Last month, Bose took an interesting approach to debuting a new product when it launched its Ultra Open Earbuds exclusively through a collaboration with fashion company Kith. Now, Bose is back with its own version, nixing the co-branding while keeping the same price. For both varieties, the $299 Ultra Open Earbuds sit outside of your ear canal and clip onto the ridge of your ear to stay in place. The open design renders active noise cancellation (ANC) moot, but Bose does bring its Immersive Audio tech to the table for spatial sound.
Bose has gone the “open” route before, debuting the Sport Open Earbuds in 2021. That model had the over-the-ear hooks we’ve seen on some fitness-focused earbuds, but it was made from a hard plastic that didn't bend or flex at all. It wasn't very comfortable as a result, and you couldn’t use it while wearing glasses or a hat. But as open-type earbuds have grown in popularity, mostly for the allure of “all day” wear by allowing you to stay in-tune with your surroundings, Bose has fixed many of the issues of its previous design. There are still trade-offs with any earbuds that sit outside of your ear canal, but you may be willing to overlook them here in the name of style, comfort and functionality. Here's our review.