Bose Headphones and Earbuds Comparison

Posted on
3D Insider is ad supported and earns money from clicks, commissions from sales, and other ways.

Bose is an industry leading headphone and earbud manufacturer that has set the standard for the majority of the industry. Their headphones are priced at the premium end of the scale so you’ll need to make an investment, but the sheer quality offered means the asking price is never unreasonable.

Bose offers a decent amount of choice in the marketplace, which means you’ll need to figure out how to select the right model for your needs. In this comparison guide we will examine how the Bose headphones and earbuds stack up against one another. We have split up the headphones and earbuds into two sections to help you navigate to the products of interest.

We are confident that once you compare all the Bose audio products in this comparison guide you’ll know which one makes the most sense for your requirements. Making an informed buying decision is what we are here to assist you with so take the time to read the guide until the very end.

Wireless Performance

A decent number of Bose headphones come equipped with a battery for portability, which means they are ideal for traveling or the daily commute to work. You’ll also notice the competitive battery life compared with the rest of the industry. Extended battery life means you don’t have to worry about charging the headphones frequently. This is beneficial when there is no time to stop and use a power outlet during a long journey.

Make and ModelBattery LifeBluetooth Version
Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II)20 hours4.1
Bose SoundLink II15 hours4.1
Bose SoundLink15 hours4.0
Bose QuietComfort 3WiredN/A
Bose QuietComfort 25WiredN/A
Bose SoundTrueWiredN/A

The QuietComfort 35 has the best battery life on this list, but the other two options at 15 hours aren’t bad either. You’ll notice the use of Bluetooth version 4.0 and later, which means you can rely on a minimum distance of 33 feet (10 meters) and great audio quality.


The weight is one of the key attributes to look at when deciding on the portability of headphones. By looking at the pictures you may think a particular model is cumbersome to wear due to the size, but in reality lightweight materials might be used that drastically reduces the weight. Therefore, make a habit of checking out the weight to figure out the practicality for everyday use while out and about.

Make and ModelWeightFit
Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II)8.3 ouncesOver-ear
Bose SoundLink II6.9 ouncesOver-ear
Bose SoundLink5.3 ouncesOn-ear
Bose QuietComfort 35.6 ouncesOn-ear
Bose QuietComfort 256.88 ouncesOver-ear
Bose SoundTrue6.4 ouncesOver-ear

The QuietComfort 35s are the heaviest Bose headphones, but you should take this with a grain of salt. They are still extraordinarily comfortable and you will have no issues wearing them for hours on end.

Active Noise Cancelation (ANC)


Bose is an industry leader when it comes to the noise cancelation feature due to the excellent implementation. The QuietComfort 35 Series II has the best ANC and there is the freedom to choose between 3 settings, off, low, and high. This is practical because you can turn down the ANC feature when in quieter environments. Also, ANC drains the battery life, which means you can choose to use it sparingly.

The Bose QueitComfort 25 and QueitComfort 3 also offer ANC but without the option to adjust the strength of the feature. However, the implementation here is excellent and outshines the majority of the headphone marketplace.

Audio Quality

Determining the audio quality without trying out the headphones for yourself can be difficult. However, there are a few key attributes you can pay attention to and the frequency range is a good starting place. It’s measured in Hz and relates to the depth of audio you can expect. A wide range is desirable, especially at the bottom end as this improves the bass quality.

Unfortunately, Bose doesn’t share the frequency response of any headphones they manufacture. This is a disadvantage when buying their headphones because you have less info to make a comparison. In any case the Bose QuietComfort 25 and 35 offer the best audio fidelity due to larger audio drivers and their over-ear design. The Soundlink I and II are a touch behind in terms of audio quality, but they are still highly competitive compared to the rest of the headphone marketplace.


  • Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II): these industry leading Bose headphones are ideal for the daily commute to work and traveling while on vacation. The ANC feature helps block out ambient noise when traveling helping you sleep in the process. Furthermore, the lightweight portable nature of the headphones means they are great for moving around. The amazing audio fidelity means these are suitable for audiophiles that are demanding.
  • Bose SoundLink II: these headphones are ideal for enjoying music while outdoor due to the minimalist design, low weight, and wireless connectivity. However, there is no ANC feature, which means traveling on public transport isn’t ideal. The long 15 hour battery life ensures you can use these for the entire day and the audio quality means these are suitable for music enthusiasts.
  • Bose SoundLink: this version is the predecessor to the SoundLink II and is aimed at the same type of user. Take these whenever you go out to work and journeys to enjoy music on the go. The mix of the low weight and comfortable design means you’ll love wearing these on a daily basis. Also the visual aesthetics aren’t bad either, which means you can rock them with any outfit.
  • Bose QuietComfort 3: these are advertised as being suitable for work, travel, and home. However, the lack of wireless connectivity means they are more suited for the home than outdoors compared to the other Bose headphones.
  • Bose QuietComfort 25: the QueitComfort 25 is ideal for buyers that love high audio fidelity, want a minimalist low weight design, and are looking for ANC. However, there is no wireless connectivity, which means they are not the best option for walking around with. Get this if you don’t want to spend the extra money required for the QC35s.
  • Bose SoundTrue: the SoundTrue headphones have a simple design that offers a comfortable design and great audio fidelity. However, they aren’t the best option for traveling due to the wired connectivity and lack of ANC.

Bose Earbuds

Wireless Performance

Battery technology and Bluetooth has improved considerably in the last few years, which means you can enjoy excellent wireless connectivity with Bose’s audiophile grade audio. The lack of a wire means you can conveniently travel or commute to work. There is no need to run the wire down the inside of your clothing every time you feel like putting them on. However, the battery life is limited so you’ll need to manage it to avoid running out.

Make and ModelBattery LifeBluetooth Version
Bose QuietControl 3010 hours4.2
Bose QuietComfort 20WiredN/A
Bose SoundSport Wireless6 hours4.0
Bose SoundSportWiredN/A
Bose TriPortWiredN/A

There are two popular Bose earbuds with wireless connectivity and only the QuietComfort 30 offers a decent battery life of 10 hours. The SoundSport earbuds offer only 6 hours of battery life, which is rather average when you consider the rest of the marketplace.


The earbud weight somewhat determines the portability, however they are all within a reasonable range. Very light earbuds are great because you’ll quickly forget that they are even there after a few minutes of wearing them. Furthermore, earbuds with earhooks offer a more secure fit that reduces the chances of dislodgment during head movements.

Make and ModelWeightEarhooks
Bose QuietControl 300.8 ouncesYes
Bose QuietComfort 201.55 ouncesYes
Bose SoundSport Wireless0.8 ouncesYes
Bose SoundSport0.64 ouncesYes
Bose TriPort0.64 ouncesNo

The majority of Bose earbuds have earhooks for a more ergonomic fit and the weight is low, but the SoundSport and TriPort have the lowest weight of the bunch at 0.64 ounces.

Active Noise Cancelation


The in-ear fit of earbuds means the audio drivers are closer to the ear canal than with regular headphones. It also helps block out ambient noise using passive noise cancelation, but some Bose headphones offer industry leading ANC. Traveling on public transport such as trains and planes can get very noisy – especially if the passengers around you aren’t well behaved. In such scenarios the ANC feature can completely tune them out allowing you to enjoy your personal audio.

In this comparison guide the only two earbuds offering ANC are QueitComfort 20 and QuietControl 30. However, the latter allows you to control the level of ANC to better fit the environment. Reducing the strength of ANC in quieter areas is beneficial because it saves battery life.


  • Bose QuietControl 30: these Bose earbuds offer good battery life at 10 hours, a comfortable design, ANC and durability making them ideal for traveling. They are also suitable for demanding buyers that are looking for exceptional audio fidelity. You’ll struggle to find better audio in the earbud marketplace combined with portable features.
  • Bose QuietComfort 20: these are wired, but offer ANC so you still need to manage the battery life. They are suitable for buyers that are looking for high grade audio fidelity, a comfortable fit, and compatibility.
  • Bose SoundSport Wireless: as the name suggests these earbuds are well-suited for sports due to the wireless connection, waterproof rating, and ergonomic fit. They are also suitable for traveling and the daily commute to work.
  • Bose SoundSport: the SoundSport wired option has a number of sports-friendly features such as a secure fit, a low weight and sweatproof protection. However, the lack of a wireless connection means you’ll need to worry about the placement of the wire and it reduces the freedom of movement.
  • Bose TriPort: These earbuds are the most basic Bose offering that is ideal for those on a budget. They are a good all-rounder that can be used for work, traveling or at home.