Bose SoundSport Free True Wireless review

The heir to SoundSport Wireless is one of the best exclusive models in the true wireless segment.
(Updated on September 15, 2021)

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Rating

Pros

Cons

Box Contents

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Bose SoundSport Free earbuds

7.8

  • Exceptional sound quality

  • IPX4 sweat and water-resistant

  • Steady Bluetooth connection

  • Weak noise isolation

  • Looks huge

  • Earbuds

  • Charging case

  • StayHear+ eartips

  • Micro USB charging cable

Our Conclusion

The Bose SoundSport Free earbuds offer a great fit. Using headphones without having to worry about cable/s can be a freeing experience. Something that you’ll notice at once is how bulky these earbuds are; but once you get past that you’ll welcome the varied sound signature which is worth boasting about.

When it comes to truly wireless earbuds, they all have some shortcomings like mic quality, fit, battery life, and some fields they excel at. Regardless there’s plentiful room for growth.

Bose SoundSport Free black earbuds 2

The Bose SoundSport Free is the new successor of the Bose SoundSport Wireless which was launched in 2016.

Since the launch of the Bose SoundSport Wireless, there have been improvements in the area of the sound quality of the true wireless earbuds. Including IPX4 water resistance and a solid fit. The housings surrounding the drivers are huge and do stand out but they wouldn’t affect your listening experience.


What’s the Build Quality of the Bose SoundSport Free like?

Bose Soundsport Free True Wireless review

The construction of the Bose SoundSport Free is made from high-grade plastic making it quite durable. As it contains the word ‘sport’ in its name you would be right to expect it to come equipped with IPX4 water and sweat resistance approval and high-grade materials.

This makes it possible to withstand most workout sessions. The material construction of the charging case is robust too. The charging case also allows you to fully charge your earbuds a couple of times which isn’t that impressive, considering its size-to-battery ratio.

Within the box, you’ll find the charging case with the SoundSport Free earbuds itself, a micro USB charging cable, two pairs of StayHear+ eartips. Upon wearing them, the fit due to the StayHear+ ear tips feels solid.


How’s the Look and Feel of the Bose SoundSport Free?

Bose SoundSport Free earbuds

The SoundSport Free does have a unique look and by unique I mean it looks absurdly huge. I’m starting to think this was intentional, to play a joke on their customers, or maybe not.

In any case, they extend out from the ear and look odd. The wingtips are flexible, soft and grip the inside of the ear quite well.

The background noises enter the ear despite the best efforts of the earbuds, but this works in favour of people that work out in environments where it’s crucial to know your surroundings. This makes them safer by improving the users’ situational awareness.


Connectivity and Fit

The two enclosed LED indicators to light up when the earbuds are inserted into the charging case. The Bose’s SoundSport Free reconnect in a flash and are easy to pair. The stability of the connection is faulty and sometimes causes interruptions.

This is usual for other wireless earbuds as well which needs to be improved upon. Because these earbuds don’t support aptX, you may experience connection drops.

Unfortunately, for android users, you may experience audio-visual lag at times. In the case of iPhone users, since they avail to AAC Bluetooth codec support rendering a high-quality wireless connection is achievable.
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Despite their bulky size, they fit comfortably in your ears and won’t drop off as you get going with your workout. On the back of the charging case, there is a micro-USB input.

Bose Connect app
Bose Connect app

Bose’s Bluetooth products are supported by the Bose Connect app. The app comes with few interesting and rather useful features like allowing you the option to rename your device, another helpful feature is the “find my ‘buds” option. It makes locating the lost device easier when you don’t remember where you left your earbuds.

The app occasionally may not respond from time to time and also crash, we’ll just have to make do and hope the bugs are fixed asap.


Battery Life

Bose SoundSport Free charging case
Bose SoundSport Free charging case

About five hours; that’s what Bose claims the earbuds’ playback time to be. You can expect 4.5 to 5.5 hours of playtime. Your charging case covers up to two full recharges so that comes to about 10 hours of potential playtime.

Compared to modern standards this performance might be average but wouldn’t be an issue for most people as the charging case has you covered. This is a good practice, to put the ‘buds back into their case, you wouldn’t have to worry about misplacing them. Volume affects battery life and also puts pressure on your ears so it’s beneficial to keep them low.

The micro USB charging cable is unusual. At this price, we would expect USB-C charging but that’s not the case. As mentioned earlier, the case provides two supplementary full-charges to the earbuds.


Sound quality of the earbuds

Bose SoundSport Free case with earbuds

Bose’s sound signature is one of my favourites. At a point in time, they lacked the required bass performance but much has changed since then.

The SoundSport Free itself possesses a powerful and impactful low-end(bass). As for the treble(highs) and midrange(vocals) frequencies, they are amplified but not to the same level. Complete highs and precise mids. A sound signature that would please any listener. However, they specially cater to athletic people.

The StayHear+ tips prove the importance of a proper seal but fail to achieve it. And this makes isolating the sound a tad bit difficult.


How does the Bose SoundSport Free compare to its competitors?

The Bose SoundSport Free was a novel product when it was released and demand for truly wireless earbuds have only gone up since then, so has its competition. Every user that uses Bluetooth reliant headphones likes their device to have longer battery life and so should you.

Master & Dynamic MW07 Go
Master & Dynamic MW07 Go with Charging case

The Master & Dynamic MW07 Go charging case stores up to 12 hours of playtime before needing to be recharged which is 2 hours over the Soundsport Free. They also come with IPX6 rated water-resistance. The earbuds market has delivered better performing models at even more competitive prices, this serves as a challenge for the Bose Soundsport Free to stay relevant.

The Bose SoundSport Free, having a playtime that exceeded that of its competition at the time; making it an exceptional product but since then many more earbuds deliver such playtime numbers at affordable prices and smaller housings. A great and sportier example of this is the Jabra Elite Active 75t. Who’s charging case provides over 20+ hours of playtime.


Alternatives for the Bose SoundSport Free

Bose SoundSport Free black earbuds

A couple of great alternatives for the Bose Soundsport Free are the Jabra Elite 75t and the Active variant of the same.

Another pair of true wireless earbuds that are targeted to the athletes that are always on the go.

The IP57; the ‘5’ stand for dust resistance and ‘7’ means the Elite Active 75t is water-resistant up to 1m(submerged).
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They are priced lower, are durable, wonderfully designed and fit great which makes them ideal for everyday use. It must be noted that you can’t really use them for swimming the level of water resistance doesn’t let you do this. Nevertheless, if you drop them into the pool they would survive it.

By the way, did we mention, they are almost half the size of the SoundSport Free and also allows access to your Voice Assistant.


Who is the Ideal User for the Soundsport Free earbuds?

The IPX4-certified build does favour athletes that perform intensive workouts that cause them to sweat and also those who spend time around a pool. The size might be bothersome but that wouldn’t affect the fit thanks to the Bose’s StayHear+ ear tips.

iPhone users can take advantage of the Bluetooth AAC codec support. Streaming with them is a pleasant and uninterrupted experience. Couple that with high-quality audio activity.


Here’s why you may consider buying the Bose SoundSport Free?

It’s been a few years since the Bose SoundSport Free has been out and now there are quite a few excellent alternatives available. That being said, if you enjoy the Bose’s line of headphones and products, then, by all means, the Bose SoundSport Free is a well-made true wireless choice.

JLab Audio JBuds Air Icon
JLab Audio JBuds Air Icon with Charging case

If you want to have a similar experience but without breaking the bank, we suggest you go with the JLab Audio’s JBuds Air Icon True Wireless earbuds with IP55 dust and water-resistance rating.


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