Apple AirPods Professional (2nd gen) vs Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

to an important extent years Since we have seen updates to both the AirPods Professional or the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds – two of our favourite energetic noise-canceling earbuds. Then each of them had been formally introduced on the identical day, solely at intervals of some hours. And what was the day?

Each the brand new AirPods Professional (2nd gen) and QuietComfort Earbuds II promise (and ship) a number of the greatest noise cancellation we have heard but—not simply from earbuds, however any headphones we have heard. The query is how do they stack up towards one another throughout classes. We put them face-to-face, feature-to-feature, to search out out which comes out on prime.

Store for Apple AirPods Professional (2nd era)

Store for the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II


Close-up of the hand holding the single earbud of the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation).

credit score: Reviewed / Ryan Vaniata

Each earbuds price a premium, however the Apple AirPods Professional are $50 lower than the QuietComfort Earbuds II.

The brand new AirPods Professional and QuietComfort Earbuds II are each premium earbuds and so they price one thing like this. They had been launched one week other than one another in September of 2022, so discovering them at a reduction is unlikely to be round for fairly a while. Trying strictly at every MSRP, it is a straightforward win for Apple; $249 versus Bose’s $299 worth.

our selection: airpods professional

Noise cancellation and transparency mode

Profile view of author John Higgins with a Bose QuietComfort II earbud in his left ear.

credit score: Reviewed / John Higgins

The QC II has the perfect noise cancellation we have heard.

There have been some first rate enhancements in noise-canceling expertise through the years, largely from earbuds within the midrange to beneath $100, the place top-end efficiency has began to say no. Then again, the high-end modifications have been rather more nuanced.

Whereas the Sony WH-1000XM5 are higher than the WH-1000XM4, it isn’t a “blows them out of the water” scenario. Nevertheless it’s an entire new world with the second era AirPods Professional and QuietComfort Earbuds II.

The ANC efficiency of every is jaw-dropping, though it’s kind of excessive with Bose. Airplane drones have all been eradicated—the AirPods hiss a slight midrange and barely make extra rumble than the QuietComfort 2.

It’s with vocal chatter that the distinction is most obvious. Whereas the AirPods Professional are higher than our favourite Sony headphones and earbuds of the previous few years, Bose’s attenuation is stronger and extra focused. General, the dialog is much less audible, and what’s heard is quieter and fewer distracting.

Each pairs checklist the adaptive transparency mode amongst their specs. Transparency mode is nothing new for earbuds, it’s the adaptive half that’s fascinating, which reduces loud noise whereas Transparency mode is enabled to guard your ears. In observe, Apple and Bose have completely different philosophies on how this works.

Profile shot of tester Ryan Vaniata wearing the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) in public.

credit score: Reviewed / Ryan Vaniata

Adaptive Transparency Mode permits you to hear the world round you with out being overwhelmed by overly loud noises.

When Bose’s AwareSense is on and Transparency Mode is on, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II routinely initiates noise cancellation to scale back the intrusion of loud noises into the setting. The implementation is a bit distracting, particularly when a sudden loud sound – like a canine barks – happens in the course of a dialog and the noise cancels out to close off the world round you for a couple of temporary seconds.

If Bose does add an adjustable slider sooner or later, it’ll go a protracted option to lowering the drama of the second. Because it stands, the characteristic’s efficiency is not there but.

Apple, then again, maintains the wonderful readability of its Transparency mode and makes use of a limiter to stop sudden loud noises and instantaneous harm to your ears.

The highly effective H2 chip within the AirPods Professional samples the sound round you 48,000 instances per second to immediately reply to the setting. That processing energy additionally permits the AirPods Professional to concentrate on voices and enhance their intelligibility when there’s noise. If we’re nitpicking, they don’t seem to be flawless in execution—the loud sound can generally distort the limiter a bit—however the efficiency continues to be spectacular.

That is very near the decision, as they every do higher in a single than the opposite.

our selection: To make an image

Options and Controls

Angled shot of writer John Higgins wearing Bose QuietComfort II earbuds in the right ear.

credit score: Reviewed / John Higgins

The AirPods Professional and QuietComfort Earbuds II have intensive contact controls.

With regards to full-featured performance and controls, each Apple and Bose have been a bit behind the curve in several methods, and there is nonetheless reality to that. The AirPods Professional and QuietComfort Earbuds II each lack Bluetooth multipoint pairing, which implies you’ll be able to solely join to at least one machine at a time (although Apple has an Apple-focused iCloud sharing possibility for Apple units).

The AirPods additionally supply spatial audio help with non-compulsory head monitoring, and comfort options like “Hey Siri” help and monitoring of each your earbuds and case with the Discover My app. However one frequent characteristic that Apple nonetheless has so as to add is any type of EQ management. Bose lastly added a 3-band EQ, and you may grant entry to your machine’s voice assistant for a protracted press on the Bose earbuds (although it isn’t as hands-free because the AirPods), however “two steps ahead.” In a “step again” transfer, the corporate eliminated wi-fi charging for the case, one thing we see on most earbuds at $200 or extra, together with the Professional.

Along with the quantity changes on the AirPods Professional, each pairs have an intensive checklist of controls. Quantity management with the Professional can be turned on by default, so it really works even once you’re not linked to an iPhone. However you’ll be able to alter the setting solely from iPhone. QuietComfort II, then again, is machine agnostic with the Bose Music app for each Apple and Android, permitting for full customization of options for any ecosystem.

There may be nonetheless one thing to be desired from each the earbuds; EQ possibility for AirPods Professional, wi-fi charging functionality for QC Buds, and multipoint pairing for each. This class washes.

our selection: To make an image

design and match

Close-up of the stem of the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation).

credit score: Reviewed / Ryan Vaniata

The Professional is a bit smaller and lighter than the QuietComfort 2.

Bose has fortunately diminished the scale and improved the match of the QuietComfort Earbuds II, which now look nearer to the AirPods Professional than the unique chunky QuietComfort earbuds. The brand new QuietComfort can be lighter than the older iteration by greater than two grams per earbud. As an alternative of a mixture eartip/wing design, the brand new QuietComfort features a choice of interchangeable eartips and stability bands that provide extra customizable match choices than earlier than.

The design of the AirPods Professional stays the identical, though now with an extra smaller eartip, the whole variety of choices has gone as much as 4. Regardless that Bose is about three grams lighter at 6.2 grams per bud, the AirPods Professional continues to be lighter at 5.4 grams per earbud. It might not sound like a lot, however in terms of long-term consolation, each little bit helps.

In the end, which match design works greatest for you is determined by your ear form. Nonetheless, the truth that the AirPods Professional are a bit lighter and smaller in design ties them to this class.

our selection: airpods professional

sound and name show

Profile shot of tester Ryan Vaniata wearing the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) in public.

credit score: Reviewed / Ryan Vaniata

These buds have wonderful name high quality, with few complaints acquired from listeners.

Whereas Bose’s new EQ is simply three bands (bass, mid, and treble), Apple nonetheless does not have an EQ possibility. Nonetheless, Bose’s EQ is a bit flawed. There isn’t any option to save customized presets, so when you swap out of your modifications to one of many 4 included presets, your settings are gone.

However even with the 3-band EQ changes I made, I did just like the AirPods Professional’s sound a bit. They are not the best-sounding earbuds on this worth vary (that honor nonetheless goes to the Sony WF-1000XM4, with some app tweaking), however they’ve improved on the earlier AirPods Professional. The bass particularly is full and supportive, with out taking away mid-range readability, and there is good brightness for the highs.

That does not imply that Bose does not compete. There is a average degree of pushiness there, however total I loved my time listening to them. If you happen to’re somebody who prefers one thing a bit extra mid and excessive finish on your music, QuietComfort II will serve you properly. Each the earbuds are near sound high quality.

Nonetheless, as with exterior calls, it isn’t even a contest. AirPods concentrate on voice and dutifully filter out extraneous noise, so whoever you are speaking to can hear the dulcet tones of your voice clearly and simply. When managing editor Ryan Vaniata was on a name with the Seattle Wharf on the best way from building, he was simply capable of have a cellphone dialog, even with the opposite social gathering not figuring out how a lot of the development day he was in. had been shut.

In the meantime, Bose has hassle controlling medium wind or automotive alarms from half a block away. Site visitors causes a loud mid-range that pulls focus away from the sound.

The out-of-the-box sound high quality and the distinctive name high quality of the AirPods Professional are each what give Apple this class.

our selection: apple airpods professional

battery life

Close-up image of a hand holding a pair of Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation).

credit score: Reviewed / Ryan Vaniata

Each the earbuds have comparable battery life, however the AirPods get a barely longer life out of the case.

The earbuds should not best-in-class in terms of battery life. In reality, they’re barely in the course of the pack, however at the very least each have improved upon their predecessors. AirPods Professional now affords as much as 6 hours of battery life and stays on for a complete of 30 hours with an ANC case. Bose will get as much as 6 hours even with ANC on, and his case whole is as much as 24 hours.

It doesn’t matter what you select, they’re going to require a day payment when you plan on utilizing all of them day. Apple’s quick cost is twice the velocity of Bose. That, paired with an extra 6 hours from the case, offers this class to the AirPods Professional.

our selection: apple airpods professional

And the winner is…

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) at the palm of a hand.

credit score: Reviewed / Ryan Vaniata

It’s a particular purchase for iPhone customers and price contemplating for others.

For Apple machine customers, AirPods Professional is a no brainer. They’re the final word Apple cell peripheral. Noise cancellation is significantly better than earlier than, the adaptive transparency mode is superb and improves total usability, and the sound profile is detailed and balanced. Apple-focused options all enhance the consumer expertise, and so they’re $50 cheaper than Bose.

The large argument in favor of the QuietComfort Earbuds II is their noise-canceling efficiency. It is a bit higher than the AirPods Professional, particularly in the course of troublesome conversations. No matter machine you are utilizing, they work the identical means, which is a vital distinction for non-Apple customers.

If you happen to’re particularly in search of the very best noise cancellation, particularly in conditions the place you are surrounded by dialog, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II are the standout decide. However in all different respects, the Apple AirPods Professional are simply nearly as good, if not higher than Bose. They match a various way of life in a means QuietComfort cannot, which supplies the AirPods Professional a number of the greatest all-arounds out there.

Store for Apple AirPods Professional (2nd era)

Store for the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

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Costs had been correct on the time this text was printed however might change over time.

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