These Bose Earbuds Are Comfier Than Traditional Headphones

woman wearing Bose Ultra Open Earbuds on her ear styled with other earrings
PS Photography | Kyley Warren
PS Photography | Kyley Warren
Every editorial product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn commission.

After Apple released its first AirPods variation in 2016, I was genuinely convinced that headphones had peaked. They were wireless, compact, and delivered an immersive sound that far surpassed the audio quality of wired earphones. But living in this technology renaissance means that I am (happily) proven wrong almost every single day, as evidenced by tech's buzziest release right now: the Bose Ultra Open Earbuds ($299).

My first introduction to these headphones was through a commercial with NBA player Anthony Edwards, in which the Minnesota Timberwolves star was seen sweating it out during a basketball practice, with the buds securely attached to his ears. I was amazed by the device's cuff-like design, which resembled a piece of jewelry more than an actual pair of headphones. But the ad did leave me with questions.

Sure, they're incredibly stylish, but how do they stay put in your ear? If they aren't designed to fit inside your earlobe, can they deliver the same kind of audio quality? With their chunky design, do they weigh down your ear or feel uncomfortable to wear?

Bose was kind enough to gift me a pair of its popular open-ear headphones, so I could get answers to my seemingly endless questions β€” and presumably, answer a few of yours, too. Ahead, read my full review of the Bose Ultra Open Earbuds and a verdict on whether these are truly the best wireless earbuds money can buy. (Spoiler: they totally are.)

What I Like About These Bose Ultra Open Earbuds

These headphones are dangerously comfortable, so much so that I almost stepped into my shower with them on the other night, blissfully unaware they were still attached to my ears (a testament to just how lightweight they really are). As someone with sensitive ears, I was initially concerned that the headphones would feel too heavy or clunky while on, but they actually feel much airier and functional than other earbuds I've tried. The buds magnetize effortlessly, so I don't have to play around with their fit or position them so that they feel more secure β€” once they're attached, they don't move, regardless of whether I'm walking, working out, or just lounging at home.

woman holding Bose Ultra Open Earbuds in their charging case against a wall
PS Photography | Kyley Warren

I shamefully listen to my music at full volume and was also worried that the headphone's open design would give me less privacy with my playlists; while "Espresso" is a great song, that doesn't mean I want people to know I've listened to it on repeat for 30 minutes straight. Despite having an immersive audio system and crystal-clear speaker, these earbuds are surprisingly quiet. Even when turned up to the highest volume setting, it's difficult (though not impossible) to hear what's playing from the outside, which gives me peace of mind that I can listen to my favorite tunes in public without disturbing anyone else.

As a fashion girlie, I'd be remiss if I didn't also acknowledge just how stylish these headphones are. Unlike traditional models, these buds have an open-ear design that wraps around the outside of your ear rather than requiring you place them inside your actual lobe. They're comparable to wearing an ear cuff, except with the benefit of having music playing in the background. They're also incredibly easy to pair with other earrings, so I don't have to worry about styling my jewelry differently whenever I wear them, which is an issue I encounter regularly with other wireless headphones.

What's Worth Noting

The biggest thing to note with these smart earbuds is that while they do deliver clear, immersive audio quality, they're not equipped with the same noise-cancelling capabilities as other wireless headphones. Buds from other top brands like Apple or Sony are often touted for their noise-cancellation abilities, which create a more immersive listening experience that can β€” quite literally β€” block out external noise. These Bose headphones might not be noise-cancelling, but they do have an automatic volume control feature designed to create a more even listening experience as your environment changes.

Bose Ultra Open Earbuds sitting on a table
PS Photography | Kyley Warren

Who Are These Bose Ultra Open Earbuds Best For?

Whether you're an avid music listener looking for the next great headphone innovation, an agile athlete in need of earbuds that won't fall out through even the most intense workouts, or a fashion lover who appreciates devices that don't hinder your personal style, these wireless headphones are a worthwhile investment for anyone. Despite their elevated, futuristic design, these earbuds don't skimp on quality or comfort, and I'm confident their unique build will be the new standard for headphones going forward.

Where Are These Bose Ultra Open Earbuds Available to Shop?

The wireless headphones are available to shop at Amazon, Bose ($299), and Target ($300).

Additional Details

  • Unlike other headphones which are designed to fit inside your earlobe, these Bose headphones have an open-ear design.
  • The headphones are available to shop in two shades: black and white smoke (my colorway of choice).
  • Per Bose's website, the earbud batteries can provide up to 7.5 hours of playing time when fully charged, or 48 hours of standby time (with no audio playing).

Rating:

β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…


Kyley Warren is an award-winning writer, editor, and affiliate strategist with more than four years of experience in the publishing space. She currently works as an assistant editor on PS Shopping and is an expert on all things related to shopping and fashion. She previously worked with Entertainment Tonight as a style commerce writer, and her byline has appeared in publications globally.