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Bose Sport Earbuds vs QuietComfort Earbuds (2021): What’s the Difference?

Bose announced the release of two new wireless earbuds in 2020: the Bose Sport Earbuds (formerly announced as the Bose 500) and the Bose QuietComfort Noise Canceling Earbuds (formely announced as the Bose 700). The former are the successor to the Bose SoundSport Free while the latter are the in-ear version of the top-rated Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700. We compare the two new wireless headphones to find out how they are different and which one you should get.

Bose Sport vs QuietComfort Earbuds Comparison Chart

ModelBose Sport Earbuds (Bose 500)Bose QuietComfort Noise Canceling Earbuds (Bose 700)
 Bose Sport Earbuds (bose 500)Bose QuietComfort Noise Canceling Earbuds (bose 700)
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Active Noise CancellationNoYes
ANC LevelsN/A11
Battery LifeUp to 5 hours plus an extra 10 hours more with the charging caseUp to 6 hours plus an extra 12 hours more with the charging case
Quick Charging15 mins for up to two hours of extra battery life15 mins for up to two hours of extra battery life
Wireless ChargingNoYes
BluetoothVersion 5.0Version 5.1
Touch ControlsYesYes
Voice ControlsYesYes
Sweat and Water ResistantYes, IPX4Yes, IPX4
Color OptionsBaltic Blue, Tripe Black, Glacier WhiteTriple Black, Soapstone
Earbud Dimensions (LWD)0.74″ x 1.05″ x 0.83″1.54″ x 1.02″ x 1.06″
Charging Case Dimensions (LWD)3.5″ x 2″ x 1.25″3.5″ x 2″ x 1.25″

Design

The Bose Sport Earbuds and QuietComfort Earbuds have similar aesthetics

The Bose Sport Earbuds (left) and the Bose QuietComfort Noise Canceling Earbuds (right)

The newest earbuds from Bose are hard to tell apart from each other. Bose’s older true wireless earbuds, the SoundSport Free, look bulky and the buds stick out of your ears in a rather odd-looking way. Their charging case is bigger than most charging cases, too. The Bose Sport Earbuds and the QuietComfort noise-canceling earbuds addressed these issues with their slimmer, sleeker, and less conspicuous design.

Bose moved away from remote controls within the earbuds and equipped the Bose Sport Earbuds and QuietComfort Earbuds with a touch-capacitive interface. Their umbrella-shaped StayHear+ eartips and extended wings are also designed so the earbuds will fit snugly and won’t fall off even during workouts. Unlike the older Bose SoundSport Free, the latest iterations from Bose stay closer to the ears and won’t bounce when you’re running.

The Bose Sport Earbuds come in three colors: Glacier White, Baltic Blue, and Triple Black. The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are only available in Soapstone and Triple Black.

Read more Bose headphones reviews and comparison charts here

Noise Cancellation

The Bose QuietComfort noise canceling earbuds feature 11 levels of ANC

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds (Earbuds 700) in soapstone

When Bose first announced its noise-canceling earbuds, they were called the Bose Noise Canceling Earbuds 700. Bose definitely took everyone by surprise when they renamed them as the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds upon their release. Just like the Bose NC 700, the QuietComfort Earbuds boast 11 levels of ANC.

They are also equipped with four microphones, so you can make and take phone calls in a congested place and the caller will still hear you clearly, and vice versa. For instances where you need to talk to someone and completely hear your surroundings, their transparency mode comes in handy.

Sound Quality and Connectivity

The Bose Sport and QuietComfort Earbuds feature Active EQ

The Bose SoundSport Free (left) and the Noise Canceling Headphones 700 (right)

Bose has been a household name for premium sound quality for a reason. Their years of research and engineering deliver audio that’s clear, crisp, and immersive, and you can expect the same in the Bose Sport and QuietComfort Earbuds. They boast Bose’s proprietary Active EQ which automatically adjusts the frequencies so you will consistently get a clean, balanced sound.

Bose addressed the most common complaint on the Bose SoundSport Free True Wireless Earbuds: connection dropouts. The Bose Sport (Earbuds 500) are equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 while the QuietComfort (Earbuds 700) feature Bluetooth 5.1, so connectivity is solid for either pair of headphones. However, they still lack the multi-point connectivity that other wireless headphones like Jabra and AirPods have.

Set up and Controls

Both the Bose Sport Earbuds and QuietComfort Earbuds have touch-capacitive controls

No more fumbling for control buttons with the new Bose wireless earbuds

The Bose Sport Earbuds and QuietComfort Earbuds both have touch controls, a function that the older Bose SoundSport Free did not have. They are also compatible with Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant for a hands-free listening experience.

The set-up and pairing of the new earbuds are a breeze, especially with their updated Bluetooth versions. Users have encountered issues when switching devices using the older wireless headphones, but hopefully, Bose’s software updates will clear the Bose Sport Earbuds and QuietComfort Earbuds with these issues.

Additional Features

Both the Bose Sport Earbuds and QuietComfort Earbuds have an IPX4-rating and decent battery life

Both wireless earbuds by Bose are sweat and water-resistant

IPX4-rated, the Bose Sport Earbuds and QuietComfort Earbuds are resistant to water splashes from any direction, sweatproof, and safe to use when doing non-water sports and exercises. Many fitness enthusiasts will be happy to have noise-canceling wireless earbuds like the QuietComfort that are safe to use for workouts and training.

The battery life of the two is decent, but nothing impressive. The Bose Sport Earbuds have a runtime of up to 5 hours and their charging case adds an extra 10 hours of juice. Meanwhile, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds have a slightly longer 6-hour battery life and their charging case can give an additional 12 hours of listening time.

Verdict

The Bose QuietComfort noise canceling earbuds offer more exciting features than the Bose Sport Earbuds

The Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 delivered superb noise cancellation and sound quality, but they were not as versatile and portable as other top-rated wireless earbuds in the market. Their earbuds counterpart, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds (formerly known as the Bose NC Earbuds 700), address this though. As for the price, the Bose Sport Earbuds (formerly announced as the Bose 500) are more affordable than the QuietComfort Noise Canceling Earbuds, just as the Bose SoundSport Free have a lower price tag than the Headphones 700.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Do the Bose Sport Earbuds (Earbuds 500) have active noise cancellation?

No, the Bose Sport Earbuds don’t have active noise cancellation or ANC, only the QuietComfort Earbuds do.

๐Ÿ“Œ Do the Bose Sport Earbuds and QuietComfort Earbuds include voice assistant support?

Yes. Bose has announced that you can access voice assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa on the Bose Sport Earbuds and QuietComfort Earbuds.

๐Ÿ“Œ Do the Bose Sport Earbuds and QuietComfort Earbuds have touch controls?

Yes, they feature a responsive touch interface on each earbud.

๐Ÿ“Œ Did Bose release new earbuds in 2020?

Yes, Bose released the Bose Sport Earbuds and QuietComfort Earbuds in the fall of 2020.

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Rhodaline Escala-Phelps

Managing Editor and Team Leader at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about people, product comparisons, culture, and current events.