AirPods (2019) vs Bose SoundSport Free
The Apple AirPods (2019) are hugely popular true wireless earbuds. They offer a superb combination of excellent battery life, simple-to-use controls and good sound quality. But how do they fare against a top-performing rival such as the sporty Bose SoundSport Free?
The SoundSport Frees also offer excellent sound quality, and have established an army of followers thanks to their impressive fit and sporty design. But is that enough to mitigate the simplicity and reliability of Apple’s classy second-generation AirPods?
In this post, we are going to focus on the differences of both device, and help you decide which best suits your need. Let’s dive in.
Apple Airpods (2019) vs Bose SoundSport Free: which is better?
We think the Apple AirPods are just more convenient than the Bose SoundSport Free. What do we mean by that? There’s a couple factors. First, the setup process is mindless for iOS users. Just enable Bluetooth on your phone, open the nifty little charging box and you will be prompted to pair the earbuds. Next, they are very lightweight and comfortable – much lighter than the Bose earbuds. The AirPods don’t really fatigue your ears at all, so they are much better for prolonged listening sessions.
The AirPods have the slight edge over the Bose SoundSport Free when it comes to battery life. Both earbuds actually offer similar playback time – expect to get around 4.5 – 5 hours with each. However, Apple distances themselves from Bose with their portable charging case and quick charge feature. The charging case for the Apple AirPods offers an additional 24 hours of juice while the Bose charging case only offers 10. Then there’s the quick charge feature – thanks to Apple’s W1 chip, you can pop the AirPods back in the case for 15 minutes and you’ll get 3 hours of playback. With Bose, 15 minutes gets you 45 minutes of playback.
The new Apple AirPods (2019) are a marked improvement over the first generation. There’s no artificial bass boost, but they go louder and sound more composed. Sound is neutral and low-level dynamic shifts are handled admirably. It’s fair to say that they lack a little low-end authority but overall, they deliver an engaging performance.
The SportSport Frees are a step up from the AirPods, though. They produce a richer, weightier sound with greater body and a plentiful supply of bass. Highs are crisper and vocals are more expressive.
Neither of these buds offers active noise-cancelling, only noise isolation. And thanks to their silicone tips, the Bose in-ears do a far better job of blocking out the world.
Both pairs have a range of 35ft and performed superbly in our tests, with no major dropouts. However, there are a few pros and cons that could affect your buying decision.
Apple’s H1 chip in the AirPods (2019) uses Bluetooth 5.0 to ensure fast pairing with Apple devices, maintain a solid connection and enable “Hey Siri” voice commands. The AirPods connect instantly to your last audio device and the bud-to-bud connection is exceptionally strong. They also support Apple’s Audio Sharing feature, which allows two people to listen to the same audio from one iPhone.
The SoundSport Free also run Bluetooth 5.0. However, while that ensures a solid connection they don’t pair quite as swiftly as the AirPods (2019). If you’re an iPhone or iPad user, the seamless experience that Apple’s H1 chip provides could seal the deal.
First, the SoundSport Free have a more secure fit. They come with three different size ear tips/fins so you can find the right ones for you. The AirPods are naked – no ear fins or wings. And the Bose earbuds do a good job of staying in your ear. Even if you wiggle or shake your head pretty hard, the earbuds don’t fall out. With the AirPods on the other hand, if you shake your head you can feel the earbuds moving around.
The Bose earbuds are also IPX4 rated, meaning they are water and sweat resistant – the AirPods are not. So a more secure fit combined with the sweat resistance factor makes the Bose SoundSport Free more ideal for working out and running. However, I would add that since the actual Bose earbuds are large and heavy, they’re not the best for running. I would stick to lifting and light gym sessions with the SoundSport Free.
The AirPods (2019) are designed to work with Siri voice commands and their simple touch-sensitive controls. Users can assign one double-tap control to each earbud. And while the lack of physical buttons looks super-sleek, it does limit the scope of the controls – especially for those who don’t want to look like they’re talking to themselves.
The SoundSport Free buds feature a full array of physical controls, including the ability to change the volume, skip tracks and answer calls. In our opinion, they’re a bit easier to get to grips with.
So, would our money go on the 2019 AirPods or Bose SoundSport Free? The AirPods are an attractive all-round package for Apple users and boast class-leading battery life. But if you’re the sporty type, and want better audio performance, make a beeline for the Bose SoundSport Free. They’re a little on the chunky side, but their superior sonic ability and stability are worth investing in.