Bose has announced the Quiet Comfort Ultra series of headphones and earphones, which introduce a new spatial audio style technology.
Both the QuietComfort Ultra Headphones and Earbuds have Immersive Audio, which unlike the alternative Apple popularised or Dolby Atmos, doesn’t require specialised content.
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Bose says the “accessible to all” technology is a proprietary hardware and software-based audio processing technology, which enables virtualisation of the sound, and will play nice with any streaming service you enjoy.
So, if you’ve overlooked the AirPods range because you don’t subscribe to Apple Music, these may be a great alternative for Spotify or Deezer members.
Like Apple’s Spatial Audio, there are two versions, ‘Still’ and ‘Motion’ (i.e. head tracked). The latter will keep the music front and centre, even when you move your head. Naturally, they’re both equipped with Bose’s market-leading active noise cancelling technology so these are great if you’ve been leaning towards a Sony XM5, for instance, and have been hoping for Bose to upgrade.
Crucially, there’s CD-quality lossless (16-bit/44.1 kHz) over Bluetooth thanks to the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sound platform that plays nice with aptX Lossless. AptX Adaptive will also support 24-bit/48kHz hi-res audio. That’s an Android-only feature though. Google Fast Pair and Bluetooth 5.3 are also on board.
The QC Ultra headphones bring design changes too. There are rotatable ear cups (welcome to the new smaller carrying case!) while the sliders and pivots are made of aluminium instead of plastic, and the headband is a little wider. There’s also a volume slider to join the multifuntion button.
The QC Ultra headphones have 24-hours of continuous battery, but a still-solid 18-hours if you have Immersive Audio switched on. In terms of the QC Earbuds Ultra, there’s six and four hours respectively.
The new launches supersedes the NC 700 noise cancelling headphones which are now a couple of years old, and the QC Earbuds II. Both models, which cost £449 and £299 respectively, will go on sale in early October in black or white.
There’s a third model, farther down the trough, simply called the Quiet Comfort Headphones with less of the fancier Ultra gubbins like Immersive Audio. They cost £349 and are available now.