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Bose Ultra Open Earbuds True wireless earbuds with open-air design

Item # 018UOEBUDB

These earbuds hook around the outside of your ear — without covering them — and serve up a bubble of sound

These earbuds hook around the outside of your ear — without covering them — and serve up a bubble of sound

Item # 018UOEBUDB

In stock

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About the Bose Ultra Open Earbuds

Jeff Miller

A completely new style of Bose earbuds with an "open-ear" design

I might have to retire the phrase "barely there" when describing how headphones fit and feel. The Bose Ultra Open Earbuds are the first I've ever tried where I literally forgot I was wearing them. They fit unlike any other earbuds — they actually hook onto the ears but don't cover them. And yet, Bose manages to deliver clear, spread-out sound with a well-defined sense of space.

A completely new style of Bose earbuds with an "open-ear" design

I might have to retire the phrase "barely there" when describing how headphones fit and feel. The Bose Ultra Open Earbuds are the first I've ever tried where I literally forgot I was wearing them. They fit unlike any other earbuds — they actually hook onto the ears but don't cover them. And yet, Bose manages to deliver clear, spread-out sound with a well-defined sense of space.

Woman wearing Bose Ultra Open Earbuds

The Bose Ultra Open Earbuds have an open design that helps you stay aware of your surroundings.

The open-ear design freely allows in external sounds, so you can stay aware of your surroundings. Small, yet powerful drivers and special processing serve up a personal "halo" of sound. Music and podcasts play wirelessly via Bluetooth 5.3, a newer, reliable version of the popular wireless technology.

How these earbuds fit and where they work best

Instead of going inside the ear canal — or even covering it — these earbuds hook around and grip the outside of your ear. A cylinder-shaped "barrel" rests behind the ear and gently anchors the earbuds. With just the slightest of adjustments, I was able to secure them into place without pressure on the outside of my ears.

This unique design avoids both in-ear pressure points and the stuffy earplug effect altogether. Obviously, if you're in a loud area — or you want a more focused listening experience, this wouldn't be the right choice. But they are helpful when you need to keep tabs on the kids, talk to coworkers, or walk down a busy street.

Bose Ultra Open Earbuds in case

The earbuds offer up to 7.5 hours of battery life, and the charging case banks about 19.5 hours of power.

Control over music, calls, and more

There's a built-in four-mic system for clear phone, Zoom, and FaceTime calls. On top of each behind-the-ear "barrel," there's a tactile button for control over music, calls, volume, and more. You gain further control with the Bose Music app, a free download for Apple® and Android™, that lets you customize controls, test the fit, and choose from different listening modes.

Bose "immersive audio" processing adds even more space

Bose Immersive Audio technology creates a spacious 3D soundstage in which music and other audio sources come at you from all sides, behind you, and even above your head. And it works with any type of music (or music service).

The Bose Music app lets you choose between two different settings of immersive audio. In one setting, the enhanced soundstage moves along with your head. But you can also activate and use the earbuds' built-in headtracking — that keeps the sound presentation fixed and centered, as if you were listening in a room with speakers.

My listening impressions — a "bubble" of sound

This style of earbuds won't be for everybody, but neither are traditional in-ear headphones. I can see the Bose Ultra Open being a hit with those who are extra sensitive to wearing things plugged inside their ear. The fit was so unobtrusive that I once walked around Crutchfield HQ without music playing and forgot I had them on my ears. I didn't realize until I caught my reflection in the mirror.

When I did hit play, these earbuds delivered a fuller sound than I expected — especially in the optional "immersive" mode. They create a small "bubble" of sound around your head, rather than the between-the-ears experience you get from most earbuds. I found that the extra distance gave podcasts a refreshingly conversational feel. And for music, the imaging and instrument separation is quite good.

Surprisingly full sound with distinct separation and placement

Vocals, synths, guitars, and other mid-to-high range sounds fair best, so acoustic tracks impressed the most. Watching video of Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs performing "Fast Car" at the Grammys, I could sense the scope and energy of the room. There was even some low-end presence — just don't expect deep bass like you get from more traditional Bose headphones.

Most earbuds rely on a tight seal in the ear canal to deliver deep bass, and obviously there's no seal here. But the low frequencies that were there felt quick and responsive. It worked best for tracks where the bass is there to round out the soundscape, rather than dominate it. On Brittany Howard's "Red Flag," there was enough low-end thump to complement the snappy percussion, hypnotic keyboards, and soaring vocals.


Product highlights:

  • 100% wire-free headphones
  • open, wearable design attaches to the outer edge of your ears
    • earbuds sit outside the ear and allow in external sounds
    • securely hooks into place and avoids pressure points
  • Bluetooth 5.3 for wireless music listening and phone calls
    • aptX® Adaptive automatically adjusts to prioritize audio quality or low latency, depending on the listening situation
    • Bose will offer multi-point connection with a future firmware update
  • IPX4 sweat- and weather-resistant
Open-air sound and audio technologies:
  • hear external sounds while you listen to music, take calls, and join in video conferences
    • miniature drivers are aimed toward your ears to deliver a personal bubble of sound
    • proprietary digital sound processing limits what others can hear
  • two immersive audio modes for 3D sound
    • extends the size and width of the sonic presentation
    • dynamic head-tracking helps emulate the sound of speakers in a room
Easy controls and mobile app:
  • physical buttons for control over music, volume, and calls
  • beamforming microphone system for clear calls
  • free, optional Bose® Music app for Apple and Android
    • test fit and customize your sound settings and touch controls
    • earbuds can be used one at a time or as a pair
Charging case and battery information:
  • built-in rechargeable batteries offer 7.5 hours of stereo listening (4.5 in immersive audio mode)
  • carrying case banks up to 19.5 hours of power to wirelessly recharge headphones
    • 10-minute quick charge provides enough power for 2 hours of listening
  • USB-A to USB-C cable included for charging case
General info and specs:
  • weight: 0.45 oz. (both earbuds)
  • warranty: 1 year
  • MFR # 881046-0010

What's in the box:

  • Left and right Ultra Open earbuds (black)
  • Charging case (black)
  • 12" USB charging cable (USB-A on one end and USB-C on other end)
  • Safety Instructions

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More details on the Bose Ultra Open Earbuds

Mark G.

Product Research


Overview: The Bose Ultra Open Earbuds feature a unique style and fit that doesn't block your ears. Bose's proprietary OpenAudio technology lets you hear the rich audio while staying connected to the outside world. The true wireless earbuds are inspired by ear cuff jewelry and hook securely around the outer portion of your ear. The lightweight grip is strong enough for the earbuds to stay put, but comfortable enough so you can wear them all day. The Ultra Open Earbuds come with a sleek charging case and a USB charging cable.


  • Ultra Open Earbuds: Width 0.663", Height 1.071", Depth 0.717"; Weight 0.45 ounces (both)
  • Charging Case: Width 2.56", Height 1.949", Depth 1.045"; Weight 1.55 ounces (empty), 2.0 ounces (with earbuds)

OpenAudio Technology: Bose's OpenAudio technology provides a rich audio experience that only you can hear. Your audio remains private, as almost no sound is heard by others around you. The earbuds are not inserted into the ear canal, but are positioned near it, so you can still hear sounds from your surroundings. The Ultra Open Earbuds direct audio into the ear canal while the proprietary technology minimizes sound leakage in other directions.

Bluetooth 5.3: The Ultra Open Earbuds feature the latest Bluetooth version (Bluetooth 5.3). They support A2DP, HFP, AVRCP, and BLE profiles, and operate at a range of up to 30 feet from your paired device. The earbuds support SBC, AAC, and aptX adaptive codecs. On Android devices certified with Snapdragon Sound, you're assured of getting the best audio quality and the lowest latency with the Ultra Open Earbuds. Android users can also enjoy simple, fast pairing with Google Fast Pair. When you turn on the headphones, a Google Fast Pair pop-up window appears for rapid setup of the device. The Bose Ultra Open Earbuds are compatible with your device's native voice assistant.

aptX Adaptive: AptX Adaptive helps to maintain the best sound quality and provide a solid wireless connection. When the Bluetooth connection is less than ideal, the earbuds will slightly lower the audio quality in order to obtain a stronger wireless connection to your device, thus avoiding audio dropouts. When you have a strong wireless connection, the Ultra Open Earbuds boost the sampling rate from 44.1kHz to 48kHz for higher audio quality and lower latency.

Immersive Audio: Bose's new Immersive Audio makes your music sound as if it's coming from beyond the earbuds. It gives it a wider sound stage in the front and on the sides for a more spacious listening experience. You can choose from two Immersive Audio Settings. The Motion setting makes your audio sound as if you're listening to two stereo speakers in front of you, and the sound stays in front of you, even when you turn your head. This setting works best when you are moving or have to turn your head or look down frequently. The Still Setting sounds like two stereo speakers that don't move with you--they stay in place. This setting is best suited to when you are sitting stationary. Immersive Audio shuts off temporarily when a phone call comes in. You can choose between two listening modes: Stereo Mode (Immersive Audio Off) and Immersive Audio Mode. Both modes can be customized in the Bose Music app.

Bose Music App: The Bose Music App helps you to enjoy your Ultra Open Earbuds even more. The app aids you in setting up and controlling your earbuds from any smartphone or tablet. In the app, you can select an action, such as checking the battery level or skipping a track, and save it as a Shortcut. The Auto Volume feature dynamically adjusts the volume of your music as the noise level of your environment changes, making sure you can always hear your music at the same level relative to the background. The buttons on the earbuds can be customized to trigger specific functions or switch devices the earbuds are connected to. The Bose Music app makes pairing easier and faster, lets you choose your voice prompt language, and manage your earbud settings. You can use the app to easily browse your favorite music sources. An equalizer in the app lets you adjust the bass, midrange, and treble to suit your listening preferences. The app is available from the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch running iOS 15 or later, and from Google Play for Android devices (version varies with device).

Microphones: The Ultra Open Earbuds are equipped with four microphones, two on each earbud. The microphones are used for phone calls and for voice commands when connected to your phone's native voice assistant.

Water/Sweat Resistance: The Bose Ultra Open Earbuds have an IPX4 rating for their resistance to sweat, weather, and splashing water from any angle. The Charging Case is IPX1-rated, and is resistant to water and sweat that may remain on the earbuds after use, or gentle vertical rainfall. The earbuds and charging case are not waterproof, and should not be submerged.

Onboard Controls: Each earbud has a single, upward-facing button on the barrel-shaped part that rests behind your ear. The buttons control both phone calls and music playback:

Button Action Music Playback Phone Calls

One press

Play/pause content Accept incoming call
Accept a second incoming call and put first call on hold
Two presses Skip forward Decline incoming call
End a call in progress
Decline a second incoming call
Three presses Skip backward (not used)
Press and Hold Shortcut function* (not used)
Double-press and hold (left) Music Volume Down Call Volume Down
Double-press and hold (right) Music Volume Up Call Volume Up
* Note: By default, the shortcut function is set to switch between Stereo and Immersion Modes. The shortcut function can be customized in the Bose Music app.

Power Options: The Bose Ultra Open Earbuds are equipped with long-lasting Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries which provide up to 7.5 hours of playback time in Stereo Mode, up to 4.5 hours with Immersive Audio on, and up to 48 hours of standby. The included Charging Case also has a Lithium-ion rechargeable battery that can recharge the earbuds approximately 2.6 times before it need recharging. The charging case provides an additional 19.5 hours of playback time in Stereo Mode for a total of 27 hours. The charging case provides an additional 12 hours of playback time for a total of 16.5 hours when Immersive Audio is on. The earbuds charge inside the Charging Case in approximately 1 hour. A 10-minute Quick Charge provides up to 2 hours of playback time. The Charging Case battery charges in about 3 hours when plugged into a USB power source via the included USB charging cable. LED status lights on the Charging Case indicate the charge status and battery level of the case and earbuds.

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