breakthrough acoustic innovations" lead to "crisp, clear audio and deep rich bass." There's a custom-designed microphone array for "clear" calls, up to six hours of battery life (an hour better than Apple's AirPods Pro) and the buds are sweat- and weather-resistant, though no IPX rating is listed (Update, Sept. 9: The buds have a splash-resistant IPX4 rating, the same as the AirPods Pro. Also, you get two extra charges from the case, which offers wireless and USB-C charging).
Bose didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday morning.
They come in black or white and are equipped with Bose's StayHear ear tips, which are very comfortable and should keep the buds securely in your ears. While no price was provided, I suspect they'll cost around $250 to match the AirPods Pro. (Update, Sept. 8: A tipster told CNET that the QuietComfort Earbuds will cost $279 while the Sports Earbuds will retail for $179. Bose has not confirmed that pricing).
The link to the launch video first appeared in a post on Reddit. It's unclear whether Harvey Norman sent the video live prematurely. While some Reddit commenters said the long delay robbed them of their enthusiasm for the new earbuds, one can only hope that the wait was worth it and that the QuietComfort Earbuds live up to their billing.
I do think the name change was a smart move. Bose cast aside its QuietComfort branding when it released its full-sized Noise Cancelling 700 headphones and that was a mistake. Sports Earbuds sounds better than Earbuds 500, so maybe Bose is finally getting its act together after a seemingly rough 2020 so far.
The company also just named its first female CEO, Lila Snyder. She started on Sept. 1, maybe just in time to debut some new earbuds.
Watch this: Bose Earbuds 500: These true wireless headphones are gunning for AirPods