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Good comfort, audio quality and versatilityPosted
In my experience, there are two types of people in the world: people who care a great deal about the sound quality of the things to which they listen, and then everyone else. The first group of people know the difference between a good and bad set of earbuds, and they know the importance of testing audio equipment that they are going to spend some money on. And they spend money on their headphones…they won’t hesitate to drop $100 on some ear buds, $200 on some decent on-ear or over-ear headphones, and if money were no option would be first in line to spend $500 or more on professional quality studio headphones. And for those who think that spending $500 on a nice pair of headphones is craziness, stop reading this RIGHT NOW and Google how much studio headphones will run a professional DJ or sound technician. Then come back and realize that $500 is not that much money. OK, now that we’ve aligned our expectations, let’s talk about what everyone needs. Yes, I used that word. First, you need a good all-purpose basic ear bud with a decent inline mic. These are your every day buds, what you carry with you from place to place just in case you want to jam out to some Bushwalla while you ride the bus downtown, or when you go out for an impromptu walk during your lunch break at work. The occasional conference call on your way home (if you don’t have a solid in-car bluetooth setup) is easily managed by your go-to-bud. Next, you need a pair of decent studio headphones. These are typically over-the-ear or on-ear; they have a great feel to them and put out some serious sound. These are the headphones you’ll use when binge-watching Dexter on your laptop or tablet, and while they might have a cord, they’re not an inconvenience. And, there are a LOT of these out there—many name brands and other not-so-well-known brands that get you similar or better performance for less coin. Most people can survive on those two…but in 2016, we need a good wireless option: mowing the lawn, going for a jog, or even for one of the above occasions where I just don’t want to use studio phones or my go-to-buds. What then? The product is the Bose Soundsport Wireless Headphones, one of Bose’s entries into active wireless audio tech. The unboxing was an absolute joy…I think good money spent on good technology should also allow the buyer a good “unpacking” experience. The design of the packaging is simple yet satisfying, as if Bose really focused on this aspect of the product. I had to cut two small pieces of tape, and the rest of the package could be pulled open within a minute of that, and in that minute no additional ripping/tearing/cutting was required. It is sensible packaging with good heft. A handful of years ago I received as a Christmas present Bose’s basic earbud offering (before in-line microphones were important) and they served me well until one day the cable finally separated from one of the buds. It was heart-breaking. In any case, back then I immediately fell in love with the bud design, which I am pleased to say has been maintained years later. I have tried MANY ear buds, wireless or not, and none have come close to the comfort or ease of use as Bose’s buds. It’s also worth noting that these things do not flop out of your ears…ever. Initially, I was concerned at the size of the back side of the buds….presumably where the battery and much of the speaker technology is supported…they seemed a bit on the large side and I was concerned about their weight…but once you get them in your ears, you can wear these things for hours on end without ear fatigue or discomfort. And, once you get used to using this type of bud with the grips that Bose provides, you will find it very easy to put them in your ears. Now let’s get to the good stuff: how do they sound?? They’re good…and for their size and the fact that they’re wireless, they’re borderline great. Forget about their competitors…I’m more interested in describing how they compete with what I feel are the other headphones you might be looking to replace with these: The “average” user, the one who sports Apple’s EarPods because they came with the latest iPhone, will love these…in terms of sound, they far surpass anything the less-expensive wired buds can achieve. The “studio” user, who looks to spend several hundred or even thousands of dollars on a good pair of headphones shouldn’t expect these to replace studio gear. Bose, on most of their offerings, does a great job at under-playing their lows, so any hip hop or bass-intense pop tracks leave something to be desired. They do an adequate job…but these aren’t going to replace your studio headphones for binge-watching Netflix or jamming out to anything bass-heavy. If you don’t have really particular tastes, or you like to listen to treble-heavy music, these will be perfect for you. Bose does well presenting very genuine-sounding audio from their headphones, and this product is no exception to that. Acoustics and vocals are excellent. But beyond their sound output, these buds have some additional things to offer that are a bit out of the norm for what I’ll over-simplify and label as “exercise” earbuds: These particular headphones can pair with multiple bluetooth devices, and swapping back and forth from one to the other is pretty quick. I can pause a song on my iPhone and press play on my Macbook, and the music picks up within a second or two…there is virtually no lag. This isn’t a tremendously important feature, but I could see someone transitioning quickly from one to the other and getting frustrated with lengthy pairing processes. With these, there’s not much to worry about there. Also, for buds designed to be worn during exercise, these are amazingly easy to use and hassle free. They have decent battery life, maybe 6 hours or so, long enough to get through the trip to and from the gym, along with a decent workout between. And they stay in place. The first 5 miles I ran with them, they didn’t fall out once. They get adequately loud to cover a running lawnmower, but quiet enough if you’re running outdoors that you would still be able to hear traffic around you, or other fit-minded individuals on the same trail as you. The in-line controls are big and clunky and easy to grip and manipulate while running…and as I said before, once you get used to putting them in, you can do it with ease while in motion, as the previously-mentioned larger back section of the buds are ideally sized for fingers and hands of all sizes. Probably the biggest surprise in these, for me, was the in-line microphone. I don’t have particularly high expectations when it comes to in-line microphones, and I’ll admit that Apple’s EarPods have spoiled me in that department: they are surprisingly great for the occasional phone call while on the move. I “accidentally” joined a conference call while using these, and sought out feedback from the people on the call at the time—no one had any complaints about poor audio quality; no one complained that I sounded like I was under water, or that there was excessive road noise while I was driving home. I have since tested with others, who all complimented the quality of the sound on their end. So, I’ve covered the “what,” but let’s talk about “who.” I think these are a must-buy for those who like to listen to music while they work out—whether that be running, walking, weight lifting…they are low-maintenance, easy to operate while in motion, have decent battery life, and have good volume range depending on your taste. If you actively use your Apple EarPods, you should seriously consider getting a pair of these…they can do everything Apple’s wired buds can, but they’re wireless. What’s not to like? If you don’t work out, don’t mow your lawn, and really only listen to music or watch movies with a pair of studio over-the-ear headphones, these won’t change your life…that is, unless you use their cost as motivation to get yourself to work out more. And, for the business-savvy folks out there: If your office phone supports bluetooth headsets, this is a great multi-purpose option for work use that you will also be able to use outside of the office. I have been waiting for some time for Bose to release a good pair of in-ear wireless headphones, and these fit the bill perfectly. The battery life is fine, they charge in 60-90 minutes, and it will take some time for Bose to release the next generation. And, these are not my first Bose product: they should serve you well for at least a couple of years if not longer. The only thing I can’t really figure out is why you haven’t already bought them. These are a no-brainer for at least half of the headphone-using market out there, and half of the remaining population could justify it easily because they do such a great job multi-tasking as a great all around headphone. For comfort, audio quality and versatility, these easily earn 4 out of 5 stars. Improved battery life and slightly better bass performance would get them a fifth star. This is another solid release by the team at Bose.
I would recommend this to a friend
Best all around but need improvementsPosted
The design of the packaging was simple yet refined. One way to describe it is like unboxing an Apple product. It seems modern and sleek and just a pleasure to unwrap to see what treasure lies beneath. The packaging wasn’t cumbersome; you did not have to untie a million plastic/metal ties or separate plastic to unleash the awaiting prize. The package included the ear phones, a set of small and large ear tips to go with the medium ones already on the device along with a carrying case. At first glance these Bluetooth wireless buds looked to be bulky to include the in-line mic/volume device and heavy like a pair of cheap knockoffs I had previously ordered off of Amazon. One note on the knockoff QY7’s is that the sound quality and battery life were really not that bad, especially for the very little money that they were purchased for. The QY7’s felt bulky, heavy and made my ears hurt and feel tired after about 30 min. I picked them up and surprisingly they felt very light albeit still bulky comparted to the Jaybird Bluebuds that I have and use as well. I left the original size medium ear tips on and placed them into my ears. They are the MOST COMFORTABLE ear buds that I have ever worn. I have used these for 2 months now. I work out 6-7 days a week doing Crossfit and training for marathons. So, I can say that I have spent many hours a week with these in my ears and they have never given me that hurting or “heavy” feeling all the other Bluetooth earbuds have in the past. On caveat that is a drawback for me is that when I work out especially in the winter; I wear a microfiber beanie hat. With these in my ears the bulkiness of them becomes a drawback leading to uncomfortableness from size if these pushing on my inner ear from the beanie. I have the Jaybirds that have a smaller form factor and do not do this when I wear the beanie. I also want to note that these NEVER fall out of my ears and I NEVER have to readjust them during exercise which is a HUGE plus for me. Just a side note; the apple earbuds DO NOT stay in my ears at all!! I have to mess with them the whole time when exercising, in fact, if they are the only ones in my gym bag I go WITHOUT!! The material seems to be hard plastic and soft rubbery plastic that overall feels top end and has given me no issues thus far. I sweat profusely and have had no issues with sweat altering the performance of these headphones. The added clip to attach them to your shirt seems to work as intended but for me most of the time it pulls from the wire and stays on my shirt if I do not get a good grip on the actual clip. The in-line mic and volume button has worked flawlessly for me to this point. The negative for is that it is extremely bulky as if there were a separate battery stored in there or something. I find that because of its size and heaviness it swings back and forth when I run and it can get super annoying on long runs. I don’t really notice it when doing Crossfit or lifting. The structure has held up fine with no malfunctioning parts or rips or tears as of yet. The reported sound quality of the mic from people that I have called has seemed to be good even when I am running or in the car with windows down. Connecting these headphones to my devices was easy and painless. You can be connected to 2 devices at one time which is pretty cool. The other plus for me is that the range is outstanding. When in the gym this is awesome thing. It makes it so I don’t have to take my phone around the gym with me. I have a gym with a track around it and I can go do a lap and come back and never lose a connection. I bet it is over a 100ft away at the far end of the track. The battery life is probably on the low end of average. You would think with the size of the earbuds and in-line mice with volume controls it would be at least 8 hours if not 10. I can almost get 4 days out of one charge, if I don’t watch Netflix or anything like that at night. One feature on the battery is that when you turn them on they have a voice that tells you how much battery life you have remaining and it is always rounded to the nearest 10%. So, if you actually had 96% battery life it would say; you have 90% battery life remaining. To some it may not be annoying but for me I want to know exactly. Sound quality is as to be expected by Bose. It is very clear and even feeling. The highs are not too high and mids are perfectly balanced and the base is not super bassy (is that even a word). I think that someone that likes a lot of bass might be disappointed but for me it is perfect. A couple things to note is that these are not noise cancelling and are not marketed to be. These seem to have the perfect balance of passive noise meaning that when I’m running I am totally immersed into the music but when a car comes near I can still hear it. Which I find amazing!! Another thing to note is that the volume doesn’t get overly loud. What I mean by that is that it does get loud but you cannot make it SUPER loud, like it has a limit or cap on how loud you can make it. For me it seems to be just ok but I would like to have the option to make it a little louder. One last thing on sound I would like to mention is that when I’m home relaxing and I watch TV on my Ipad with my children running around I like to leave one earphone out so I can make sure I can hear everything in the house incase I’m needed. So, with that said with one earphone in the Bose experience diminishes and is less than average on the sound quality. There is some kind of “magic” that happens when both ear pieces are in but with only one the “magic” is simply gone. Conclusions: Finally, Bose has entered the sporty Bluetooth headphone world!! Overall not bad but Bose has a lot of work to do especially at this price point. Almost wish I would have waited for the second version. The Good: Probably the best pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones I own. The sound is amazing. Fits and stays in my ear. Super easy to pair with my other devices. The Bluetooth range is outstanding. Super lightweight although looks bulky. The Bad: The price is on the high side for what you get compared to the current competition. Not so comfortable when wearing a beanie hat. Super bulky ear pieces and in-line mic. With only one earpiece in the sound is not that great! The Bose app really doesn’t really do anything. The battery life is marginal for this price point.
I would recommend this to a friend
Thank you for your detailed review. We appreciate your enthusiasm for the comfort and stability of the ear tips as well as the sound quality when wearing both ear pieces. We'd be happy to forward your feedback points for future product consideration.
Expected Bose Quality - Detailed ReviewPosted
For several years now, Bose headphones have been a staple in our household. It began with the Bose QC15 over-ear noise canceling headphones. That purchase made us spoiled by great sound and discontent with any lesser pair of speakers of any type. So, could Bose duplicate their incredibly high audio standard on a small pair of wireless and rugged in-ear headphones? The answer is, absolutely! That said, the Bose SoundSport Wireless may not be for everyone. There are trade-offs that you should know about before you buy. I have had my pair for a couple of weeks now. Here are the details of my experience with the headphones... SOUND QUALITY The sound quality is absolutely fantastic. To describe it with just one word, the sound is RICH! There is a quality depth and warmth to the music that is better than I have ever heard on Bluetooth in-ear headphones. The music also comes across very detailed and dynamic. The high notes on a guitar tickle my ears while a deep bass line has more than enough punch to get me jiving. If you are new to Bose, you will be thrilled with the sound quality. If you already own other Bose speakers, then you will appreciate that the company's rich sound signature has not been lost on this wireless pair of sport headphones. FIT & COMFORT The Stay Hear ear tips do an amazing job of, well, actually staying in your ears. I also have a pair of Bose QC20 headphones with the same type of tips. With nearly two years of use, the ear pieces have NEVER fallen out with the QC20's. Not even when the wire is caught and tugged. Thus far, my experience has been the same with the new SoundSport. They have never fallen out. Plus there is no tethered wire to worry about getting caught on something. Perfect for activity. While jogging, washing the car and other various activities the headphones just stay in with no adjustment. The silicon tips are also very comfortable though not as soft as those on the QC20. I assume that the extra heft is to hold the additional weight that the SoundSport earpieces have. Understandable as the earpieces house a battery, Bluetooth antenna, buttons and other electronics. It is surprising that they still feel as comfortable and natural in the ear as they do. BLUETOOTH Pairing was straight-forward on my iPhone, iPad and iMac. I love that they are NFC enabled. The Bluetooth range is fairly great. I can leave my phone in one place and walk anywhere in our two story 2500 sq foot home without a dropout. When listening away from home (phone in a pocket), I also have never experienced even a hiccup in the connection. My only difficulty with the Bluetooth turned out to be something I appreciate. Let me explain.... once paired, the headphones automatically connect to the last two devices they were paired with. When you first power on the headphones, if one of those two devices is not in range, then the headphones find and reconnect to any other previously paired device. This is great, but for me it worked almost too well. One time I powered on the headphones to listen to music on my iPhone only to find music playing from the iMac that my wife was using. So, my wife wondered why her music was no longer audible on her computer and I was confounded by the mystery music on my headset. This type of scenario happened a couple of times and became very annoying until we downloaded the Bose connect App. With the App, we can now easily tell the headphones which device we want connected. Presently, I have grown to appreciate how "sticky" the Bluetooth pairing is. I have never had to re-pair anything and I can easily switch between devices using the Connect App. By the way, the App also automatically updates the firmware on the headphones when needed. Nice! DURABILITY I read several older reviews where people had faulty units with a malfunctioning earpiece overtime. I also read somewhere that Bose found the issue and fixed the problem in its latest production. I have had no issue with my pair. Everything feels solid and built for abuse. By the way, the included neoprene case feels incredibly seamless and protects the headphones very well. BATTERY LIFE Bose states that the headphones get up to six hours battery life per charge. I have found this to be fairly accurate. The battery has never died on me mid-workout. Neither have I ever been surprised when they do need charging because of the voice prompt that announces the battery with each power on. Still, consider that they are yet another thing to charge. For me, a welcome confession to be able to exercise wire free. CONCLUSION In the end, I am very happy with the Bose SoundSport Wireless. The bottom-line is that they sound fantastic, are comfortable, they stay in place and keep a reliable Bluetooth connection. If you are in the market for workout ready headphones - I highly recommend the SoundSport Wireless. I expect to enjoy mine for years to come.
I would recommend this to a friend