Bose SoundSport Free Overview: Superb Sound, No Strings Hooked up

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

I am not the one one. Whereas 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 select up my toddler earlier than I hug my father-in-law, simply in order that the newborn will snatch his wi-fi bud out of his ear (sorry!).

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

Since carrying them, I’ve been reluctantly transformed by the Bose SoundSport Free. They match securely and comfortably; they’re handy and simple to make use of. And so they sound so friggin’ good! I’ve written that sound high quality would possibly matter much less with exercise headphones, however when you will get it, you would possibly as properly take pleasure in 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 bit of bit. However in almost each method however value, they carried out spectacularly.

This Case is the Place


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 received right down to 70 p.c after three hours, which looks as if a barely longer runtime than said. However in every week of canine walks, gymnasium journeys, and path operating 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 canine and children the place tiny objects are inclined to go lacking with no hint. I discovered diligently returning them each time I used to be accomplished was the easiest way to push back the identical gremlins that steal half of your favourite pair of socks.

Once I rigorously changed the buds of their little home, they began recharging, for the reason that case additionally shops sufficient battery life for 2 full costs. You’ll be able to examine the case’s battery life by pushing the opening clasp to light up the built-in standing LEDs. Regardless that Bose has a companion app that permits you to find your earbuds, generally it was solely capable of find one bud or the opposite reliably.

Regardless of my preliminary skepticism, I discovered these Bose ‘buds snug to put on, even for 3 straight hours. Not like in-ear buds, which regularly 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 outdoors the canal and are held in place with wings.

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

They stayed in place whereas mountain climbing, operating, strolling, and climbing. They’re IPX4-rated, so 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 canine and cyclists approaching after I’m outdoors.

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

Particularly, the bass sounded implausible. I may nearly 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 naturally, they’re by Bose, so every thing has a glossy, premium appear and feel. The graceful 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 to your buds while you set them up. Little Miss Dynamite? Why sure! That’s me!

Buggity Buggin’

Although their rockin’ sound helped win me over, there are nonetheless just a few 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 happen to’re something like me (by which I imply a complete klutz), that is while you’re going to lose one—whereas attempting to reply a name, untangle two canine leashes, and stroll on the similar time.

Fortunately, Bluetooth by no means dropped out on me, even when climbing and strolling round 30-foot boulders away from my cellphone. That stated, I’ve seen feedback that some prospects 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 12 months, so I up to date my tester. I did not discover any lagginess whereas watching movies on my pc, however I did discover a barely-perceptible lag whereas watching movies on my iPhone 8. I do not normally watch films on my cellphone, so this did not hassle me. However at this value 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 broad round as 1 / 4. They’re not small, they usually stick out of your ears. So sure, you’ll look a bit of bizarre. And I do know they’re rugged, high-quality buds, however they’re so costly. I could not maintain 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 bit of bit like a pretentious dweeb when carrying them, however perhaps that is a part of the package deal while you purchase a Bose product.

You would possibly miss noise filtering when you have a busy metropolis commute. And if you happen to stream films in your cellphone, that lag would possibly get annoying, if you happen to even discover it. However if you happen to love superb sound high quality, consolation, and comfort, the Bose SoundSport Free are price a glance. I lastly perceive why folks may be satisfied to pay a lot for these items.

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