Since Bragi kicked off their crowdfunding campaign for true wireless earbuds, many other companies have followed suit. Samsung announced the second generation of their Gear IconX. Despite backlash from the internet, Apple AirPods are doing quite well with 98 percent customer satisfaction. Though all these wireless earbuds have their drawbacks, some are better than others.
Bose’s SoundSport Free, the company’s first completely wireless sports earphones, aren’t without flaw, but they may be the best sports wireless earbuds on the market.
Just like the Bose SoundSport wireless earbuds which are not truly wireless (they have a behind-the-neck cable), the Bose SoundSport Free headphones are water-resistant and sound great, but aren’t cheap. Both models have the same open seal style, which mean the eartips don’t enter into the ear canal and you can still hear ambient sound. Bose’s StayHear+ eartips don’t give a fully tight seal but they do help secure the earbuds in your ears.
Bose SoundSport Free earbuds are equipped with a special sport version of the StayHear tips which are the same as the StayHear tips included with Bose SoundSport Wireless. Rival wireless earbud makers use a variety of ways to keep earbuds in place. For example, Apple Airpods and The Dash Pro use eartips, Jabra Elite Sport Wireless use a silicon jacket, Sony WF-1000X use earhooks. Among these competitors, the Bose SoundSport Free earbuds have the most stable, comfortable fit for active users.
The earbuds themselves looks somewhat bulky, but they won’t feel as heavy on your ears as they look. Because this model is “truly wireless”, the Bluetooth hardware and battery pack make the housing slightly bulky.
The Bose SoundSport Free earbuds are sweat and water-resistant, but they don’t have touch control like the Dash Pro. There is a 3-button remote control on the right earpiece that lets you adjust volume, stop/play music, answer and make calls, and access your phone’s Siri or Google Assistant. They offer decent call quality with an integrated dual-microphone located on the right earbud, but the call audio will only be heard in the right earbud and not from both sides.
The Bose SoundSport Free earbuds keep a solid connection with your phone up to 30 feet and their battery is rated at 5 hours, which is standard for this type of small headphone. They come with a simple charging case that has a built-in battery for on-the-go charging. This battery case provides up to 10 hours of battery life or two full charges.
This is a perfect pair for your exercise, especially for running, if comfort and secure fit are your priorities.
The sound quality is good, but if you want something clearer and more detailed Erato Apollo 7 would be an alternative that offers dynamic sound and crisp bass. Interestingly, the sounding profile of the Erato Apollo 7 is similar to the SoundSport Free earbuds with plenty of bass and a warm midrange. Because the SoundSport Free earbuds have an open design, they are better for listening to music outdoors.
It has been years since the first pair of totally wireless earbuds were introduced, but they’ve become mature products and the SoundSport Free reach the fit and comfort level that work for the vast majority of people who need a pair of wireless earbuds for sports.
Bose SoundSport Free highlights:
- 5 hours of battery life
- Water and sweat-resistant
- Work with Bose’s free Connect app for Android and iOS devices to track the earbuds’ location and manage connections
- Charging case provides additional 10 hours of battery life
Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Earbuds
- Most comfortable wireless earbuds
- Fit securely in your ears
- Best sounding wireless earbuds
- Solid Bluetooth connection
- Bulky earpieces
- Battery isn’t great
- Open design lets ambient sound leak in