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Bose announces new Ultra line of headphones with spatial audio
- Bose has officially announced three new audio products: the QuietComfort Ultra Headphones, QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds, and QuietComfort Headphones.
- The Ultra line adds Bose’s take on spatial audio, which doesn’t require special content.
- All three models are available for pre-order starting today.
After a few leaks here and there, Bose has officially announced its new Ultra line: the QuietComfort Ultra Headphones and the QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds. Thanks to those leaks, we already know what the headphones and the wireless earbuds look like. But today’s announcement gives us concrete details on what they bring to the table, as well as their standout feature — Immersive Audio.
Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones
According to Bose, the QuietComfort Ultra Headphones are replacing the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 as the company’s flagship. Like the 700, these offer plenty of features like active noise canceling (ANC), built-in microphones, echo reduction, and so on. At the same time, the company gave the Ultra a little extra that could put them on the list of best headphones on the market.
Starting with arguably the most interesting feature, the QC Ultra Headphones have what’s called Immersive Audio. This feature creates a multi-dimensional and layered soundstage for the listener. Unlike other spatial audio technology, however, Immersive Audio doesn’t require specialized content to work. Bose’s take on spatial audio works by using an onboard inertial measurement unit (IMU) and proprietary Bose digital signal processing software.
Users will be able to pick from two different modes when Immersive Audio is on: Still and Motion. Motion uses head tracking to keep the sound in front of you, while still is meant for when you’re sitting down. You can also turn off Immersive Audio, which you’ll want to do if you’re trying to save battery power. With Immersive Audio and ANC on, the headphones provide 18 hours, 24 hours with Immersive Audio off and ANC still on.
It’s also important to note that Bose has further improved call quality. The company says its signal processing, chipset, and advanced microphone technology can pick up your voice from 360 degrees of unwanted nearby sound. These mics also help to improve noise cancelation and CustomTune calibration.
As we saw from the leaks, Bose has given these cans a design that helps set them apart from the company’s other offerings. One of the ways the QuietComfort Ultra Headphones differ from other models is the headband. Instead of plastic, these headphones incorporate metal into the headband. The device also uses minimal seams and part splits, which all come together to convey a more premium look.
Another key change is the volume control. In other models, Bose opted for physical buttons, but the Ultra’s volume control uses a capacitive touch strip located near the bottom of the cup. However, there is a physical multifunctional button that can be used for toggling between listening modes, answering or ending calls, and content playback control. You can also expect to see an LED indicator, a 2.5 mm jack, and a USB-C charging port.
QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds
Same as the headphones, Bose’s new earbuds are able to take advantage of Immersive Audio. Additionally, the earbuds support of dynamic microphone mixing and adaptive filters so that voices sound clearer even in areas filled with noise. As Bose explains:
These technologies work together in real time to determine and prioritize which microphone on each bud is experiencing the least wind noise, and selecting from a variety of noise filters so your voice presents more clearly to those you’re calling.
The QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds also benefit from a new design. Sticking with the premium theme, these earbuds have a streak of silver metal running down the stem. And the stability bands have been improved with an interlocking fit, so you know they are in your ear correctly.
In terms of battery life, these earbuds will give you up to six hours of playback time. Unless you have Immersive Audio turned on, then that time is reduced to four hours. For the case, you’ll have the option to pick up a wireless charging cover that also works with the QC Earbuds II.
In a smaller announcement, Bose states that the QuietComfort 45 Headphones will be replaced by the QuietComfort Headphones. It will offer high-fidelity audio, multipoint Bluetooth 5.1 capability, noise canceling, and up to 24 hours of battery life.
All three of the devices are available for pre-order starting today on Bose.com. The QC Ultra Headphones and Earbuds come in Black and White Smoke and go on sale in early October for $429 and $299, respectively. While the QC Headphones will be available on September 21 for $349, available in Black, White Smoke, and Cypress Green (limited-edition).