There’s no doubt that these headphones are built for sweat sessions. They’re sturdy, sweat and water
resistant, and come with special fittings to keep them tightly secure in the ear. There’s no need to worry about these falling out midway through a run or treadmill
The headphones come with a few essential accessories including a portable charging case, special earbud tips, and a USB cable for charging. The carrying case features a magnetic interior which helps keep the earbuds firmly in place while you’re on the move
. There are also LED lights to display the power left in the charger. The individual ear tips are unique StayHear+ tips, and they come in three sizes, small, medium, and large.
The wireless headphones are relatively basic
, so there aren’t too many advanced features of note. They are Bluetooth enabled and work with the Bose smartphone application. With the app, you can actually track the headphones if you misplace them. It’s basically a Find My iPhone functionality but for your audio device. The headphones also feature built-in controls that can be found on the earpiece.
Reviewers say that the headphones offer decent noise
blocking, but they are an earbud, so some noise will naturally leak in. Some reviewers noted that the sound leaks were so bad in louder environments that they could barely hear, though this was not a universal complaint.
Most reviewers described the headphone sound quality as on par when compared to other Bose products. One drawback mentioned by users, however, was that the connection between the earbuds wasn’t always reliable. Dropouts were an issue for some, and although they re-connect instantaneously on most occasions, it’s a really annoying issue. Many reviewers characterized the sound-quality of the Bose headphones as better than the Apple Air Pods.
The headphones are Bluetooth enabled, and they work with the Bose Connect app (iOS and Android). Users can also use the Find My Buds feature if they download the app. This allows them to find the headphones (if they’re within range) should they lose
or misplace them.
Most reviewers noted that the Bluetooth connection to their smartphones was good, but some did mention that they experienced issues with dropouts, usually with one earbud dropping out over the other. Since the myriad of complaints came out about this issue, Bose released a firmware update, and the problem seems to be resolved (for most). One issue that seems to be ever present is that when watching and listening to videos, the sound is a bit finicky and not always in sync.
The headphones come with StayHear+ Sports tips. These feature an outer fin that helps the headphones to stay put inside the ear. Extra winged tips are included for security and to help keep the earbuds in place.
Here’s the thing, while the headphones fit very well and probably won’t fall out no matter how hard your HIIT
workout is, many reviewers didn’t find the Free's super comfortable and found them tough to wear for long periods of time. They are lightweight, but users said that they could definitely feel these sitting in their ear. There’s no doubt that these are super secure, though, compared to other wireless headphone designs.
The SoundSports feature a chunky design and are not very discreet. They are, however, classier than the Apple Air Pods. They have a glossy finish and come in triple black, midnight blue, or bright orange. Overall, the look of the headphones is very sporty and athletic
The sport-specific SoundSport Frees are sweat and water-resistant.
Reviewers reported that they felt very durable. The chunky design isn’t likely to crack or break, and they feel pretty substantial for a simple pair of earbuds sans wire.
Ease of Use
The right earpiece in this headset has buttons to control music
. You can find the buttons on the top part of the earpiece. Changing songs or adjusting volume feels more futuristic than natural but that’s the tradeoff for a true wireless design. The buttons work and are reasonably responsive, but not everyone liked the feel of them. Some reviewers described them as finicky and tacky. Others found it difficult to distinguish between the different controls.
The headphones have a maximum 5-hour battery life, which, truth be told isn’t that exceptional for the price. Thankfully, the SoundSports come with a portable case. It also works as a portable charger and can hold up to 10 hours of extra juice, which is enough to power
up the headphones twice. With the case, the merger 5-hour battery life doesn’t seem half bad.
One issue with the headphones is that there’s no power button. Instead, if you’re a forgetful person, you’ll need to access the sleep timer via the Bose Sound app to have them shut off after a certain period of time. It’s an okay solution but a little annoying that there’s an extra step involved in turning them off. That and not everyone will remember or want to make an effort to set the sleep
These Bose brand headphones are quite expensive. For the sound quality, though, the price seems fair. Functionality and design-wise, however, the price is kind of steep. Since the release of the headphones, the listing price has since been lowered by Bose but is still reasonably high.
- StayHear+ Sport Tips for a secure fit (available in multiple sizes)
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Compatible with the Bose Sound app
- Built-in earpiece controls
- Water-resistant IPX4
- Wireless design
- Comes with a portable charging case
- USB cable
- Rechargeable battery
- 5-hour max battery life
For the workout nut who also happens to be an audiophile, these headphones provide high-quality audio for a decent price. They’re not perfect, however. Some users have encountered annoying drop-out issues with these expensive headphones, which is a massive disappointment for a wireless device. Still, the Bose SoundSport Free headphones offer a very secure fit that will fit on all ears looking to get in a good workout
. Okay, maybe your ears aren’t the one pumping iron, but if you’ve run into issues in the past with other wireless earbuds, it’s likely that these will solve your fit problems. The ear tips come in varying sizes, so you’re likely to find one that fits, and the headphones come with special fittings for extra security if you need and want it. Battery life isn’t remarkable, but the charging case’s power bank abilities make up for it. The headphones are also IPX4 rated and can handle coming into contact with your sweaty body