the industry leader is losing ground on its home turf

Where Are Bose’s Wireless Noise-Canceling Earbuds?

May 16, 2020 Tech By
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Almost a year ago, Bose announced the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 ($399), and released them a few short weeks later. But its Bose Earbuds 500, smaller and upgraded versions of the company’s current wireless SoundSport Free, and the Bose Noise Cancelling Earbuds 700, are still yet to be seen.

The flagship Earbuds 700 were always slated for a vague 2020 release window, and the year is far from over, but the Earbuds 500s were supposed to be out way back in 2019. Where are they?

According to the company’s website, the Bose Noise Cancelling Earbuds 700 (above) are expected to have “truly astonishing noise cancelling” capabilities.

One complication is almost certainly the COVID-19 pandemic, which has thrown a wrench in the gears of almost all tech companies’ manufacturing plans, potentially delaying the new iPhone, and canceling industry events. But 2019 had come and gone before the pandemic spun up in earnest, and so while it is almost certainly a complicating factor, it’s can’t be all that is at play.

In March, Bose told CNET‘s David Carnoy that the earbuds are still coming, but offered no revised time frame, while the official Bose website lists 2020 as the time frame for both pairs. We’ve reached out to Bose for any updates or additional details.

It’s is not at all rare for tech products to face delays, but this wrinkle has put Bose in a particularly notable pickle: the industry leader in noise-canceling headphones still doesn’t have a pair of true wireless earbuds with noise-cancellation, in a market that was already notably reaching maturity by the close of 2019. Sony, Apple, Sennheiser and Master & Dynamic are just a few of Bose’s rivals to have their own wireless earbuds with active noise-cancellation. Heck, Amazon released its own pair of wireless earbuds that have Bose’s own technology, albeit somewhat watered-down “active noise-reduction” technology as opposed to noise-cancelation.

There is, of course, more to success than being first. There is plenty of profit to be found in focusing on refinement and releasing a highly-polished product that improves on the competition’s early attempts. But the longer the wait, the better that product has to be. And with every month that goes by, the bar for Bose is getting higher.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Tucker Bowe

Tucker Bowe has been on Gear Patrol's editorial team since 2014. As a Tech Staff Writer, he tracks everything in the consumer tech space, from headphones to smartphones, wearables to home theater systems. If it lights up or makes noise, he probably covers it.

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