Bose Soundsport Free Review
The SoundSport Free ‘buds are built with endurance to satisfy an athlete.
- Organized charging case
- Excellent battery life
- Comfortable fit
- High-end sound can irritate
- Clunky aesthetic
While splurging for a pair of truly wireless in-ear headphones sounds like a great idea, it’s harder to find a good experience when you actually get to testing buds out. Wouldn’t you know it, but it’s difficult for manufacturers to pack excellent audio equipment with a Bluetooth receiver into a small earbud casing.
This is an even harder balance to appreciate for earbuds for athletes. These buds have to be comfortable and functional, all without ballooning in size.
The Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Earbuds are the latest attempt to balance all of these aspects. Though they’re pricey they do have a lot of excellent qualities to justify every dollar. While there’s nothing revolutionary about the earbuds, all of its features have been designed with intent.
What’s in the Box
Once you’ve opened the box, you’ll see everything tucked neatly into the charging case. The Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Headphones are packaged in this stylish, tubular container with pre-sized slots for the earbuds themselves and the included accessories. It has a micro USB port to build up a charge; it’s this charge that eventually powers your SoundSport buds once you slot them into place.
The case is compact, has a securing clasp, and provides enough room for everything. It’s a perfect portable carrier for the buds and everything else.
Shape and Build
Right off the bat, you’ll notice that the SoundSports are a little bigger and clunkier than you might expect from sporty earbuds. The bigger casing is part of what lets Bose pack decent auditory equipment inside. Athletes shouldn’t worry too much about the aesthetics of their earbuds, anyway.
The only accessories are two pairs of StayHear+ ear tips. These wing tips are interchangeable with the ones installed on the buds by default. These are perfect for ensuring a great fit even if you have smaller or larger ears than average.
The tips are flexible and comfortable and are part of what make the Bose SoundSport Free buds a great choice for athletes. They’re not totally soundproof. But that’s actually a good point for runners or those who need to pay attention to the environment while they listen to a workout playlist. Safe exercise is just as critical as great music.
The Bose SoundSport Free buds are made of durable plastic and high-grade IPX4-certified materials. Don’t get them wet, though. They’re not waterproof, aside from the usual sweat you’ll work up from exercise.
Features and Design
The Bose SoundSport Free earbuds wirelessly pair together quickly. In terms of connectivity, both buds can join together and reconnect snappily if they lose synch with one another. However, maintaining that connection is another story.
The left earbud, in particular, can sometimes lose connection or fizzle out of focus. But this is always fixable and breaks in music are usually minor. It’s not a huge deal for earbuds that are made for runners and athletes. We might not choose these earbuds for music majors, though.
The battery life offered by the Bose SoundSport Free buds is pretty great. Most true wireless earbuds only last for between three and four hours, whereas the Bose SoundSport earbuds can playback music for around five hours at a full charge. Lower volume can easily translate to a playback time of five and a half hours or more.
The charging base can provide two charges for the buds if it’s full on power, too. With this in mind, total playback time from start to finish with the SoundSports is around 15 or so hours before you need to plug the case in.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to keep the earbuds plugged into their case slots when they’re not in use to achieve extended hours of battery life. But all this playback time is a great feature for those of us who forget to do that more often than not.
Be aware that the charging case requires a micro-USB port, so consider getting an adapter for plugging into wall sockets if you haven’t already.
The Bose SoundSport Free App
Any Bose SoundSport Free purchase comes with access to the Bose Connect app. While there’s the usual assortment of advertisements and personalization options, the biggest advantage is the “find my ‘buds” function. This feature sounds a loud “beep” from both earbuds, so be sure to remove either of the two in your ear before you try to find its lost sibling.
So how do the Bose SoundSport Free buds sound?
Anyone who’s compared earbuds before will recognize that these produce excellent high-end sound quality. They also maintain a strong low-end performance that notably lacks bass. The higher sounds of your playlist tracks might seem too detailed for comfort depending on your preference.
The lows are particularly nice for workout songs that rely a lot on steady, deep beats. Like we mentioned before, the lack of real noise sealing is important for workout safety, so the SoundSports Wireless attempt to compensate by producing a lot of low-end sound profile with each replication to help reduce ambient noise.
Mid-range sounds aren’t super emphasized by the Bose SoundSport Free wireless buds, leaving more power and attention for the higher end of the spectrum. High sounds resonate satisfyingly, although the detail provided by the speakers can become a bit irritating on certain tracks. Voices and guitars sound excellent, while tracks with violins can grate on the ears a bit.
Overall, the Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Earbuds are a good choice for athletes of all types and styles. Their shape and comfort are appreciable throughout a workout session and they have some great features to make losing them or misplacing them harder than otherwise.
The battery life of the buds is noteworthy and the charging case is a nice organizational solution so you don’t toss the buds somewhere and forget them immediately after. The sound is more than acceptable for workout playlists, although something more robust and with a better sound seal is needed for proper music appreciation.
Overall, these are a pair of quality athletic true wireless earbuds with a chunky price tag. They’re worthwhile only if you’ll make good use of the charging station, battery life, and comfort StayHear+ tips.
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