The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones look like the brand’s most premium noise-cancelling cans yet. Replacing the Bose 700 as the company’s flagship, the QuietComfort Ultra ushers in a solid set of upgrades to rival the best headphones out now.
There are a few key ways that Bose modernized the QuietComfort Ultra Headphones. An emphasis on immersive listening, no matter the sound source, promise to transport you to a music studio. Plus, noise cancellation and passthrough modes are improved. With up to 24 hours of battery life, the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones stay powered a few hours longer than the Bose 700, too.
But the $429 price tag is a big jump, so the Bose QuietComfort 45 are being replaced by the Bose QuietComfort Headphones for $349 as an alternative. That said, if you want to know about the highest-end Bose headphones experience, see everything we know about the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones below.
Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones release date
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones release date is set for “early October.” Bose did not specify a date, but with October around the corner, it shouldn’t be long until the new headphones hit shelves. In the meantime, you can pre-order them on Bose.com.
Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones price
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones price is $429, with the headset coming in colors called Black and White Smoke. Their official predecessor, the Bose 700, costs $399, so there is a price hike worth noting.
This price also makes them a bit more expensive than the Sony WH-1000XM5 but still undercut the $549 AirPods Max. (Those are the two headphones the Bose QuietComfort Ultra will compete most closely against.)
As mentioned above, the standard Bose QuietComfort Headphones will cost $349, which is $20 more than the existing Bose QuietComfort 45 they replace.
Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones design
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones follow the Bose design language while welcoming some minimalist elements. Rather than have the telescopic arms spill onto the earcup, thin bands separate the headband from the cans.
On the left earcup, there’s a 2.5mm headphone jack and USB-C input for charging. Then, on the right earcup, there’s a connection button and a control button that can either pause or play with a short press or toggle through a carousel of commands configurable in the Bose app. Also, on the right earcup is a curved capacitive volume rail, indicated by a raised strip.
The color-matched earcup and headband cushions look reasonably plushy, while the contoured cup design is a bit more modern than before. The headset also collapses for convenient storage in the included case.
Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones performance
Powered by new proprietary digital signal processing software, the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones have spatial audio capabilities. Bose says its spatial audio technology supports any music source, so you don’t need specially-rendered tracks to take advantage of immersive listening.
Grouped into what the company now calls “Bose Immserive Audio,” spatialized listening takes two forms. “Motion” is similar to the spatial audio you might be familiar with, adapting sound to move with you as you turn your head, climb stairs, etc. The “Still” setting instead keeps you fixed in the sweet spot of a soundstage, making you feel like you’re in the main seat in a music studio while you’re just sitting at your desk or on the bus.
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones come with a re-engineered microphone system, touting better active noise cancellation and “Aware” or transparency modes. The microphones claim to differentiate your voice from ambient sounds, so when you’re taking phone calls, the person on the other end should be able to hear you clearly. The microphones also pick up voice commands for hands-free control.
Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones battery life
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones claim up to 24 hours of continuous listening on a full charge without Immersive Audio modes enabled. With the Motion and Still modes noted above, that estimate drops down to 18 hours. Bose doesn’t make any statement about fast-charging, so we’ll have to see how long you need to wait for the headphones to juice up before you can take them on-the-go.
Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones outlook
Bose totally revamped its consumer headphone family this year, with the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones pitched as the most premium option. The Bose 700 were top-notch headphones, so the new Bose QuietComfort Ultra have big shoes to fill, and the company is counting on great immersive listening to make that happen.