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By Michelai Graham
Boardroom's Tech Reporter
July 7, 2024
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Tech Talk is a weekly digest by Boardroom’s Michelai Graham that breaks down the latest news from the world’s biggest tech companies and the future of industry-shaping trends like AI.

This is a very special edition of the newsletter. I’m taking you inside my latest edition of Tech Talk Reviews, where I share my experience with the Bose QuietComfort Ultra and the Bose x Steve Lacy QuietComfort Headphones

A peek into today’s special edition: 

  • The specifics of Bose’s latest headphones 
  • My review of the products 
  • A fun bet of the week

Why Bose Headphones Are the Best on the Market

I wrote in my Beats Solo 4 review that I was 100% loyal to the brand before another product stole the show last fall: the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones. I was using Beats Solo 3 headphones before trying Bose’s product, and to be honest, I never picked those Beats up again. Since trying the QuietComfort Ultras, I have also tested out another pair of Bose headphones that I also fell in love with.

In this latest edition of Tech Talk Reviews, I detail everything you need to know about the Bose QuietComfort Ultra and the Bose x Steve Lacy QuietComfort Headphones, break down my review, and tell you why they are my favorite headphones now.

The Specifics

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones feature all the expected specs, including an updated exterior design, new chips and advanced microphones, noise cancellation, aware mode, up to 24 hours of battery life on a single charge, and customizable features in the Bose Music app. The newest feature debuted with this product is Bose Immersive Audio, a new spatial audio experience.

I got to test out Bose Immersive Audio first-hand at a demo in the fall, where I was prompted to put the headphones on and listen to various songs in the Bose Immersive Audio mode, which I could toggle between a still and motion experience. In still mode, the audio stays in place, but in motion mode, it moves with you wherever you move your head. I was so deep into the experience that I didn’t realize until I took the headphones off that there was a full band playing in the background. The noise cancellation and immersive audio tech work together so well.

The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones retail for $429 and come in black, white smoke, and sandstone. They can be purchased on Bose’s website and in select stores.

Bose x Steve Lacy QuietComfort Headphones

Bose linked up with Steve Lacy to launch special editions of their newest products earlier this year. The company released exclusive, limited-edition designs of the Ultra Open Earbuds and the QuietComfort Headphones. Lacy’s Bose collab has a vintage and modern feel, drawing inspiration from 1970s mixing boards. The headphones come in a grayish-green colorway with hot pink, black, and cream accents.

The QuietComfort Headphones feature noise cancellation tech, quiet and aware modes for different listening experiences, up to 24 hours of battery life on a single charge, customizable features in the Bose Music App, high-fidelity audio, and more.

Like all Bose headphones, the Lacy QuietComfort Headphones come with a carry case, a 3.5-mm to 2.5-mm audio cable, and a USB-C charging cable. The collab quickly sold out after its release in March, with no restock in sight, but the headphones retailed for $449. The traditional QuietComfort Headphones come in black, white smoke, cypress green, and moonstone blue. They retail for $349 and can be purchased at Bose.com and in select stores.

Michelai’s Review

I’m team Bose from here on out. I’ve been using the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones in black since they hit the market in October, and from the onset, I knew I would love them. The Lacy joints are the ones I’ve been wearing day to day now since March, and the colorway is what drew me in the most.

Bose’s active noise-cancelling feature is next-level, but the comfort of the headphones really takes the cake. I like headphones that fully cover the ear, and these do just that, with extra soft cushioning to cup them. I can wear these headphones for hours on end without feeling any discomfort, and between us, I’ve even worn them on the airplane with the noise-cancellation feature active to keep my ears warm and block out the atmosphere around me for a little nap.

I mainly used both pairs of headphones in wireless mode, but I did give the wired experience a whirl for the sake of this review. The audio was a bit distorted in my QuietComfort Ultra Headphones when I connected them to my computer view the audio cable. I tried the same wired experience with the Lacy headphones, and I didn’t have any issues; the audio quality was still top-tier. I made sure to test the wired experience in all of the listening modes.

My two biggest cons with the headphones were that they sometimes glitch while I listen to music. The best way to describe it is that they skipped a beat like a scratched CD. I figured it was due to a weak Bluetooth connection, so I’d disconnect them and reconnect, and the problem would be solved.

Aside from that, there are some upsides to the Bluetooth connections since you’re able to be connected to two devices at once, and can toggle between them for use at the same time. I love that when I turn my headphones on, they tell me which devices they are connected to, and I can easily switch connections to other devices, too. Since the Lacy headphones have the sliding button on the right-hand side, I found it easy to prompt a new Bluetooth connection, compared to the QuietComfort Ultras, where I had to hold a button down to prompt it.

The best part about the headphones is that they can also be operated from the Bose Music app. They work well without them, but the app adds an extra layer of access, especially when you’re having connectivity issues. The app also lets you update what the buttons on your headphones are used for.

The pros far outweigh the cons here. I’m a fan, and while I don’t write these reviews to sway you into making any purchases, I hope you walk away with some new learnings from my experiences.

I’ll have more coverage of Bose coming soon, so stay tuned.

Since Bose is celebrating 60 years in business this year, I’m going to bet that the audio manufacturer will release some special edition products to celebrate six decades on the market before the year is up.