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These are the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones — now with spatial audio

These are the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones — now with spatial audio

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An Immersive Audio mode is one of the new features that will set Bose’s next flagship headphones apart from past models.

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A hands-on photo of Bose’s QuietComfort Ultra Headphones.
Image: The Verge

We’ve already seen the design thanks to leaked renders and marketing images, so how about the next best thing to having them on your own head? The Verge has obtained numerous real-world photos of Bose’s upcoming headphones, the QuietComfort Ultras. They look quite sleek and combine design elements from the company’s recent models with a more premium overall style.

The photos confirm that these headphones will be able to fold down (unlike the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700) and they’ll include a new capacitive volume slider in addition to the other physical buttons. That’s the thin line protruding out from the side of one of the ear cups.

On the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, you had to swipe your finger up or down the right ear cup for volume, but now there’s a dedicated spot for it that users should be able to more easily memorize — with less risk of accidental presses or mistaken gestures.

A hands-on photo of Bose’s QuietComfort Ultra Headphones.
You’ll be able to slide your finger across the thin bar (seen here on the right ear cup) to adjust volume.
Image: The Verge

I’ve also learned that Bose is stepping into the realm of spatial audio with the QuietComfort Ultra Headphones: they will include a new Immersive Audio mode that can “enhance and add depth to your content.” Immersive Audio will have two options — still and motion — with the latter optimized for “when you’re moving around.”

This will be a standalone, third mode that joins Bose’s usual Quiet (noise cancellation) and Aware (transparency) modes. Like other recent Bose headphones, the QC Ultras’ transparency mode will include an “ActiveSense” feature that automatically strengthens or reduces the active noise cancellation based on your current environment.

A hands-on photo of Bose’s QuietComfort Ultra Headphones.
The QuietComfort Ultra Headphones will fold down for easier storage.
Image: The Verge

The QuietComfort Ultra Headphones will come in a fabric, oval-shaped carrying case that measures around 6.5 inches tall, 6.5 inches wide, and 2.5 inches deep. Included in that case will be the standard USB-C-to-USB-A charging cable and 2.5mm-to-3.5mm headphone adapter for wired listening. Will they finally be capable of USB-C audio? Let’s hope so, but that answer isn’t clear just yet. Our source confirms the headphones will automatically pause when removed from your ears and resume playback once you put them back on.

A hands-on photo of Bose’s QuietComfort Ultra Headphones.
That’s a more compact case than what came with the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700.
Image: The Verge

The QuietComfort Ultras are also said to be Snapdragon Sound certified, potentially opening the door to higher-quality Bluetooth codecs (when used with Android phones) and lower-latency performance while gaming.

Other specifics about the QuietComfort Ultra Headphones, such as battery life or upgrades to sound quality and noise cancellation, will need to wait for Bose’s full announcement. But our source who has worn the new headphones describes them as very comfortable. If nothing else, Bose is usually very dependable at nailing the mark on fit and comfort. Surely there’s more to this story for these new cans to earn the “Ultra” moniker — and likely a very high price tag to match that branding.