Best Guides

Best Bose Headphones in 2020

Last updated: 2 months ago, Dec. 3. 2020
Article Contents

    Bose headphones are world renown for their fantastic noise-cancelling, exceptional comfort, and enjoyable sound quality (plus a premium price).

    Introducing a quick guide to the best Bose headphones to buy, so you can save time, and make a good decision for yourself. Check the comparison below.

    Comparison: The Best Bose Headphones

    Model RatingPriceConnectionBatteryNoise-Cancelling 
    Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
    best overall
    The Best Bose Headphones You Should Get Today4.4$$$$$$
    20hThe Best Bose Headphones You Should Get TodayMore info
    Bose QuietComfort 35
    (Series II)

    The Best Bose Headphones You Should Get Today4.7$$$$$$
    20h with ANC
    40h ANC & wired
    The Best Bose Headphones You Should Get TodayMore info
    Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
    best noise cancelling earbuds
    The Best Bose Headphones You Should Get Today4.0$$$$$
    +12h in storage
    The Best Bose Headphones You Should Get TodayMore info
    Bose Sport Earbuds
    best true wireless
    The Best Bose Headphones You Should Get Today4.1$$$$
    +10h in storage
    The Best Bose Headphones You Should Get TodayMore info
    Bose QuietComfort 25
    best wired ANC
    The Best Bose Headphones You Should Get Today4.5$$$$
    Wired/The Best Bose Headphones You Should Get TodayMore info
    Bose QuietComfort 20
    best noise-cancelling in-ear
    The Best Bose Headphones You Should Get Today4.4$$$$$
    Wired16hThe Best Bose Headphones You Should Get TodayMore info
    Bose QuietControl 30
    best wireless in-ear
    The Best Bose Headphones You Should Get Today3.8$$$$$
    10hThe Best Bose Headphones You Should Get TodayMore info
    Bose SoundSport Wireless
    best workout in-ear
    The Best Bose Headphones You Should Get Today4.4$$$$
    6hThe Best Bose Headphones You Should Get TodayMore info
    Bose SoundSport PulseThe Best Bose Headphones You Should Get Today4.4$$$
    5hThe Best Bose Headphones You Should Get TodayMore info
    Bose SleepBuds II
    best for sleeping
    The Best Bose Headphones You Should Get Today4.1$$$$$
    +30h in storage
    The Best Bose Headphones You Should Get TodayMore info

    Table of Contents

      Wondering what Bose models are actually the best for your needs?

      If you’re looking for a balanced sound signature, sensational comfort, and good build-quality then these headphones might be for you. Choose from a wide variety of designs and technology that Bose offers.

      Bose Wireless Headphones

      1. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 – best overall

      Bose 700

      Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are the current champion in the Bose line-up.

      Why Buy These?

      It’s no secret that their newest model, the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, is one of the best this company has to offer. These have a sleek and modern design. Despite the headband being made out of stainless steel, they are very lightweight and extremely comfortable.

      You should expect 20 hours of battery life from Bose 700. While this is not among the best results, it should be enough for at least 2-3 days of normal use. Their fast-charging via USB-C is super quick. If they run out of juice and you need them right away, a 15-minute charge can give you up to 3.5 hours of playback.

      Of course, you also get active noise cancelling feature. It’s the best implementation of this feature right now. You can even tweak the intensity of it from 0 to 10 via the Bose Music App.

      The Bad

      Unfoldable hinges.

      The Sound

      The frequency response is balanced and offers impressive clarity. Overall, while the competition prefers a more fun audio performance with punchy bass, the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 manage to stand out with its mature sound quality.

      For the best Bose headphones of 2020, get Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 that offer everything this company knows at the moment.

      2. Bose QuietComfort 35 II – runner-up

      Bose QC35II wireless headphones

      Truly an excellent noise-cancelling Bose headphones.

      Why Buy These?

      These are getting a little bit old now, but they are still some of the best noise-canceling headphones Bose ever made. The QuietComfort 35 over-ear Bluetooth headphones deliver everything you expect from premium headphones.

      You get best-in-class noise-cancelling, exceptional comfort for extended use, good build-quality, many additional features, and enjoyable sound quality. One of the best active noise cancellation tech in the market in any of Bose products and it can easily compare to other premium noise-canceling headphones.

      Additionally, you get plush, memory foam earpads that make you forget you’re wearing them. The company is known for great comfort and these are no different.

      Add to this 20-hour battery life (40 wired) with active noise cancellation feature and Bluetooth enabled. Plus, the option to connect multiple devices, built-in controls, microphone, foldable design, and the option to use them with wires (when the battery dies) and you get to see why Bose QuietComfort 35 II are our runner-up recommendation.

      The Bad

      Still quite pricey.

      Micro-USB port instead of USB-C.

      The Sound

      The audio quality doesn’t disappoint. It’s a typical signature sound (somewhat balanced) with a good bass that is suitable for all music genres.

      Bose QuietComfort 35 II are still one of the best Bose headphones, with great sound quality, battery life, and noise-cancelling technology.

      The ANC Bose offers is remarkable. They produce, hands down, one of the best (if not the best) noise-cancelling headphones in the world. Check their models below or for other brands, see this guide (ANC headphones).

      Bose True Wireless Earbuds

      3. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds – best noise cancelling earbuds

      Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

      New true wireless earbuds with class-leading noise cancellation technology.

      Why Buy These?

      Bose released two new truly wireless earbuds for the general public: Sport Earbuds and QuietComfort Earbuds. While the first offer mostly basic features, the QC ones come with a more in-depth companion app and active noise cancelling feature for blocking ambient noise.

      Since we’re talking about Bose, the noise-cancelling performance is nothing short of excellent. With QuietComfort Earbuds, they’re continuing the trend of ANC dominance in the wireless market. They should be on par, if not better, with the greatest from Sony, Sennheiser, and Apple.

      Bose’s buds have a 6-hour battery life with an additional 12 hours in the charging case. The case can also charge wirelessly using Qi standard. Since they’re exceptionally comfortable, provide a stable fit, and repel sweat (an IPX4 rating of water-resistance), you can also use them for workouts.

      The Bad

      Poor total battery life.

      The bulky design brings wind noise.

      The Sound

      It’s nicely balanced and incredibly punchy. It shares many similarities with regular Sport Earbuds, with excellent control in the bass, good balance throughout the mids, and smooth transition in the treble.

      Despite the high price point, Bose QC Earbuds are worth looking into.

      4. Bose Sport Earbuds – true wireless alternative

      Bose Sport Earbuds true wireless earbuds

      True wireless in-ears for sports.

      Why Buy These?

      Bose’s earbuds have always been on a larger side. However, they sure know what they’re doing. You can wear Sport Earbuds for hours without experiencing any fatigue.

      The secret lies in StayHear Max ear gels that are a combination of ear tips and fins. Since tips are so big, they can’t fit inside the ear canal and only hang in front of it. That also means that you don’t need crystal clean ears to achieve an optimal seal.

      Another area where Bose’s buds excel is stability. They stay in your ears no matter how vigorously you shake your head. Durable housing is made from hard plastic and sports IPX4 water-resistance. You can access basic commands using touch controls.

      The Bad

      Total battery life could be better.

      Limited touch controls.

      The Sound

      The sound quality is excellent, especially if you enjoy punchy lows. The bass is wonderfully controlled, even on more demanding tracks, with recessed yet clean mids and treble with lots of details. The soundstage is also fairly wide for in-ear headphone standards.

      If you seek optimal stability and comfort during a workout, you can’t get better than Bose Sport Earbuds.

      Read the full review.

      Bose Wired Headphones

      5. Bose QuietComfort 25 – best wired (ANC)

      Bose QuietComfort 25

      The best wired noise-cancelling headphones from this company.

      The Bose QuietComfort 25 is the top choice if you want amazing noise canceling but don’t need wireless functionality. This older model has the same amazing comfort as the rest of the series. With the soft foam earpads and good cushioning on the headband, you can wear them for hours.

      Moreover, the noise cancellation is state of the art and it lasts for about 35 hours with one AAA battery. If it dies you can still use them without noise canceling. Additionally, you get a nice carrying case to make them portable.

      There are 2 options, one for Apple devices and the other for Android. The only difference is the cable. The in-line controls can only work for one type of device.

      These Bose noise-cancelling headphones can be yours for considerably less than the Bluetooth option.

      The QuietComfort 25 are the best wired ANC headphones (that you can even make wireless, more on this below).

      How Do You Make Bose QuietComfort 25 Headphones Work Wirelessly?

      By attaching a simple mod called AirMod. This is a Bluetooth adapter that cost around $60 (as of writing this). It attaches to the 3.5mm AUX plug and gives up to 8 hours of wireless functionality per full charge. It also has built-in microphone and controls for easy song selection and hands-free calling.

      The mod is Apple and Android compatible and is a great addition to your headphones. Check out the latest price here.

      Bose Wired Earbuds

      5. Bose QuietComfort 20 – best wired earbuds (with ANC)

      Bose QuietComfort 20

      QuietComfort 20 are the best wired in-ear headphones with noise canceling.

      If you don’t like the bulk of over-ear headphones you can get yourself a smaller package. These tiny earbuds offer great comfort and respectable noise-cancellation. Noise reduction is the best-in-class for small headphones. Click here for other ANC in-ear headphones.

      Since they’re wired, you can connect them to any 3.5mm device but you still need to charge them for noise-canceling. In fact, the built-in battery lasts up to 16 hours per full charge. Additionally, you get an in-line remote and microphone for changing songs and making calls.

      Connect any 3.5mm to Lightning with this adapter.

      The Stay Hear+ ear tips are very comfortable and stick to the ears well. there’s also an “aware mode” for when you want to hear your environment. Get all of the above with the signature sound and you get to understand the appeal of these great earbuds.

      If you want the best experience of noise-cancelling earbuds then Bose QC 20 is the answer.

      Bose Bluetooth Earbuds

      7. Bose QuietControl 30 – best neckband

      Bose QuietComfort 30

      QuietControl 30 are the latest Bluetooth noise-cancelling earbuds from this company. While active cancellation doesn’t seem to be as good at blocking background noise, it still performs better than the competition.

      You can connect them with Bluetooth, to 2 devices at the same time. This means they support all iOS, Android, and other Bluetooth devices. It’s quite useful if you want to listen to music with a laptop and also be ready for calls on your phone. Moreover, the unique ear tips are very comfortable and you can easily wear them for the whole day.

      After looking deeper it seems many people experience durability problems after a couple of months. Apparently, this model isn’t built to the same standards as others and it’s a bit of a gamble. Keep this in mind.

      The neckband design might seem bulky and heavy but that’s not the case. It’s quite comfortable and sits nicely around your neck. The cell inside the neckband gives up to 10 hours of battery life which is great for in-ear headphones with good wireless range and noise-cancelling.

      Nonetheless, you should know these are not a replacement for QC20 earbuds because their noise-cancelling is not as effective. Because they have adjustable noise-cancellation their overall effectiveness isn’t as good. On to other topics, since they are wireless you also get built-in controls and a microphone for making calls.

      The best Bluetooth noise canceling earbuds with signature sound are the QuietControl 30.

      There are 2 more Bluetooth earbuds from Bose under “sports headphones.”

      Bose Sports Headphones

      There are many good workout headphones you can choose from, and Bose are among the top. For other brands check this workout headphone guide.

      8. Bose SoundSport Wireless – best workout earbuds

      Bose SoundSport Wireless

      If you’re into sports and gym, then you have to check the SoundSport earbuds.

      These Bluetooth earbuds are deemed as some of the best for working out and running.

      This is due to their great fit during movement, comfort, and general resistance to sweat. You’ll have a hard time finding more comfortable sports earbuds.

      Also, since these are Bluetooth, you can connect them to any smartphone or BT device. You get 6-hour of battery life and can also; control music with an in-line remote and make calls with the microphone.

      Add to this a signature sound quality, and you’ll understand why SoundSport Wireless are one of the most popular workout headphones today.

      Read the full review here.

      9. Bose SoundSport Pulse

      Bose SoundSport Pulse wireless earbuds

      Colorful wireless earbuds for runners with a heart rate sensor.

      Why Buy These?

      Like many Bose in-ears, these also have a rather chunky housing that is not afraid to protrude. While that seems unergonomic, the reality is, these earbuds fit exceptionally well. That is mostly due StayHear ear gels with ears fins that ensure stability.

      The unique thing about these buds is heart rate monitoring. There are small sensors right underneath the ear tips that tracks the blood flow inside your ears. If you don’t already have a dedicated fitness tracker, this can be a handy feature.

      They connect via Bluetooth and have built-in NFC. For accurate tracking of your training, you can connect them with multiple different apps like MapMyRun, RunKeeper, Endomondo, and Runtastic.

      The Bad

      5 hours of battery life is relatively low for today’s standards.

      The Sound

      As you might expect, these earbuds deliver a fun, punchy sound signature that sportspeople enjoy. Even if you crank the volume up, the overall smooth presentation never gets fatiguing or sibilant.

      Having more useful things packed into one device can be super handy, especially if you need it for exercise. Bose SoundSport Pulse are an excellent presentation of that.

      10. Bose SleepBuds II – best for sleeping

      Bose Sleepbuds II sleeping headphones

      Image credit:

      Wireless earbuds that help you sleep better.

      Why Buy These?

      Many people have trouble sleeping because the ambient noise is too loud. Reasons for that differ from noisy traffic to a loudly snoring partner. If you can’t find a solution in earplugs, the only thing that might help are sleeping headphones.

      Specially designed SleepBuds II are incredibly small and don’t protrude like other wireless earbuds. Instead, you can sleep on your sides without noticing them at all. They fit gently into your ears and have small ear fins to not fall out during sleep.

      Bose decided that noise cancelation isn’t the best way to achieve sweat dreams. Instead, you choose between 40 various gentle sounds inside the companion app settings that help you fall asleep: from running water to the sound of rustling leaves.

      Even though they’re tiny, they can last up to 10 hours per charge, with another 30 hours of battery life waiting in the sleek charging case.

      The Bad

      While it does work via Bluetooth, it doesn’t support music playback. That’s a bit of a head-scratcher considering the price tag.

      SleepBuds II are among the best Bose headphones for sleeping.

      Honorable Mentions

      Bose SoundLink II (over-ear)

      If you don’t care about noise-canceling but still want fantastic comfort, wireless connectivity, and a signature sound SoundLink II are for you. They have a 15-hour battery life, but in case the battery dies, you can also use an AUX cable.

      Bose Frames

      Frames are the best way to listen to music on the go without putting something on or in your ears. These stylish sunglasses can also protect you from UVA/UVB rays and with 3.5-hour battery life are perfect for long walks by the beach. And yes, they sound really good.

      Bose SoundSport (wired)

      If you don’t mind wired sports earbuds and want something that is reliable, comfortable and has good sound, check Bose SoundSport wired earbuds. There are 2 versions; one for Apple and the other for Android devices. That is if you want to have in-line control and microphone for good call quality.

      Bose SoundSport Free

      Pair of headphones with a well-balanced sound profile. Bose SoundSport Free are very comfortable to wear and suitable for sports activities, rocking an IPX4 rating of water-resistance.

      Why is Bose Such a Popular Brand for Headphones?

      While there can be no arguing Bose headphones are one of the best in major categories, you can find better, especially if you ask a real audiophile. Nonetheless, Bose is very well known and respected by an average consumer. They’ve been the first to introduce noise-cancelling headphones which helped them create a good reputation.

      Their products are also widely-acceptable worldwide. You can find them at many major retailers and supermarket brands. This has given the brand major recognition and a premium reputation.

      This is the reason, why Bose headphones are more expensive than the headphones of many other brands. While they aren’t necessarily better or worse (it’s subjective), you have to expect to pay a higher price.

      What Kind of Sound Signature Bose Headphones Have?

      There are some differences in how each headphone model sounds, but overall they have a balanced sound signature.

      This means neither bass, middle range, nor treble is emphasized. All ranges are reproduced in an equal fashion. This doesn’t mean a perfectly flat response but close to it. This sound signature is great for all music genres and enjoyed by most people.