For the past few years, there's been a huge battle between big brands to make the best active noise-cancelling earbuds and headphones, with the main competitors being Bose, Sony, and Apple. And before Bose's QuietComfort Ultra took the top spot for favorite noise-cancelling headphones, Bose QC II earphones were near the top of that list.
Although they've fallen from the top spot, they're still great earphones and well worth picking up once they're released. And if you want to get it very cheaply, you can: Available for just $129 at Bose's official eBay store, a 54% discount off the original $279 price. It's important to note here that these are certified refurbished and not new, but they look and work like new, and they come with a 2-year warranty, so you'll have less to worry about.
Even for an older generation of earphones, the Bose QC II has some great ANC features, especially considering Bose offers excellent noise cancellation in some mid-high frequencies. This means you can almost completely silence the cries of your baby, the noise of your air conditioner, and even the hustle and bustle of your office. It works fine when you're on the go, and most sounds are muffled pretty well, so turning on the transparency mode, which Bose calls Aware mode, may come as a shock.
When it comes to audio, you'll be happy to know that the QC II earphones are just as good in that regard, with clear and subtle audio that the previous generation couldn't quite match. It also has a very warm sound with a wide soundstage, giving it an extra punch especially when listening to vocals. As for battery life, you can get around 6 hours on a single charge and an additional 18 hours with the case. This is pretty much the industry standard.
Overall, these are the best earphones to get, especially at this price, even when certified refurbished. Still, if you want to get your hands on something completely unused, be sure to check out these other great value earbuds.