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QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds
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ER4XR
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What we think

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The PerfectRec Earbuds or Headphones team Learn more
Updated January 10, 2024·

If noise isolation and use during travel are priorities, choose the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds; their active noise canceling is excellent and they are more suited for exercise. However, for the clearest phone calls, consider the Etymotic ER4XR, despite their lack of a built-in mic; they provide better noise isolation purely from their fit. The Bose earbuds offer a better build quality and have a companion app to customize sound and controls, whereas the Etymotic doesn't have these features. The Bose also has a wireless option and longer battery life, important if you dislike cables or frequent charging. 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 Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds
  • Very good for gaming
  • Very good for TV and video
  • Very good for exercise
  • Very good for air travel
Advantages of the Etymotic ER4XR
  • Good for podcasts and audiobooks

Key differences

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Music

8.6
QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds
ER4XR
8.0
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds and Etymotic ER4XR are both very good for music, though the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds is somewhat better.

Gaming

8.8
QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds
ER4XR
6.2
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds is very good for gaming, while the Etymotic ER4XR is only fair.

Podcasts and Audiobooks

6.0
QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds
ER4XR
7.3
The Etymotic ER4XR is good for podcasts and audiobooks, while the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds is only fair.

TV and Video

8.1
QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds
ER4XR
7.4
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds is very good for TV and video, while the Etymotic ER4XR is good.

Battery

6.5 Hours
QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds
ER4XR
N/A
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds has 6.5 hours of battery life. The Etymotic ER4XR does not have a battery.

Cost

$279
QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds
ER4XR
$191
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The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds has a price of $279 and the Etymotic ER4XR costs $191.
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Key similarities

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Phone Calls

5.1
QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds
ER4XR
4.7
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds and Etymotic ER4XR are both poor for phone calls.

Noise Reduction

8.9
QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds
ER4XR
9.1
Although they have very similar scores, PerfectRec considers Etymotic ER4XR to be excellent for noise reduction, while the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds is very good.

Build Quality

9.0
QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds
ER4XR
9.0
The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds and Etymotic ER4XR both have excellent build quality.

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How the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds and the Etymotic ER4XR compare to other earbuds and headphones

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Spec Comparison

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Bose QuietComfort Ultra EarbudsEtymotic ER4XR
Bose QuietComfort Ultra EarbudsEtymotic ER4XR

GENERAL

Price
$279
$191
Brand
BoseEtymotic
Release Date
September 1, 2023June 1, 2016
Form Factor
EarbudsEarbuds
Connectivity
WirelessWired

SOUND

Music Score
8.7/108/10
Phone Calls Score
5.1/104.8/10
Gaming Score
8.8/106.3/10
TV and Video Score
8.2/107.4/10
Exercise Score
8.4/104.1/10

PERFORMANCE

Battery life
6.5 HoursN/A
Wireless charging
NoN/A
Charging time
2 HoursN/A
Bluetooth version
5.3N/A
Case Battery Life
21N/A

FEATURES

Active Noise Cancelling
YesNo
Noise Reduction Score
8.9/109.1/10
Virtual Surround
YesN/A
Android App
YesN/A
iOS App
YesN/A
Mic Quality
6.2/10N/A

BUILD AND DESIGN

Build Quality
9/109/10
Comfort score
8.4/106/10
Size
MediumSmall
Weight (headset or single earbud)
7.7 Grams4 Grams
Microphone style
IntegratedN/A

Shopping

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Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds

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Dig into reviews and images

Soundguys

Christian Thomas | October 2023
"Bose put the time in to fix the major issues with the previous earbuds, and the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds are very befitting of its price point. While you might be tempted to save a few bucks and go with the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II on sale, fight the urge. There are enough upgrades here to justify the newer model."

Etymotic ER4XR

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Dig into reviews and images

What HiFi?

What HiFi? | May 2015
"The Etymotic ER4XRs' top qualities are the detail and definition of the midrange, rewarding the closest listening. While the soundstage is large rather than gigantic, the excellent separation and spatial precision mean you can dive deep into music just as much as when wearing a pair of full-size open-backed headphones."

Get a great deal on the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds or the Etymotic ER4XR

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.

About Etymotic

Etymotic Research is an American based research, development and manufacturing company founded in 1983. They invented the first insert earphones that were used for the diagnosis and research of hearing loss and other auditory disorders. They went on to pioneer the market of high fidelity, isolating, in-ear earphones.

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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
48,800
Recommendations made
7,320
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.

Nick Landia, Ph.D

Chief Data Scientist
Nick is a machine learning expert with a Ph.D in recommendation systems from the University of Warwick.

Aaron Koller, Ph.D

Head of Product
Aaron is a product leader and recommendation enthusiast with a Ph.D in philosophy from Syracuse University.

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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