Last Updated: March 2, 2020

Bose vs. Beats Headphones (The Best Of The Best)

Both Bose and Beats are excellent, high quality brands. They make great headphones, and they make all kinds of them. So, it’s to take a look at some of their best-sellers, and compare them in detail.

In this review, we will check out 4 different types of headphones: wired in-ear, wireless in-ear, wireless on-ear and wireless earbuds. So, whichever ones you are looking, I think I got you covered.

I will spoil the review a bit by showing you the winners from each category below. But, be sure to also check out all the detailed reasons for these winners, in this comparison of the best Beats and Bose headphones!


Best Headphones From Beats & Bose

Product

Image

Features

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Noise-Cancelling, with Alexa voice control - Black

- Built in equalizer

- Adjustable noise-cancelling

- Connection to Siri or Google Assistant

urBeats Wired In-Ear Headphone - Matte Black

- Long lasting

- Non-tangle cable

- Compatible with any device

Bose 774373-0010 SoundSport Free, True Wireless Earbuds, (Sweatproof Bluetooth Headphones for Workouts and Sports), Black

- Truly wireless

- 5hrs play (10hrs charge from the case alone)

- Find anywhere feature (handy if you misplace things)

BeatsX Wireless In-Ear Headphones (2016 Model) - Gray

- Value for money

- 8hrs charge

- Voice activated assistant

Bose vs. Beats Headphones: The Battle

Wired In-Ear Headphones

urBeats by Dr. Dre vs. Bose SoundTrue Ultra

Urbeats3 Wired Earphones With 3.5mm Plug - Tangle Free Cable, Magnetic Earbuds, Built In Mic And Controls - Black
Bose SoundTrue Ultra in-ear headphones - Samsung and Android devices, Charcoal

If you’re old school like me, you’ll prefer these to regular wireless headphones.

I really don’t mind the cable; in fact, it has saved my phone from a fall countless times, so I’m kind of grateful for it. Both of these are high quality wired headphones, and both come with 3 different sets of tips (Small, Medium, Large).

So, we’ll have to take a closer look to see exactly why the Beats earphones are better than the Bose ones.

Durability

I have to admit, I’m a little biased when it comes to these headphones. Because I own a pair of urBeats, and this is their 4th year – talk about durability. Granted, after 2 years one of the earphones started losing signal, but if you adjust the cable just right, you can get them both to work.

But, I have to admit, I did not take care of them properly. I would just stuff them in my pocket and hope for the best.

As for the Bose headphones, I cannot speak from personal experience. I can, however, tell you that they come with a 1-year warranty. So, if you experience any issues (due to manufacturing defects) in the first year of their life, you will get a fresh pair.

So, because I do not have exact numbers for both pairs of headphones, it would be unfair to select a winner. Therefore, I will have to call it a tie.

Beats by Dr. Dre - 3.5mm Audio Cable In-Ear Headphones - Deep Bass Soaring Highs Crystal-clear Mid-Range Pure Audio Earphone (urBeats White) (Supplied with no retail packaging)

The Cable

Now, one advantage I have to talk about is the design of the cable on the UrBeats. It doesn’t get tangled, and I can personally vouch for that! It is because the cable is wider than usual, which doesn’t allow for it to get knotted. And, they are probably protected by a magic spell. :>

The Bose earphones, however, have a regular cable, which will inevitably get tangled if you just throw them in your bag. Because of that, the winner here are the Beats earphones.

Bose SoundTrue Ultra in-ear headphones - Samsung and Android devices, Charcoal

Compatibility

The Bose SoundTrue earphones come in 2 different versions; one is compatible with Android devices, and the other one is compatible with Apple devices. If you, for example, have a MacBook and an Android phone, you will have to buy both versions of the earphones, which is not really economic.

In that case, I would suggest that you go for the Beats. They are compatible across all kinds of devices (that have a 3.5mm audio jack), which makes them much more practical. And you’ll get better value for money. Because of that, I have to side with the Beats ones in this round too.

URBEATS3 BY DR DRE
BOSE SOUNDTRUE ULTRA

Fully Wireless Earbuds

Bose 774373-0010 SoundSport Free, True Wireless Earbuds, (Sweatproof Bluetooth Headphones for Workouts and Sports), Black
Bose 774373-0010 SoundSport Free, True Wireless Earbuds, (Sweatproof Bluetooth Headphones for Workouts and Sports), Black

Well, this one obviously goes to Bose because Beats does not feature a pair of truly wireless earbuds. They do have wireless headsets, but no full on cable-free earphones (like Apple Airpods).

This is where Bose SoundSport truly wireless earphones come in.

They are truly wireless earphones designed for sport activities. They will allow you full freedom of movement, which is necessary for a good workout.  And they are sweat and water-resistant, which makes them perfect for the gym.

You will get about 5 hours of play time from one single charge with these, which is plenty. And, their case can hold about 10 hours of charge, which means that you can fully charge these earphones twice with just the case. In addition to that, the case is also magnetized, which ensures that your Bose earphones will stay in place.

One other cool thing about this is that Bose was thoughtful enough to incorporate the ‘Find My Buds’ feature. This is actually an app that will allow you to see where the earphones were last connected to your phone, in case you lose them. 


On-Ear Headphones

Beats Studio3 vs. Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II)

Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling On-Ear Headphones - Apple W1 Headphone Chip, Class 1 Bluetooth, Active Noise Cancelling, 22 Hours Of Listening Time - Red (Previous Model)
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Noise-Cancelling, with Alexa voice control - Black

Both of these are truly top-notch wireless headsets, and they are really the best that these brands have to offer. Furthermore, both the Beats and the Bose headphones are compatible with all kinds of devices, so you don’t have to worry about that aspect.

In addition to that, both are really expensive pairs of headphones, and are consequently incredibly durable. Whichever ones you choose, you can expect them to live a long and useful life.

So, let’s get into the details to see just why exactly the Bose ones have an upper hand over the Beats.

Sound Quality

You will get amazing sound quality with either headsets, but there are some slight differences.

The Beats headphones are all about that bass, and they are generally louder than the Bose QC. If you, like me, do not care that much about damaging your hearing (but don’t do it!), you will love this feature.

On the other hand, the Bose ones have a built in equalizer, which makes the sound smoother. But, it also might make the sound slightly differ from what the artist wanted you to hear.

I honestly prefer the enhanced bass of the Beats, but I also know that many people don’t. Since this ultimately depends on your personal preferences, I will have to call it a tie.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Noise-Cancelling, with Alexa voice control - Black
Bose QuietComfort 35 (II)
Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling On-Ear Headphones - Apple W1 Headphone Chip, Class 1 Bluetooth, Active Noise Cancelling, 22 Hours Of Listening Time - Red (Previous Model)
Beats Studio3

Noise Cancellation

Both of these headphones will drown out any background noise. However, with the Beats, there is a slight white noise that you hear when the Pure ANC (noise cancellation) mode is on.

As for the Bose headphones, they also allow you to turn the noise cancellation mode on and off. In fact, you can connect them to an up and fully adjust just how much of the background noise you (don’t) want to hear. And, they work even better than the Beats, because there is no annoying white nose. Therefore, this round goes to the Bose QC 35.

Battery Life

The Bose QuietComfort 35(II) have a battery life of up to 20 hours, which is pretty good. But, it’s not as good as the battery life of the Beats Studio3.

In fact, the battery on the Beats can last you for some 22 hours. And, if you turn of the Pure ANC mode (the noise-cancelling feature), you can get about 18 more hours of play time, which gives a you a total battery life of 40 hours.  So in this respect, the Beats are the clear winner.

Access To Phone Assistant

I don’t know about you, but I find this feature to be incredibly important, because Google Assistant and I chat on a daily basis. She is ones of my best friends who always keeps me up to date with current events.

Whether you are pals with Siri or Google Assistant, the Bose headphones will allow you to talk to them directly, without ever having to get up and get your phones. That’s right, The Bose QC 35 (II) have voice access to your phone’s designated assistant!

You can set reminders, get weather updates and basically anything else you can do with your phone assistant anyway. However, with the Beats headphones, there is no voice access to assistant, and are therefore the obvious loser. Don’t get me wrong, you can access the assistant – but you have to push a button to do that, which makes them less practical.

BOSE QUIETCOMFORT 35

Wireless In-Ear Headphones

BeatsX Wireless In-Ear Headphones vs. Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones

BeatsX Wireless In-Ear Headphones (2016 Model) - Gray
BeatsX Wireless
Bose SoundSport, Wireless Earbuds, (Sweatproof Bluetooth Headphones for Running and Sports), Black

In terms of the sound quality, everything I’ve previously said about it applies here as well. I don’t want to unnecessarily repeat myself, so if you missed it, please just scroll a few lines back.

Both of the headphones will come with several different-sized tips, as is common for in-ear headphones. In addition to that, both also feature a mic and buttons for volume control. And both of them have that little cable that makes them not fully wireless, but don’t even get me started on that.

And finally, you can use either headphones with both Android and Apple devices. Actually, they will work just fine with any device that has built-in Bluetooth.

Voice Access To Phone Assistant

Oh how the tables have turned. Now, the Beats headphones are the ones that feature voice access to the phone assistant. This works regardless of whether you are trying to activate Siri or Google Assistant.

As for the Bose SoundSport, they have a button that you can use to activate the assistant. They do not, unfortunately, support full voice control. Because of that, the BeatsX are the clear winners of this round.

Battery Life

The Bose earphones have a battery life of about 6 hours, which is not bad. However, the Beats ones can last almost 2 hours longer. That’s right, the BeatsX earphones can last you almost 8 hours, with just one single charge.

In this case, 2 hours is plenty. Therefore, I have to give this one to the BeatsX. Looks like they’re in the lead for now.

Value For Money

The BeatsX are some $50 cheaper than the Bose ones, which is a win in itself. However, with these, a charging case is also included in the purchase. Sadly, that is not the case with the Bose SoundSport.

With the Bose headphones, you only get a carry case and a charging cable. This also makes the headphones much less practical. Think about it; they have a shorter battery life, and you can’t charge them on the go.

I think it’s obvious who the winner here is. 3:0 for the BeatsX.

Tangle-Free Cable On The BeatsX

These have really short cables, and they are much less likely to get tangled. But, I feel like I should mention this anyway, as it really is a unique and amazing feature.

In addition to that, the earpieces on the BeatsX are also magnetic, which also helps keep them tangle-free.

As for the Bose earphones, they don’t have these features. Therefore, I think that the BeatsX are a better choice overall.

What To Look For In The Headphones

Sound Quality

In general, there are some slight differences when it comes to sound quality for the different headphones. The Beats usually have an enhanced bass, and are often louder than the Bose.

The Bose headphones, however, will usually have a built-in equalizer that will make music sound smoother. But, it will also usually make it sound different to the original.

This one is up to you, and your personal preferences. Therefore, opt for the headphones that you think will satisfy your needs best.

Battery Life

This part only applies to wireless headphones, of course. But, it is a very important feature of the headphones, so you will probably want to opt for the ones that last longer.

But, how do you figure it out? Well, I will devote a section of each reviews to the battery life of the headphones, so be sure to check it out.

Also note, the on-ear headphones will have a larger battery than the in-ear ones, so they will tend to have a longer battery life.

If this is your main concern, jump straight to the on-ear headphones (via that link).

Device Compatibility

One big advantage of Beats headphones is that they are compatible with all devices, regardless of the Android/Apple distinction.

Interesting fact: Actually, did you know that Beats by Dr. Dre was initially included just in Androids? And then later on Apple bought them off.

So, if you use devices with different operating systems, be sure to check the compatibility of the headphones. Bose usually makes different versions of headphones for Android and Apple devices, and I will highlight that also in the reviews.


And The Best Beats And Bose Headphones Are…

Overall, we have a tie. Bose won in two categories, and Beats also won in two categories. But, that’s not surprising, since these are both great brands. So, here’s a little summary of our four winners.

For the best in-ear wired headphones, I would go for the urBeats by Dr. Dre. Their tangle-free cable really put them a step ahead of the Bose counterpart, and it is truly a feature that you will appreciate.

urBeats Wired In-Ear Headphone - Matte Black
  • Grid-iron tough.Connectivity Technology: Wired
  • Built-in mic for calls
  • Tangle-free cables

For the best on-ear headphones, the Bose QuietComfort 35 (II) seem like a better option, particularly if you like to multitask. And honestly, the voice access to the Google Assistant is a major reason why they are better than the Beats Studio3. And if you also depend on your phone’s assistant (like me) you will completely understand why :>

If you want to read more about the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 (II) headphones and see how they compare to their predecessor, be sure to check out a review I did earlier.

Sale
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Noise-Cancelling, with Alexa voice control - Black
3,767 Reviews
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Noise-Cancelling, with Alexa voice control - Black
  • Three levels of world-class noise cancellation for better listening experience in any environment
  • Alexa-enabled for voice access to music, information, and more
  • Noise-rejecting dual-microphone system for clear sound and voice pick-up
  • Balanced Audio performance at any volume
  • Hassle-free Bluetooth pairing, personalized settings, access to future updates, and more through the Bose connect app.Usb cable: 12 inch

If you are looking for fully wireless earbuds, then you should go for the Bose SoundSport truly wireless. Beats lost this battle before it even started, since they don’t even have a pair of such earphones. But it’s 2018, and with Apple Airpods being all the rage, I’m sure they’ll catch up soon. When they do, I’ll make sure to come back and update this review. But for now, the Bose ones are currently your best option.

Sale
Bose 774373-0010 SoundSport Free, True Wireless Earbuds, (Sweatproof Bluetooth Headphones for Workouts and Sports), Black
3,726 Reviews
Bose 774373-0010 SoundSport Free, True Wireless Earbuds, (Sweatproof Bluetooth Headphones for Workouts and Sports), Black
  • TRULY wireless Sport headphones for total freedom of movement, packed full of technology that makes music sound clear and powerful
  • Earbuds are sweat and weather resistant (with an Ipx4 rating) and come with 3 different pairs of Stay hear and Sport tips (in sizes S/M/L) that provide a comfortable and secure fit
  • Up to 5 hours of play time with each charge and an additional 10 hours with the included charging case and also features a charging time of 2 hours
  • Track lost earbuds with the Bose connect App's "find My buds" feature
  • Firmware update to improve Audio video synchronization for customers using iPhones, iPads and other Bluetooth devices that support AVDTP version 1.3 or later, available via connect app. Connectivity Technology: Wireless Bluetooth

And for those of you who are looking for the best (kind of) wireless in-ear headphones, I would have to recommend the BeatsX. You will not only get a great value for money, but also a ton of cool features, like that voice access to the phone assistant that I’ve talked about. In addition to that, they are also much cheaper than their Bose counterpart, and appear to have the upper hand in most aspects.

BeatsX Wireless In-Ear Headphones (2016 Model) - Gray
2,578 Reviews
BeatsX Wireless In-Ear Headphones (2016 Model) - Gray
  • Perfect wireless companion for you to experience authentic, clear sound throughout your day with up to 8 hours of battery life
  • Take calls, control your music and activate Siri with RemoteTalk
  • Variety of eartip options offer personalized comfort and secure-fit wingtips provide stability
  • Magnetic ear buds keep your earphones tangle-free and easily coil up for compact portability..Comes with BeatsX earphones, removable secure-fit wingtips, eartips with four size options, lightning to USB-A charging cable and quick start guide
  • Requires iCloud account and macOS Sierra, iOS 10, or watchOS 3

And there you have it; the top four headphones from these two amazing manufacturers. Pick a pair you like the most, and head over to Amazon – they are often on sale there.

About the Author Roger Timbrook

Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!

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