Of all the Bluetooth sports earphones, the Bose SoundSport Wireless definitely makes the cut as one of the best in the market. The truth is that no set of earphones is 100% perfect, and every one of them has their pros and cons, but the SoundSport Wireless does a great job of staying ahead of the pack. It’s safe to say that if you are looking for a well-designed pair of earbuds that offers great features, superior sound, and value for your money, then the SoundSport Wireless is the one for you.
These earphones are designed for users who lead an active lifestyle, whether it is going to the gym, biking, or running.
Design and Features
Bose has done a phenomenal job of designing the SoundSport Wireless, considering that this is the first Bluetooth sports earphone that the company released. It is a well built earphone that compares well with others in the same price range.
The SoundSport Wireless is your conventional wireless in-ear earphone. It has a neckband cable that incorporates a remote housing, which isn’t that heavy at all. They are not elaborate or showy, like the Apple Airpods, but Bose has made sure that their design is equally smart.
If you are looking for a comfortable pair of in-ear wireless earphones, then this is it. The SoundSport Wireless has an open design that incorporates Bose’s StayHear+ eartips. The earbuds are designed to sit loosely within your ear, 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. With its winged tips, you will be pleasantly surprised just how snugly the SoundSport Wireless earphones fit in your ears.
The eartips are available in three distinct sizes. You can go for the small, medium, or large earbuds. There are three colors available – black, aqua, and yellow. Bose has a number of models of in-ear headphones in the market, some of which also use the StayHear eartips. However, you cannot interchange the eartips from the earlier models with the SoundSport Wireless because this new model uses a unique sport version.
These earphones are designed to be sweat resistant and water resistant. They come with an IPX4 certification, which means they can comfortably handle a bit of splashing and sweating here and there. However, in July of 2016, some customers complained about some of their SoundSport Wireless earphones malfunctioning due to heavy sweating. Bose were 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 have another version with additional functionality, which is called Bose SoundSport Pulse Wireless, these hearables are $50 more expensive than the regular model, but in turn you get the most out of information about your fitness, including HR, calories burned and more.
The sound quality generated by these headphones is phenomenal, especially for a Bluetooth in-ear sports earphone. Of course, it cannot compare to some of Bose’ s wired headphones, which offer dynamic and clearer sounds with better bass quality, for instance Bose SoundTrue sports. However, this is a Bluetooth earphone, so sacrificing some sound quality cannot be avoided.
The highs are a bit depressed and there is some distinct lack of clarity. On the other hand, the mids are warm and sound natural, while the bass is impressive. The bass is 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 in the SoundSport Wireless actually works rather well outdoors, considering that it does not have any noise-cancelling capabilities. When you listen to music indoors in a quiet place, you will notice that the bass is somewhat dull. However, take it outside and the bass becomes more dynamic, lively, and smoother.
The inline microphone and remote allows 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 headsets for making and receiving phone calls.
In the end, Bose has managed to create a 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 a Bluetooth earphone that is well built and has extra features yet the chipset doesn’t have the capacity to prevent wireless dropouts and bloopers whenever there is a bit of interference.
Fortunately, the SoundSport Wireless isn’t one of them. Bluetooth performance is awesome and solid. You won’t have to worry about wireless integrity even in offices or vehicles filled with mobile phones.
The SoundSport Wireless also incorporates Near Field Communication 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. The app serves multiple functions, such as managing your list of paired devices and updating the firmware.
Worried about the battery life? Don’t sweat it. The Bose SoundSport Wireless is 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 the life of the battery is preserved.
Whenever the earphone is turned back on, the voice alert will inform you just 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 can be considered a bit disappointing if you compare it with other earphones within the same price and class range. However, if you look at the size of the SoundSport Wireless, the battery life of 6 hours is quite fair. Apart from having a neoprene carrying case, Bose also offers an accessory case that contains an integrated battery for charging your earphones while travelling. 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 in designing the earpiece to be less protruding and more discreet. However, we are all aware of the challenges that come with miniaturization of earpieces especially considering the 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 lock out ambient noise, then you should consider Bose’s QuietControl 30 with around the neck style or QuiteComfort 35 – full size cans. These two models have active noise-cancelling technology that muffles wind and crowd noises for better sound quality.
Another issue that users may find is that they are also 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 were quick to come up with a solution to this by providing a clip that allows you to shorten the 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 is a versatile and comfortable pair of earphone. 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, and for a price of $150, these earphones are definitely worth it. 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.
Published on 04/07/2017