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Bose Sport Open Earbuds vs AirPods Pro (2021): Comparing Open-Ear and In-Ear True Wireless Earbuds

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds aren’t your run-of-the-mill true wireless earbuds. For starters, they have an open-ear design, standing out from the sea of in-ear headphones in the market. That’s not necessarily better or worse, and that leads to the question of whether they can compete with solid picks like Apple’s AirPods Pro.

Bose Sport Open Earbuds vs AirPods Pro Comparison Chart

ModelBose Sport Open EarbudsApple AirPods Pro
 Bose Sport Open Earbuds vs AirPods ProApple AirPods Pro
PriceCheck Price at Bose.comCheck Price
FitOpen-earIn-ear
Water ResistanceIPX4IPX4
Battery LifeUp to 8 hoursUp to 5 hours
Quick Charging30 minutes for up to 3 hours5 minutes for up to 1 hour
Wireless ChargingNoYes
Charging ConnectionUSB-ALightning
Active Noise Cancellationn/aYes
Transparency Moden/aYes
Bluetooth VersionBluetooth 5.1Bluetooth 5.0
Supported CodecSBC, AACSBC, AAC
Weight13.89 g5.4 g
ColorsTriple BlackWhite

Design and Comfort

The AirPods Pro win in terms of comfort.

Bose Sport Open Earbuds vs AirPods Pro Design and Comfort
The Bose Sport Open Earbuds (in photo) have hooks to wrap around your ears.

Just by looking at them, it’s obvious that the Bose Sport Open Earbuds are made for runners, cyclists or anyone who exercises outside. Case in point, they rest on top of your ear with hooks that go around it for a secure fit, leaving your ears open so you can be aware of your surroundings at all times for safety purposes.

Thing is, they aren’t the most comfortable earbuds, and it’s easy to tell that a lot of people will be put off by how they’re worn. On top of that, they aren’t the lightest either, weighing more than twice as much as the AirPods Pro. All things considered, they aren’t too much of a pain to wear, and you can rest assured they won’t fall out during runs or workouts.

On the other hand, the AirPods Pro have an in-ear fit and short stems that stick out, and right off the bat, they’re comfier—and lighter too—than the Sport Open Earbuds. Each earbud also has a tiny vent to reduce pressure, so you won’t hear your own voice inside your head too much. 

Audio Performance

The AirPods Pro sound better than the Bose Sport Open Earbuds.

Bose Sport Open Earbuds vs AirPods Pro Audio Performance
When it comes to call quality, the AirPods Pro (right) beat the Bose Sport Open Earbuds (left).

According to Bose, the Sport Open Earbuds use OpenAudio technology to direct sound to your ears, and they do sound decent. However, their bass is a little on the weak side as a result of its open-ear form factor. Of course, noise isolation is also nonexistent since they don’t block your ears at all. 

They aren’t that impressive when it comes to call quality. On the right earbud are two microphones designed to focus on your voice and minimize other noise such as wind, so says the marketing blurb. However, too much background noise still comes through during calls. At any rate, you can hear your voice more naturally during phone calls because your ears aren’t blocked.

In contrast, the AirPods Pro have better bass and a fuller sound overall, partly owing to how they form a tight seal. Speaking of, this also helps a lot in keeping unwanted noise out. While they sound decent for the most part, they aren’t the best out there. Compared to other true wireless earbuds in the same price range, they can’t deliver a rich enough audio to compete.

Call quality is where the AirPods Pro shine. They can reduce outside noise like wind during phone conversations while delivering your voice to the other line as clearly as possible. However, some noises still manage to get picked up, but they’re minimal at most. 

Battery Life

On a single charge, the Bose Sport Open Earbuds last longer than the AirPods Pro.

Bose Sport Open Earbuds vs AirPods Pro Battery Life
Here are the carrying case (left) and charging base (right) of the Bose Sport Open Earbuds.

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds can last up to eight hours, longer than what the AirPods Pro can do, which is up to five hours with ANC and transparency off. Both also have quick charging, where the former can get three hours’ worth of runtime in 30 minutes and the latter can get about one hour of juice in five minutes.

For the Sport Open Earbuds, Bose decided to go with a separate carrying case and a charging base. Needless to say, the norm nowadays for true wireless earbuds is a case with an integrated charger. This does allow for a slimmer carrying case, but take note that the earbuds don’t turn off when you put them away in it. On the Bose Music app, you can set them to power down on their own after a specific time of not playing any audio, though.

Other Features

The AirPods Pro have more features than the Bose Sport Open Earbuds.

Bose Sport Open Earbuds vs AirPods Pro
The AirPods Pro (in photo) have ANC and a transparency mode.

It goes without saying that the Bose Sport Open Earbuds don’t have active noise canceling (ANC) or transparency mode. They don’t need either of them since nothing will be jammed into your ears when wearing them.

Meanwhile, the AirPods Pro do have ANC, and they perform well in that regard. Working in tandem with their noise-isolating design, their ANC can really lessen outside noise. They also have a transparency mode, Adaptive EQ that automatically tunes music based on your ears’ shape and spatial audio surround sound. In other words, these are more feature packed.

At the moment, there’s no way to control volume on the Sport Open Earbuds themselves, but Bose says it’s working on an update to add that functionality down the line. That said, it’s not like the AirPods Pro can do it any better. After all, you need to call up Siri and ask the virtual assistant to adjust the volume or do it manually on your phone.

Both earbuds are also IPX4 rated. They can withstand splashes, and they’re sweat resistant to boot, meaning you can work out with either pair on.

Verdict

While the Bose Sport Open Earbuds appeal to runners and cyclists, the AirPods Pro are better in general.

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds aren’t made for listening to music at home or something along those lines. Instead, they’re made for working out outdoors, being safer to use outside because of their open-ear design. However, comfort might be an issue for some users.

In comparison, the AirPods Pro are more of an all-around performer. There’s a decent balance of call quality and sound performance for music, and they have a ton of features such as ANC, transparency mode, Adaptive EQ and spatial audio, among other things.

FAQs

📌 Are the Bose Sport Open Earbuds worth it?

Yes. While they might not be for everyone, the Bose Sport Open Earbuds are an excellent pair for runners and cyclists, thanks to their open-ear design and long battery life.

📌 Are the AirPods Pro worth it?

Yes. The AirPods Pro have decent sound and call quality, as well as features like active noise cancellation, spatial audio, Adaptive EQ and transparency mode.

📌 Which is better, the Bose Sport Open Earbuds or the AirPods Pro?

Each one has its strong points, so neither one is exactly better than the other. The Bose Sport Open Earbuds’ open-ear design is perfect for outdoor workouts since you can be aware of your surroundings all the time, while the AirPods Pro have a ton of features for a better user experience.

📌 Are the AirPods Pro good for running?

Yes. The AirPods Pro has an IPX4 water resistance rating and a battery life of up to five hours, and they don’t fall out while running.

Last update on 2020-12-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.