Audio company Bose has teamed up with fashion brand Kith to produce a pair of unique-looking earbuds known as the Ultra Open Earbuds.
Most open earbuds you see on Amazon or Google have an arm of sorts that wraps around the back of your ear. However, these go directly on your outer ear via clip. Despite the unconventional design, Bose’s product preserves the main purpose of open earbuds: enabling environmental awareness and allowing users to hear the world around them. On the outside of the earbuds and charging case is Kith’s name printed in Bose’s signature font.
This isn't the first time a company created open earbuds with a unique spin. Sony's LinkBuds, for example, have an extra ring connected to the main bud allowing outside noise in.
Strangely enough, there’s very little information about Ultra Open Earbuds’ specifications. It’s unknown what kind of speakers the pair house inside their small frame or if there are any special characteristics like a high water resistance rating. The only thing that Kith states regarding the latter is that there will be a “suite of state-of-the-art technologies” on board.
What is known is that the devices will support Bose’s OpenAudio software to directly send audio output into the ear canal while minimizing sound leakage. Battery life is set for “7.5 hours of playtime” on a single charge. That's without the charging case, mind you. The full amount of time with the case remains unknown.
Kith’s announcement post goes on to reveal the Ultra Open Earbuds will have Bose Immersive Audio which is the brand’s version of spatial audio. The inclusion of this feature is particularly notable because the recently released QuietComfort Ultra headphones have the same ability. With that in mind, it’s possible we could see other similarities between the two models like Wind Block to reduce wind noise plus support for Bluetooth 5.4. The post does mention “advanced Bluetooth” as one of the Ultra Open Earbuds features so it could be referring to the latest version.
All will be revealed soon enough.
The Bose Ultra Open Earbuds launch on Monday, January 22nd for $300 a pair. They will be sold exclusively at physical Kith stores as well as on Kith’s website in the US, Canada, and Europe. Pre-orders are not available so curious buyers will have to wait a bit. What’s interesting is the devices will be in “extremely limited quantities”, according to Bose. It’s unknown how many will be available at launch. So if you’re interested in getting them, it looks like you’ll have to act fast.
We reached out to Bose with several questions asking for info on the exact quantity of earbuds at launch, if there are plans to continue selling them after this drop, and if they could spare any details on their specifications. This story will be updated at a later time.
Until then, be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best earbuds for 2024.
Update 1-18-2024: A company representative got back and told us that the limited quantity of Ultra Open Earbuds is all that will be sold. Once it's sold out, there won't be anymore. That said, they stated the company has plans to launch a "Bose-only version" of the earbuds. No word on when that'll be released.
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Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.