Bose QuietComfort Ultra leaked in new images — watch out, Sony WH-1000XM5

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(Image credit: Regan Coule/Tom's Guide)

Is Bose about to introduce a new flagship ANC headphone for 2023 called the QuietComfort Ultra? A recent Twitter post published by Kuba Wojciechowski contained an image that's believed to be Bose's next-gen ANC headphones certainly seems to suggest so. 

Said to be developed under the codename 'Lone Starr', the image (pictured below) shows a Bose headphone design that looks a lot more like the current Bose QuietComfort 45 rather than the flagship Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700, which launched almost four years ago. 

Bose QuietComfort Ultra

(Image credit: @Za_Raczke)

The leaker, who regularly shares information about Android devices, admits that they "currently have very little information about the product," and that "it appears to be in its early stages of development."

When it comes to ANC headphones, Bose has consistently been the brand leader for best noise-canceling headphones with numerous high-ranking noise-canceling headphone models in our buying guides over the years. Generally taking a slow and steady approach that means new products don’t come thick and fast has consistently paid off for Bose, and the number of high-ranking models that have featured in our buying guides is testament to the company's noise-canceling know-how.

That is until recently, where we've seen rival headphones such as the Sony WH-1000XM5 — which released last year and received huge acclaim for its successful balance of elite sound and stellar noise-canceling performance — make a serious challenge to Bose's top position and the best noise-canceling headphones crown.

Sony XM5 headphones in ecru (off white) placed outdoors on a garden table

Could the Sony WH-1000XM5's balance of elite sound and noise-canceling performance soon get a new Bose rival? (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

What we want to see from Bose QuietComfort Ultra

We've already seen updates to the company's active noise-canceling model line up over the last few years, so a successor to the Bose 700 flagship is a reasonable assumption to make. 

We saw the follow up to the QuietComfort Earbuds 2 launch last year, and the Bose QuietComfort 45 arrived as the successor to the QuietComfort 35 in 2021, but neither models offers significant gains in battery life to rival today's ANC models. Sennheiser's Momentum 4 Wireless is currently the best model for battery life, and is capable of delivering up to 50 hours with ANC enabled. So we'd imagine that in order to be worthy of the suggested 'Ultra' name, any new model would need to bring a significant boost to the company's previous battery life claims.       

Another factor to consider is high-quality audio support. Last year Bose said that the Qualcomm’s S5 Sound Platform will be fitted to future Bose products. The QuietComfort Earbuds 2 launched in September 2022 now support aptX Adaptive and aptX Lossless, so we'd anticipate that any plans for a new model will be similarly specified.

Look out for more Bose news as it unfolds.

Lee Dunkley
Audio Editor

As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.