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Best Bose headphones 2021: noise-cancelling and wireless

Bose is synonymous with great headphones and with noise-cancelling too. The US audio firm was the first to offer its customers the silent treatment and is still very much at the top of the game, partly why choosing the best Bose headphones can be quite tricky.

Bose has won a string of awards for its noise-cancelling headphones. The ground-breaking wizardry blocks out ambient noise – aeroplane engines, the rumble of a train, irritating work colleagues – and, if you think that they offer a solution to you personal audio problems, then you might well be right.

Bose has expanded its range of noise-cancelling headphones to suit every budget, and diversified into other types of cans – including sporty true wireless earbuds and premium wireless over-ear headphones.


1 Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

The sense of enthusiasm and excitement conveyed by the Bose buds is highly infectious.
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2 Bose SoundSport Free

Bose SoundSport Free

They're packed with useful features, too. Like the five LEDs on the outside of the case that indicate how much charge is left.
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3 Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Five years ago, opting for noise-cancelling headphones meant compromising on sound quality. But as the Bose QuietComfort 35 II over-ear headphones prove, that’s no longer the case.
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4 Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

A breakaway from the QuietComfort range, the 700s are the beginning of a more premium series of Bose noise cancellers. Both the acoustics and digital signal processing have been redesigned.
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5 Bose Sport Free

Bose Sport Free

The Bose Sports Earbuds are a sort of mash up between the QuietComfort Earbuds and the Bose SoundSport Free.
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6 Bose Soundlink On-ear

Bose Soundlink On-ear

Aimed at travel junkies, these foldable headphones are seriously suitcase-friendly. You get 15 hours playback and a full charge takes around 1.5 hours. In a hurry to catch a plane? Just 15 minutes of charging returns a couple of hours of playback.
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For a decade, Bose’s QuietComfort noise-cancelling headphones have been friends in need for keeping crying babies, droning transport and office hum far from you and your music.And the Bose QuietComfort 35 does all that with the extra benefit of being wireless. Now superseded by the QC35 II, these original Bose wireless noise-cancelling headphones remain a solid option, especially if you see a good price.

Of course, the famously effective sound-sucking noise-cancelling remains. Microphones inside and outside the earcups work to block external noise as effectively as ever. But headline news is the addition of (non-aptX) Bluetooth for wireless listening, alongside NFC for one-touch pairing.

Sound quality is still top notch. Bose isn’t shy about sculpting the audio; the company’s Active EQ boosts low and high frequencies at lower volumes so that music still feels dynamic even when you’re not cranking it. The QuietComfort Earbuds are very bass-forward and pack a wallop for hip-hop and EDM tracks. But the powerful low end also translates well to other genres. To my ears, these have a wider, richer soundstage than the competition (perhaps with the exception of Sennheiser).

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