The Bose Ultra Open Earbuds: An In-Depth Review

The Bose Ultra Open Earbuds: An In-Depth Review

Image source: Future/TechRadar

Is this a good option for an open-ear headphone?

By all accounts, Bose’s attempt to bring its characteristic bassy sound and premium audio expertise to an open-ear form factor with the Ultra Open Earbuds is a success. Since it was once believed that serious audiophiles wouldn’t be interested in open-ear headphones, the top bone-conduction and open-ear models typically prioritize a snug fit over music quality. On the other hand, open-ear headphones have mainly been marketed as exercise headphones, so you can hear people and traffic when you run, cycle, or swim with music playing in the background.

Nevertheless, an increasing number of brands are realizing that, although they are mainly worn during workouts, open-ear headphones have other practical uses in everyday life. These include at work (such as being receptive to collaboration and responding to a coworker while listening to music or participating in a virtual meeting) and on the road (it turns out that being more aware of your surroundings isn’t just beneficial when exercising).

Now you can get the most excellent sound quality from Bose without putting any pressure on your ears thanks to their new offering that uses Bose Immersive Audio and two drivers aimed directly at your ears. With its immersive soundstage technology, which pumps out tunes during a 10K and provides spatial audio that is perfect for home media, the sound is excellent—the finest I’ve experienced from air-conduction or open-ear headphones.

Meetings at work are also pleasant experiences; I can hear both the speaker on my laptop and my immediate environment.

The headphones don’t cover your entire ear, but mainly, they are helix, and the battery cylinder is tucked behind your ear, making for a fascinating design. I ran five kilometers in them for the first time, and while they are a bit unstable due to the unequal weight distribution, they have remained securely in place the whole time. At this point, I will reserve the final judgment until my assessment is complete, but they are impressive, albeit a bit pricey.

Price and Affordability

Image credit: Future/TechRadar

You can get your hands on the Bose Ultra Open Earbuds right now for $299, £299, or AU$449.95. Bose views the Ultra Open earphones as a premium product, as its price tag is equal to that of the Bose QuietComfort Ultra earphones and higher than that of the AirPods Pro 2.

Bose is likely correct about the sound quality and design, but the price didn’t calm my concerns when I jogged with them because of the somewhat unstable fit.

Instead of wrapping around your ear where it meets the side of your head like the Shokz OpenFit does, the Bose Ultra Open Earbuds connect to your inner ear and go right around your ear’s helix, which is a unique design comparable to the Huawei FreeClip. According to our Bose representative, the “battery barrel” is located behind your ear and features a tactile button that allows you to change the volume and listen to different modes.

Unlike bone conduction headphones, the hook component has two drivers that send sound waves into your ear canal and then up into your inner ear, resulting in a more immersive listening experience. Like many other, less expensive earbuds and open-ear headsets, Bose’s design, which it dubs “OpenAudio,” lets you jack up the volume with minimal sound leakage. It’s functional, and the sound is excellent—particularly with the Immersive Audio settings—but I’ll get to that in a little.

Rumor has it that Snapdragon sound improves lossless and low-latency capabilities, which is very remarkable considering that most competitors in the headphones category ask “How secure is the fit?” as their first and last question. When it comes to the fit, the buds are simple to put on, but, as previously stated, they do have an odd sensation due to the battery barrel’s placement at the back, which causes them to wobble somewhat and, at times, feel unstable.

Nevertheless, not once have they slipped out of my ears, even while I’ve been jogging and tossing my head quite a bit. While I was running, I twiddled the controls and thought I could easily knock them out of place, but they never fell out. Otherwise, I only have a few complaints. My only real issue is that these headphones are incredibly easy to remove compared to others, making them vulnerable to theft on public transportation or in public spaces. However, this is less likely to occur due to the open-ear design, which has yet to be successful.


Image credit: Future/TechRadar

Use the tactile buttons on the back of the barrel to control the earphones. By pressing once, you can flip between stereo and immersive listening modes. To adjust the level, press and hold twice; the left button lowers the volume, and the right button raises it. Simple as pie.

The standout feature is the Immersive Audio soundstage by Bose, which is accessible through the Bose app and provides both Still and Motion modes. You may make it seem like the sound is coming from a specific direction by turning your head and moving around within a soundstage in the Motion mode.
Although my only experience with this mode was during a press event when a Bose representative walked me through its features, it was a fantastic addition. I enjoyed listening to it even though my time with it was brief.

Bose’s Open Audio technology makes it all possible, plus a plethora of high-tech audio smarts like Snapdragon sound and a “tightly-controlled acoustic structure” back it up. When put together, these features make the headphones’ audio the greatest of its kind for an open-ear design; the bass is so pleasant that I sometimes forget I was even wearing them.

Voices transmitted through poor-quality laptop microphones on Google Meets became quite harsh. Therefore, a rapid adjustment of the level was required when taking calls at work.

The Bottom Line

Our preliminary testing indicates that Bose’s take on the open-ear design is a smashing success; despite a few wobbles here and there, the earphones remain securely in place while you run, and the music is out of this world. However, a significant obstacle is the exorbitant cost.

Bose Ultra Open Earbuds are ON SALE now on Amazon! Hurry up- Grab yours and enjoy. 🚀

As an affiliate I get a small fee from Amazon.

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