Twenty years ago, Bose released the first QuietComfort® noise cancelling headphones to mainstream consumers after years of development and research. Since then, we’ve continued a legacy of research, development and innovation with each new release of headphones, next level of noise cancelling technology and expansion into new areas of audio—like wireless earbuds that don’t even go in your ears. Through it all, we’ve stayed true to Dr. Bose’s passion and vision: advancement through research and insights at our very core. A commitment that sets us apart but also holds us to a different standard, despite the added time or effort that might take.
The much-anticipated release of our first true wireless in-ear noise cancelling earbuds is a testament to the rigorous lengths our engineers, designers and product managers go. We strive to predict the needs, wants and concerns of customers while also meeting our own high standards that go above and beyond.
The anticipation and wait for the release of our true wireless in-ear noise cancelling earbuds is finally over. And while the wait may have been longer than anticipated, the result is very much what customers and reviewers had speculated and hoped for. Our team of engineers and designers set the bar high: pack the power of the over-ear Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 into a true wireless earbud. But we didn’t want to just meet expectations, we wanted to surprise, delight and give users an amazing sensory experience.
“Building a product takes thousands of detailed decisions made on a daily basis that all factor into the end result with the customer always in mind.”
Noise cancelling requires a lot of processing power, which drives battery size and overall performance. Bose QuietComfort® Earbuds use a new, dual-core digital chip for noise cancelling. It’s about half the size and uses half the power of the previous generation chip; but with four times the computational power. Which allowed us to push the boundaries of what our noise cancelling earbuds could deliver. Like automatically detecting and subtly adjusting noise cancelling levels when the bud is unstable, which can happen when placing the buds in your ear. Details customers might never know about or see. The type of details that speak volumes about the level of attention and thought in every last part and piece. And the very high standards we hold ourselves to.
From the category-defining 11 levels of noise cancellation, including full transparency or ambient mode, to amazing voice pickup on calls, on-bud touch controls and a simple, sleek design, we took all the goodness of our leading Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, pulled in customer likes and concerns, and packed it all into a compact, truly wireless earbud.
The release of our Bose QuietComfort® Earbuds is a defining moment in our noise cancelling history. It’s been 20 years since we launched our first pair of QuietComfort® headphones. The new QC Earbuds feature proprietary hardware and software advancements that make them the most effective noise cancelling in-ear headphones ever. Showing us just how far we’ve come, but also igniting us to see just how much further we can go.
We took all the good—and addressed the not so good—of what customers had to say about our SoundSport Free wireless headphones. Then went about creating a wireless in-ear sport headphone that felt good, looked good and sounded amazing. We maintained the “full” and “rich” sound and comfort that users loved—and made it even better with our new StayHear™ Max eartips that provide an exceptionally stable, secure fit and a gentle seal to ensure high-quality audio performance.
One of the biggest hurdles engineers and designers faced was reducing the overall size of the earbuds and creating a slimmer profile. The result is new true wireless sport earbuds that are 40% smaller than the original SoundSport Free headphones, all in a sleek oval form that sits closer to the ear without sacrificing audio performance.
In addition to the audio performance, comfort and stability our SoundSport Free earbuds are known for, this smaller and sleeker version promises new features. Among them are intuitive touch controls and access to your choice of the Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. In short, everything you need to power through the day.
But it’s in the unshared details that Bose really stands apart. We knew that sport earbuds meant factoring in “sweaty humans”. And because sweat contains salt that’s corrosive to the inside of buds, we kept ease of use in mind as well as protection of key components. Currently, there are no industry standards for sweat testing. So, the engineers at Bose created their own rigorous sweat tests. They developed a “sweaty finger test” that simulates real-life scenarios and interactions where perspiration might interfere with performance, like double-tapping and using on-bud touch controls when digits are slick with perspiration. Right down to what happens when hair of different lengths drips sweat onto the buds. While the tests are far from glamorous, they certainly show our dedication to going above and beyond the industry standard.
The first Bose in-ear headphones in 2006 were the start of what would evolve into our line of sport headphones. The SoundSport wired headphones were active-user favourites for over a decade before being retired with the SoundSport wireless headphones release in 2016. Not even a year later came the Bose SoundSport Free, our very first true wireless headphones. But while headphone technology continued to evolve, we always made sure the secure, comfortable fit that had amassed so many loyal fans from the start was ever-present—and only getting better with each new release.
There’s something to be said about maturity. With it comes experience, wisdom and the confidence to push even further. All of which is reflected in the 2nd generation of Bose Frames. And let it be said, age looks good on our latest audio sunglasses. Three distinctive Bose Frames join the line-up of fashion-forward open-ear audio: Bose Frames Tempo, high-performance sport sunglasses made for the high-performing athlete; Bose Frames Soprano, a fresh, retro-glam take on the timeless cat eye; and Bose Frames Tenor, a modern, refined square with enduring, classic appeal.
With this latest release of open-ear audio sunglasses, there’s a depth of experience that can be seen in the development, details and delicate balance of tech with artisanal craftsmanship. The team had to master form, function and facial design elements without sacrificing the astonishing, lifelike quality of sound. Which meant having to adapt, iterate and explore new materials that looked and performed as well as or better than the glossy acetate used by most frames and would mould to your face shape over time. Not ideal when trying to keep miniaturised audio components stable and securely in place. Or how to expand the range and repertoire of Bose Frames by leveraging classic silhouettes, but with a distinct Bose element and fresh take that doesn’t alter—but elevates—the overall design and aesthetic.
Inspiration can come from even the most unlikely places, like Project Sippy Cup. Aptly code-named, it sparked the idea of an open, out-loud audio device, yet didn’t “spill”, just like the cup itself. And became known as Bose OpenAudio™ technology, first introduced in Bose SoundWear and perfected in our Bose Frames sunglasses.
While the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 aren’t a new release, we can’t seem to stop innovating and thinking of what’s new and next. Our most popular over-ear headphone said to be the “most desirable ANC headphones on the market” now also come in a work-ready pro model. Say hello to the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 UC that come bundled with our Bose USB Link Bluetooth module for convenient, pre-paired wireless connections for conference calls and collaborating. So, you can easily go into work mode any time, anywhere. Plus, when bundled together, the headphones and module are Microsoft Teams certified, as well as compatible with Google Meet and Zoom.
We’re also amazed at how people are incorporating Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones into their lives. From making calls while out and about, to self-care and moments of silence, to making the most of working from home. People are using wireless noise cancelling headphones for more than just work or listening to music. They’re finding new ways to tune in and focus when needed, or tune out the ambient noises of the world around them. We can’t wait to hear what you come up with next.
There’s an evolution in audio underway. Whether it’s using sound in new ways and new areas of our everyday life or soothing a racing mind, finding a space to relax or helping secure a good night’s sleep, we’re bringing our spirit of invention and ingenuity to the forefront. And exploring new territories around health and audio, pushing OpenAudio™ technology to the next level. It’s all up ahead, so check back for updates on what’s new, now and next inside our world of sound.