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Bose® - SoundSport® Free wireless headphones - Blue-Front_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.4 out of 5 stars with 5147 reviews

86%
would recommend to a friend

Expert rating

Rating 3.9 out of 5 stars with 20 reviews

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Customer ratings & reviews

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great sound without dropouts

    Posted
    CraigB
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member
    • Top 50 ContributorTop 50 Contributor

    Pros 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 Cons 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.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Truly FREE listening experience.

    Posted
    Fortex

    Intro 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. Sound 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. Usability/Reliability 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 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. Photos 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 would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Zero Regret - Proud Quality Investment

    Posted
    Kirsten
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I’ve had and been using these for 6 weeks now. I never write reviews FYI but considering the less convenient price tag, and that making a good decision when investing in new headphones can be daunting, I want to confidently add to the positive reviews of this to help consumers be more confident in this purchase. I've owned $100 Bluetooth headphones in the past that were attached to each other by a short chord behind my neck. << They would not stay in my ears and it was ultimately a waste of $$ because they just collect dust because I was too lazy to return them (like an idiot). Anyway THESE are great. There are 3 different sizes of the rubber piece that inserts in your ear. I use the smallest, they fit great. The design is very NOT confusing on how you stick it in your ear initially and then you swivel it back in your ear and the rubber essentially locks in place in your ear. Top perks: 1) They truly do not fall out. I've gone to the gym, ran, lifted (listening to music), and walk around the house while cleaning or while running errands (talking on phone or listening to podcasts) - they NEVER fall out. 2) They have a speaker for phone calls. I'm on the phone a lot for work and appreciate having use of both hands during so it's awesome, and the volume is great. Person on other end of call can always hear me fine. 3) Great BOSE sound quality:). You can max the volume on your phone and max additionally high using buttons on the earbuds. 4) a) Excellent Bluetooth in my opinion. I'll be listening to a podcast at work and then walk to break room and I'll leave my phone in my office and have accidentally forgotten to take my earbuds out and realize oh my bad I still have them in and I'll still be able to hear my podcast clearly all the way to the break room and back haha it's awesome. b) You can be paired with multiple devices (not sure the max. I currently have paired with 3) and there's a button on the left earbud that enables you to easily click through all paired devices till you land on the one you want to connect with, just a nice convenient perk. 5. Come with a cool very durable and small easy to fit in pocket or purse case. Helps you keep track of the earbuds, plus contains like 5 battery life hours in addition to the 5 or so battery life hours that the earbuds hold, so you’re walking around with 10+ hours of battery life. 6. Apparently if several water (I guess like if it's raining) or sweat drips get on them, they will be fine. CONS (some might call these cons but they don't bother me): 1) "Bulky size/appearance". Personally, I value quality of performance and am super pleased with performance of these so I don't even notice the size. and I’m a considerably small person! 2) Technically when on a call you can only hear the person your speaking with's voice in the RIGHT-side earbud. Kind of an awkward detail but a) the volume and clarity of their voice is still so great in the right earbud that I could care less about the left being useless. b) I prefer 1 earbud in at a time anyway (unless I'm listening to music) so I extra don't mind. **Optional: You can spend an additional $30 for a 2 or 3-year (I forget) warranty so if you lose one or both or run over one with your car you can get it replaced for free. I went with the warranty.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Focus on the Positive Reviews

    Posted
    Erwin
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    When these wireless ear buds were released, I planned to be one of the very first adopters being a BOSE fan, but held off a bit to see how well it performs based on feedback. Then I started seeing negative feedback and reviews, and held off even longer, until now. I cannot get myself to like any of the other options out there for as long as they plug inside the ear canals. I hate the feeling of "suction" or pressure in the ear, the inability to talk normally and sense true loudness of your voice without removing the buds, and just the overall feel of having something inserted in the ears. Whenever I wear in-ear monitors for an hour, even at safe listening levels of maybe between 30%-40%, I feel my ears ringing at the end of a listening session. Makes me believe there is far more risk of long term hearing loss with prolonged use of in-ear (sealed)buds as all the sound pressure is sealed and trapped and just directed to the ear drum. That leaves me with just 2 options: the Apple Air Pods, and/or this Bose Soundsport Free. I have the air pods but feel they're really more for convenience & reliability rather than truly enjoying and appreciating music. They barely sit on the ears (good) and there is no seal (which meets my requirement), but then this results to thin nearly lifeless sound. I have almost all of the bose series of ear phones, including the Quiet Comfort 30 and the Soundsport Wireless, so I know this is exactly just the kind of ear buds I need and know I will be comfortable with. I like how it doesn't go all the way into the ear canals, sort of just rests short of the ear canals, and yet still create a seal to a certain extent. It doesn't totally block outside noise which I like, because I'm still able to hear ambient noise or pause music and talk to people. If I want total silence, I have my noise cancelling headphones for those and they're a different story. As I just wanted to use this while listening to music in the office (I hate wires), I went ahead and got these anyway regardless of the negative feedback. These buds suprised me and they meet (even exceeds) my expectations of how they are supposed to feel and sound like. The sound is typical bose nice warm sound that I have grown to love throughout the years, so no surprise there. Even without the perfect seal necessary for most other ear buds for you to hear bass, you certainly hear the bass with the Bose Soundsport Free. It is not overpowering, but blends in well with the overall sound landscape producing warm music that is very pleasing to listen to. I have been using it for 2 weeks now, and maybe just encountered the reported "disconnection of left ear" just once, but even then it was so momentary like 1 second that I didn't really care. If I stay in front of my computer here in the office, I can probably listen to it the entire day without encountering any disconnects - which is really the primary purpose of this ear buds for me. I did try to simulate all possible scenarios to force a disconnection and think managed in one of my attempts, but simply pressing the button on the LEFT earbud re-established connection easily and all was back to normal. You don't have to put them back on the case like some of the other feedback I've read. Maybe it also helps that when I paired the headphones to my phone, it showed that it was manufactured just 2 months ago (March 2019). It didn't even have to be updated as it already had the latest firmware. So I'm not sure if the latest makes are improved over the early ones from last year? It's just that I'm not encountering any disconnection issues as are mostly reported by others, and my experience so far is at 100% positive. I'm paired to an iPhone X, not sure if mileage varies between IOS and Android users. I very easily paired this to my Windows 10 laptop as well, and can listen to good stereo music that way too. Negatives: It doesn't bother me that only the right side is used for calls, I don't make lots of calls and when I do they are not long. And even if they get long, somehow it's still fine with me hearing in just one ear as it's not any different than just using the phone directly. The controls are indeed stiff as noted in other reviews, but it's minor gripe for me. You get used to it easily, plus the fact that I normally adjust tracks and volumes on my apple watch or directly on the phone which is just in front of me (in my particular usage scenario) There is indeed still some noticeable lag when watching videos. So if you watch a lot of videos and intend to use these ear buds, this may not be the right one for you and you would be disappointed. I just need this for music, so I can easily overlook this. Overall, I'm happy with finally just deciding to get this Bose Soundsport Free, it meets my needs and even exceeds some of my expectations on how it's supposed to sound.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Time to CUT THE CORD

    Posted
    BiggE
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I have to say these are AWESOME no more cord. Freedom Freedom from being tied down having the cord in the way our rubbing on you. These are light weight you can't tell that you have them in your ears. They are sleek design they are small they have great range. I'm impressed with these from the moment i put them on. i enjoy wearing them. So for the GOOD Sound Quality is just AWESOME they are so little but have such a big sound out of them. There really is a lot of deep bass that come from them you would think that you have a pair of over the ear headphones on. Range of these is great i have walked all over the gym and as long as you are in line of sight they will stay connected. The voice there is a prompt voice for when you put them on to let you know your connected and to what device and to let you know the battery life of the Bose. Light weight these are very light i can't tell that i have them in and they are also Sweat and Water Resistant that is great to have because they are not cheap but worth the money to buy. Charging cradle it's little and hold a long charge sleek. If you press the from latch on the cradle it will show you a light indicator that lets you know how much battery life is left i the cradle. That's cool so you don't have to plug your earbuds in to charge with the cord. Just place in the cradle and they will charge. NICE VERY NICE. The app is cool to have let's you connect to the earbuds now it wont let you change any of the sound like if you want to hear it in a pop sound or concert hall sound. But really how many times do you change the sound on these you wont have to the sound is perfect on any kind of music. You can take calls and give voice commands to the device. You can fast forward pause with the earbuds Now there was a little bad on these but nothing major... I did have the left earbud disconnect once or twice but that was easy to reconnect not that bad. I did have one person tell me that they heard and echo when we were on the phone so i did call other people and nobody else had the echo. Now watching a movie with these didn't work so well it was because there was a sound delay half a second or so the mouths were off i don't know if that' because the Bose app is running this that there is a delay. But the music is great. The only other thing is that you can wear just on of the earbuds in and charge the other the bad about that is the one you have to wear is the right one. If you put that on the charger it will disconnect and when I'm at work i can only wear one. One other good thing about these is there is a locate my device so if you lose them you can track them with the Bose app that is cool. I already have a friend going out this week to buy a pair they really liked them. I don't have Bose speakers i really never looked into getting Bose but after this product i'm interested in trying the next product. This is a but have if you need a great pair of earbuds you will be very impressed with these...ENJOY

    I would recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      Bose

      Thank you for your review; we are happy to hear that you like them so much! We have good news for you regarding the issue you mentioned. We know truly wireless headphones are subject to some latency between audio and video, but the feedback we received indicated that the product wasn’t performing how we expected.

      A SoundSport Free software update is now available to improve audio-video synchronization for most customers and use situations.  You can download the new software wirelessly through the Bose Connect app or by visiting btu.bose.com on your computer.  This update will benefit customers with Bluetooth devices that fully support Audio Video Distribution Transport Protocol (AVDTP) version 1.3 or later.  We have confirmed Apple iPhones and iPads use this protocol and we continue to evaluate other popular Bluetooth devices.  Audio-video synchronization may also vary depending on the mobile app being viewed (e.g. Netflix, YouTube).  We encourage customers to use the most recent software for your mobile apps, Bluetooth devices, and Bose headphones.   

      If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact us directly at our Customer Support Line at 1-800-379-2073. We're open Mon-Fri, 9 AM to 8 PM. Or you can follow us on Twitter @BoseService. Bose

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    BOSE Clearly at the Top of Their Game - Again

    Posted
    BADog
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member
    • Top 50 ContributorTop 50 Contributor

    DISCLAIMER: These earbuds have been tested using a Samsung Note 8, Samsung Galaxy S7 Plus, and a Windows 7 laptop. BOSE continues to be on top of their game. These wireless headphones are truly completely wireless and sound great. PROS: • NO wires, not even connecting to each earbud. This eliminates getting hung on collars and mere wire annoyance. • Incredible sound. All frequency ranges are covered well and bass hits when needed. • Easy BT connectivity. Easy to connect via the Bose Connect app. • Earbuds charge magnetically via battery charging case for on-the-go charging (2 full extra charging cycles). Since these buds don’t last but 4-5 hours, they may need to be charged on the go when you don’t have a power connection. Instead of having to bring a backup charging battery, the case IS that battery. The case is slightly bigger than a roll of quarters. • Good BT range. If staying in “line-of-sight”, BT (bluetooth) range was good up to around 50’. However, once a wall was encountered, 25-30’ was the max (normal BT range). • Battery indicators on both the battery case and earbuds when case is opened. Each white dot on the front of the case represents 20% of battery life on the case itself. When opened, each bud has a white light that signifies if it is charging or not. Simple concept…. • Automatic BT pairing after removing from case. You don’t have to put the earbuds in pairing mode – it’s automatic. If it’s already paired with a device in range, it automatically connects and states what it’s connected to in the right earbud by spelling out the device name. • Case locks shut – the case shouldn’t open if dropped. As a matter of fact, you have to press the button completely in all the way before it will open… that’s a slight con. A magnetic case closure seems to be a better idea, however it would likely pop open if dropped. • FIND MY EARBUDS!!! If you lose an earbud (or 2), they have GPS built-in so you can find them using the BOSE connect app – assuming they are still powered up. • Tight fit. They won’t come out of your ear when running, jumping, and other normal activities. CONS: • BT antennas can act flakey. While wearing, I can cup my hand over the earbud or put my hand on the side of my head at times, and the covered ear may cut out its sound. It’s a bit strange given the fact that the earbud’s signal to the other earbud goes through your head – but covering it up causing the sound to go out sometimes. • Buttons slightly tough to press. The main vol/select buttons on the right ear are durable but slightly hard to depress. This is not a huge deal, but having a slightly easier button to press would be nice. • After a long time, earbuds can become slightly uncomfortable in ear. After about an hour, you may need to take out of your ear to give your ear a break and then put them back in. The monotonous feeling in the ear where the wing is can cause a little discomfort. • No wall charger included. With the money spent on any BOSE product, a wall charger should be provided. There isn’t always a computer handy with USB ports, and you may want to charge the case up somewhere not by a computer. If you have plenty of other devices that comes with USB wall chargers, this obviously isn’t a problem unless they are also being used. • Phone calls are right earbud only. I have a couple other brands (wired and wireless) where calls are in stereo – much more comfortable to listen to and doesn’t overload one ear. • Volume levels vary per device. This was tricky. When testing on a Note 8, the volumes of the earbuds (BOSE app) were aligned with the volume of the Note 8 itself. That was fine because everything was synced up. However, when using the Samsung Galaxy S7 Plus, the volumes of the app and the volume of the phone (media) did not sync up at all. In this state, the S7 was actually able to increase the volume dB level about 2-3 more pushes of the volume increase button on the earbuds. In the end, the MAXIMUM VOLUME WAS LOUDER USING THE S7 PLUS THAN USING THE NOTE 8. Of course, if you don’t have multiple platforms to test between, you’d never know that. I am not certain of the volume levels when paired with Apple devices. • Still a little large in size. The earbuds poke out of your ear quite a bit but luckily stays secure with the wing attachments. With the technology and batteries in each piece, I’m not sure how much smaller they can go and still have battery life that is desired. • Only 2 colors available right now – 1) black 2) blue. If you want anything else, you may appear out of luck unless a new color is released. Overall, one of the best set of wireless earbud sets around, if not THE best. The construction of the earbuds appear well built as it was with its predecessor. I can’t confirm how well they work with wetness/sweat as I generally don’t wear them for that purpose. However, not having a wire flinging around or attached to your clothing has to be a plus. I highly recommend! Great job, BOSE!

    I would recommend this to a friend