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Which headphone brand?

Bose headphones rated

By Daniel Nissenbaum

Article 4 of 6

Thinking of getting yourself some Bose headphones? Don’t spend all that cash until you’ve got our expert opinion on the brand.

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Bose is a well-known audio brand from the USA, focusing on the premium end of the market. A pioneer in the field of noise cancelling, its headsets were even used by astronauts on the space shuttle missions. If you fancy shelling out about £1,000, you can buy one of its specialist aviation headsets for your weekly flight down to the shops.

For us normal music listeners, prices range from £70-80 for a pair of wired in-ear headphones, to more than £250 for a top-of-the-range pair of noise-cancelling wireless over-ear headphones.

To see all the headphones we’ve tested and which are the top-scoring models visit our headphone reviews.

The table below shows our expert verdict on the Bose headphones we’ve tested, plus reliability and satisfaction scores from our owner surveys. Before you part with your cash, be sure to check what our listening panel had to say about the brand.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive ratings and verdicts in the table below. If you're not yet a member, sign up for a £1 trial to get instant access.

 
Bose headphones overview table
Number tested in last three years 9
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score
Loyalty score
Typical spend
Should I buy Beats headphones?

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For more on the latest headphones from Bose, see our Bose headphone reviews.

How much do Bose headphones cost?

A lot. The cheapest models you'll find in shops will cost around £80. These will be relatively basic wired headphones. To get features such as wireless Bluetooth connection and noise cancelling you'll have to spend more than £150 - a prohibitive amount for many people. 

Choosing the best Bose headphones

In-ear headphones

If you’re looking for a more portable pair of headphones, Bose makes a range of in-ear models with different features. Apart from the standard wired SoundTrue model, it has sweat and weatherproof earbuds for sport, noise-cancelling earbuds and a wireless pair, too. All Bose earbuds have characteristic rubber wings on them, designed to fold to the shape of your ear and keep the buds securely in place.

Over-ear headphones

Bose is better known for its over-ear headphones, so if you’re looking for the best possible audio quality and comfort then you’ll want one of these models. Like the in-ear headphones, there are wireless and wired versions available, as well as noise-cancelling models. The QuietComfort 35s are the flagship pair, featuring Bluetooth and noise cancelling, but they’ll set you back a cool £290. Read our full review of the QuietComfort 35s to see how they scored in our tests.

Wireless headphones

All of Bose’s wireless headphones use Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone or another Bluetooth-enabled device. Battery life will range from around six hours for the wireless in-ear SoundSport headphones, to as much as 15 hours on the QuietComfort 35s. Beware, though, it’s not just the headphones you’ll need to worry about – playing music via Bluetooth will run down your phone’s battery faster, too.

Noise-cancelling headphones

Having been at the forefront of the technology for more than 15 years, Bose’s noise cancelling is where you’d really expect its headphones to excel. Bose claims that its technology is industry leading, and it’s certainly not afraid to innovate.

Usually, wearing earbuds means that you’re removed from your surroundings, but the QC20 in-ear headphones have the unusual feature of being able to switch between keeping external noise out and actually piping it into your ears when you want to hear what’s going on. Read our full in-depth verdict of the QC20 headphones to see how well they performed in the lab. 

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