Bose SoundSport Free vs Apple AirPods Comparison Best Truly Wireless Earbuds in 2024

The debate is over: we are at the beginning of a truly wireless future. While Apple hasn’t invented truly wireless earbuds, the company has made them mainstream with its AirPods, which were released in December 2016. But just because the AirPods are the best known truly wireless earbuds on the market doesn’t mean they are the best.

BoseBose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless Sport Headphones - BlackCheck Price on Amazon
21KiaQHnVfL. SL500AppleApple AirPods Wireless Bluetooth HeadsetCheck Price on Amazon

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Recently, Bose has launched its latest truly wireless earbuds, the SoundSport Free, promising fantastic comfort and sound quality. In this battle of truly wireless earbuds, we compare the Apple AirPods with the Bose SoundSport Free to determine which of these two pairs of truly wireless earbuds are more worth your money.




When you compare the promotional materials of the Bose SoundSport Free with the promotional materials of the Apple AirPods, you immediately notice that each pair of truly wireless earbuds is meant for a different audience.

The SoundSport Free is always shown in the ears of someone who’s sweating, grunting, or panting. AirPods, on the other hand, are shown in a variety of everyday situations—not just in the gym or on the track.

This is important because the SoundSport Free looks out of place only when worn with anything else besides sports clothing. Wear them with jeans and a t-shirt, let alone a suit, and you’re going to get some strange looks. The AirPods don’t suffer from this issue.

Their sleek, white housing may have looked too futuristic when the earbuds were first introduced, but the world has got used to them by now, and most people recognize AirPods when they see them and don’t mind how they extend down to the cheeks.

While style is subjective, it’s evident that even Bose is aware that the SoundSport Free isn’t the most inconspicuous genuinely wireless earbuds out there. Depending on the size and shape of your head, they are either going to stand out or make you look like a doofus if you wear them with your regular clothes.

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Because the SoundSport Free was designed with sports and active lifestyle in mind, they are super comfortable and fit exceptionally securely. The secure and comfortable fit can be attributed mainly to the StayHear+ ear tips, which come with the earbuds in three sizes, giving you a pretty good chance of achieving a fantastic fit regardless of how large or small your ears are.

The StayHear+ ear tips have a very shallow insert and thus don’t isolate much outside noise. Considering the SoundSport Free are primarily meant for sports, this can be both good and bad. The lack of noise isolation doesn’t help when you want to cover up the music playing in your local gym with your selection of blood-pumping songs, but it ensures that you won’t run into someone or something when exercising outside because you couldn’t hear a single word or honk.

The AirPods are on par with the SoundSport Free in terms of noise isolation, but they are a hit or miss when it comes to comfort. Because they are one-size-fits-all earbuds with no replaceable ear tips, most people either love them or hate them. Of course, Apple has tried to design the earbuds to fit as many people as possible, but earbud fit is such a tricky issue a genuinely universal fit is nothing but a pipedream.

Generally, if Apple’s wired EarPods fit you well, the AirPods should provide you well too. We suggest you visit the nearest Apple Store and try them in person. Make sure to shake your head a little bit when trying them to see how well they stay in your ears.

Pairing and Battery Life

The AirPods contain Apple’s W1 chip. The chip was designed to seamlessly facilitate a connection to Apple devices with a single tap for the first pairing and no user input at all for every subsequent paring. Simply open the charging case, and every Apple device that supports Apple’s new pairing process will recognize the earbuds immediately.

But what if you have an Android device? In that case, you pair the AirPods just like you would any other Bluetooth earbuds, and the same goes for the SoundSport Free from Bose. As convenient as Apple’s pairing process is, we don’t think that life’s too difficult without it. After the initial pairing, your Android device will recognize and connect to both the AirPods and the SoundSport Free earbuds automatically as soon as you turn the earbuds on anyway.

What’s arguably a lot more critical than the pairing process is battery life. Both the AirPods and the SoundSport Free can last up to 5 hours on a charge, but the charging case of the SoundSport Free can only charge the earbuds twice while the charging case of the AirPods manages five charges.


The chances are that you already have a pretty good idea of how the wired EarPods sound: average. The AirPods sound noticeably better than the EarPods, but not significantly. They have a reasonably wide soundstage and warm, vibrant sound that fits most music genres. What they don’t have is a proper deep end with deep bass that resonates through the skull.

Indeed, if you’re a bass head, the SoundSport Free is a better choice for you. Like all Bose earbuds and headphones, their bass extends very deep and has enough punch to make bass-heavy music exciting and movies thrilling. The amplitude of the bass is magnified by the reasonably narrow soundstage, which makes you feel as if you were right on the stage with the band.

The one area where the AirPods obliterate the SoundSport Free is phone calls. When making calls with the SoundSport Free, the sound only comes from the right earbud, and the microphone does a decent job at best of capturing your voice.

The AirPods contain optical sensors and motion accelerometers that work with the W1 chip to automatically control the audio and engage a pair of beam-forming microphones. As a result, your voice always comes through loud and clear, as if you were standing right next to the person you’re talking with.


Even though the AirPods have been designed with Apple devices in mind, they work great even with Android smartphones and tablets and offer balanced sound, excellent battery life, and exceptional versatility. The SoundSport Free has a much narrower focus than the AirPods as they are geared toward active people and those with a strong preference for powerful bass.

If you have at least one iOS device that you use for listening to music, go with the AirPods. And if you’re a devoted Android user, you may want to consider the AirPods as well because they are all-around fantastic earbuds that can satisfy a variety of listening needs and be used both in the gym and in the office.  Just make sure to try them first to avoid issues with fit and comfort.

BoseBose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless Sport Headphones - BlackCheck Price on Amazon
21KiaQHnVfL. SL500AppleApple AirPods Wireless Bluetooth HeadsetCheck Price on Amazon

* If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.

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