Airpods Pro vs. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds: Which is the best true wireless earbuds?

By Bianca Dela Cruz October 27, 2020 in Earbuds, True Wireless Earbuds, Wireless Earbuds

With Airpods being a household name in the wireless earbuds market, it is no surprise that many of their competitors are trying to be on par with them (or even surpass them) as a great daily option. The Bose QuiteComfort Earbuds is one of those competitors. That is why today, we will be comparing the two wireless earbuds – the Airpods Pro and the Bose QuietComfort to see which pair can be hailed as the best true wireless earbuds.

For our comparison today, we will be looking at both the hardware and software of these pairs. While sound quality and the features they come with should be the star of the show, their portability and overall look is also very important. In saying that, we will start by comparing these two strong contenders in terms of Design.

Design

The biggest difference that the Airpods Pro and the Bose QuietComfort has is their size. The Bose QuietComfort is significantly larger than the Airpods Pro – both in terms of case and the earbuds themselves. Looking at them side by side, the Bose Quietcomfort’s case is around three times larger which is a big factor in its portability. As for the earbuds themselves, while the Airpods Pro has their signature look (with the stem and in-ear tips), the Bose QuietComfort has a more traditional appearance with a pretty large form factor, ear wings, and an oval tip to go in your ears.

Going more in depth regarding the earbuds case, both have a flip-open top but unlike the Airpods Pro – the Bose QuietComfort has a physical button you would need to push before the case opens. This would ensure that even if you drop your Bose pair, your earbuds will be secure. Unfortunately for the Airpods Pro’s case – if you drop it, there’s a big chance that your buds will go flying out.

Fit and Controls

Both have great fit, but in different ways because of their design. Starting off with the Airpods Pro, they fit perfectly but due to their stem and overall design, they have the tendency to come off more easily. Meanwhile, the QuietComfort is more secure with their wide size and ear wings that make sure you get a secure fit. Also because of their wider form factor, weight is distributed equally with the QuietComfort making it feel more comfortable – resulting in no ear fatigue – and bearable to wear for hours on end.

As for controls, the Airpods Pro uses Force Stems which is a physical click function. On the other hand, Bose uses tap function which is always a little confusing to do. Both are definitely tedious but we do prefer using the Force Stems of the Airpods Pro as they proved to be easier.

Battery Life

Overall, the Airpods Pro has better total time usage being capable of 24 hours of playtime (made possible by the extra 19 hours in the case). Meanwhile, the Bose QuietComfort only has a total time usage of 18 hours of playtime (made possible by the extra 12 hours in the case).

However, the QuietComfort has better time for a single-charge use or “real-time use” with six hours of playtime. The Airpods Pro only gets four and a half hours with active noise cancelling on or five hours with noise cancelling off. Thankfully, both have a quick charge feature with the Airpods Pro being able to deliver an hour of use after only five minutes of charging and the QuietComfort being able to provide two hours of additional playtime after fifteen minutes of charging.

Connectivity

The Bose QuietComfort uses Bluetooth 5.1 which is the second most-recent Bluetooth standard. As for the Airpods Pro, it still uses Bluetooth 5 but it has a big advantage since Apple is using its H1 wireless chip which brings with it many great features.

Aside from being able to create a great ecosystem for your Apple devices, the Airpods Pro’s H1 chip uses Bluetooth Class 1 audio which creates a stronger signal than the usual Class 2 used in the audio industry. Additionally, the H1 chip allows the Airpods Pro to have a massive 100-foot range compared to the industry-grade 30 feet that the QuietComfort is limited to.

Sound Quality

With regards to audio quality, Bose wins over Apple offering a punchier bass with a bolder and more solid sound. A factor of this could be because Apple has the Beats line which is where they lay on the heavy bass which resulted in a more neutral sound for the Airpods and the Airpods Pro. In saying that though, the Airpods Pro still has great sound quality with a crisp sound and clear mids.

Although overall, the QuietComfort dominates with a larger soundstage and stronger bass – which is very important for a lot of different people with different lifestyles.

Active Noise Cancelling (ANC)

Having 11 levels of active noise cancellation (ANC), Bose has the upper hand in this category. You can configure the levels to your liking and can even save your favorite settings for easier access. This means that Bose does a superb job in cancelling out ambient noise with the highest level sealing off your surroundings completely.

While the Airpods Pro also has great active noise cancelling, it does let in some background noise slip in which isn’t as ideal in settings like long-haul flights or if you’re someone who prefers/needs complete silence to work.

Distinct Features

Before deciding which pair of earbuds wins overall, let us present some unique features that each model has.

Airpods Pro

Since they’re made by Apple, using them within the Apple ecosystem of products is an amazing experience. It’s a breeze to connect them to your devices and so easy to customize your experience with them. Now with iOS 14, there are also new features offered such as auto-switching between devices without having to pair and unpair. They included spatial audio as well which recreates a Dolby Atmos-like 3D sound experience. It also innovated Audio Share which allows multiple pairs of Airpods Pro to connect to a single Apple device such as an iPhone, iPad, and even Apple TV.

Other than that, Apple also has a unique fit test to determine which seal fits you best. It also uses the inward-facing microphone to adjust Audio EQ for the best sound for your ears.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

Aside from the amazing 11 levels of ANC, Bose offers other unique features as well. It has a dedicated app where you can adjust many features and where you can see the status of your earbuds in terms of battery, volume, and even firmware to name a few.

It also has a pretty cool setting that allows you to automatically answer a phone call whenever an earbud is inserted. This means that if a call is coming through, you wouldn’t need to touch your phone as you can just simply insert your earbud in to answer it.

The Verdict

All things considered, we think that it’s only fair to say that the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds is the winner. With its excellent noise cancellation abilities, great sound quality, and functional design, they truly deserve to be hailed as the best true wireless earbuds over the Airpods Pro.

Because while the Airpods Pro are well-loved all over the earbud market scene and are a great pair as well, the Bose QuietComfort proved to deliver above and beyond both in terms of hardware and software.

Where to Buy

You can get the Bose Quiet Earbuds on Amazon for $279.00 and the Airpods Pro here at various prices starting at $199.99.