Bose SoundSport Free Review: Amazing Sound, No Strings Attached


In the previous, different WIRED writers have cherished actual wi-fi buds, however I’ve been skeptical. In truth, I viscerally dislike them. They hit a particular Uncanny Valley of know-how that threatens to cross the road between implant and implement.

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I’m not the one one. While testing the Bose SoundSport Free, my toddler daughter repeatedly requested me to take them out. And I can’t blame her. I’ve been recognized to choose up my toddler earlier than I hug my father-in-law, simply in order that the child will snatch his wi-fi bud out of his ear (sorry!).

Moreover, the design doesn’t appear to make sense, particularly for exercise headphones. It’s one factor if a bud is dislodged if you’re sitting at your desk, however if you’re working and sweating? What in the event that they fall in a thorny bush? Or a pile of filth, or right into a puddle of MRSA sweat at your health club? No thanks.

Since carrying them, I’ve been reluctantly transformed by the Bose SoundSport Free. They match securely and comfortably; they’re handy and straightforward to make use of. And they sound so friggin’ good! I’ve written that sound high quality may matter much less with exercise headphones, however when you will get it, you may as properly get pleasure from it.

Like a lot of Bose’s merchandise, these ‘buds are outrageously costly. Even writing {that a} pair of exercise headphones prices $200 makes me gag a little bit bit. But in almost each approach however worth, they carried out spectacularly.

This Case is the Place

Bose

The headphones include a clamshell charging case, three units of winged sport suggestions, and a USB cable. It took two hours to cost the primary time, and Bose states that the earbuds have a five-hour run time. I bought all the way down to 70 % after three hours, which looks like a barely longer runtime than said. But in per week of canine walks, health club journeys, and path working carrying the buds, it was onerous to run them down farther down than that.

That’s as a result of I used to be terrified to depart such costly buds out of the case, in a home crammed with canines and children the place tiny objects are inclined to go lacking and not using a hint. I discovered diligently returning them each time I used to be completed was the easiest way to keep off the identical gremlins that steal half of your favourite pair of socks.

When I rigorously changed the buds of their little home, they began recharging, because the case additionally shops sufficient battery life for 2 full prices. You can test the case’s battery life by pushing the opening clasp to light up the built-in standing LEDs. Even although Bose has a companion app that allows you to find your earbuds, generally it was solely in a position to find one bud or the opposite reliably.

Despite my preliminary skepticism, I discovered these Bose ‘buds comfy to put on, even for 3 straight hours. Unlike in-ear buds, which frequently require an concerned and worsening trial interval whereby I poke one little rubber blueberry in my ear canal after one other, the Bose ear suggestions are bigger. They relaxation simply exterior the canal and are held in place with wings.

The rubber of the wings was a lot softer and extra comfy than different buds that I’ve examined, and the medium measurement out of the field labored properly. It was so handy, and such a reduction to not have to check totally different bud sizes by jogging in place in my front room in entrance of my bewildered canines.

They stayed in place whereas mountain climbing, working, strolling, and climbing. They’re IPX4-rated, in order that they didn’t react in any respect to my sweaty ear folds. They did let in ambient noise, however I appreciated that high quality. I like having the ability to hear canines and cyclists approaching after I’m exterior.

Oh yeah, and the sound. The sound! The first time I heard the intro to Missy Elliott’s “Lose Control” come thundering in, I virtually did lose management. Everything, from L7’s growling guitars to silky Celtic fiddling, sounded wealthy, full, and vibrant.

In explicit, the bass sounded improbable. I may virtually really feel Beyoncé’s “Formation” pulsing in my chest. These sounded adequate to transition from exercise headphones to an on a regular basis desk set.

And in fact, they’re by Bose, so all the pieces has a modern, premium appear and feel. The clean black case feels nice resting in your hand, and the earbuds click on satisfyingly in place due to some magnets. The app even suggests nice nicknames in your buds if you set them up. Little Miss Dynamite? Why sure! That’s me!

Buggity Buggin’

Though their rockin’ sound helped win me over, there are nonetheless a number of points price mentioning. The on-bud controls are stiff and tough to push. I needed to take them out to show them off and switch the amount up and down, or reply calls. If you’re something like me (by which I imply a complete klutz), that is if you’re going to lose one—whereas making an attempt to reply a name, untangle two canine leashes, and stroll on the similar time.

Thankfully, Bluetooth by no means dropped out on me, even when climbing and strolling round 30-foot boulders away from my cellphone. That mentioned, I’ve seen feedback that some clients have skilled lag or sound dropping out whereas watching movies on telephones or tablets. Bose has up to date the firmware on the SoundSport Free because it was launched final yr, so I up to date my tester. I did not discover any lagginess whereas watching movies on my laptop, however I did discover a barely-perceptible lag whereas watching movies on my iPhone 8. I do not often watch motion pictures on my cellphone, so this did not trouble me. But at this worth level, there should not be any bugs in any respect.

I perceive that these aren’t for everybody. They’re 1.5 inches deep and 1.25 inches tall–about as huge round as 1 / 4. They’re not small, they usually stick out of your ears. So sure, you’ll look a little bit bizarre. And I do know they’re rugged, high-quality buds, however they’re so costly. I could not preserve myself from treating them like tiny valuable objects, closing up that tiny clamshell sarcophagus with as a lot care as if it held the stays of a long-lost pharaoh. I felt a little bit bit like a pretentious dweeb when carrying them, however possibly that is a part of the package deal if you purchase a Bose product.

You may miss noise filtering in case you have a busy metropolis commute. And in case you stream motion pictures in your cellphone, that lag may get annoying, in case you even discover it. But in case you love superb sound high quality, consolation, and comfort, the Bose SoundSport Free are price a glance. I lastly perceive why folks might be satisfied to pay a lot for this stuff.

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