Out of all the Bluetooth sports earbuds, the Bose SoundSport Wireless is definitely one of the best on the market. The truth is that no set of earphones is 100% perfect, and every one of them has its pros and cons. If you’re looking for a well-designed pair of earbuds that offer great features, superior sound, and value for your money, look no further than the Bose SoundSport Wireless earbuds.
These earbuds are designed for users who lead an active lifestyle and want a set they can use in the gym, biking, or running.
Design and Features
Bose has done a phenomenal job of designing the SoundSport Wireless earbuds, considering that these are the first Bluetooth sports earbuds that the company has released. They are well built and compare well with other sets in the same price range.
The SoundSport Wireless earbuds are a conventional set of wireless in-ear earbuds. They have a neckband cable that incorporates a remote housing and are very lightweight. These earbuds are not elaborate or showy like the Apple AirPods, but Bose made sure that their design is equally as smart.
The SoundSport Wireless earbuds have an open design that incorporates Bose’s StayHear+ ear tips. The earbuds are designed to sit loosely within your ears which means they won’t totally seal the ear canal and isolate ambient noise. However, there’s no need to worry about whether they will fit securely in place. You will be pleasantly surprised just how snugly they fit and stay in your ears with the included wingtips.
The ear tips are available in small, medium, or large and also in many colors including black, aqua, and yellow. Bose has a number of models of in-ear headphones on the market, some of which also use the StayHear eartips. However, you cannot interchange the ear tips from earlier models with the SoundSport Wireless because this new model uses a unique sports version.
These earphones are designed to be sweat-resistant and water-resistant. They are rated at IPX4 which means they can comfortably handle a bit of splashing and sweating here and there. Unfortunately, some customers complained that their SoundSport Wireless earphones malfunctioned due to heavy sweating. Bose was quick to issue a recall and fix the anomaly in their design. Users who were affected received free replacements of the updated model and the problem has been resolved.
If you are interested in tracking your fitness, Bose has another version of these earbuds with additional functionality called Bose SoundSport Pulse Wireless, these wearables are about $50 more than the regular model, but in turn, you get information about your fitness, including heart rate, calories burned and more. If you are specifically looking for a good set of earbuds with heart rate monitor check out our full roundup review here, with top options and comparisons of different models on the market.
The sound quality generated by these headphones is phenomenal, especially for a Bluetooth in-ear sports earphone. Of course, these cannot compare to other Bose wired headphones like the Bose SoundTrue Sports, which offer dynamic and clearer sound with better bass quality. However, all Bluetooth headphones sacrifice a little sound quality for convenience.
As far as sound quality, the highs are a bit depressed and there is a distinct lack of clarity. The mids are warm and sound natural, and the bass is impressively punchy and powerful, which is great for people who need that extra push during their workouts or runs.
It may surprise you that the sound actually works rather well outdoors, considering that it does not have any noise-canceling capabilities. When you listen to music in a quiet place indoors, you will notice that the bass is somewhat dull. However, take this outside and the bass becomes more dynamic, lively, and smoother.
The inline microphone and remote allow you to skip from one song to another, while also enabling you to also raise or lower the volume. These earphones don’t just play high-quality music, they also function as a headset for making and receiving phone calls.
In the end, Bose has managed to replicate its distinct signature sound that is clear, smooth, detailed, and balanced. The quality does not lean too much on one side of the frequency spectrum, and this is what makes users love the sound quality of the SoundSport Wireless.
The Bluetooth functionality also works smoothly and the connection is extremely reliable. There are many brands and versions of Bluetooth earphones that, unfortunately, tend to fail in the connectivity area. There is no point in having Bluetooth earbuds that are well built and have extra features if the chipset doesn’t have the capacity to prevent wireless dropouts and hiccups from the smallest bit of interference.
Fortunately, the SoundSport Wireless Bluetooth performance is rock solid. You won’t have to worry about wireless integrity even in offices or vehicles filled with mobile phones.
The SoundSport Wireless earbuds also incorporate near field communication and tap-to-pair technology that enables you to easily sync with devices that are compatible with this feature. You can actually pair the earphones to multiple Apple devices at the same time. You will discover just how smooth the transition is when switching from watching a movie to receiving a call on your phone.
Pairing the earphones to your smartphone will require you to download the Bose Connect app which is free and works with both iOS and Android devices. This app serves multiple functions such as managing your list of paired devices and updating the firmware.
Worried about battery life? Don’t sweat it. The Bose SoundSport Wireless are designed with an auto-off feature that switches the device off when it is not in use. This is accessible through the Bose Connect app, which allows you to adjust the time settings for this auto-off feature. If the earphones are not in use for a set period of time, they are powered down. This will go a long way in ensuring that battery life is preserved.
When the earphone is turned back on, the voice alert will inform you of how much battery life is left and the devices that are paired. Alternatively, you can check this information on the app itself.
The battery life lasts for about 6 hours, which is a bit disappointing compared to other earphones within the same price and class range. However, considering the small size of the SoundSport Wireless, the battery life of 6 hours is fair. Apart from having a neoprene carrying case, Bose also offers an accessory case that contains an integrated battery for charging your earphones while traveling. The battery case gives you three full charges, which is equivalent to 18 hours of battery life. However, this will set you back an extra $50.
As great as they are, SoundSport Wireless earphones do have a couple of limitations. For one, the earpiece protrudes from the ear a little bit, so this may not appeal to users who like to wear their earphones discreetly. The fact that they extend out from the ears also makes it difficult to wear them with some helmets.
This particular aspect of the SoundSport Wireless is its biggest criticism so far. Maybe Bose should have put more thought and effort into designing the earpieces to be less protruding and more discreet. However, we are all aware of the challenges that come with the miniaturization of earpieces, especially considering current battery technology.
The open design is usually preferred by users who like biking or running with their earphones since it allows them to hear oncoming traffic. However, this also means that the SoundSport Wireless isn’t suited for environments that have a lot of noise. If you want to enjoy your outdoor activities and still be able to keep out ambient noise, then you should consider the Bose QuietControl 30 with around the neck style or the full-size QuietComfort 35. These two models have active noise-canceling technology that muffles wind and crowd noises for better sound quality.
Another issue that users may find is that these earbuds are a bit bulky, though this doesn’t affect their overall weight. In other words, you will not experience any heaviness on your ears.
The cord can also be a bit too long and may start flopping around, especially if you use it while running. However, Bose was quick to come up with a solution to this by providing a clip that allows you to shorten the cord length and wear it closer to the neck. You can hook the clip onto the top of your shirt to adjust the length and prevent the cord from moving around too much.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless earbuds are a versatile and comfortable pair of earphones. The StayHear eartips require very little adjustment when biking or running, unlike most other in-ear earphones. Bluetooth connectivity works remarkably well and pairing to other devices is a breeze. The sound quality is great for an in-ear Bluetooth earphone, especially at this price point. At the end of the day, what sets the SoundSport Wireless apart from its rivals is the high level of comfort, fit, and sound quality.