Bose SoundSport Free vs Beats Powerbeats3: 3 Key Differences

Bose SoundSport Free vs Beats Powerbeats3: 3 Key Differences

The Bose SoundSport Free is a new earbud model from Bose. It has an IPX4-certified design and StayHear+ Sport tips, making it truly wireless like the Apple AirPods.

Bose SoundSport Free vs Beats Powerbeats3: 3 Key Differences

The Beats Powerbeats3 earphones have a longer history in the market compared to the Bose SoundSport Free earbuds. What sets them apart? Is it just the design, or is there more? Let’s delve into the three main differences between these earphones to assist you in making a well-informed choice.

Bose SoundSport Free & Powerbeats3: A Brief

The Bose SoundSport Free, launched in 2018, are workout headphones. Unlike the Jabra Elite Sport, they do not have a built-in heart rate sensor or active noise cancellation. They are priced at $199.

The Beats Powerbeats3, released in 2016, are gym-ready headphones. They feature the proprietary W1 chip and are sold for $139.99 on Amazon.

1. Design: Wire vs. Wireless

If you love the design of Apple AirPods, you might also like the design of the Bose SoundSport Free earbuds. They are truly wireless, unlike the wired PowerBeats3. Simply take them out of the casing and attach them to your ears.

Bose SoundSport Free vs Beats Powerbeats3: 3 Key Differences

Though there aren’t any wires connecting the earbuds, the SoundSport Free is bulky and sticks out from the ear, giving a goofy look. However, that’s the trade-off for wireless headphones. You need to fit the batteries, and the earpiece is the only option.

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Bose SoundSport Free vs Beats Powerbeats3: 3 Key Differences

When it comes to fit, the SoundSport earbuds have comfortable StayHear+ Sport tips. Staying true to their “sports earbuds” tagline, the SoundSport buds fit snugly and block out ambient noise.

The Powerbeats3, on the other hand, have a wire connecting the two earpieces. However, these earphones come with a wire management clip that allows you to adjust the length according to your convenience. This means you won’t have extra wire dangling on your neck while you run or workout.

Bose SoundSport Free vs Beats Powerbeats3: 3 Key Differences

When designing earbuds, oblong hooks connect the earbuds that can be hooked around your ear to prevent them from falling off during intense physical activity. This is also true for the Bose SoundSport earbuds. The design is subjective and relies on personal perception.

Bose SoundSport Free vs Beats Powerbeats3: 3 Key Differences

The PowerBeats3 has an inline control remote with pronounced buttons for music control. TechRadar notes that the remote is easy to use due to its strong build quality.

Bose SoundSport Free vs Beats Powerbeats3: 3 Key Differences

Bose has placed the controls on the top of the earbud due to limited space, since there is no wire. However, the buttons may be small and somewhat stiff.

2. The W1 Chip Advantage

The PowerBeats3 boasts Apple’s W1 chip, which enhances the Bluetooth range and simplifies device pairing. Connecting the headphones to an Apple device is effortless; simply hold them near an iPad, MacBook, or Apple Watch, and a prompt to connect will appear.

3. Charging

The SoundSport Free earphones stand out for their convenient case. Simply place them in the case to recharge. Bose claims they last for around five hours on a single charge, and the case itself lasts up to 10 hours, allowing you to charge the earbuds twice.

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Bose SoundSport Free vs Beats Powerbeats3: 3 Key Differences

In real-world scenarios, these earbuds meet Bose’s claims. Adrienne So from Wired states, “After three hours, I reached 70 percent battery, which appears to be slightly longer than advertised.”

The PowerBeats3 does not include a rechargeable case. The earbuds charge traditionally using wires and feature a Micro USB port on one of the earpieces.

The standout feature of this headphone pair is its impressive 12-hour battery life. Charging them on a regular basis is not a concern.

What About the Sound Quality?

Both earphones are on the higher side of the price spectrum. That said, both produce impressive audio output. The Bose SoundSport Free has slightly exaggerated highs and lows. Amazon user Brain writes,

As for the Powerbeats3, TechRadar describes them as bit bass-heavy.

Also, since the PowerBeats3 don’t have a snug fit like the SoundSport, you may encounter ambient noises, making it difficult to listen in noisy environments.

Which is the Right One?

The Bose SoundSport Free boasts two key advantages: IPX4 certification and a companion app. One standout feature of the app is its “Locate Earbuds” function, which helps users find misplaced buds.

Contrastingly, the Beats Powerbeats3 may seem impressive on paper, but real-world usage presents challenges. These headphones have faced criticism for their exaggerated claims about sweat resistance and battery life. According to numerous Amazon users, the Powerbeats3 also tend to break after approximately six months.

At present, the Powerbeats3 has a rating of just 2.7 out of 5 stars, whereas the Bose SoundSport Free holds a stronger rating of 3.4 stars on Amazon. On the Apple product page, the Powerbeats3 receive a mere 1.5 out of 5-star rating.

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When picking up earphones, I prefer Bose SoundSport Free earbuds.

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