Bose Ultra Open Earbuds Review: Expansive Sound and Environmental Awareness

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Image source:www.bose.com

Bose has long been a leader in the audio industry, and their Ultra Open Earbuds aim to redefine how we listen to music on the go. Known for producing high-quality sound, Bose has taken a different approach with these earbuds, offering a unique design that allows wearers to enjoy their music while remaining aware of their surroundings. Although priced higher than some competitors, they promise an unparalleled combination of sound quality and situational awareness. In this review, we’ll explore their design, features, and performance to see if they live up to the hype.

Image source:www.bose.com

Design and Comfort

The Bose Ultra Open Earbuds break from the traditional in-ear or over-ear design by sitting just outside the ear canal, held in place by soft silicone wings that fit securely around the outer ear. This innovative design allows for an open fit that keeps the ear canal free, reducing ear fatigue and allowing you to hear ambient sounds.

Despite their unique appearance, the earbuds are lightweight and comfortable, with soft silicone material that prevents discomfort even during extended wear. The open-ear design ensures that wearers can stay aware of their surroundings, making them ideal for outdoor activities like jogging, cycling, or walking through busy streets. The sleek and minimalistic aesthetic is in line with Bose’s signature style, with each earbud featuring subtle touch controls for volume adjustment, track skipping, and call management.

Sound Quality and Performance

Bose is known for its high-quality sound, and the Ultra Open Earbuds are no exception. They deliver a wide soundstage that provides a sense of spaciousness, with precise instrument separation and clear vocals. The audio profile is well-balanced, ensuring that bass, mids, and highs all have room to shine without overpowering each other.

The bass response is impressive, considering the open-ear design, offering a punchy yet controlled low end that enriches music genres like hip-hop, EDM, and rock. The mids are natural and smooth, while the highs remain clear and detailed without becoming shrill. However, because of their open-ear nature, these earbuds aren’t designed for noise cancellation. Instead, they allow ambient sounds to come through, which may affect sound quality in noisy environments.

Situational Awareness

One of the defining features of the Bose Ultra Open Earbuds is their ability to keep you connected to your environment. By sitting outside the ear canal, they allow ambient sounds to mix with your music, ensuring that you can hear approaching cars, cyclists, or people nearby. This feature is particularly valuable for runners and cyclists who need to be aware of their surroundings for safety reasons. Even at higher volumes, external noises remain audible, offering an added layer of security while enjoying your favorite tunes.

Connectivity and Controls

The Bose Ultra Open Earbuds use Bluetooth 5.1 to provide a strong and stable wireless connection. Pairing is quick and straightforward, and the connection remains stable even at distances up to 30 feet. Multipoint connectivity allows you to connect to two devices simultaneously, making it easy to switch between a smartphone and a laptop. Touch controls on each earbud offer intuitive management of playback, volume, and calls. Tapping and holding on either earbud activates voice assistants like Siri or Google Assistant for hands-free control. The Bose Music app provides additional customization options, including an adjustable equalizer and firmware updates to keep your earbuds up-to-date.

Battery Life

Battery life is always a concern with wireless earbuds, and the Bose Ultra Open Earbuds deliver a respectable six hours of playback on a single charge. The included charging case provides up to two additional charges, extending the total listening time to around 18 hours. The case uses a USB-C port for charging and offers quick-charge functionality, providing up to two hours of playback with a 15-minute charge.

Call Quality

The earbuds are equipped with dual microphones that effectively pick up your voice while reducing background noise. This makes them suitable for phone calls and virtual meetings, even in moderately noisy environments. Callers reported clear audio during testing, with minimal interference.

Pros:

1. Expansive Sound: Delivers a spacious soundstage with balanced bass, mids, and highs.

2. Situational Awareness: Open-ear design keeps you aware of your surroundings for safety.

3. Comfortable Fit: Lightweight and secure fit suitable for extended wear.

4. Touch Controls: Intuitive touch controls for playback and voice assistant activation.

5. Stable Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1 ensures a strong and reliable wireless connection.

Cons:

1. Price: Higher price compared to traditional in-ear or over-ear alternatives.

2. No Noise Cancellation: Open design allows ambient noise, which may affect audio quality in noisy settings.

3. Battery Life: Six-hour battery life may be limiting for long trips or extended workouts.

Conclusion

The Bose Ultra Open Earbuds are an excellent option for those seeking high-quality audio without sacrificing situational awareness. Their unique open-ear design ensures you can enjoy your favorite music while staying attuned to your surroundings, making them ideal for outdoor activities and city life. While their price tag might seem steep compared to traditional earbuds, the expansive soundstage, comfortable fit, and intuitive controls make them worth the investment for those who prioritize safety and audio quality. If you’re looking for a pair of earbuds that seamlessly blend safety, style, and sound performance, the Bose Ultra Open Earbuds are a standout choice.

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