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Bose vs Beats (2021): Whose True Wireless Earbuds Are Better?

Audio industry household names Bose and Beats have their own pair of truly wireless earbuds. Both the Bose SoundSport Free and Powerbeats Pro are heavily marketed towards athletes and fitness enthusiasts and both command a premium price, with the Bose only slightly cheaper (although at the time of writing, the Beats are on sale so they cost about the same). We weigh in on their features and sound quality to help you choose which headphones are better for you.

Bose vs Beats True Wireless Earbuds Comparison Chart

ModelBose SoundSport FreePowerbeats Pro
Bose SoundSport FreeBose vs beats wireless earbuds
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Dimensions1.2″ x 1.2″ x 1 “2.2″ (height)
Active Noise CancellationNoNo
RuntimeUp to 5 hoursUp to 9 hours
Charging CaseUp to 10 hours moreUp to 18 hours more
Quick Charging15 mins for up to 45 mins of battery5 mins for up to 1.5 hours of battery
15 mins for up to 4 hours of battery
Audio CodecsSBC, AACSBC, AAC
Microphone1 (right earbud)2
Touch ControlsNoYes
Voice AssistantYesYes
Sweat and Water Resistant (IPX4)YesYes
Color OptionsBlack, Blue, Bright Orange, Ultra VioletIvory, Black, Navy, Moss


They sport very different aesthetics, but the Beats feel more secure

Bose SoundSport vs Powerbeats pro
The Bose SoundSport Free (top) and the Powerbeats Pro (bottom) and their charging cases

While they sport different aesthetics, what they have in common is they are both comfortable and stay secure. They are also bulkier and weigh more than other wireless earbuds like the Apple AirPods and Samsung Galaxy Buds.

The Powerbeats Pro have an adjustable clip design, so the fit feels more secure than the Bose. However, the ear hooks may contribute to the Beats feeling uncomfortable after wearing them for a few hours. Meanwhile, the Bose earbuds may feel a tad more comfortable, but they stick out of the ears unattractively and tend to bounce if you’re running or jumping.

To ensure a better fit and seal, both brands included three different sizes of eartips with the earbuds. As for their charging case, the SoundSport Free’s tube-shaped case is slightly slimmer than the Powerbeats Pro’s case which looks like a bigger version of an engagement ring box.

Sound Quality

The Bose sound slightly richer and fuller, but the audiovisual latency can be an issue

Both the Bose and the Beats deliver clear, high-definition sound

If you like listening to pop or hip-hop while working out, you will like the Bose’s traditional sound signature with a warm bottom end and slightly scooped mids. In contrast, the Beats have slightly deeper bass, but an overall flat signature. Both deliver incredible sound quality, but which sounds better will highly depend on the type of music you often listen to.

It is worth mentioning that Bose SoundSport Free users report a noticeable lag of up to one second when watching streaming videos or playing games. If you also use your wireless earbuds for phone calls, the Bose are not the most ideal to use as only the right earbud works during calls. For those who use their earbuds exclusively for listening to music, this won’t be a problem. However, you won’t encounter these issues with the Powerbeats Pro as its Apple H1 chip allows seamless connectivity and both earbuds work during calls.

Set Up and Controls

Both have multi-function and volume buttons and support smart assistants

Powerbeats Pro wireless earbuds
The Powerbeats Pro can be activated through “Hey, Siri” or pressing the ‘b’ button

Pairing these true wireless earbuds to your device is smooth and effortless. If you’re an Apple user though, the Powerbeats Pro can be paired instantly by simply opening the charging case and holding it close to your device.

Both the Bose and the Beats have physical control buttons in their earbuds that let you play, pause and skip tracks, answer and end calls, or activate your smart assistant. However, the Powerbeats Pro offer better ease of use, as both earbuds house volume controls and multifunction buttons.

As Powerbeats uses Apple’s H1 chip, you don’t even have to use the multi-function button when activating Siri, a feature that can be surprisingly more useful than you expect. Its H1 chip also boasts seamless switching from one device to another, faster Class 1 Bluetooth, and overall better iOS integration.

Additional Features

The Bose and Beats wireless earbuds are sweatproof and water-resistant, but the Powerbeats Pro have a longer battery life

bose soundsport vs powerbeats pro
The Bose (left) can play music for up to 5 hours while the Beats (right) for up to 9 hours in one charge.

Both the SoundSport Free and Powerbeats Pro are IPX4-rated. This means you can wash them in the sink for a couple of minutes and/or use them during the most intense workouts, as they can withstand heavy splashes and sweat.

Another difference is the Bose SoundSport Free earbuds and charging case have a shorter battery life than the Beats. The Powerbeats Pro can last up to 9 hours compared to the Bose’s 5 hours of playtime. Their charging case will give you an additional 18 hours of battery, much longer than the Bose’s extra 10 hours. When drained, charging the Beats wireless earbuds for 5 minutes will give you 1.5 hours of playtime right away whereas 15 minutes from the Bose will give you only 45 minutes of battery.


The Bose may have a slightly better sound, but the Powerbeats Pro have overall better functionality and solid features

If we are purely talking about the quality of sound, the Bose SoundSport Free might win by a hair. However, the Powerbeats Pro by Beats have better aesthetics, longer battery life, and more seamless and stable connectivity, especially if you’re an Apple user. Because of the poor audio latency of the Bose, they won’t be good to use if you like watching videos using your wireless earbuds. Even though the Bose may be a little less expensive, the Beats have been recently discounted, so you can most likely get them for the same price.

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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.