I've got to be candid, while I thought the AirPods Pro 2 reveal was impressive, I was left wanting a little bit more when the dust had settled. After months of reports I was excited to see the rumoured redesign, support for hi-res audio and perhaps a mysterious "one more thing", but in the end what I saw revealed was a strong new pair of true wireless earbuds that seemed competitive but not notably market leading.
Now, look, I'm sure that if you're a fan of AirPods Pro already then the new H2 chip is going to improve your noise cancelling and connection stability, and the improvement to the AirPods Pro's battery life is useful, too. There's no doubting that AirPods Pro 2 are a notable upgrade over AirPods Pro.
The thing is, though, I test a lot of the absolute finest, bleeding edge true wireless earbuds on the market and, right now, my attention is firmly focused on Bose's new QuietComfort Earbuds II, which from what I'm reading are shaping up to be the best noise cancelling earbuds of 2022.
Why I'm excited about Bose's new true wireless earbuds
I do two kinds of listening: to music when I'm home, and to podcasts and music when I'm out and about. For the former noise cancelling and portability don't matter, just sound quality, and right now I have AirPods Max for that. And when I'm out and about, it's become increasingly obvious that I need to get a pair of noise-cancelling buds. As much as I love my Astell&Kern UW100, Cambridge Audios and other great-sounding true wireless earbuds, they can't compete with the rumble of Glasgow's Subway trains.
When it comes to noise cancelling, nobody does it like Bose: I remember testing their very early QuietComfort headphones in the 2000s and was blown away by how good they were; since then Bose has continued to improve, and the first-gen QuietComfort Earbuds are by far the best noise cancelling earbuds you can buy. And now they're better.
My colleague Lee Bell has been trying the new ones out, and he's absolutely bowled over by the new noise cancelling system: "They're probably the best noise-blocking in-ears I’ve ever heard," he says. And Bose has tweaked the design to make it less bulbous too, so that's another plus. But it's the phrase "annoying people [or] screaming children on the bus" that's music to my ears: if Bose really can filter out that stuff I'm going to buy a pair of these buds and never, ever take them out.
Well, hearing this from Lee has at least ensured that I don't buy AirPods Pro 2 until I've tested out the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II. Needless to say, T3 will be reviewing both sets of ANC true wireless earbuds, so check back soon for the full picture.