The AirPods Pro need to be on their guard. Bose's Earbuds 700 have just appeared in pre-release footage, and look like they will be a strong competitor to Apple's high-end buds.
A new video (via Gadgets360) by YouTube user Josh Quill shows off Bose's new noise cancelling earbuds. There's no rumors of an upcoming launch or pricing details, but with the retail-ready appearance of the 'buds here, it looks like we won't be waiting long.
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The box in the video has "QuietComfort Earbuds" written prominently on the front, despite the fact that these buds are not thought to be part of the QuietComfort range.
The back of the box mentions features like noise cancelling, a transparency mode (to allow a user to listen to the outside world when wearing the buds), and sweat and water resistance. The text also mentions that the buds are rated for a 6 hour battery life, with 12 more in the charging case, which can be charged wirelessly.
Within, there are the buds and the charging case, as well as two alternative gel tips and a USB-A to USB-C charging cable. The buds have a chunky pill-shaped body, with gel tips that extend backwards into a small arm for stabilising the bud inside the user's ear. They also have blue LEDs on the outside, which appear to show if the buds are connected to a device.
The charging case is also pill-like, with a button on the lower half to open the lid, another in the center of the charging sockets for Bluetooth pairing, and a row of five white LEDs along the bottom side, presumably to show the battery level.
The Earbuds 700's over-ear counterparts, the Bose 700 headphones, are our pick for both best noise cancelling headphones and best headphones overall. They provide excellent audio, great controls and long battery life, and look great too. That's why we have high hopes that Bose's smaller follow-up will be able to take on Apple's AirPods Pro.
New AirPods coming in 2021
In a stroke of luck for Bose, it seems like we won't see new AirPods until next year. We should see upgraded standard AirPods appear in the first half of 2021, with new AirPods Pro coming in the second half. This comes from a DigiTimes report (via iMore), citing industry sources in Vietnam, where the factories that will primarily build AirPods for the US market are located.
There's also a prediction that there will be a 20% increase in shipments from the 90 to 100 million units that will be sold in 2020. That's a big challenge for Bose to overcome with its new earbuds, but it has every chance of making a product that can take on Apple's class-leading buds.