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Apple on September 23 officially launched the second-generation version of the AirPods Pro, introducing updated Active Noise Cancellation, Adaptive Transparency, improved sound, and more. Right around the same time, Bose introduced new QuietComfort II earbuds with many similar features, so we thought we'd compare the two to see which has the edge.


Both the QuietComfort II and the AirPods Pro feature in-ear designs with silicone tips, but the QuietComfort II earbuds have a short, thick body rather than a rounded body with a stem like the AirPods Pro.

The AirPods Pro 2 have an excellent fit so it's hard for the QuietComfort II to compete, but they do not move around in the ear and feel secure. Fit will mostly come down to personal preference, of course, but we found the AirPods Pro 2 to fit better, making them more comfortable to wear.

Sound quality for the QuietComfort II earbuds is neutral out of the box, but there is an EQ app that can be used to tailor the sound, something not available on the AirPods Pro 2. The app also allows for pairing with multiple devices (already available with the AirPods), and it allows for customization of the ANC feature.

As for Active Noise Cancellation, the AirPods Pro 2 win out. ANC on the QuietComfort II earbuds is okay, but it's not as good as the AirPods Pro ANC. Apple also does Transparency better, especially with the new Adaptive Transparency that can cut down on loud sounds like sirens without muting all background noise.

The QuietComfort II earbuds come with a charging case, but it's notably larger than the MagSafe charging case that comes with the AirPods Pro 2. The earbuds themselves last for about six hours, the same as the AirPods Pro 2, but the charging case adds just 18 hours of battery, while the AirPods Pro 2 charging case adds up to 24 hours of additional battery life for a total of 30 hours vs. 24 for the QuietComfort II.

Apple sells the AirPods Pro 2 for $250, while the QuietComfort II from Bose are priced at $299, so they're in the same general price bracket. One major upside to the QuietComfort II - they come in black. Apple is still only selling its AirPods Pro in white, with no black option available for those who would prefer a sleeker color.

Make sure to watch the full video up above for a side-by-side comparison of the AirPods Pro and QuietComfort II, and let us know what you think in the comments.

Article Link: Video: AirPods Pro 2 vs. Bose QuietComfort II
 

ramallite

macrumors regular
Jan 5, 2004
171
350
Greensboro
I've asked this before and don't remember receiving a reply: Why do reviews like this continue to state that there is no EQ available for the AirPods? There is no dedicated EQ app, but both the Music settings on iPhone and the Music app in MacOS have equalizer menus (the latter is quite tunable too).... What am I missing?
 

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Tagbert

macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2011
3,158
3,356
Seattle
I've asked this before and don't remember receiving a reply: Why do reviews like this continue to state that there is no EQ available for the AirPods? There is no dedicated EQ app, but both the Music settings on iPhone and the Music app in MacOS have equalizer menus (the latter is quite tunable too).... What am I missing?
It might be more useful if it was a system-wide setting not buried in one app. Music is not the only app and medium for listening.
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
9,613
3,349
Seattle
This review is hilarious. The ANC and sound quality on the Bose is so far ahead of the AirPods Pro 2 it's not even close. The ANC on the QCII earbuds is better than on my Sony XM5, which is pretty much staggering for in-ear buds. I also had my wife compare the AirPods Pro 2 to the Bose QCII earbuds and she couldn't believe the difference, either.

Anyway, if you want the best sound quality/ANC, you go with the Bose. If you want the seamless transition between different devices/smaller case/wireless charging/mic quality, you go with AirPods Pro 2. For me, ANC + sound quality (bass is miles ahead of Apple's) trumps all, so Bose it is. I use my AirPods Gen 3 for calls. The AirPods Pro 2 got sent back.
 
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2albion

macrumors newbie
Mar 5, 2020
6
3
How are both of these earbuds when making phone calls in the wind? Or using dictation in the wind, which I do all the time? I haven't seen a review cover this yet!
 

MauiPa

macrumors 68040
Apr 18, 2018
3,152
4,657
Just a point. when Apple anything is a bit more expensive: authors often say "Airipods are more expensive, but are you getting your money's worth?" When other products are 20% more expensive than apple and offer less battery life: "so they're in the same general price bracket". The gifts that keep on giving!
 

Tagbert

macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2011
3,158
3,356
Seattle
How are both of these earbuds when making phone calls in the wind? Or using dictation in the wind, which I do all the time? I haven't seen a review cover this yet!
I’ve noticed much better ANC on the microphones on the APP2 but have not tried wind noise. It has not been windy here since they came out.
 
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Greenmeenie

macrumors 68000
Jan 14, 2013
1,790
2,720
My favorite wireless in ear headphones are the Power Beat Pros that hook around the ears. Love them. The battery lasts forever & they have actual physical buttons to pause/skip & lower/raise the volume. I really hope they aren’t discontinued, because they’re the only ones that are compatible with my freak ears. 😂 👂
 

TLY

macrumors newbie
Apr 19, 2022
7
9
The phone call test is a night and day difference at least on the iPhone 14 Pro. I know sound is objective and a lot of people love the Bose sound signature, but I prefer the high end apple sound signature like on the AirPods Pro 2nd Generation, original HomePods or AirPods Max. Nice Apple Watch Ultra, I got the same one and nice to see what it looks like on someone else, doesn't really matter, but the band is opposite on how Apple wants you to wear it. Also don't forget to stand, I saw the notification pop up during the video. :)
 
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MallardDuck

macrumors 65816
Jul 21, 2014
1,098
1,923
Would love to see a comparison of the airpod pro's vs the bose wired nc buds. When I fly, the airpods just don't last long enough, so I have to do wired, but if they're markedly better, maybe two pairs is an option.
 

Muscovite

macrumors member
Apr 19, 2020
51
33
My AirPods Pro 1’s keep falling out. My QC 1’s never have. So I say the latter’s guaranteed snug fit design makes them acceptable to a larger (literally) audience. Being otherwise an all-apple guy, I do miss the H chip magic when using the Boses’ but I have had my share of hiccups with the H1 chip as well, so pressing a button inside the case or using the app to switch is not THAT much of a deal either.
So, Bose it is. Would have upgraded to v2 right away if it weren’t for Bose dropping wireless charging for some dumb reason.
 
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taliz

macrumors member
Jun 10, 2006
42
44
Battery in my AirPods died recently.
Was looking at getting new ones.
Went to buy a wall mount for my TV and noticed they sold black wireless earbuds with a charging case for $9.
Didnt expect much, but they actually sound really good and are really easy to use.
No way I'll ever spends hundreds on AirPods again.
 

russell_314

macrumors 601
Feb 10, 2019
4,769
6,622
USA
I would love to see the EQ settings Bose has in AirPods Pro. I know Apple doesn’t like to give people too many choices, but I think in 2022 an EQ is just a really basic function of any earbuds.

Yes, I know you can get an EQ in the Apple Music app but that’s not the same thing.
 

jon3543

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2010
574
222
I've asked this before and don't remember receiving a reply: Why do reviews like this continue to state that there is no EQ available for the AirPods? There is no dedicated EQ app, but both the Music settings on iPhone and the Music app in MacOS have equalizer menus (the latter is quite tunable too).... What am I missing?
You're missing the fact you have to set EQ on every source device. If APP2 had EQ, you'd set in the app, and it would apply everywhere.
 

russell_314

macrumors 601
Feb 10, 2019
4,769
6,622
USA
Battery in my AirPods died recently.
Was looking at getting new ones.
Went to buy a wall mount for my TV and noticed they sold black wireless earbuds with a charging case for $9.
Didnt expect much, but they actually sound really good and are really easy to use.
No way I'll ever spends hundreds on AirPods again.
If it does what you want it to do, then there’s no point in spending more
 

kirk.vino

macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2017
585
712
This review is hilarious. The ANC and sound quality on the Bose is so far ahead of the AirPods Pro 2 it's not even close. The ANC on the QCII earbuds is better than on my Sony XM5, which is pretty much staggering for in-ear buds. I also had my wife compare the AirPods Pro 2 to the Bose QCII earbuds and she couldn't believe the difference, either.

Anyway, if you want the best sound quality/ANC, you go with the Bose. If you want the seamless transition between different devices/smaller case/wireless charging/mic quality, you go with AirPods Pro 2. For me, ANC + sound quality (bass is miles ahead of Apple's) trumps all, so Bose it is. I use my AirPods Gen 3 for calls. The AirPods Pro 2 got sent back.
That’s what some other reviews have pointed out as well. I’m quite skeptical about this so-called review from MR.
 
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