Bose's wireless headphones are more sport- and activity-focused, with silicone StayHear+ sport tips to ensure a comfortable fit during intense activities, as well as an IPX4 water resistance rating (Apple's AirPods are not rated for water resistance, although many users have noted their resilience through activities that coat them in sweat or water). The Bose Connect iOS app will also include a new "Find My Buds" feature, displaying the last known location and time of use in order to help you rediscover the lost headphones.
In terms of battery life, Bose said that the SoundSport Free will last for up to five hours on one charge, and the charging/carrying case can fuel up the headphones with an additional ten hours of battery. The five-hour battery life aligns with the AirPods in terms of battery on the buds themselves, but when comparing the charging cases Apple's case provides an additional 24 hours of life to the AirPods.
Controls are located on the top of the buds, giving you access to play, pause, skip track, take and end phone call controls, and even activate Siri or Google Assistant. Bose also explained that the SoundSport Free headphones include a Bluetooth antenna that is designed to provide a strong and reliable connection to your iPhone, which connects to the smartphone up to 30 feet away as long as there are no physical obstructions between the two devices.
When it came to the tech inside these earbuds, we focused on every little detail—from tuning the circuits for improved sound to tweaking the antenna position for maximum Bluetooth® signal strength. The result? Headphones that play consistently and clearly whether your phone is in your hand, in your pocket, strapped to your arm or sitting on top of the treadmill … and there’s never a wire in sight.The SoundSport Free headphones are available to pre-order for $249.95 today on Bose's website with early orders expected for an October delivery date, and a "Midnight Blue" color option is said to be coming later this year. The company today also announced a new version of its QC35 over-ear headphones - called QC35 II -- incorporating Google Assistant directly into the device.