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Bose Ultra Open Earbuds use a glasses-friendly earclip shape

Bose Ultra Open Earbuds with Kith branding.

In something of a surprise move, Bose has made a return to the open-ear earbud category with the Bose Ultra Open Earbuds, a clip-style set of earbuds that the company is launching in collaboration with Kith, a fashion and lifestyle brand. The earbuds — like all open-ear models — are designed to let you hear the world around you while you listen to your music. They will sell for $300 exclusively from Kith’s stores, and only in extremely limited quantities, starting January 22.

It’s not the first time that Bose has developed limited-edition products with taste-makers. In 2023, it created a version of its Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II with singer Normani. However, the partnership with Kith and its founder, Ronnie Fieg, is a first for Bose in a few ways.

It’s the first time a Bose product has borne another company’s brand (although the Kith logo on the Ultra Open Earbuds has been transformed to mimic the Bose logo.) It also marks the start of Fieg’s role as a creative consultant to Bose.

Digital Trends asked Bose if it plans to release more Bose/Kith products in the future. Bose demurred but said that, “Ronnie will be working with Bose in a creative consultant capacity to provide input on new experiences that continue to merge fashion, culture, and sound.”

Bose Ultra Open Earbuds with Kith branding.

Bose became the first major brand to sell open-ear earbuds when it introduced the Bose Sport Open headphones in 2021, but it abandoned the category less than two years later. In the meantime, we’ve seen dozens of companies introduce open-ear models at prices between $50 and $280.

Bose Ultra Open Earbuds with Kith branding.

The Bose Ultra Open Earbuds’ clip style — which the company calls an “ear cuff” — is the newest take on open-ear earbuds. Unlike the Sport Open’s over-the-ear hook shape, which can interfere with glasses, clips grip the sides of the ear. They’re usually divided into two parts: the speaker section, which sits inside the ear, and the battery section, which sits behind the ear. In the case of the Ultra Open Earbuds, the two parts are connected by a flexible joint, which Bose says allows for easy on and off and “effortless all-day wear.”

Bose isn’t the first to use a clip style. We’ve seen it from lesser-known brands like Sanag and Ambie, and Huawei’s recently announced FreeClips use it too.

According to Kith’s website, the new earbuds use Bose’s OpenAudio technology and will run for 7.5 hours before needing to be charged. Intriguingly, they also feature Bose Immersive Audio, the company’s take on spatial audio that it introduced on the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones and Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds in 2023. In both of those products, head-tracking can be enabled to enhance the immersive experience.

As of February 15, you can buy the Bose version (Bose Ultra Open Earbuds) for $299. Curious how they fit and sound? Check out our in-depth Bose Ultra Open Earbuds review.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
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