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Understanding open-ear audio technology

Woman wearing Bose Ultra Open Earbuds

Have you ever been so immersed in your music that pausing it to have a conversation or pay attention to your surroundings completely kills the vibe? If so, open-ear headphones might be what you’ve been looking for. Open-ear audio allows you to be open to the environment around you without ever skipping a beat.

This style of earbuds has historically had a few shortcomings, including less-than-stellar audio and bulky, uncomfortable designs. However, the new Bose Ultra Open Earbuds are the future of open-ear technology, thanks to their new and improved deep and rich sound, extremely comfortable form, the addition of spatial audio technology with head-tracking, and, most importantly, full openness.

Here’s everything you need to know about open-ear technology to understand how the new open earbuds from Bose are poised to become the future of wearable tech.

What are open-ear headphones?

Most of today’s most popular wireless earbuds have an in-ear design, which means they sit fairly deep inside your ear and use silicone tips to seal off your ear canal, keeping music in and other noise out.

Open earbuds are different. As their name suggests, open-ear headphones don’t sit inside your ear, and they don’t block off your ear canal. Instead, these earbuds sit farther out on your ear, generally wrapped or hooked around the edges of your ear for stability. This offers the best of both worlds: You can remain completely open to everything going on around you while still experiencing excellent audio quality.

You might be wondering how exactly open earbuds can deliver sound into your ears if they’re not sitting in your ear canal. There are two ways this is done: bone conduction and air conduction technology.

  • Bone conduction: Believe it or not, bone conduction headphones actually bypass the ear canal and eardrum altogether. Instead, this technology transmits sound as vibrations directly into the bones of your head. The vibrations travel through your bone into the inner ear, where you then “hear” them as audio. The main benefit of bone conduction headphones is that they don’t block your ear at all – you’ll hear everything going on around you, which is why they’re a popular product for runners and bikers. However, the major downside of bone conduction is that sound quality often suffers, as the vibrations produced can’t transmit the subtle nuances of music and other audio. The speakers also need to sit tightly against your head for maximum effectiveness, which some people find uncomfortable.
  • Air conduction: Air conduction is a more traditional method of sound transmission. Put simply, it’s sound travelling into your ears; the same way you hear almost everything! The Bose Ultra Open Earbuds wrap around the outside of your ear a short distance from your ear canal and use air conduction. This delivers more refined audio than bone conduction, and Bose’s patented OpenAudio technology powers an impactful listening experience.
Woman wearing Bose Ultra Open Earbuds

The benefits of open-ear headphones

While some people like the tight-fitting design of in-ear headphones, which helps block out external noises, it might not be convenient for every situation. One common complaint about in-ear headphones is that they can be uncomfortable, especially when worn for long periods of time, like when you’re working or multitasking around the house. Bose Ultra Open Earbuds are designed for unbelievable comfort, so you can wear them for as long as you like.

And, thanks to OpenAudio technology, you’ll also be more aware if people are talking to you, whether you’re at the office, a coffee shop, the gym, or even just at home, and you won’t need to pull out your earbuds to hold a conversation. With a comfortable fit that you can wear all day long.

The best open earbuds don’t compromise audio quality either. You’ll be able to hear every beat of your favourite song and the commentary of your daily podcast, all while staying open to your environment.

Man wearing Bose Ultra Open Earbuds

How Bose OpenAudio is different

The proprietary Bose OpenAudio technology is helping reinvent open earbuds to deliver the comfort and audio quality you crave.

An innovative method of air conduction, OpenAudio delivers rich, nuanced sound into your ear, while minimising sound leakage so you don’t miss a note. With OpenAudio technology, you’ll experience a full audio range, including clear dialogue and deep bass notes, allowing you to enjoy any kind of music – from complex classical symphonies to bass-rich EDM – to its fullest potential. And while you might be experiencing a mind-boggling array of sounds, the people around you won’t hear a thing.

That’s not the only benefit of OpenAudio either. While it delivers a truly impactful listening experience, OpenAudio also offers full openness to your surroundings. Even when your music is playing, you’ll be able to hear your workout buddy during a morning run or a coworker asking you a question. The awareness level is even better than Aware Mode on the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds, making it a top choice if you want to be cognisant of your surroundings at all times.

Woman holding the charging case of the Bose Ultra Open Earbuds with the buds in the case

Earbuds reinvented for all-day wear

For all-day comfort that doesn’t compromise audio quality, Bose delivers the future of comfortable open earbuds.

Instead of a traditional over-the-ear design, these headphones have an attractive physical appearance that anchors in place around the outside edge of your ear, similar to ear cuff jewellery. They come in two colours, Black or White Smoke, both with eye-catching metallic accents. Not only is this design stylish, it also provides superior stability and maximum comfort, making it possible to wear them all day without experiencing fatigue.

Finally, they offer 7 hours of playtime per charge (4 with Immersive Audio or Auto Volume on), and they have a 48-hour standby time, in case you want to leave them on all day waiting for that next call to come in. The portable charging case adds an additional 18 hours of listening time (12 with either Immersive Audio or Auto Volume on), and Bose SimpleSync technology makes it quick and easy to pair your open earbuds with other compatible Bose speakers.

Woman wearing Bose Ultra Open Earbuds

The future of open-ear headphones is here

Whether you’re always on the go and need earbuds to keep up with your lifestyle, or simply want the most comfortable, innovative open earbuds available today, the new Bose Ultra Open Earbuds will change the way you enjoy your favourite audio. The innovative design is revolutionary for its natural awareness, keeping your ears open to the world around you, yet the audio quality is unmatched among competitors, setting a new standard for open-ear headphones.


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