Bose Sound Spin portable speaker is disguised as a miniature front-loading washing machine

Portable speakers come in all types, sizes and themes but never before have I laid my eyes on one that looks like a front-loading washing machine. Only possible in the concept design world realm, this Bose branded portable speaker is a true conversation starter in any geeky den.

The intriguing design of this compact sound blaster tickles my fancy for its ingenuity in the placement of the different elements. Most definitely, you’ll start to see all those front-loading washing machines as a huge speaker once you lay your eyes on this concept. However, in reality all the button placements and speaker components are designed in a way that they seem like the perfect amalgam of portable audio equipment and a miniature washer for your undergarments.

Designer: Hari 3D

Although there is no detailed information about this concept’s development stage, there’s a picture at the end suggesting a prototype or a display model is indeed crafted by the designer. Dressed in a cool titanium grey finish, the portable speaker is a treat to watch if you are an audiophile who appreciates modern product design. The front of this cool gadget has all the audio telemetry to show the player controls on the touchscreen display along with the volume rocker knob, power button and play/pause buttons. On the left bottom side there’s the Bass actualizer knob.

To the front lies the subwoofer and on each side are the stereo speakers to beam quality sound. Wireless connectivity should be a given on this one, since no one in 2024 would buy a portable speaker without that option. Frankly speaking, this portable speaker would rock your desk setup as well. Folks over at Bose would also be keenly viewing this design language if they want to add something on these lines to their existing line-up.

The post Bose Sound Spin portable speaker is disguised as a miniature front-loading washing machine first appeared on Yanko Design.

Bose Ultra Open Earbuds x Kith collab are fashion conscious pair of clip-on-buds that are glasses friendly

Open-fit earbuds have tickled the fancy of music listeners who don’t want those intrusive in-ear buds shoved in their ear canals all day long. The likes of Shokz OpenFit, 1More Fit S50, Soundpeats RunFree and Sony LinkBuds are good options for people who want a fashion-first, active lifestyle without any ear itches. Bose was the first major brand to release the Sport Open wireless earbuds back in 2021 but phased them out in just one year due to a lack of popularity.

While Bose has a good stronghold on the market with the Quite Comfort earbuds when it comes to ANC performance, they still want to take another chance with the rising trend of open earbuds. We saw a glimpse of that in the shape of Ultra Open earbuds (something like the Huawei FreeClip earbuds) spotted at CES 2024 and now the audio accessory is official.

Designer: Bose and Kith

They’ve launched the buds in collaboration with Kith, a fashion and lifestyle brand founded by Ronnie Fieg. Bose also created a version of the QuietComfort Earbuds II in close quarters with singer Normani, but this collaborative effort goes much deeper. It’s the start of a loṇg stint with Ronnie who’ll now be the creative consultant for integrating fashion, culture and sound to develop interesting audio products.

The open-style pair of buds have a very distinct design with a clip-on configuration that’s not at all intrusive if you wear glasses or want to sport sunglasses on a sunbaked day. The cuff-shaped buds hook onto the outer ear for all-day-long comfort wear and beam audio into the ear canal without disturbing others in your vicinity or compromising environment awareness in busy streets. The two sections of the earbuds – speaker on the inside and battery on the outside – are joined together by a flexible joint for easy on-and-off fit for active individuals.

The earbuds are being pitched as a “breakthrough audio wearable” for enjoying music while “still hearing the world around you.” The technical specifications are scanty at this time and all that is known is that they have 7.5 hours of playback time, Bose Immersive Audio and water resistance. As you can see they have a very prominent Kith branding on each of the buds and charging case as well, with the font done in Bose styling.

Kith edition Bose Ultra Open Earbuds will be available to buy in the US and Europe starting 22 January for a price of $300. These buds will come in limited numbers and it’ll be interesting to see if Bose releases a more mainstream version in the coming months.

The post Bose Ultra Open Earbuds x Kith collab are fashion conscious pair of clip-on-buds that are glasses friendly first appeared on Yanko Design.

Marine-inspired Bose earbuds boast stemless design and fin tips for secure fit

Premium wireless earbuds have gained popularity in the last couple of years due to their practical design, excellent ANC and non-compromised audio comparable to IEMs. The current top-of-the-line options are the Sony WF-1000XM5, Bose QuietComfort Ultra, Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 and Jabra Elite 10.

Talking of the Active Noise Cancellation feature, Bose is at the top of the tree. The earbuds also score high when it comes to comfort. The stem design of the TWS earbuds makes it a direct competitor for the Apple AirPods Pro 2 which are the best option for users deep rooted in the Apple ecosystem. So, how about a refreshing design for Bose earbuds that ditches the stem shape for a more conventional shape without compromising a secure fit?

Designer: Anant Vijay

This concept design for Bose earbuds not only peps up the available options but also lures in buyers who ditch QuietComfort Earbuds II for the stem design. Inspired by underwater creatures and marine life, the audio accessory is designed to deliver sublime audio and a unique user experience. But excellent sound delivery is nothing to talk about if the comfort level is compromised. For that reason, these Bose earbuds come with ear tip fins for a secure seal. Thus, you can take them to the gym, swimming pool, or morning runs without worrying about them falling off or getting loose.

Waterproof and dustproof aesthetics bring another level of security to a buyer who’s spending well to get premium features. The choice of colors for the buds is also inspired by the marine colors, and I absolutely love the choice. The nozzle of the buds is narrower than you would otherwise find on Bose earbuds signifying a shift towards warmer sound signature with emphasis on low sub bass.

Depending on the audio drivers installed on these Bose buds, one can expect big sound coming from that housing. Could we expect this to be a future design language for the Bose premium earbuds? That could be the case if Bose wants to have stemless buds also in its lineup.

The post Marine-inspired Bose earbuds boast stemless design and fin tips for secure fit first appeared on Yanko Design.

The best wireless headphones for 2024: Bluetooth options for every budget

Over-ear, noise cancelling headphones offer the best mix of sound quality, noise reduction, comfort and extra features that you can get today. But there are dozens to choose from now as the space has gotten more saturated over the past few years. That’s a good thing in part because it’s brought more affordable options with compelling feature sets, but nevertheless, deciding how to spend your money has gotten a bit harder. Engadget reviews dozens of wireless headphones every year and we test out even more to keep our finger on the pulse. In this guide, we’ve highlighted our top picks for the best wireless headphones based on the best mix of features, including overall audio quality, ANC performance, Bluetooth connections, advanced audio tools and more. Our six favorites, which have remained the same since the start of 2024, offer all of the conveniences we’d expect in a set of high-quality wireless headphones, with a range of prices to help you stay within your budget.

How to choose the best wireless headphones for you

When it comes to shopping for a good pair of wireless headphones, the first thing you’ll need to decide on is wear style. Do you prefer on-ear or over-ear headphones? For the purposes of our buyer’s guide, we focus on the over-ear style as that’s what most noise-canceling headphones are nowadays. Sure, you can find on-ear models with ANC, but over-ear designs are much more effective at blocking sound. Speaking of noise cancellation, you’ll want to determine early on if you even want that. If you frequently crank up the beats in noisy environments, you’ll want to not only make sure it’s there, but also make sure it’s good. If you plan to use your new headphones in quieter spaces, skipping ANC can save you some money.

The next area to consider is features. We recommend trying to get the most bang for your buck, but as you’re shopping around you should determine which items are must-haves and what you can live without. And don’t take basic things like automatic pausing and Bluetooth multipoint connectivity for granted, as not all companies include them. We also suggest reading reviews to see how well a company’s more advanced features work. This will help you decide if those are something you’re willing to (likely) pay extra for. Pay close attention to battery life estimates and don’t be easily swayed by lofty promises about call quality.

Sound can be subjective, so we recommend trying before you buy if at all possible. We understand this isn’t easy at a time when we’re doing most of our shopping online. But trying on a set of headphones and listening to them for a few minutes can save you from an expensive case of buyer’s remorse. We also recommend paying attention to things like Spatial Audio, Dolby Atmos, 360 Reality Audio and other immersive formats. Not all headphones support them, so you’ll want to make sure a perspective pair does if that sort of thing excites you.

How we test wireless headphones

The primary way we test wireless headphones is to wear them as much as possible. We prefer to do this over a one- to two-week period, but sometimes embargoes don’t allow it. During this time, we listen to a mix of music and podcasts, while also using the earbuds to take both voice and video calls. Since battery life for headphones can be 30 hours or more, we drain the battery with looping music and the volume set at a comfortable level (usually around 75 percent). Due to the longer battery estimates, we’ll typically power the headphones off several times and leave them during a review. This simulates real-world use and keeps us from having to constantly monitor the process for over 24 straight hours.

To judge the best Bluetooth headphones, we consider audio quality by listening to a range of genres, noting any differences in the sound profile across the styles. We also test at both low and high volumes to check for consistency in the tuning. To assess the quality of phone calls, we’ll record audio samples with the headphones’ microphones as well as have third parties call us.

When it comes to features, we do a thorough review of companion apps, testing each feature as we work through the software. Any holdovers from previous models are double checked for improvements or regression. If the headphones we’re testing are an updated version of a previous model, we’ll spend time getting reacquainted with the older set. Ditto for the closest competition for each new set of headphones that we review.

Other wireless headphones we tested

AirPods Max

Apple’s AirPods Max are premium, well-designed headphones that incorporate all of the best features you find on standard AirPods: solid noise cancelation, spatial audio and easy Siri access. However, their $550 starting price makes them almost prohibitively expensive, even for those with Apple devices. There are better options available at lower prices.

Sony WH-CH720N

While the WH-CH720N are a great affordable option, we prefer the Audio-Technica in the budget category. Sony’s cans are lightweight with good sound quality, but ANC struggles at times and they’re made with a lot of plastic.

Beats Studio Pro

The Studio Pro lacks basic features like automatic pausing and multipoint connectivity is only available on Android), plus they’re not very comfortable for people with larger heads. Overall sound quality is improved, though, and voice performance on calls is well above average.

Bose QuietComfort Ultra

Bose’s latest flagship model has a lot to offer, but its trademark Immersive Audio feature can be inconsistent across different types of music. There’s still world-class ANC, excellent comfort and a clearer transparency mode, but for the price, the non-Ultra model is a better choice right now.

Master & Dynamic MH40 (2nd gen)

The MH40 are a great set of headphones if you favor crisp, clear and natural sound that isn’t overly tuned. This pair showcases the company’s affinity for leather and metal too, but limited customization and short battery life for non-ANC cans kept this set from making the cut.

Bowers & Wilkins Px8

The company’s trademark pristine sound is on display here, but the Px8 are more expensive and not nearly as comfortable as the Px7 S2.

FAQs

How can you tell the quality of headphones?

I typically look at three factors: design, sound quality and features. In terms of design, I’m usually looking to see if the build quality of the headphones feels cheap and plasticky. Plenty of companies use plastic, but they can do so in a way that doesn’t look or feel like budget models. For sound quality, I want to hear a nice, even tuning where highs, mids and lows are all well represented. No overly boomy bass or scooped out mids. I also want good clarity where you can pick up fine details and an open, immersive soundstage. Features is typically a distant third, but if a company doesn’t cover basic functionality (automatic pausing, transparency mode, multipoint Bluetooth, etc.) it can be an indication of overall quality. 

How do I choose the best quality headphones?

“Best” can be pretty subjective, but I always recommend going to a place where you can listen to the headphones you’re thinking about buying before you commit. Sometimes this isn’t possible, so you’ll want to check return policies. I also recommend doing some research to determine what your priorities are in a new set. Are you an audiophile who wants the best sound quality? Is powerful active noise cancellation (ANC) the most important? Would you rather have conveniences like automatic pausing?

Which brand has the best headphones?

Sony consistently tops our list with its 1000X line. This is mostly due to the combination of sound quality, ANC performance and the truckload of features these headphones pack in. I’ll be the first to tell you that there are better sounding options and other companies, like Bose, offer more effective noise cancellation. But when you add everything up, no one comes close to the full slate of tools Sony puts in its premium headphone line.

Do expensive headphones sound better?

Exorbitant price tags don’t mean better audio quality. Bowers & Wilkins’ headphones are on the high end for wireless noise-canceling models and they sound amazing. However, Audio-Technica’s M50xBT2 is much more affordable and doesn’t have ANC, but these headphones have a warm, natural sound profile that I find very inviting. At the end of the day, it will come down to personal preference, but you don’t need to spend a lot to find great headphones.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/best-headphones-wireless-bluetooth-120543205.html?src=rss

Bose Quite Comfort Earbuds II challenge AirPods Pro 2 with class-leading ANC

Apple AirPods Pro 2 have just been launched and Bose wants to take Apple head-on in this space with its new Quite Comfort Earbuds II. If choosing the same day for the launch of the latest true wireless earbuds wasn’t a bold move enough, the claim of them being the “world’s best noise cancellation” is notice-worthy.

According to Bose, the earbuds are now one-third the size of their predecessors and have better ergonomic comfort and fit. They like to call it Fit Kit. The QuietComfort Earbuds II come with the CustomTune sound calibration that we saw in the SoundControl hearing aids. While wearing the buds, acoustic properties of the ear canal are analyzed – thereafter the CustomTune delivers audio and active noise cancelation based on the data. This takes less than a second, right from the time earbuds are fitted inside the ear.

Designer: Bose

The CustomTune feature also toggles the sound frequency profile based on the unique properties of the ear. This way, the sound listener hears is exactly as the artist intended it to be. Audiophiles I’m sure will be interested in this single feature to make their buying decision when compared with the AirPods Pro 2.

The smart ANC technology is no slouch either, as the earbuds will block out all human voices or crying babies. Interestingly, the CustomTune feature also works for the ambient sound mode while using the transparency or Aware Mode. It’ll be courtesy of the ActiveSense mode capable of picking up any unwanted loud noise and canceling it out when needed. According to Bose, the QC Earbuds II have ambient sound signature close to the natural and lifelike sound.

The earbuds have IPX4-rated, so you can use them for intense workouts or hectic lifestyles without any worry. Call quality on the buds is also improved compared to the predecessor. With the ANC mode on, the earbuds can go for non-stop 6 hours. The charging case beefs the number up to 18 hours, and the quick-charge feature juices up the battery for two hours on 20 minutes of charge. Bose will make the QuiteComfort Earbuds II available on September 15th for a price tag of $299 with the option to pre-order them in black color right away.

The post Bose Quite Comfort Earbuds II challenge AirPods Pro 2 with class-leading ANC first appeared on Yanko Design.

The best wireless headphones for 2024: Bluetooth options for every budget

To get all of the features you’d need for the most comprehensive listening experience possible, over-ear, noise-canceling headphones are the way to go. Stellar sound quality, powerful active noise cancelation (ANC), reliable Bluetooth connections and more should all be present on a good pair of wireless headphones that offer the complete package. Of course, some companies do this better than others. At Engadget, we review dozens of Bluetooth headphones each year while testing even more to keep our finger on the pulse and familiarize ourselves with the latest technology. For this guide, we selected our top picks based on the best mix of features, including overall audio quality, ANC performance, comfort, advanced audio tools and more. Our six favorites offer all of the conveniences we’d expect in a set of high-quality wireless headphones, with a range of prices to help you stay within your budget.

When it comes to shopping for a good pair of wireless headphones, the first thing you’ll need to decide on is wear style. Do you prefer on-ear or over-ear headphones? For the purposes of our buyer’s guide, we focus on the over-ear style as that’s what most noise-canceling headphones are nowadays. Sure, you can find on-ear models with ANC, but over-ear designs are much more effective at blocking sound. Speaking of noise cancellation, you’ll want to determine early on if you even want that. If you frequently crank up the beats in noisy environments, you’ll want to not only make sure it’s there, but also make sure it’s good. If you plan to use your new headphones in quieter spaces, skipping ANC can save you some money.

The next area to consider is features. We recommend trying to get the most bang for your buck, but as you’re shopping around you should determine which items are must-haves and what you can live without. And don’t take basic things like automatic pausing and Bluetooth multipoint connectivity for granted, as not all companies include them. We also suggest reading reviews to see how well a company’s more advanced features work. This will help you decide if those are something you’re willing to (likely) pay extra for. Pay close attention to battery life estimates and don’t be easily swayed by lofty promises about call quality.

Sound can be subjective, so we recommend trying before you buy if at all possible. We understand this isn’t easy at a time when we’re doing most of our shopping online. But trying on a set of headphones and listening to them for a few minutes can save you from an expensive case of buyer’s remorse. We also recommend paying attention to things like Spatial Audio, Dolby Atmos, 360 Reality Audio and other immersive formats. Not all headphones support them, so you’ll want to make sure a perspective pair does if that sort of thing excites you.

The primary way we test wireless headphones is to wear them as much as possible. We prefer to do this over a one- to two-week period, but sometimes embargoes don’t allow it. During this time, we listen to a mix of music and podcasts, while also using the earbuds to take both voice and video calls. Since battery life for headphones can be 30 hours or more, we drain the battery with looping music and the volume set at a comfortable level (usually around 75 percent). Due to the longer battery estimates, we’ll typically power the headphones off several times and leave them during a review. This simulates real-world use and keeps us from having to constantly monitor the process for over 24 straight hours.

To judge the best Bluetooth headphones, we consider audio quality by listening to a range of genres, noting any differences in the sound profile across the styles. We also test at both low and high volumes to check for consistency in the tuning. To assess the quality of phone calls, we’ll record audio samples with the headphones’ microphones as well as have third parties call us.

When it comes to features, we do a thorough review of companion apps, testing each feature as we work through the software. Any holdovers from previous models are double checked for improvements or regression. If the headphones we’re testing are an updated version of a previous model, we’ll spend time getting reacquainted with the older set. Ditto for the closest competition for each new set of headphones that we review.

Apple’s AirPods Max are premium, well-designed headphones that incorporate all of the best features you find on standard AirPods: solid noise cancelation, spatial audio and easy Siri access. However, their $550 starting price makes them almost prohibitively expensive, even for those with Apple devices. There are better options available at lower prices.

The Sonos Ace is an excellent debut for the company’s first headphones. The combination of refined design, great sound quality and home theater tricks creates a unique formula. However, ANC performance is just okay and key functionality is still in the works for many users.

If most headphones don’t have the level of bass you desire, the ULT Wear is an option to consider. The low-end thump isn’t for everyone, but there are also plenty of handy features and a refined look to make the $200 set more compelling than many in this price range.

While the WH-CH720N are a great affordable option, we prefer the Audio-Technica in the budget category. Sony’s cans are lightweight with good sound quality, but ANC struggles at times and they’re made with a lot of plastic.

The Studio Pro lacks basic features like automatic pausing, and multipoint connectivity is only available on Android. Moreover, they’re not very comfortable for people with larger heads. Overall sound quality is improved, though, and voice performance on calls is well above average.

Bose’s latest flagship model has a lot to offer, but its trademark Immersive Audio feature can be inconsistent across different types of music. There’s still world-class ANC, excellent comfort and a clearer transparency mode, but for the price, the non-Ultra model is a better choice right now.

The MH40 are a great set of headphones if you favor crisp, clear and natural sound that isn’t overly tuned. This pair showcases the company’s affinity for leather and metal too, but limited customization and short battery life for non-ANC cans kept this set from making the cut.

The company’s trademark pristine sound is on display here, but the Px8 are more expensive and not nearly as comfortable as the Px7 S2.

I typically look at three factors: design, sound quality and features. In terms of design, I’m usually looking to see if the build quality of the headphones feels cheap and plasticky. Plenty of companies use plastic, but they can do so in a way that doesn’t look or feel like budget models. For sound quality, I want to hear a nice, even tuning where highs, mids and lows are all well represented. No overly boomy bass or scooped out mids. I also want good clarity where you can pick up fine details and an open, immersive soundstage. Features is typically a distant third, but if a company doesn’t cover basic functionality (automatic pausing, transparency mode, multipoint Bluetooth, etc.) it can be an indication of overall quality. 

“Best” can be pretty subjective, but I always recommend going to a place where you can listen to the headphones you’re thinking about buying before you commit. Sometimes this isn’t possible, so you’ll want to check return policies. I also recommend doing some research to determine what your priorities are in a new set. Are you an audiophile who wants the best sound quality? Is powerful active noise cancellation (ANC) the most important? Would you rather have conveniences like automatic pausing?

Sony consistently tops our list with its 1000X line. This is mostly due to the combination of sound quality, ANC performance and the truckload of features these headphones pack in. I’ll be the first to tell you that there are better sounding options and other companies, like Bose, offer more effective noise cancellation. But when you add everything up, no one comes close to the full slate of tools Sony puts in its premium headphone line.

Exorbitant price tags don’t mean better audio quality. Bowers & Wilkins’ headphones are on the high end for wireless noise-canceling models and they sound amazing. However, Audio-Technica’s M50xBT2 is much more affordable and doesn’t have ANC, but these headphones have a warm, natural sound profile that I find very inviting. At the end of the day, it will come down to personal preference, but you don’t need to spend a lot to find great headphones.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/best-headphones-wireless-bluetooth-120543205.html?src=rss

Bose officially launches SoundControl hearing aids, making its audio tech more inclusive and accessible

Bose just announced their latest product, the SoundControl™ Hearing Aids – the first FDA-cleared, direct-to-consumer hearing aid developed for adults with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss. They’ll be sold by Bose (as opposed to being available at medical stores) and can be directly purchased, worn, and controlled by the wearer without needing to visit a doctor for a prescription or even an audiologist for a hearing test and professional fitting. The SoundControl hearing aids partner up with the Bose Hear app that gives wearers complete control over their wearables through their smartphone. Using its revolutionary CustomTune technology, the app lets you personalize your hearing experience in under 30 minutes, which Bose says is “a seismic shift from the process required for conventional hearing aids”.

The hearing aids come with a rather discreet design that’s virtually impossible to spot when worn. They even come in a palm-sized case that’s highly reminiscent of TWS earbuds, helping bring hearing aids into the 21st century… although Bose mentions that they’re strictly just regular hearing aids. They don’t stream music from your phone or let you use them as Bluetooth headsets while on calls or video chats. However, designed as a culmination of over 30 years of research and conceptualized along with scientists, audiologists, and engineers, the SoundControl claims to do a remarkably good job with being able to make the hearing-impaired hear crisp, clear audio, with the ability to amplify soft and easy-to-miss sounds in conversations (like consonants).

The SoundControl ‘hearables’ take on a sleek, practically invisible design featuring a tiny ear-tip that connects using a transparent cable to the receiver that sits behind the ear. Each earpiece contains one tiny speaker and two microphones, while the receivers both come with their own dedicated volume buttons that control ‘World Volume’, that helps amplify quieter audio to balance it out with louder noises. Each earpiece weighs just 3 grams (0.1 ounces) and runs on a standard 312 zinc-air battery, which lasts for up to four days when used 14 hours daily. That would imply that the case that comes along with the SoundControl is purely for storage, and doesn’t provide any charging function, as found with most TWS earbuds.

The SoundControl is Bose’s first foray into medical audio tech. “In the United States alone, approximately 48 million people suffer from some degree of hearing loss that interferes with their life. But the cost and complexity of treatment have become major barriers to getting help,” said Brian Maguire, category director of Bose Hear. The SoundControl aims at bridging the current divide by providing those people with access to the same high-fidelity audio experience that Bose provides to the rest of the world. My personal gripe with the SoundControl, however, is its absolute lack of smart features. The hearing aids don’t play music from your phone or even assist with phone calls or alarms. They don’t summon your phone’s voice assistant either – which does seem like a bit of a let-down, but then again, that could have impacted their FDA approval. They do, however, move mountains by making hearing aids much more accessible to the masses by helping customers circumvent the current system of consulting doctors and buying prescription hearing aids which can cost in the ballpark of over a thousand dollars. The SoundControl helps avoid that clinical route, and customers can purchase them for $849.95 starting May 18th in five states: Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas — with nationwide availability to follow.

Designer: Bose

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