Demanding workouts demand SoundSport Free truly wireless in-ear headphones. They're completely free of wires, so you'll enjoy complete freedom of movement. They're sweat and weather resistant, too. Bose StayHear+ Sport tips are designed to stay secure and comfortable all workout long. And the earbuds are packed full of technology that makes your music sound so clear and powerful, you'll push past your limits.
Truly wireless, so you'll enjoy complete freedom of movement.
Sweat and weather-resistant earbuds with an IPX4 rating.
Up to 5 hours per charge. Charging case provides up to 10 hours of additional playtime.
Designed to maximize the strength and reliability of a wireless signal.
StayHear+ Sport tips on each lightweight earbud stay comfortably and securely in place all workout long.
Volume-optimized EQ and Bose digital signal processing make music sound full and balanced at any volume.
Track lost earbuds, easily manage Bluetooth connections and access future updates with the Bose Connect app.
Take calls using the right earbud. An integrated dual-mic array lets callers hear you clearly, even in noisy environments.
Play or pause tracks and access your phone's Siri or your Google Assistant right from the earbud.
Solid Bluetooth connection with extremely rare dropouts
Great overall sound range
Securely stays in ear
Fit is comfortable
Weight is barely perceptible while worn
Total play time with case is 15 hours
Find my headphones can make headphones play a sound if they are in range
Tips allow ambient sound in for safety
IPX4 sweat resistant
Earbuds have all controls needed for music playback and calls
No option for noise isolating tips
Sweat resistance is listed to decrease with age
No equalizer option
StayHear+ tips can cause discomfort with extended use
Control buttons are tight during initial use
The Bose SoundSport Wireless Free are the latest in the sport earbuds from Bose and the first completely wire free. The left and right earbuds work as a pair but without any wires tethering them together. This can be great for those who have problems with the short wire between traditional sport earbuds snagging and pulling them out of the ear. Battery life feels shorter than others at just 5 hours but with the included charging case you have up to 15 hours of use. The case is the only way to charge them and serves as the standard way to turn them on and off. The moment you remove them from the case they turn on and will be ready to use. If left on they will turn off to save battery but the recommended way to turn them off is to place them back in the case. This is most certainly a good idea considering how easily the earbuds could be lost.
The SoundSport Wireless Free are larger than normal Bluetooth earbuds because each earpiece needs to house everything it needs within the small casing and it shows. Traditional earbuds could be easily overlooked but the SoundSport Wireless Free looks like you are wearing two old fashion Bluetooth earpieces that were all the rage several years ago. Not much can be done about this so if you are wanting truly wire fee, this cosmetic issue must be accepted first. About the only people who could wear them unnoticed are those will long hair. With as large as they are you would think that they would be very heavy, but they feel surprisingly light during use. You can feel the weight but they feel secure even with rapid head movement.
The earbuds are secured in the ear with what Bose calls StayHear+ tips. They are uniquely different from other earbuds tips and only come in three sizes of the same style. For now, this means replacement tips won’t be as easy as buying a universal set from your local electronics store. It also means if you must have noise isolating earbuds you will have to look elsewhere. If you like earbuds to allow ambient sounds for safety, these work great. You can easily hold a conversation while wearing them without yelling. They stay secure by hooking behind the cartilage of your ear so, unlike others, a secure fit doesn’t mean jamming the tip tighter in the ear or wrapping a wire around your ear. This method works well, although some might feel some slight discomfort during extended use. Controls for music, volume, and voice controls via your phone assistant are all on the right earbud. There is a distinct difference between each section making finding the right control by feel easy. Using the controls is a little imprecise as the buttons are quite hard to press. Sometimes when pressing you may tend to initially pull the earbud slightly out of the ear. This creates an adjustment period on becoming accustomed to using the controls. Hopefully with repeated use the buttons will break in. After a couple of days of use, pressure required decreased slightly and control felt easier.
Sound quality is something you expect to be great coming from Bose and with the SoundSport Wireless Free they do not disappoint. The most important part of great sound with compact wireless sport headsets where failure is common is keeping a solid connection. Bose claims to maintain a reliable wireless connection with a special antenna design and it seems they have achieved what they claim. A connection to the phone could be maintained walking into the next room of the house while leaving the cell phone in place. Another, more important, test is cross body signal strength. It seems that no matter where the phone was kept on the body, the earbuds kept a strong signal with no dropouts. Bose does not list if they incorporate Bluetooth 5.0 to handle higher quality sound. If they do not, they have done quite well with the limitations of traditional Bluetooth. Bose incorporates what they call a volume-optimized EQ. Whatever the techniques they use they seem to work quite well as sound was very well balanced throughout the range. Unfortunately, if you like to customize the sound to your likely there are no such controls unless your device offers an EQ. If any criticism could be leveled at the automatic EQ is that highs, such as vocals, could be just slightly higher. This is more of a personal preference though. For most, this will not likely be a problem as the default setting does quite well.
Of course, any earbuds today will include the ability to place and take calls. Accepting calls is a matter of pressing the play button. You can place a call by pressing and holding down the play button to launch your phone’s assistant. Depending on the assistant of your phone you may have other functionality as controlling music as well as reading and responding to texts. Call quality is not usually a strong point of sport earbuds simply because the microphone is so far away from the mouth. As with others, callers reported I sounded farther away as if I was on a speakerphone. However; generally people reported I sounded closer or clearer than on other sport earbuds used in the past.
Durability is an important area for sport earbuds. The SoundSport Wireless Free are IPX4 which means they are sweat and what they call weather resistant. This isn’t the highest rating in sport headphones and some car with water should be taken. A run in the rain is probably not a good idea nor is washing them off under the faucet. This seems to be a side effect of higher sound quality earbuds as other high-end earbuds often have a similarly limitation. Listed within the information is a warning. The IPX4 rating is expected to decrease with age.
Overall, the Bose SoundSport Wireless Free earbuds are a solid first time offering from Bose. Although long term durability is hard to gauge, they feel very well made and as though they will last. Use is about as hassle free as you can get allowing you to enjoy using them and the sound they produce. Hopefully as Bose continues to evolve the design the cons will be improved or even eliminated. Even with the cons, there is no reason to avoid enjoying great sound to help keep you motivated during your workout.
One word. Wow! Now this is quality. These feel like two little tanks. They have enough weight to feel solid without feeling awkward and cumbersome in your ear. The charging case in very nice. It's a magnetic charging cradle which securely aligns the charge pins on each bud. The case has a battery indicator on it to let you know the amount of reserve left in the case. Put them in your ear, and you will get that comfortable fit Bose is known for in all its other in ear headphones. Sound isolation is very good so you will have to be careful if you are a runner who likes to blast your music. They get loud but not overpowering where distortion comes into play. Sound is amazing from low volume to high. Well balanced sound with deep bass full mids and crisps highs at all volumes. Pairing is simple and they have auto shutoff to avoid dead batteries after a workout. Finish is elegant with a gloss black to match my Note 8. Buttons are a little stiff, but maybe those will "break-in" after a little while. Can answer calls and use virtual assistant with these headphones also.
Things I like:
+Total Wireless Solution - No wire bouncing on your neck or sticking to you when you work out. No more accidental tugging to annoy you when you are running.
+Built Quality/IPX4 - splash proof and sweat proof. High quality build!
+Quick Charge - a quick 15-minute charge provides up to 45 minutes of play time. On your drive to the gym, you can get enough charge to make it through a short workout if they are dead.
+Case - has battery reserve of 2 charges. That means 10 hours in the case and 5hrs on the headphones.
+Fit - the fit was perfect and not one single movement during my run or workout. I ran about 5 miles and then did my weight routine. Not a single wiggle. Great job Bose!
+Sound - full and rich sound from low bass through to crisp highs. No distortion and great sound isolation.
+Look - looks nice, high class glossy finish.
+Battery Life - I can get probably a week's worth without having to recharge the case. Easily makes it through a few gym sessions.
Things I would change:
-Width of headphones - They stick out a bit much, maybe this will be corrected in the future releases. Nothing more than aesthetics. Nothing to do with function.
-Button placement - Once I learn where the buttons are, this will work itself out, but they are really stiff and require a lot of pressure.
-Charging options - These only charge in the cradle. If anything happens to them, you will probably have to shell out more cash as they require a proprietary pin charger.
-No EQ controls in Bose Connect App - Functionality in the app is very basic. Auto-off timer, pairing, and renaming is basically all. There is also a find my buds let's you know where you last left your headphones. They are tracked separately.
It's simple… Buy if you are an active person or just want Bose sound in a comfortable well-built headphone set. No cord to annoy you and this is made to turn heads.
I bought these since I always get my wired headphones tangled up or caught on something causing them to malfunction on me. They have a little girth to them yes and they protrude out your ear very visibly, but I don't mind it. The case/charger takes roughly 2 to 3 hours to charge completely and the ear buds themselves depending on single use and/or dual use can range from an hour and a half to 2. When fully charged and having both buds on you get an approximate cap of 7 1/2 to 8 hours of tunes depending on how high you have them volume wise. The higher the volume the quicker the battery life drains. If you don't have your phone or music source on you while you are about... The max distance before cut out is 30 to 32 feet. Lastly when putting these on warranty the charger is the only thing that's covered under Bose. The ear buds aren't covered. I registered on the site and the case was all I could put on warranty. I thought it was all three pieces, but no. Other than that they are a good set of headphones for whatever you need with three gel grips for the perfect ear fit and I recommend them.
I thought fully wireless earbuds were just a gimmick until I tried them. The listening experience is truly liberating, and Free. Hence the name of the SoundSport Free. Here’s my very comprehensive review of the earbuds.
As anybody would expect from a Bose product, the sound quality is stellar. Overall the sound is warm, with slightly recessed mids. Bass is powerful and treble is tastefully detailed, but still smooth. Soundstage is also surprising; I often start looking around thinking there are sounds coming from the world around me, not just from the earbuds. They sound almost identical to the SoundSport Wireless, but just a little smoother. They block very little sound. I actually really like this, because it allows more awareness of surroundings, and you can still talk to people without needing to pause music or remove an earbud.
Comfort & Fit
The StayHear+ tip design from Bose has always been one of the most comfortable and stable earbud designs, and the SoundSport Free is no exception. The earbuds go in with one swift motion, and with no need for adjusting, they will “stay here” (haha). However, I found it strange that my ears become slightly sore after roughly two hours of continuous wear. I have used the StayHear+ eartips for many years on my Bose QC20 earbuds with no comfort issues, so I swapped the eartips and that solved my problem. It turns out, the SoundSport Free uses a slightly different “StayHear+ Sport” eartip, which is identical in design but slightly stiffer than the standard StayHear+ tips for increased stability. (The softer, standard StayHear+ tips cost $10 for a pair). I stuck with the standard StayHear+ tips because they were plenty stable for all of my gym, and track & field sprint workouts, and allowed me to wear the earbuds indefinitely… for as long as the battery lasts, of course.
Battery Life & Case
Speaking of battery life, it is really good. Five hours of listening on a single charge doesn’t sound like much, but the case carries an additional two full charges. So realistically, the SoundSport Free have 15 hours of battery life, which is much more than the 6 hours of the SoundSport Wireless. They charge quick in the case, and the case also charges quickly. Using the earbuds for exercise and for casual listening, I never encountered any frustrations with the battery running out before I anticipated. The case is extremely solid and under no normal circumstance would they fail to protect the earbuds. This does make it a little too heavy to run with in a pocket, because it bounces up and down, but you’ll never need the case to charge the earbuds in the middle of a run anyway. So overall very good on the case and battery life.
The earbuds have reliable bluetooth connection, with a range of roughly 60 feet with no obstacles from source to right earbud, and 60 feet of range between the left and right earbud. This actually makes the SoundSport Free a great way to share music with a friend. For watching videos: On my phone, there is always a noticeable delay. It’s not unbearably bad, but not ideal. On my laptop, however, the earbuds or laptop somehow figure out how to sync up the audio, and everything is perfectly in-sync with no perceivable lag. I have two small complaints. 1) They only connect to one device at a time, unlike almost all other Bose earbuds and speakers. But it’s not too big of an issue because it is very easy and quick to switch connection between devices. 2) For phone calls and online video/conference calls, audio only comes out the right ear. It’s a little annoying, but again, not a big issue.
Design wise, they actually look quite good! For some people they stick out of their ears a little, but for me they sit very flush with my ears, and it looks quite slick and futuristic. On the black colorway there’s a beautiful subtle gold glow on the outside.
Last but not least, enjoy some photos! You can see the two different eartips I mentioned earlier in my review. The black ones are the StayHear+ Sport tips that it comes with. The white/translucent ones are the (standard) StayHear+ tips.
I hope my review helps!
I bought these coz I have android and ios devices that I use on daily basis so would love a product that connects to both and the quality of Bluetooth connection is really good. They can even be used independently connecting left or right. The only thing that I ddid not give it 5 stars is the confusion that why during a call only right ear phone works?? Why not both the ear phones work during the call? Is it a flaw or design
I would recommend this to a friend
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Use
5 out of 5
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
By far better than Apple Air
Owned for 2 weeks when reviewed.
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Use
5 out of 5
I started out with JBL two different brands, I already own apple. I was looking for something in size wireless with a boost in pure sound. Inners BOSE. Premium Experience. Cost, Sound, Durability, check, check and check.
The analysis of all aggregated expert reviews shows that the reviewers are positive about mids quality, treble quality, bass quality and sound. Editors are less positive about noise isolation and price. Using an algorithm based on product age, reviewers ratings history, popularity, product category expertise and other factors, this product gets an alaTest Expert Rating of 90/100 = Excellent quality.
CNETRating, 4 out of 54.0David Carnoy on April 11, 2018
A pricier, better sounding alternative to Apple's AirPods
Although some small design gripes remain, Bose's SoundSport Free are among the best totally wireless earphones available now.Full Review
The VergeRating, 3.5 out of 53.5Sean O'Kane on October 27, 2017
Bose SoundSport Free review: truly wireless earbuds never sounded so good
But that comes at a cost in more ways than oneFull Review
Tom's GuideRating, 4 out of 54.0Charles A. Cohen on November 15, 2017
Bose SoundSport Free Review: Superior Wireless Audio and Comfort
The Bose SoundSport Free earphones were a bit of a surprise on many levels during my testing. The first thing that struck me and will likely strike you is when you open the package, these buds are relatively large.Full Review
PCMagRating, 4 out of 54.0Tim Gideon on October 3, 2017
Bose SoundSport Free
The bass-forward Bose SoundSport Free earphones are expensive, but nail the design and operational details right better than any other pair in the growing wire-free category.Full Review
A:AnswerNoise cancelling... no. Noise Isolation... yes. It does a good job of blocking out ambient noise when playing music. I got a complete seal and couldn't hear a thing with my music on. You can use only the right side as a regular bluetooth if you choose. The charging case takes about 4-5 hours to completely charge from 0%. You get a quick charge of 15 mins which make around 45mins of play time.
A:AnswerGreat question! IPX4 does mean that the headphones can tolerate splashes of water from any direction, but they can't tolerate jets of water (which would be IPX5). That being said, we don't recommend using these in the shower because they could be accidently exposed to direct jets of water. We hope this helps!
A:AnswerThey are rated at 5 hours, the case holds two full charges for an additional 10 hours. I have the regular SoundSport Wireless, which are rated at 6 hours of listening per charge. I have found that value to be pretty accurate, so I would assume the same for these.