Bose fans have been waiting not-so-patiently for the company to release its perpetually delayed next-generation true wireless earbuds. Well, if an official launch video courtesy of Australian retailer Harvey Norman is any indication, it appears that the product formerly known as the Noise Cancelling Earbuds 700 may be available soon under a new name: The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds.
The company announced two new true wireless models last year. The Earbuds 500 — now called the Sports Earbuds, according to Bose’s UK site — were previewed way back in June of last year and supposed to ship in 2019 but got pushed to 2020. The Noise Cancelling Earbuds 700 weren’t scheduled to ship until this year, but many were hoping both new earbuds would ship earlier in 2020 as several competing models hit the market. In July, what appeared to be an early version of the new noise-canceling earbuds mysteriously showed up on YouTube, so anticipation for an official launch has been building. (Click the “Watch on Vimeo” button to watch the video).
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The QuietComfort Earbuds launch video offers up a few key product highlights and specs. Bose touts its noise-canceling as the “world’s most effective” and “breakthrough acoustic innovations” lead to “crisp, clear audio and deep rich bass.” There’s a custom-designed microphone array for “clear” calls, up to six hours of battery life (an hour better than Apple’s AirPods Pro) and the buds are sweat- and weather-resistant, though no IPX rating is listed.
They come in black or white and are equipped with Bose’s StayHear ear tips, which are very comfortable and should keep the buds securely in your ears. While no price was provided, I suspect they’ll cost around $250 to match the AirPods Pro’s pricing.
The link to the launch video first appeared in a Reddit message board and it’s unclear whether Harvey Norman sent the video live prematurely. While some Reddit commenters said the long delay robbed them of their enthusiasm for the new earbuds, one can only hope that the wait was worth it and that the QuietComfort Earbuds live up to their billing.
I do think the name change was a smart move. Bose cast aside its QuietComfort branding when it released its full-sized Noise Cancelling 700 headphones and that was a mistake. Sports Earbuds sounds better than Earbuds 500, so maybe Bose is finally getting its act together after a seemingly rough 2020 so far.
The company did also just name its first female CEO, Lila Snyder. She started on Sept. 1, maybe just in time to debut some new earbuds.
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