Building on its expertise, Bose has come up with a pair of noise-cancelling headphones which look good and boast excellent audio quality (more on that later). The lightweight steel headband is covered with soft foam and connected to angled ear cups, making it very comfortable to wear for long duration. Plus, a combination of buttons and gestures makes it intuitive to use. The left ear cup houses a noise-cancellation button while the buttons in the right are for turning it on/off and activating voice assistants. You can activate Siri when the headphones are paired with an iPhone, but they are also optimised for Google Assistant and Alexa. I was able to choose them from the Bose Music app. A gesture area has been added to the front of the right ear cup and works for both music and calls. Double-tapping the front of the right ear cup plays/pauses audio, swiping up and down increases and decreases the volume, and swiping forward and backwards takes you to the next and the previous track, respectively. Long-pressing the same area gives you battery status via voice.
However, it is the sound output which is bound to wow you. I tested it by playing my regular list of international and Bollywood tracks, including Something Just Like This by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay, Afreen Afreen by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and more. The vocals were well pronounced and the sound was well balanced. It had deep bass, and everything from highs and lows was clear even at high volume.
The noise cancellation (NC) technology is excellent, but there are times when you should not turn it on, especially when you are driving or walking or at a railway station/airport. Bose has beautifully addressed this issue as users can control the level of NC. At zero, one can hear almost all ambient sounds; at 10, the NCH cuts off nearly everything. Using the app, I was able to choose the desired level. Taking calls was also convenient as double-pressing the front of the right ear cup answered or ended the call. Again, tap and hold for a second to decline a call. I could also mute the call by pressing and releasing the dedicated voice assistant button. It also features the company's augmented reality platform called Bose AR.
Unlike previous editions, this one has graduated to the Type-C port - it is on the right ear cup. A 15-minute quick charge juiced it enough to last three hours while a full charge spanning three hours lasted me close to 18 hours. The headphones come in a hard case with a hidden compartment that stores the charging cord and the ear cups lie flat when placed in the case.