Bose SoundSport Pulse Reviewed & Rated

Bose is an American-based company that has been around since 1964. They are known around the world for their home audio systems as well as their speakers, car stereos and more. When it comes to their offering for headphones, Bose is often head of the curve when it comes to incorporating the newest technology into their products. They manufacture noise canceling options as well as wireless and sports headphones and even aviation headsets. Today we’re going to take a look at the Bose SoundSport Pulse Bluetooth headphones. These are designed to be a sports headphone, made to be worn during long and grueling workouts. The Bose SoundSport Pulse provides users with sweat and weather resistance, making them a great choice for runners or athletes who like to take their workouts outside in all different types of inclement weather. Perhaps the most interesting feature is that they provide users with live heart rate readings. This is an interesting development in the world of headphones and Bose hits a home run with how they tackled this technology. The heart rate sensor is surprisingly accurate and is definitely a bonus for the serious exerciser. Let’s take a bit of a deeper dive and see what else the SoundSport Pulse has to offer users and if they’re worth the hefty price tag.

Join our private, growing community of passionate runners.

Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons

-Intuitive controls
-Cord clip keeps headphones from swaying
-Crisp sound quality
-Heart rate tracking
-App connectivity


-Some issues with the Bose app

Key Features
The Bose SoundSport Pulse wireless headphones were designed to be the go-to option for fitness aficionados. They feature a built-in heart rate sensor that allows users to be able to track how hard they are working as they work towards their fitness goals. Each pair of the Bose SoundSport Pulse is also sweat-proof, making them a perfect choice for folks who get more than a little sweaty during their workouts. They can feel a little bulky, especially on longer runs, but the earbuds don't come out of your ears as you run so, we can’t complain too much.
Basic Features
As any pair of decent sports headphones should be, the Bose SoundSport Pulse are sweat resistant. This means that the sensitive electronic components won’t be damaged by your sweat, no matter how hard you’re working during your workouts. That said, they are not waterproof and should not be submerged in water. They feature a hydrophobic cloth that will resist sweat and the weather-proof design ensures you are able to take your workout out in the elements without destroying your investment.

Another basic feature offered with these headphones is the inline microphone and remote. Now users will not need to find their device to pause or begin playback, adjust the volume of their music or even to answer or end their phone calls.
Advanced Features
The integrated heart rate sensor from PerformTek will let users access the important data they need in real time right from their ear. The sensor is located in the left earpiece so it’s important that users ensure they have the right sized earbud in order to ensure the accuracy of their readings. You will receive feedback about your heart rate in accordance with the fitness app you decide to use. Some apps are more in-depth and allow users to set their target heart rate and even input interval workouts. We found the accuracy of the heart rate sensor to be pretty bang-on for a sensor that measures from the ear. It was only 3-5 beats per minute off from our chest strap which is more than accurate enough for most users needs.
Sound Quality
Bose has carved a name for themselves when it comes to well-performing and high-quality audio equipment, so we weren’t surprised to see the Bose SoundSport Pulse meets these expectations. Hardcore audiophiles may not appreciate the bass that is offered here, but it serves a purpose to provide users with a deeply immersive listening experience. All of this said, we did find the higher end to be missing some clarity but it wasn’t a deal breaker for us at all. Another great feature of the Bose SoundSport Pulse headphones is that they utilize a volume-optimized EQ. This means that they are designed to provide a balanced sound no matter what volume you’re listening to.

The SoundSport Pulse consistently performs well when it comes to the sound quality provided. They give users a rich listening experience with powerful bass and full tones. These qualities are especially helpful when you’re running outside in a noisy environment or need to drown out the sounds of grunting gym bros or thudding weights in the gym.
If you pride yourself on having the newest devices that technology can offer, you are probably going to love the SoundSport Pulse. These Bose SoundSport Pulse headphones support both Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC connectivity which means that you will be able to stream your music or podcasts from any of your Bluetooth-enabled devices. The NFC technology allows you to be able to simply tap your device to the inline remote for instant connection. We never had any issues at all with audio dropping out, which can sometimes be an issue with Bluetooth headphones. They connect easily and, more importantly, they stay connected.

Users of Android and iOS smartphones are able to download the Bose Connect app to use alongside their headphones. This app allows them to access their real-time heart rate statistics as well as track their workouts to see how their fitness levels are progressing over time. Other popular fitness apps like Strava and MapMyRun are also compatible with the SoundSport Pulse. Though the Bose app is only capable of reading your heart rate information live and not able to record the changes during your workouts, pairing these with one of the aforementioned fitness apps will provide more meaningful data over time.
These headphones feature Bose’s StayHear+ Pulse technology that is designed to provide unprecedented comfort for users. The proprietary design of these ensures that they not only stay put as their name suggests but also provide a degree of in-ear stability which is especially useful during running workouts. The earbuds offer a gentle seel that is extremely comfortable. They are made from a silicone material that is washable and durable. Because of the way the tips are designed, they are able to spread contact with your ear evenly, adding to the overall feeling of comfort, while also reducing the likelihood of irritating pressure points in your ear. We found the StayHear+ tips to live up to their claims of staying put, for the most part, something that a lot of other similar style headphones struggle with. We did find that because of the bulky design of the earbud body, during longer (and sweatier) workouts, the buds did tug a bit and required some readjustments to keep them inside the ears and feeling comfortable.
While these headphones could benefit from being smaller, thus a bit less bulky, they aren’t a terrible looking option. The earbuds themselves are normal size and are made of a squishy rubber that slides right into the ear without any problems. It’s the body of the earbuds where the size concerns come in. As soon as you open the box, the overall size of the product can be quite surprising. The body is thick and we found them to stick out of the ears awkwardly. Though when we consider the benefits that this product provides, the appearance should be the least of your concerns. These come in three different color variations – aqua, citron or power red.
The SoundSport Pulse headphones are extremely durable, though we have come to expect nothing less from a company as well-respected as Bose. When you purchase these, a warranty card comes in the box and will cover you for one year but we really don’t think you’ll need it.
Ease of Use
The Bose SoundSport Plus is incredibly easy to operate the device. Pairing is a breeze with the Bluetooth 4.2 technology and is made even easier for users whose devices support NFC pairing. The inline microphone and remote are simple and very intuitive to use. The addition of this remote was a great decision by Bose because users will no longer need to pull their smartphones out to answer incoming calls or to access their music controls. All the tools they need are right there on the inline remote. Because there are no wires around the neck, the Bose SoundSport Pulse headphones are extremely easy to deal with and are a breeze to wear and keep on.
Power Source
This product is equipped with a built-in and rechargeable lithium-ion battery that is meant to provide around five hours of battery life on a full charge. It takes around two hours to charge the headphones to full battery. While this battery life doesn’t sound outstanding on paper, we must remember that these are sports headphones made to be used during your workouts. Five-Hour battery life can then last users for about five one-hour gym sessions, or around a week or so of use. If you find that the battery is nearly depleted, however, a quick fifteen-minute pre-workout charger will give you an hours worth of listening time. Not a bad trade-off, we think.
There is no beating around the bush, these headphones are an investment. With a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of around $250.00, you may need to save up to purchase these. We think that the value provided with this product really does make it a worthwhile purchase, however. That said, savvy consumers may be likely to find this product for much lower than the MSRP by searching online. At the time of publication, we were able to find the Bose SoundSport Pulse for anywhere between $150 and $200 on Amazon.
Key Features
-Bose StayHear+ Pulse earbud tips ensure a secure and comfortable fit for even your most grueling workouts
-Connection to the Boss Connect app which will provide real-time heart rate data
-Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC pairing
-Compatible with other popular fitness apps like RunKeeper, Runtastic, and Strava
-30-foot wireless range
-5 hours of battery life
-Sweat-resistant and weather-proof
-Great, clear sound quality
Bottom Line
The Bose SoundSport Pulse is a great set of headphones. One of the only drawbacks we could see is the bulky design of the earbud body, which we honestly overlooked because we loved the other features of these more than we care about how we look with them on. Another drawback was the price tag. But, remember, if you’re a savvy shopper you can find these for a much more affordable price tag if you search on Amazon! The battery life provided here was questionable, especially considering the cost of the headphones. But if you plan on using these as they are intended – as a sports headphone – you should find that you get about a weeks worth of life out of one charge if your workouts are about sixty minutes in length. We didn’t find the battery life to be a deal breaker for us, though.

We loved the amazing sound quality they provide and that they are compatible with some of our favorite fitness apps we already use on the daily. What we think sets these apart from other similarly priced headphones on the market is that heart rate reading function. Although we love our wrist-based fitness tracker, we find that the heart rate readings with those to be wildly inaccurate sometimes, especially when we compare them to the readings we get from our chest strap monitors. With these Bose SoundSport Pulse headphones, the accuracy of the heart rate readings is nearly bang-on, something that thoroughly impressed us. So, yes, you’re going to pay a hefty price for these but the value and outstanding durability that they provide makes them more than worth the price tag.
Where to Buy
By Abbie Copeland
Last updated:
Where to buy
Best offer on: Aug. 05. 2021

Join our private, growing community of passionate runners

Inside RunnerClick Pro, runners of all strengths come together to meet and support one another, get answers to burning questions, learn from experts, participate in personal challenges, and more.