Bose SoundSport is Free Review: Excellent And Simple True Wireless EarbudsMiddle-of-the-road battery life might turn you away from the Bose SoundSport Free, but the durability and form factor might just bring you back. After 40 hours of testing they proved to be a great fit and sound.

Bose SoundSport Free

Bose SoundSport Free Review

We like this

  • Perfect fit

  • Bose sound quality is solid and Bose-style

  • Reliable and durable

The Things We Hate
  • Unbeatable battery life

  • There are very few bells and whistles

  • Somewhat quiet

Bose SoundSport Free wireless headphones are perfect for anyone who wants no-nonsense and comfortable exercise buds.

The Bose SoundSport Free was purchased so that our expert reviewer could fully test it and evaluate it. Continue reading to see our complete product review.

Bose SoundSport Free wireless earbuds are sporty. It's amazing how many true wireless earbuds have abandoned the idea of being workout-friendly and opted for an elegant, luxurious look.

It's refreshing, actually, that Bose has chosen a simplistic approach—largely creating the same design as the SoundSport Wireless earbuds, not offering any fancier features like noise-canceling and even going for a really simple charging case. My SoundSport Wireless earbuds are still in use, but I recently purchased a pair SoundSport Free wireless earbuds. I am confident that these are the best headphones for anyone. Here's why.

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Design: High-end, but somewhat bulky

You're likely to have seen SoundSport Free earbuds in your area if you are like me. That's because a lot of people have them, but it's also because the SoundSports (both Free and otherwise) sit outside of your ear, clinging to it like a little beetle—making it obvious when someone is wearing them.

Although I would normally find the bulk of the Bose SoundSport headphones annoying, it is a common feature. These buds are bulkier than most wireless buds, and even more bulky than the Master & Dynamic range of earbuds. The look of the buds is very Bose with the matte rubber asymmetrical shell and StayHear+ Sport tips, which almost look like normal eartips.

StayHear+ Sport tips are made up of two components. One is a wide, flat ear tip which presses into the ear and leaves very little gaps. These two touch points have made it so that I don't worry about my SoundSports ever falling out.

Although the black unit that I own is somewhat boring, it's more versatile. There are also Midnight Blue and yellow accents. You can also get a gorgeous Bright Orange with dark brown accents.

It measures approximately four inches in length and nearly two inches in thickness. For true wireless headphones, this is twice the size you will find in cases from Samsung and Apple. It looks great though with its matte black finish, soft curves, and soft lines. These earbuds will look great if you aren't too fussy about the bulk.

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Comfort: Safe and breathable

The Bose SoundSport Free Earbuds have a unique fit that fits in your ear. Today's wireless earbuds use a rubber tip to seal the ear. This is to isolate outside noise and maintain a comfortable fit. It is excellent for sound quality, but it can also trap sweat and heat. The downside is that it may not be able to fit into every ear. In the last few weeks, I have learned that true wireless buds should only be used at two points of contact. I will explain these reasons using the SoundSport-free mechanism.

StayHear+ Sport tips are made up of two components. One is a wide, flat ear tip which presses in your ear while leaving some gaps. Thanks to these two touchpoints, I've never worried about the SoundSports falling out of my ears—no small accomplishment considering the number of earbuds that don't sit inside my oddly shaped ears well at all.

It's much more. These buds are comfortable enough to be worn for extended listening sessions or intense training. They are large, but only weigh about half an ounce. Once you have them on, it's almost like you forget that they're there. Bose offers three sizes of eartips, which allows for some customizing. However, the overall fit is great.

Bose SoundSport Free

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Build Quality and Durability: Sporty and elegant

These earbuds are sportier than luxury, and I think that's a bit misleading about their quality. Bose is a premium brand. This is evident in the SoundSport Free's fit and finish.

It is made from a matte-feeling premium plastic. The eartips of the buds, which are made out of high-quality silicone, feel soft and last a long time. You get premium products at this price. Bose is not focusing its quality R&D efforts on glam design or glossy textures, but on making the headphones feel luxurious. The battery case doesn't snap open or close with the same magnetic force as other cases. Although it has a sturdy spring-loaded button closure, you won't enjoy using it as much as AirPods users.

Bose is now certified IPX4 for intense workouts.

For those with a hard time putting earbuds in a case, the inside has magnets that will hold them in place. The materials of the earbuds are very resilient to drops, thanks to a number rubber parts that serve as bumpers. Bose received IPX4 certification which is great for sweaty workouts. However, I think that with the many rubber-sealed parts, they could easily have moved to the more secure IPX5 certification. These are premium, portable earbuds that can be used at work or at the gym.

Bose SoundSport Free

Sound Quality - Really solid but a little quiet

Bose's sound quality is now available in wireless earbuds with SoundSport Free. That doesn't mean these earbuds sound the best—that crown belongs with the nerdier audiophile brands like Master & Dynamic or Sennheiser. These earbuds are far superior to most wireless earbuds, AirPods Pro included.

Bose is notoriously tight-lipped about any specific sound specs—no frequency range or SPL levels to be found here. If you have ever used a Bose speaker, earbuds or earphones you will know their signal processing technology is excellent for consumer listening. SoundSport Free headphones have enough bass to play top 40 and enough detail to listen to podcasts clearly.

Bose SoundSports has engineered their audio response so that you can adjust the volume and EQ. I find this to be the most notable feature. Some earbuds, even those made by audiophile brands, can get too muddy or too thin when they are listened to at higher volumes. Bose makes up for it nicely. Bose doesn't seem to have any advanced Bluetooth codescs. So expect the standard SBC. But, Bose is quite solid with how it handles the sound once it reaches your ears.

One problem is the fact that the volume was a little too loud for my taste. This is a common complaint with Bose earbuds. The lack of isolation within the earbuds is likely to be the main reason. This is a compromise. If you desire comfort, you will have to accept some outside noise. It's an acceptable tradeoff, however. These things sound amazing.

Bose SoundSports has engineered their audio response so that you can adjust the volume and EQ. I find this to be the most notable feature. Some earbuds, even those made by audiophile brands, can get too muddy or thin at lower volumes. Bose makes this a pleasant adjustment.

Battery life: Not too special but very reliable

Bose's battery life claims are far less than those of Apple and Sony. These earbuds should last for 5 hours listening without the case, plus another 10 hours when the charger is attached. This is quite disappointing considering that some rivals offer up to 24-30 hours of listening with the case.

Bose seems to be undercutting real-life hours. I was getting close to 6-7 hours using the headphones alone, and certainly more than 10 hours when the case is used. As the battery ages, this will decrease, but you can be sure that the actual numbers out of the box are quite a bit higher than the advertised.

The lithium-ion batteries don't have a quick charge time, but it is noted that they will take around 2 hours to fully charge. The battery cases charge via micro USB, which is more current than modern USB-C. This means that your earbuds will take about 2 hours to fully charge.

Bose SoundSport Free

Setup and Connectivity: Simple with No Bells and Whistles

Easy to pair the SoundSport Free earbuds was easy right from the box. They were already in pairing mode. Bose will prompt you to download an app before pairing. However, I did not find it necessary. It is easy to set up new devices by holding down the left earbud buttons for several seconds.

Bose does not advertise which Bluetooth version is being used. However, the Bluetooth version that you are using doesn't seem to be Bluetooth 4.0. You can only connect one device at a time. For people who frequently switch between their phone and laptop, this could pose a problem. However, for me it was not a big deal. Once you have paired your devices it is just a matter switching them between the Bluetooth menu.

Even in areas of high frequency wireless signal, I found very little Bluetooth interference. The SoundSports will occasionally cut back and forth in the ear, before it returns in. It can be a little disorienting. Although it only occurred once, I was sure to notice it.

Another quirk you might not notice when looking at the headphones is the fact that only one earbud can be used for phone calls. Phone calls will only be made to the correct earbud, even if they are connected and on. Although this is a nostalgic feature, it makes perfect sense because you can use the same phone with stereo audio. However, I find it odd that Bose made such a decision when many people have grown to prefer using stereo phones with their earbuds.

Bose SoundSport Free

Software with Extra Features: Basics and a great app

Earbuds are very simple. They use a standard button system for most features. The left earbud has the Bluetooth pairing button and standard volume up/down buttons. There is one button that can be used for multi-functional purposes on the right earbud. You can play/pause or skip music with this button. Because earbuds can sometimes try to do too many things, they can become confusing. Simplicity is a benefit to the earbuds.

Bose Connect is very simple. It offers a Q&A style user guide and a lot of customization, including the standby times (how long it takes to put the headphones to sleep), prompt languages, voice commands, etc. The list of devices that you've Bluetooth connected to in the past allows you to keep track of your house and clean it up whenever you buy new tablets or phones. The Find My Earbuds function is also essential for true wireless headphones that are so fragile.

Bose SoundSport Free wireless true wireless headphones are ranked among the top five in this category. They are ideal for athletes as well as those who listen on the go.

Pricing: A bit high, but still affordable

Bose SoundSport Free is a high-end brand so it shouldn't surprise that they cost around $200. They are currently available on Amazon at $179. This is $20 less than AirPods, and a fantastic deal. The package may not be as lavish as other brands and you won't get the same fancy features as higher-end products like active noise cancelling. These earbuds are worth the price for their sound quality, durability and comfort.

Bose SoundSport Free vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds

The Galaxy Buds are my favorite comparison to the SoundSport Free (see Amazon). You can also use the rubber wings to grip your outer ears. The SoundSport Free has a second touchpoint that allows for better fit. While both earbuds are great for working out, I prefer the Bose Galaxy Buds because of the more airflow. The Galaxy Buds will offer a more compact form factor and sound quality than the Bose. The Bose might last longer in the buildings, while the Galaxy Buds can be charged wirelessly. These two devices are an ideal match because there are so many things to consider.

Final Verdict

The best wireless earbuds available.

Bose SoundSport Free wireless true wireless headphones are ranked among the top five in this category. They are ideal for both athletes and those who travel. Their sound quality is excellent, as well as the build quality and fit are perfect. However, you shouldn't expect to have a luxurious design or noise cancelling. Bose has stayed laser-focused on the one word in the name that, to me, is most important in this category—Sport.

Specifications

  • SoundSport free
  • Bose Product Brand
  • SKU B0748G1QLP
  • Prices from $199.00
  • Weight 0.32 oz.
  • Product dimensions 1.25x1x1.2in
  • Color Black, Midnight Blue, Bright Orange, Ultraviolet
  • Battery life for earbuds is 6 hours, earbuds and case 16 hours.
  • Both wired and wireless
  • Range wireless 30m+
  • 1-year warranty
  • Audio codes SBC, AAC

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