We’ve been waiting for a long time for Bose to release a new pair of sports earbuds, and our wish has finally come true. The Bose SoundSport Bluetooth earbuds are here, but they’re not exactly what we were expecting them to be.
Design and Build
We should clarify that there are two versions of the SoundSport earbuds. There’s an in-ear version, which looks like traditional sports earbuds and doesn’t support wireless listening, and there’s also a Bluetooth version with a much bulkier construction and several cool features intended to deliver a more enjoyable listening experience.
Most sports earbuds are designed to place the least amount of weight on the ears as possible. To do that, earbud manufacturers often embed all the electronic components inside an in-line remote that hangs below one ear. Bose has embedded the components inside the earbud housing, making it large and heavy. You can really feel the weight when running or even riding the bike. What’s even worse, the bulky housing produces an insane wind noise when outside. The cable that connects the left earbud with the right one isn’t perfect either. It tends to stick to the neck when you get sweaty, and it transfers vibrations to your ears. At least it doesn’t tangle.
The good news is that the earbuds are sweat- and water-resistant and last up to 6 hours. The battery charge time is 2 hours. Inside the earbuds is an NFC chip for simple pairing. Taking these characteristics of the Bose SoundSport Bluetooth earbuds into consideration, we’d say they’re best reserved for inside use only. If the gym is your main outlet as far as sports go, you might not even notice many of the same flaws that were bothering us during our testing.
The Bose SoundSport Bluetooth earbuds have an absolutely stunning audio quality. Their bass is well behaved, their soundstage is wide and open, and their responsiveness and accuracy is on par with some of the best high-end earbuds we’ve tested.
Unfortunately, they don’t come with an active noise-cancelling system, leaving you with relatively modest noise attenuation provided by the silicone eartips and the earbud housing. That said, we get why Bose doesn’t want their customers to not hear incoming traffic. Sometimes safety is more important than your listening experience.
Bose has developed a smartphone app for the earbuds, but it offers surprisingly little functionality. It allows you to check the battery level, turn on or off the voice prompts, and adjust the volume. An equalizer with at least three sliders—one for bass, one for mids, and one for highs—would be great.
What’s in the Box?
Included with the earbuds are three pairs of silicone eartips with integrated earwings, a microUSB cable for charging, and an earbud case with a carabiner.