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Airpods Max
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Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones
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What we think

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The PerfectRec Earbuds or Headphones team Learn more
Updated April 11, 2024·

If you prioritize convenience features like ear detection, optimized performance with Apple devices, and virtual surround sound, the Apple AirPods Max would be a better fit, especially if you don't mind spending the extra money. On the other hand, if you're looking for lighter headphones with exceptional comfort and noise cancellation, the ability to fold for greater portability, and longer battery life without the need for wireless charging, the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones would be a more suitable choice. The Bose also features an aptX Adaptive codec for improved sound quality with compatible devices and is more optimally priced. Both offer excellent build and sound quality, but Apple's option may tie you more into their ecosystem, while Bose provides a more universally compatible experience. Give Feedback

this description is based on the product variant with some specs and product variant with some specs. At the time of writing, the variant with some specs cost some dollars and the variant with some specs cost some dollars.
Advantages of the Apple Airpods Max
  • Very good for podcasts and audiobooks
Advantages of the Bose Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones
  • Very good for music
  • Excellent for gaming
  • Excellent for TV and video
  • Best in class for air travel

Key differences

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Music

7.3
Airpods Max
Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones
8.3
The Bose Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones is very good for music, while the Apple Airpods Max is good.

Gaming

5.5
Airpods Max
Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones
9.3
The Bose Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones is excellent for gaming, while the Apple Airpods Max is poor.

Phone Calls

6.6
Airpods Max
Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones
5.3
The Apple Airpods Max is only fair for phone calls, while the Bose Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones is poor.

Podcasts and Audiobooks

8.0
Airpods Max
Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones
6.0
The Apple Airpods Max is very good for podcasts and audiobooks, while the Bose Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones is only fair.

TV and Video

5.7
Airpods Max
Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones
9.0
The Bose Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones is excellent for TV and video, while the Apple Airpods Max is poor.

Noise Reduction

10.0
Airpods Max
Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones
9.1
The Apple Airpods Max is best in class for noise reduction, while the Bose Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones is excellent.

Battery

21.0 Hours
Airpods Max
Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones
29.0 Hours
The Apple Airpods Max has 21 hours of battery life. The Bose Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones has 29 hours of battery life.

Cost

$449
Airpods Max
Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones
$429
Product image
Product image

$200

$250

$300

$350

$400

The Apple Airpods Max has a price of $449 and the Bose Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones costs $429.
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Key similarities

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Build Quality

9.0
Airpods Max
Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones
9.0
The Apple Airpods Max and Bose Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones both have excellent build quality.

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We’re constantly working to improve.

How the Apple Airpods Max and the Bose Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones compare to other earbuds and headphones

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Spec Comparison

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Apple Airpods MaxBose Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones
Apple Airpods MaxBose Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones

GENERAL

Price
$449
$429
Brand
AppleBose
Release Date
December 1, 2020November 1, 2023
Form Factor
HeadphonesHeadphones
Connectivity
Wired + WirelessWired + Wireless

SOUND

Music Score
7.4/108.3/10
Phone Calls Score
6.6/105.3/10
Gaming Score
5.5/109.3/10
TV and Video Score
5.8/109.1/10
Exercise Score
6.2/106.4/10

PERFORMANCE

Battery life
21 Hours29 Hours
Wireless charging
NoNo
Charging time
2 Hours3 Hours
Bluetooth version
55.3

FEATURES

Active Noise Cancelling
YesYes
Noise Reduction Score
10/109.1/10
Virtual Surround
YesYes
Android App
NoYes
iOS App
YesYes
Mic Quality
7/107.4/10

BUILD AND DESIGN

Build Quality
9/109/10
Comfort score
7/1010/10
Weight (headset or single earbud)
385.5 Grams255 Grams
Microphone style
IntegratedIntegrated
Waterproof Rating
00

Shopping

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Apple Airpods Max

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Dig into reviews and images

Sound Guys

Adam Molina | July 2023
"Objectively, the AirPods Max is a spectacular pair of headphones. I appreciate the smart features like auto-pause and the transparency mode are super practical. It also sounds great, is well-built, and has solid battery life."

Bose Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones

See more

Dig into reviews and images

SoundGuys

Christian Thomas | January 2024
"The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones are a credible step up from previous Bose ANC headphones, and they're built to hang tough with the competition for years into the future. No waterproofing is a bit of a letdown, but these headphones have the technical chops to make most quite happy."

Get a great deal on the Apple Airpods Max or the Bose Quiet Comfort Ultra Headphones

About Apple

Apple Inc. is an American technology company, founded in 1976, known for its wide range of premium products, including smartphones, computers, and audio solutions. Apple offers the very popular personal audio line AirPods, highly regarded for their wireless, smart capabilities and their seamless integration with the iPhone, iPad and Mac devices. They provide a high-quality sound, comfort and lifestyle features perfect for all users invested in their ecosystem.

About Bose

Bose is an American audio equipment manufacturer based out of Framingham, Massachusetts. Founded in 1964 by Amar Bose with the goal of creating a speaker system that could accurately recreate the sound of a concert hall, Bose has become one of the most prominent players in the modern consumer audio market due to the premium feel of their products and their wide brand recognition.

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Why trust us

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This information was produced and vetted by the PerfectRec earbuds & headphones team. We are a product research and recommendation organization that meticulously reviews and evaluates the latest earbuds or headphones information and makes it digestible for you.

By the numbers

108
Earbuds and headphones evaluated
11,340
Earbuds and headphones stats compiled
15
Proprietary Earbuds and headphones ratings developed
67,700
Recommendations made
10,155
Consumer hours saved

About the Earbuds or Headphones team

Joe Golden, Ph.D

CEO and Earbuds and Headphones Editor
Joe is an entrepreneur and lifelong electronics enthusiast with a Ph.D in Economics from the University of Michigan.

Jason Lew

Staff Expert & Software Engineer
Jason is a staff expert and software engineer that has been making laptop recommendations for 7 years and moderates one of the largest laptop subreddits.

Chandradeep Chowdhury

Staff Expert & Software Engineer
Chandradeep is a staff expert and software engineer and expert in televisions and monitors. He’s been making monitor recommendations for ten years.

Luis Torres

Earbuds and Headphones Expert
Luis is a Mexico-based headphones expert. He’s been making headphone recommendations for five years and has close to 100 pairs in his personal collection.

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