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Bose Earbuds 500 vs AirPods (2021): Which True Wireless Earbuds Should You Get?

Since Apple is the pioneer in releasing the first true wireless earbuds, it’s not surprising that the AirPods continue to dominate the wireless earbuds market years after its first generation was released in 2016. Recently, however, audiophiles were thrilled to learn that Bose will be releasing the Bose Earbuds 500 later this year, and a lot of them can’t help but wonder if these earbuds will finally steal the spotlight from the AirPods. If you are planning to get a new pair of earbuds this year, check out our detailed review below if you should go for the AirPods or wait for the official release of the Bose Earbuds 500.

Bose Earbuds 500 vs AirPods Comparison Chart

ModelBose Earbuds 500AirPods
 Apple AirPods with Charging Case (Wired)
PriceTBACheck Price
Dimensions (height x width x depth)TBA40.5mm x 16.5mm x 18.0mm
WeightTBA40 grams
ControlsTouch and VoiceTouch and Voice
Active Noise CancellationNANA
Battery LifeTBAUp to 5 hours of listening time with a single charge

 

Up to 3 hours of talk time with a single charge

ConnectivityTBABluetooth 5.0
Water ResistanceTBANo
Wireless ChargingTBAYes
Color ChoicesBlack, Blue, Off WhiteWhite

Design

The AirPods is almost identical to the classic Apple EarPods minus the cables. 

The AirPods (pictured above) have thick arms to house the device’s microphone and battery.

Although the AirPods are made of plastic which makes them lightweight, they are still sturdy enough that you will not worry about tossing them inside your pocket. It’s advisable though to have them in their charging case when not in use. The AirPods come in one size and a lot of users are not too happy with the fit of the AirPods in their ears. Although it can fit most ear sizes and does not necessarily fall off all the time, the lack of silicone ear tips makes it less comfortable to wear especially if you are running while using them.

The Bose Earbuds 500, on the other hand, will be a slimmer and more compact version of its predecessor–the SoundSport Free. They will also be lighter and are built to fit snugly into your ears when worn, so you won’t have to worry about losing them while going out for your morning jog. The prototypes of the Bose Earbuds 500 were polished, although their finish are still subject to change once released to the public. They did confirm, however, that these earbuds will come in three color choices: black, blue, and off-white. There is still no information on whether this model will be made water-resistant, but it’s likely since its predecessor have an IPX4 water resistance rating.

Sound Quality

The fit of the AirPods in someone’s ear can significantly affect its sound performance. On the other hand, the Bose Earbuds 500 is expected to provide an immersive listening experience just like the SoundSport Free earbuds.

Since the AirPods can’t provide a snug fit when worn, background noise can interfere with your listening experience.

The AirPods has pretty good sound quality, although depending on its fit to someone’s ear, the noise from your environment may affect your listening experience. Also, note that it doesn’t have an active noise cancellation feature so it may not be ideal to use it for calls in noisy environments. It gives good bass without overwhelming mid and treble notes. Overall, it provides a more natural audio quality without all the artificial bass boosting or treble enhancement. It gives you the impression of listening to music with little to no manipulations.

Bose is well-known among audiophiles when it comes to delivering superior sound quality. Although there are no official specs yet, the Bose Earbuds 500 is expected to be an upgrade of the SoundSport Free. With that said, we can expect the same, if not better, sound performance from the Bose Earbuds 500. This upcoming model’s predecessor gives a crisp and clear sound with pretty solid bass. Some users even note that the bass can be a bit overwhelming if you are in a quiet environment, but becomes more balanced when you are outside since the ambient noise is competing with the sound produced by the earbuds.

Controls and Sensors

Both the AirPods and the upcoming Bose Earbuds 500 will allow voice and touch controls.

 

The AirPods (pictured above) work with a one-tap setup. They can sense if you placed them in your ears and pause your music when you take them out.

The AirPods are equipped with optical and motion sensors that work seamlessly together to give you an impressive smart audio experience. They turn on your microphone during phone calls, automatically play the sound when you wear them, and pause your music when you take them off. They also allow you to play and skip music tracks in your playlist with a double-tap. If you are fond of using voice control, you easily set up the AirPods so you can give voice commands to Siri.

If you are a SoundSport Free user who’s considering to upgrade to the newest earbuds from Bose once they’re released, then you’re in for a treat. Unlike its predecessor, the Bose Earbuds 500 have been confirmed to support both voice and touch controls. It will also allow you to control Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

Battery Life

The AirPods provide up to 5 hours of listening time. Since the SoundSport Free can provide up to 5 hours of listening time, the Bose Earbuds 500 is expected to have around the same battery capacity. 

 

The AirPods (pictured above), can provide up to 3 hours of listening time after 15 minutes of charging.

Fully-charged AirPods can give you up to 5 hours of listening time and 3 hours of talk time. Bringing the charging case when using the AirPods is always a good idea. Aside from keeping your wireless earbuds safe in one place, it charges them quickly and can give you up to 3 hours of listening time after just 15 minutes of charging. The charging case can give you multiple charges and provides up to 24 hours of extra listening time. If you want to check the battery level of your AirPods, simply hold them next to your iPhone.

On the other hand, the Bose Earbuds 500 are also expected to provide up to 5 hours of listening time, just like the SoundSport Free. They will charge via USB-C so they should charge up pretty quickly.

Verdict

The Bose Earbuds 500 will have exciting features that are worth the wait. 

Overall, the Bose Earbuds 500 will be packed with exciting features that can give you more value for your money. If you are currently a SoundSport Free earbuds user who’s looking to upgrade, then it’s advisable to wait for the Bose Earbuds 500 since it will offer better sound quality at a more affordable price. However, if you are an iPhone user, the AirPods might be a better choice since it will work seamlessly with your phone and other Apple devices.

FAQs

📌 Will the Bose Earbuds 500 be better than the Apple AirPods?

You can expect the Bose Earbuds 500 to be be packed with exciting features that can give you more value for your money than the AirPods. For iPhone users, however, the AirPods might be a better choice since it will work seamlessly with your phone and other Apple devices.

📌 What will the Bose Earbuds 500 look like?

The Bose Earbuds 500 will be a more compact version of its predecessor, the SoundSport Free. They will be built to fit snugly into your ears when worn so you won’t have to worry about losing them.

📌 What will the Bose Earbuds 500‘s sound quality be like?

The Bose Earbuds 500 is expected to be an upgrade of the SoundSport Free which gives a crisp sound and solid bass. We can expect the same, if not better, sound performance from the Bose Earbuds 500.

📌 How much battery life will the Bose Earbuds 500 have?

The Bose Earbuds 500 are expected to provide up to 5 hours of listening time, just like the SoundSport Free. They will charge via USB-C so they should charge up pretty quickly.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Andy Mathews

Lead Editor at Compare Before Buying. Product researcher and tech enthusiast passionate about consumer products, comparison charts and surfing.