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Bose goes open-ear with the Bose Ultra Open Earbuds

Bose Ultra Open Earbuds - earbuds being held in their case

The Bose Ultra Open Earbuds are eye-catching earbuds designed to keep you connected to the world while you enjoy the brand’s Immersive Audio

American audio manufacturer Bose has jumped on the open-ear wireless earbuds bandwagon with its latest release, the Bose Ultra Open Earbuds.

The buds, which are available to buy now, leave your ear canals unblocked, providing a supremely comfortable fit and keen awareness of what’s going on around you.

Brands including JBL, Shokz and Huawei already have products serving a very similar purpose, but the Ultra Open Earbuds are the flashiest take on the format yet.

They’re easily mistaken for a fashion accessory but squeeze in a lot of advanced tech, including many of the features found on their QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds stablemates. 

Bose Ultra Open Earbuds - cuff-shape buds with the speaker and battery sections displayed

We’re currently putting a pair through their paces and will have a full review of them very soon, but for the time being, let’s take a quick look at what they bring to the table.

Bose Ultra Open Earbuds: Key specifications

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3
  • Codec support: SBC, AAC, aptX Adaptive on Snapdragon Sound
  • Driver size: 12mm
  • Earbuds battery life: 7h 30mins (Immersive Audio off)
  • Charging case battery life: 19h 30mins (Immersive Audio off)
  • Price: £299
  • Release date: Thursday, 15 February

Bose Ultra Open Earbuds: Features

Heading up the Ultra Open Earbuds’ list of features is support for Snapdragon Sound, which unlocks lossless and high-resolution streaming via aptX Adaptive on compatible devices. This is a big boon to sound quality, although Snapdragon Sound isn’t that widely supported at present, with the Nothing Phone (2) and the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra two of a very limited number of devices it’s included on.

Another new addition is an Auto Volume mode. This increases or decreases the volume of your audio based on how much ambient noise is in your environment. You can still adjust the volume manually, however, with depressible buttons built into the battery barrels that rest behind your ears when you’re wearing the buds.

Alongside Snapdragon Sound, there’s Bose’s Immersive Audio. This is the same spatial sound mode found on the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds and seeks to create a wider, more immersive soundstage regardless of content type and source.

Both the “Motion” and “Still” settings make their way over from the Ultra Earbuds, with the former intended for use while you’re stationary and the latter better suited if you’re going to be moving your head around. There is, however, a new calibration process found within the Bose Music app that optimises the sonic output in Immersion Mode.

There’s still no wireless charging for the case, nor do the buds support multipoint pairing – two of our bugbears about the QC Ultra Earbuds – but the good news is that Bose has said multipoint is coming later in the year.

Our full review of the Bose Open Ultra Earbuds will be published next week, so be sure to check back for our thoughts on them. If you’re already convinced they’re the buds for you, you can pick up a pair in either black or white smoke for £299 from Bose and various other retailers, including Amazon and John Lewis.

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