AirPods Pro vs Bose SoundSport Free: Which is Better?


The AirPods Pro and Bose SoundSport Free hail from playmakers that users have been trusting for many decades. Since their release, the AirPods Pro and Bose SoundSport Free have been making waves throughout the wireless earphones industry. Both are the pride of their companies, but which one is better?

The Verdict

The Apple AirPods Pro is generally better than the Bose SoundSport Free. The AirPods Pro has active noise cancellation, which Bose SoundSport Free does not. They have better design, noise isolation, and battery life as well. Plus, the AirPods Pro are more durable and comfortable than the Bose SoundSport Free. 

SpecificationsAirPods ProBose SoundSport Free
TypeIn-earEarbuds
Dimensions0.94 x 0.86 x 1.22 inches1.2 x 1.2 x 1 inch
EnclosureClosed-BackSemi-Open
Battery Life4.8 hours5.3 hours
Noise CancellationYesNo
Water ResistanceIPX4IPX4
Bluetooth Version5.04.1
TransducerDynamicDynamic
Weight10.8 g 45.6 g (case)18.14 g79.4 g (case)
Audio CodecsSBC, AACSBC, AAC
Microphone YesYes
Voice AssistanceYesYes

Design: Winner = AirPods Pro 

AirPods Pro
AirPods Pro

The AirPods Pro have a sleek design. They do not look too bulky, so they don’t stand out from the crowd. As a result, the Apple AirPods Pro are versatile― they can be used for many kinds of activities such as walking, running, or commuting. Plus, their white color makes them stylish enough to match any outfit. 

In addition, the AirPods Pro maintains that minimalist look Apple is known for. The AirPods Pro’s short stems are also not that noticeable, and their silicone tips give the AirPods Pro a premium aesthetic.  

On the other hand, the Bose SoundSport Free has more of a conspicuous design. The earbuds are bulky and easily noticeable. Its size is just a little too overpowering for a pair of truly wireless earbuds. 

Originally designed for people leading active lifestyles, the Bose SoundSport Free is not as versatile as the AirPods Pro. Plus, the contrast between the ear tips’ and the shells’ colors can only go with specific outfits.

While the Bose SoundSport Free is a good companion for people working out, it might not work for people commuting or just walking around due to its overpowering look. 

The AirPods Pro is better than the Bose SoundSport Free in terms of design. The winner is more aesthetically pleasing because it has a sleeker, more versatile, and inconspicuous style. 

Comfort: Winner =  AirPods Pro 

The AirPods Pro come with three sizes of ear tips that are supposed to properly fit in its user’s ears. The ear tips are perfect for most users, which is great news especially for those who want to use the AirPods Pro for prolonged periods. 

Plus, the AirPods Pro securely fit its user’s ear. This means that it won’t easily fall out even if the most intense moves are made. Despite its secure fit, the AirPods Pro remain breathable and don’t trap a lot of sweat

Since the AirPods Pro weighs less than the Bose SoundSport Free, they are more enjoyable to wear over an extended period. 

Speaking of the Bose SoundSport Free, this set of earbuds also comes with three sizes of ear tips that are supposed to securely fit in its user’s ears. The ear tips do what they’re supposed to. It lives up to Bose’s promise of the earbuds working well for users with active lifestyles. 

Despite its secure fit, the Bose SoundSport Free can be uncomfortable over an extended period. It’s because the Bose SoundSport Free is significantly heavier and less breathable the AirPods Pro. 

While both are almost equal in terms of comfort, the AirPods Pro won this round because they weigh less, are more breathable, and have a more secure fit than the Bose SoundSport Free. 

Durability: Winner = AirPods Pro 

The AirPods Pro look and feel as durable as their predecessors. They have a sturdy build, which can be credited to the durable plastic finish. This means that the AirPods Pro exterior won’t easily get damaged after accidental drops

The interior of the AirPods Pro is also made of durable materials. They are securely glued in their proper places. A great amount of force is needed to break them apart, which is good news for Apple users. 

In addition, the AirPods Pro has an IP rating of IPX4, which means that it can survive splashes of water and sweat. As a result, the AirPods Pro will survive a workout or a slightly rainy day. 

It can be argued that the Bose SoundSport Free can just be as durable as the AirPods Pro. It also has a sturdy build, thanks to the high-quality materials that make up its exterior. It can survive accidental drops as much as the AirPods Pro does. The Bose SoundSport Free also offers an IP rating of IPX4.

While the Bose SoundSport Free’s interior is made of durable materials, they are not as securely packed as the AirPods Pro’s. 

Thus, the AirPods Pro are more durable than the Bose SoundSport Free. It’s because their interior components are more securely packed. However, it’s safe to say that the two are equal in terms of water resistance and exterior durability. 

Case Durability: Winner = Bose SoundSport Free

Bose SoundSport Free
Bose SoundSport Free

The Bose SoundSport Free features a hard case with a sturdy look and feel. It can effectively protect the earbuds from accidental drops. Though not fully waterproof, the case can offer decent protection from water damage. 

Plus, the Bose SoundSport Free’s hard case is thick enough to protect the earbuds from scratches and bumps. The case also holds the earbuds well enough for them not to be damaged after intense movement. 

The AirPods Pro also comes with a sturdy hard case, which can protect the earbuds from accidental drops. However, unlike the Bose SoundSport Free’s case, it only offers no protection from water damage. 

On the bright side, the AirPods Pro’s case is also thick enough to protect the earbuds from scratches and bumps. The case also holds the earbuds well enough for them not to be damaged after intense movement. 

In terms of case durability, the Bose SoundSport Free is better than the AirPods Pro. It’s because the case is sturdy enough to protect the earbuds from accidental drops, bumps, and scratches. It also offers protection from water damage, which the AirPods Pro’s case doesn’t. 

Battery Life: Winner = AirPods Pro 

The Apple AirPods Pro offers 5.3 hours of battery life, with its active noise cancellation (ANC) mode turned off. If its ANC mode is turned on, its battery life goes down to 4.5 hours.

Its case offers five additional full charges, which puts the earbuds’ total battery life to a whopping 31.8 hours. This means that the AirPods Pro is meant for long trips and calling periods. 

The AirPods Pro also offers a power-saving feature, which automatically puts the earbuds into standby mode. Thanks to this, users can effortlessly conserve battery life

On the other hand, the Bose SoundSport Free offers 4.8 hours of battery life. This is somehow fixed given that the earbuds don’t offer active noise cancellation. 

Its case offers two extra full charges, which puts the Bose SoundSport Free’s total battery life to 14.4 hours. While that’s decent for a pair of wireless earbuds, it doesn’t live up to the AirPods Pro additional battery charges. 

The Bose SoundSport Free also offer a power-saving feature, which automatically turns the earbuds off. While it can be argued that this option is better than Apple’s power-saving feature, it does not compensate for its shorter battery life and less additional full charges. 

Thus, the AirPods Pro is better than the Bose SoundSport Free when it comes to battery life. It’s because they have a longer battery life. Plus, the AirPods Pro’s case offers five extra full charges as opposed to the Bose SoundSport Free’s which only offers two. 

Sound Quality: Winner = Bose SoundSport Free

The Bose SoundSport Free offers amazing bass and mids, which is great news for those who like to listen to music with heavy guitar and drum sounds. It also features excellent treble accuracy, which means that it doesn’t tone down high-range frequencies as many other wireless earphones do. 

What makes the Bose SoundSport Free’s sound quality unique is its amazing balance between the lows and the highs, which many truly wireless earbuds fail to achieve. When used for gaming, the Bose SoundSport Free offers top-notch, accurate sound effects as well. 

Overall, the sound profile of Bose SoundSport Free is rich and clear. It’s safe to say that the Bose SoundSport Free offers one of the best sound profiles in the market. 

While the AirPods Pro’s treble accuracy is better than the Bose SoundSport Free’s, its bass and mids are not. Their bass and mids are good enough for average listeners though. When gaming, the AirPods Pro perform as well as the Bose SoundSport Free. Their sound profile is clear and rich as well. 

This is a close round, but in terms of sound quality, the Bose SoundSport Free is better than the  AirPods Pro. It is because it has better bass and mids. Plus, its sound profile is just hard to beat. 

Noise Isolation & Cancellation: Winner = AirPods Pro 

The AirPods Pro offers top-notch noise isolation. Though not perfect, the AirPods Pro effectively block out strong noise coming from various sources such as car engines or classroom chatters. This pair of earbuds can also get rid of ambient noise coming from chirping birds or air conditioners. 

With its excellent noise isolation and ANC mode on, the AirPods Pro is surely at the top-tier of noise isolation & cancellation. Apple did a great job in developing this product, which lives up to anyone’s expectations in terms of blocking out noise. 

On the contrary, the Bose SoundSport Free does not offer noise cancellation, which leaves users to rely solely on noise isolation to block out noise. 

However, Bose SoundSport Free’s noise isolation is at the low-tier. It can block very little noise. If the user’s in a running vehicle or a loud classroom when listening to music, he or she might be disappointed. 

This might be the case because the Bose SoundSport Free is designed for people with active lifestyles. No noise isolation meant that people can be more aware of their surroundings when running or hiking. 

Thus, the trophy for this round goes to the AirPods Pro. They are simply better than the Bose SoundSport Free due to their amazing noise isolation and existent active noise cancellation. 

Controls and Functions: Winner = AirPods Pro 

The AirPods Pro does not have physical buttons. Instead, they feature force sensors on their stems. 

The sensors have decent feedback, with a sound accompanying each command. They are pretty easy to use, too. One tap is needed for answering phone calls or playing & pausing music, two for putting a track forward, and three for putting it backward. 

However, its long-press function, which is used to activate its voice assistant or active noise cancellation mode, can be tricky to use.

Despite most Apple devices not being able to pair with Android devices, the AirPods Pro work just fine with Android devices. The controls and functions work well, making them excellent all-around wireless earbuds. 

On the other hand, the Bose SoundSport Free features physical buttons like most wireless earbuds. Its control system features essential functions such as skipping tracks, controlling volumes, and picking up calls. 

However, the physical buttons are rigid, making them hard to press. Users have to always remove the earbuds from their ears to properly press the buttons. While a phone can be used to access the control system, this is inconvenient for those who use the earbuds while working out. 

Thus, the Apple AirPods Pro is the winner of this category. Its sensors are more functional and easier to use than the Bose SoundSport Free’s. 

App Support: Winner = Bose SoundSport Free

The Bose SoundSport Free utilizes the Bose Connect App, which is universal for all Bose headphones and earphones. The features are limited, but they can come in handy. What makes this app particularly useful is its ability to show the last known location of the Bose SoundSport Free if the user loses it. 

However, the app doesn’t come with the usual equalizer, alternate control choices, and room effects. It comes with a timer, battery monitor, and in-app player though. 

The app can also be tricky to pair with the earbuds at first, it should pair well after a few tries. 

On the contrary, the Apple AirPods Pro doesn’t come with an app designed for it. Users can only rely on their iOS screens to monitor their AirPods. 

The iOS interface lets you choose what the stem toggles do, but it’s only limited to either activating Siri or the ANC mode. Users can also take a test through the said tool to see which size of ear tips fit them. 

In terms of app support, the Bose SoundSport Free is the winner because it comes with a companion app with basic functions and a particularly useful one― showing the earbuds’ location. 

Connectivity: Winner = AirPods Pro 

The AirPods Pro seamlessly connect to other Apple devices. It’s one of the best features of this gadget. Users won’t suffer from occasional disconnection, nor experience lags and delayed feedback when using the AirPods Pro with other Apple devices.

While they don’t work as seamlessly when paired with Android devices, the AirPods Pro still performs well. It can even be argued that they work better with Android phones than many truly wireless earbuds made for Android gadgets. 

The Bose SoundSport Free works well when paired with phones. However, users may experience occasional lags and delayed feedback. There might also be times when the speech of the other side of the call slows down. This rarely happens though. 

On the downside, the Bose SoundSport Free does not work well with computers. It has a high latency, making it less ideal for PC game players. 

When it comes to connectivity, the Apple AirPods Pro is a better choice. It’s because they smoothly work with Apple devices (phones and PCs) and non-Apple devices. They also don’t suffer from lags and delayed feedback, which means that their connection is strong enough. 

Conclusion 

Overall, the Apple AirPods Pro is better than the Bose SoundSport Free. Out of the ten categories featured in this article, the Bose SoundSport Free only bested the Apple AirPods Pro in terms of case durability, sound quality, and app support. 

The rest of the categories― design, comfort, durability, noise isolation & cancellation, battery life, controls & functions, and connectivity are dominated by the Apple AirPods Pro. 

Despite the Apple AirPods Pro being more expensive than the Bose SoundSport Free, the advantages it gives are worth your hard-earned money. 

We may have evaluated the two premium, truly wireless earphones, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you to choose which one suits you better. 

Rune Bearson

As you can see, I love my headphones! I use them every day when commuting, watching YouTube videos, playing guitar/piano and doing chores. I'm a podcast addict and I like all kinds of music from metal to chillout ambient.

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