Bose Ultra Open Earbuds offer audio and awareness at the same time

After a partnership with fashion brand Kith, Bose has announced the launch of its Ultra Open Earbuds, which allows wearers to hear the world around them while listening to their music uniterrupted.

These aren’t the first pair of headphones to exist within this category of ‘wearable audio’, but Bose looks to be offering its own distinct take in the market.

The Ultra Open Earbuds are designed in a way that doesn’t block sound from reaching the ear canal, so you can remain aware of what’s aroud you in the environment. It features what Bose calls an “innovative cuff-shaped design”, attaching around the earlobe like a piece of jewelry.

They’re engineered to be comfortable enough they can be worn for the entire day without creating fatigue, and given the fashion inspiration, the earbuds feature polished soft edges and brushed metallic finish to stand out from other wearable audio efforts. The design is rated at IPX4 to protect against water and sweat.

Operating can be done via a control on top of the “battery barrel” that holds the headphones’ charge, with the ability to play/pause, affect the volume, or initiate Bose’s Immersive Audio feature.

The Immersive Audio upgrades stereo audio to a wider, expansive soundstage with a bigger “sweet spot” to enjoy audio in. Powered by Bose’s fancy-sounding IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit), there are two options to choose from: Still, which creates the 3D soundstage but keeps music fixed in front of you, and Motion, which allows the audio to move as you move your head, allowing the music shift position as you move.

Bose Ultra Open Earbuds black finish
credit: Bose

Both immersive modes affect battery life, but in general there’s enough for 7.5 hours on a single charge (4.5 when Immersive Audio is activated), and additional 19.5 hours in the charging case. If you leave them on without using them, there’s 48 hours of standby time. Fast-charging is also supported.

Bluetooth 5.3 is supported, as is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sound with aptX Adaptive tech onboard. Those with Android devices benefit from Google Fast Pair to quickly connect to devices. Other features include Auto Volume that “intelligently adjusts” the volume in accordance with your surroundings.

Available in black and white smoke options, the Bose Ultra Open Earbuds are priced at £299 / $299 / €349 through the Bose website and select retailers.

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