This new age of Bluetooth headsets has brought with it several conveniences.
No more untangling cables, accidents caused by tripping over cables and mediocre sound quality. True wireless earbuds continue with the same narrative.
They are lighter, sound better and have more features to play with.
The Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Earbuds is one of the best wireless buds. We’ll discuss all of its features in detail. Here’s what we’ll cover in this Bose SoundSport Free Review:
- About the Bose SoundSport Free brand
- Pros of the Bose SoundSport Free wireless earbuds
- Cons of the Bose SoundSport Free wireless earbuds
- A comprehensive buyers guide for wireless earbuds
- Benefits of Bose SoundSport Free wireless earbuds
- What others say about Bose SoundSport Free wireless earbuds
- 3 alternatives to the Bose SoundSport Free wireless earbuds
Table of Contents
- Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Earbuds Review
- About the “Bose SoundSport Free” brand
- Bose SoundSport Free, Wireless Earbuds – Special Features (Pros)
- Bose SoundSport Free, Wireless Earbuds – Drawbacks (Cons)
- Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Headphones Buyers Guide
- Benefits of Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Headphones
- Alternatives to Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Headphones
- 1. Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones
- 2. Apple Airpods Pro
- 3. Aftershokz Aeropex Bone Conduction Wireless Earbuds
Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Earbuds Review
About the “Bose SoundSport Free” brand
Bose corporation is an American consumer electronics manufacturer founded in 1964 in Framingham, Massachusetts.
The company mainly deals with audio products and technologies. Everything from headphones, to home theatres, automobile and public address systems.
The Bose SoundSport Free is one of the audio products from Bose.
It premiered in 2017 as one of the pioneers in the true wireless experience. Bose has enjoyed a lot of positive reviews and sales from this product as they do with most of their other products.
It’s worth noting that Bose is partly owned by MIT. Yes, the founder, Amar Bose, donated part of his shares to the school.
Bose SoundSport Free, Wireless Earbuds – Special Features (Pros)
Water and Sweat Resistance
The Bose SoundSport Free is rated IPX4 water and sweat-resistant. It can survive splashes and occasional drops in shallow pools of water. Overall, you are more likely to break your knee than break these earbuds from ordinary water damage. It’s built of plastic. Durable, high-grade, industrial plastic.
The result is a well-built, water resistant hardware.
I’m approaching this in a rather unusual style. The Bose SoundSport Free has an excellent audio quality. Granted, in some circumstances, they can not beat the ambient noise. It makes them great for the outdoors.
I also find active noise cancellation to supply a more comfortable experience.(which is not available here) Rather than having to completely seal my ear canal.
Good news, bass is something to like in this gadget. It finally fixes the prolonged “shy-base” problem on older Bose products. It sounds great although the mids are a little exaggerated. In general, they enhance the track-in-play in a nice, sporty way. I guess that cuts it for workouts. There’s another reason to use them outdoors as well.
They don’t completely seal you out of your environment. You can hear most things you need to hear. Which also dictates the volume at the time. They sound great until the volume is high and the highs get a little faded. I also found the bass to be a little too pronounced in closed, silent places.
I guess it’s meant to sound great even in noisy environments such as where wind is blowing or out in the streets.
Bluetooth, as obvious, is the connection here. It’s pretty stable although it has two issues. First, the left bud may drop after a couple hours. Second, you may experience a little audio lag when streaming video sound on Android. These inconveniences may be attributed to the type of Bluetooth codec supported.
This is why you may encounter intermittent connections. It may also manifest with poorly set sync settings on your audio player. Advanced mobile video players like VLC allow users to adjust the sync to a perfect spot.
You see, iOS, as is typical, uses AAC codec. Totally fraternal to Android’s aptX. Which one does Bose SoundSport Free use? As you might have guessed, AAC. Therefore, you may find an iOS buddy who thinks you are totally hating on Bose when explaining your issues on Android. Rest easy, it’s nothing you can’t live with.
Other than that, the signal is always complete unless disconnected. It also sounds authentic, meaning the demodulation process is stable. I am particularly disappointed by the microUSB option on this device. It’s outdated, short-changing and honestly unnecessary.
Straight up, the Bose SoundSport Free has noticeable buttons on each bud. Volume rockers on one and a multifunction button on the other.
I’m happy to inform you that the Bose SoundSport Free seamlessly connects with Bose Connect App. You get amazing capabilities on the app one of which is “find my bud”. The system keeps the latest time and location information on your buds. They can also be triggered to produce an ascending beep to further help you locate your lost buds.
The app also allows you to update the buds’ software via Bluetooth in about 30-40 minutes.
Bose was on to something good when they went with the wing ear tip design. Basically, a curved wing is attached at one end of the base of the ear tips. It does a fantastic job at keeping these things in place. On the other side, they may let in a fair bit of ambient noise. It’s you to judge if that’s good or bad.
All buttons feel secured in place. You also get satisfactory feedback from pressing them.
The Bose SoundSport Free is a true exercise companion. It’s rated 5 hours of listening time per charge. We managed to get 15-30 more minutes more listening time. So, that made me want to figure out the reason for the discrepancy.
Two things came up. The type of phone and the average volume preferred during the listening period.
Of course, the charging case easily supplies 2 full charges before it’s recharged. Right here, this lags behind competitors for it’s price. In the topic of stamina, we talk hours. Some buds support up to 36 hours of listening time per charge.
Either way, I haven’t found 5-hour workouts to be that popular.
The charging case has magnetic charging terminals. They secure the buds in place. In contrast to its battery capacity, it’s larger and heavier. Closely-competing Airpods Pro have a very light and small charging case.
Bose SoundSport Free, Wireless Earbuds – Drawbacks (Cons)
The Bose SoundSport Free was released back in 2017. At this time, it was decently priced for its capabilities. Fast forward and the story is not the same. Better, stronger, cheaper truly wireless earbuds have come out.
This makes the Bose SoundSport Free a little overpriced. However, Bose has a long reputation of reliability. So they cancel out.
Lacks Active Noise Cancellation
Again, these guys are a little old. Regardless, they don’t support active noise cancellation. By the look of things, it could be that they never intended to seal you out in the first place. If this is the case, I’d still rather have it as an option.
The world is trying to go sleeker. If not for batteries, smart forms could be knife-thin at this point. The Bose SoundSport Free has abnormally large earbud housing. It protrudes further from the ears that it begins to look odd. Some people like it.
They also have a relatively smaller battery. They could have used the extra real-estate to fit an extra or larger battery.
Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Headphones Buyers Guide
Wireless earbuds eliminate the inconveniences with cables. They are light, portable and sound great. Consider the following factors before investing in a pair of true wireless buds:
Billionaires included, price matters. It’s not that we are stingy but some products don’t truly give value for their price. Other times, cheaper products may not even function as intended. Let alone perform well. All I’m saying is that you get what you pay for. Consider the brand you are buying from as well.
Some may use mediocre specs on a product and still overpriced it for the name. In most cases though, and especially now, you get good value from reputable brands.
Also, you are likely to get a ton of information on their products. This builds your familiarity in the product. Thus, your decision-making ability.
Keep in mind that there are competitive upcoming brands that beat the veterans. Take note of after-sale services such as delivery, repairs, return and warranty policies. They may significantly improve your value per dollar.
Check to see that you are getting buds with great performance in the areas you desire most. This could be battery life, sound quality or design.
A true wireless earbud should seamlessly connect with your other devices. Or at least, with your primary handset. Check that the version of Bluetooth on both devices are compatible.
The later the Bluetooth version, the better your experience is likely to be. Also, the type of codec really matters when it comes to the level of stability of your connection.
In general, AAC is iOS’s while aptX is android’s Bluetooth codec. True wireless earbuds can have either. Note that both are cross-compatible. It’s just that you may experience slow, intermittent connections when cross-linking.
You may also have an issue syncing audio with video on streaming services such as YouTube and Netflix.
Design, comfort, and fit
The aesthetics of wireless earbuds really matter. Sleek is always the way to go. Keep in mind that you are likely to get a smaller battery if the buds are too small.
The questions of color and curvature are subject to personal preferences. The design of the ear tip is the number one factor affecting the level of comfort in any headphone.
The tip should be just of the right size. Too small and it will easily fall off. Too large and it may cause unnecessary pressure in the ear canal.
Fortunately, most designers now include extra, different-sized ear tips for an accurate fit. Also, the presence of an ear hook may also add on the stability of the earbuds on your ear.
Battery capacity, charging time and usage patterns are the three factors affecting the battery life of true wireless earbuds. The size of the battery in the charging case determines how long you can stay off the wall(or outside). It also dictates the number of recharges it can give the earbuds.
How fast the charging case charges is just as important as how fast it charges the earbuds. All factors constant, quick charging should come as a minimum on a pair of wireless earbuds. Some models can give you hours of listening time in under 10 minutes of charging.
Speaking of which, I prefer USB-C buds. They easily integrated into our typical charging setups. It would be frustrating to risk forgetting your microUSB or “special” cable.
A wireless earbud should serve the purpose for which you bought them. For instance, how good are the sensors included? Does the microphone send quality calls? How well is the unit built? Is it durable? Positive answers to these questions indicate excellent usability of a wireless earbud.
Your intentions of use also determine the type of wireless buds that you should get. For instance, a hooked earbud is more suitable for runners and sportsmen. Other features like water resistance add to the scope of use of an earbud.
It may not be easy to find IP67(or upwards) certification on earbuds-buds that can survive heavy splashing or submersion up to under 3M for more than 30 minutes. IPX4 seems to be the most common certification in earbuds.
It allows them to resist light splashes of water and sweat. It fits the bill.
Benefits of Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Headphones
- They sound great
- Convenient to carry
- Have an excellent battery life
- Water and sweat resistant makes them rugged
- Durable construction ensures a longer service life
Alternatives to Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Headphones
1. Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones
The Powerbeats Pro are one of the most feature-packed wireless earbuds. They have an excellent battery life of about 9 hours per charge. A 5 minute boost can supply 1.5 hours of additional listening time. They fit properly on the ears and may not fall off even during intense activity.
I like its design and color options. You also get excellent audio output both in and outdoors. Apple’s H1 chip ensures a quick, stable, clear connection on these buds.
You’ll miss the active noise cancellation feature. However, you get 3 extra different-sized ear tips to help seal your ear canal. This significantly dampens ambient noise.
The unit is IPX4 water-resistant and has an excellent build quality. It’s perfect for both casual listening and workout purposes.
Key features of the Powerbeats Pro
- Fast charging
- Great sound quality
- Excellent battery life
- Water and sweat resistant
- IPX4 water and sweat-resistant
Notable differences between the Powerbeats Pro and the Bose SoundSport Free
- Faster charging
- Physically smaller
- Longer battery life
2. Apple Airpods Pro
The Airpods Pro is a monster of a wireless bud. They have a modern, sleek design. Each bud comes with 3 ear tip size options. This makes it easy to find a perfect fit. This seals out most of your environment. Active noise cancellation comes standard here. It further dampens ambient noise for a serene listening experience.
The stem features a pressure-sensitive button that controls the buds. You can play, pause, stop, skip forward, skip backward, power on/off, activate your phone’s voice assistant and much more. iOS users will also benefit from Siri and voice controls.
Overall, the sound quality is great. They are fit for both in and outdoor use.
IPX4 certification ensures that these buds can deal with your sweat on drizzles. The h1 chip augments the audio quality. It also improves the speed, stability and consistency of your Bluetooth connection. You also get an array of sensors such as an accelerometer and proximity sensors.
They help your buds function in a smart way. For instance, automatic play/pause when one bud is removed from the ear. Or automatic stop when both are removed.
They can also sense that they have been put back into the case and go to sleep while charging. All these features make the Airpods Pro one of the best wireless buds.
Key features of the Airpods Pro
- Great build quality
- Automated functions
- Excellent audio quality
- Active noise cancellation
- IPX4 water and sweat resistant
Notable differences between the Airpods pro and the Bose SoundSport Free wireless earbuds
- Has no wing
- Has a shorter battery life
3. Aftershokz Aeropex Bone Conduction Wireless Earbuds
These are a unique type of earbud. In place of the traditional speaker, they use a vibrating transducer. It gets into contact and vibrates your cheek bone, Right behind the ear. In turn, these vibrations are interpreted into sound by the brain. As you would expect, the listening experience is quite free.
You still hear your files although your ears are totally open to your immediate environment. This makes them safer for use in the crowded outdoors. Sound quality is fine.
It can’t match ordinary wireless buds that use a speaker. Comparatively, they are rugged, durable and have an excellent battery life of about 10 hours per charge.
IP67 waterproof certification means that these guys can survive any weather or accidents. They come with twin proprietary magnetic charging cables. Therefore, you must carry them everywhere you go. You also get a free gel carrying case. These headphones are for high activity individuals.
Key features of the Aftershokz Aeropex
- Excellent design
- Great battery life
- Durable titanium body
- IP67 water and sweat proof
Notable differences between the Aftershokz Aeropex and Bose SoundSport free
- Longer battery life
Wireless earbuds help remove the inconvenience of cables, have better sound quality and can now maintain stable connections. The Bose SoundSport Free wireless earbuds is a worthy wireless earbud for its design, battery life and sound quality.
To maximize your listening experience on wireless earbuds, use a “healthy” volume, clean them regularly and keep them within reach.
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