Unlike the AirPods, the SoundSport Free are specifically designed for people who lead active lifestyles, with sport fins and water and sweat resistance coming standard. The earbuds feature design elements and color choices that match modern activewear, with one option being a dotted blue exterior and bright yellow interior that should make them easy to find in a dark gym bag. Bose will also sell the SoundSport Free in a black-on-black design for those who are looking for less flash.
The Bluetooth earbuds boast 30 feet of range, and Bose says it has designed a special antenna to make sure that connectivity isn’t an issue, regardless of whether the headphones are in your pocket or elsewhere. Battery life will match the AirPods at a solid 5 hours per charge, with an included charging case that provides 10 hours of additional battery life.
In terms of controls, the top of the right earbud will let you adjust volume up or down, and a multifunction button in the middle provides access to Siri or the Google Assistant. Perhaps the coolest feature included on the SoundSport Free is a “Find My Buds” option, which will allow those with the Bose Connect App to locate the tiny in-ears should one go missing. It’s a nice touch, considering what is likely to be a hefty replacement cost. This feature is becoming more standardized in the world of fully wireless earbuds, with new competing products like the Jaybird Run offering similar functionality.
Due to be released in early October, the new Bose earbuds are currently available for pre-order on Bose’s website. They will retail for $250 — a full $100 more than the Apple option. Those interested in a set of fully wireless earbuds may see added functionality and design elements like sport fins and waterproofing to be essential enough to fork over the extra money, especially given Bose’s history of excellently designed — and perfectly functioning — headphones.