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Bose's new AirPods competitors ship Sept. 29

Leaked a few days ago, the $280 QuietComfort Earbuds are now officially available for preorder, as are the new $180 Earbuds Sport.

David Carnoy Executive 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, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Headphones, Bluetooth speakers, mobile accessories, Apple, Sony, Bose, e-readers, Amazon, glasses, ski gear, iPhone cases, gaming accessories, sports tech, portable audio, interviews, audiophile gear, PC speakers Credentials
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David Carnoy
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Bose's new QuietComfort Earbuds are designed to compete with Apple's AirPods Pro.


Bose's long-awaited next-generation true wireless earbuds finally have an official shipping date. Leaked in a video a few days ago, the active noise-canceling QuietComfort Earbuds ($280, £250) are now available for preorder along with the new Sports Earbuds ($180, £180). Both will ship on Sept. 29. We're awaiting Australian pricing.

Bose, which also released new Frames audio sunglasses today, announced two new true wireless models last year. The Earbuds 500 -- now called the Sports Earbuds -- were previewed way back in June of last year and supposed to ship in 2019, but got pushed to 2020. The QuietComfort Earbuds, formerly known as 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.

Read more: Bose Frames audio sunglasses get a 2020 makeover

Bose touts the QuietComfort Earbuds' 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, with 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, and there's a quick-charge feature that gives you two hours of battery life from a 15-minute charge. 

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds and Sports Earbuds are designed for comfort

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They come in black or white and are equipped with a new version of Bose's StayHear ear tips (they're called StayHear Max), which are very comfortable and should keep the buds securely in your ears. The noise canceling is adjustable and a transparency mode allows ambient sound into your ears so you can have conversations while still wearing the buds. Both earbuds have touch controls.

Read moreBest noise-canceling true wireless earbuds of 2020

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The Sports Buds colors.


Bose says the Sport Earbuds are a little smaller and lighter than QuietComfort Earbuds. They also feature IPX4 sweat- and water-resistance but their battery life is rated at five hours -- instead of six -- with two extra charges from the case (it also has wireless charging). Some people may be disappointed with those numbers, considering earbuds like Samsung's Galaxy Buds Plus offer double the battery life for less money.

While the QuietComfort Earbuds are pretty pricey, costing $30 more than the AirPods Pro, they should deliver better sound and noise canceling. Like the Sony WF-1000XM3, they will stick out from your ears, but a lot of people like the way the StayHear tips feel and are willing to give up some subtlety for their comfortable fit. One of the complaints about the original Bose SoundSport Free earbuds was that they were too bulky; Bose seems to have trimmed these new models down somewhat.  

I'll let you know just how good they sound -- and how good their noise canceling is in the case of the QuietComfort Earbuds -- as soon as I get my hands on the earbuds. Hopefully, with Bose spending all these extra months developing them, they'll be worth the wait.  

Watch this: Bose Earbuds 500: These true wireless headphones are gunning for AirPods