Bose are a well-known name in the headphone industry and there’s a good reason for that – they always produce high quality sound. They’ve produced sports earbuds before and while they sounded great they were rather large and cumbersome.
The Sport Buds are their latest sport earbud offering and they seem to have learnt a lot from their first foray into the sports buds. The Bose Sport Buds follow the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds design style albeit smaller and much more lightweight. If they sound anywhere near as good as the QuietComfort earbuds then these will be another impressive set from Bose.
What are they
The Bose Sport Buds are an IPX4-rated set of true wireless earbuds designed to produce a high-quality sound while at the same time being comfortable enough and robust enough to survive even the toughest workouts. They do not have any form of active noise cancellation but instead rely on noise isolation through a good fit in the ear. Speaking of fit in the ear, these are possibly the lightest earbuds I have tested in a long time, weighing in at just 6.75 grams each!
How do they fit?
The Bose Sport Buds continue with Bose’s StayHear Max ear tips to help with securing them in your ears. These StayHear Max eartips have been a feature of Bose in-ear headphones for a long time and they are as good as ever. I did find when using these that I had to go from a medium size down to a small sized ear tip to get that comfortable secure fit. The medium size, my usual size, took a fair bit of manoeuvring to fit into the ears and then they were not as comfortable as they normally are.
Using the small option though made them incredibly comfortable – you know that you have found the sweet spot when you can barely feel them in your ear and kind of forget they are there. At that point they don’t feel “wedged” into your ear but still do not fall out even when going full tilt in your workout.
The Bose Sport Buds provide their sound based on the fit in your ear and rely on noise isolation to prevent outside noise creeping into your own personal workout – ie. there is no active noise cancellation. For this reason, it is imperative that you get that fit right in the beginning before you head out for your workout – there is no pocket in the case to carry different sized ear tips in the charging case.
Speaking of the charging case, it will provide not just a safe and secure place to store the ear buds but also an extra 10 hours of charge on top of the 5 hours of charge that can be stored in the earbuds. While that is good it is not great and there are other offerings around that exceed this by quite a bit. The battery does last for the expected 5 hours, and a bit more, depending on the volume you listen at.
The charging case is a decent size but is lightweight and not too bulky — it is long and thin rather than thick.
The Bose Music app is the best way to connect the ear buds to your smartphone and if you have already connected them to your account on another device it is even easier. Once connected you can change the various features within the app. You can change what the left ear bud touch panel action is – unfortunately there are only four options though: Hear battery level, Spotify, Skip forward and skip back.
Double tapping the right ear panel pauses and plays the media (as does removing the earbud from your ear) – this cannot be changed but I have very little use for these touch panels aside from playing and pausing music so it does me just fine. Swiping forward or backwards on the right ear panel adjusts the volume of the music up or down. This action worked really well and I loved it.
Tap and hold on the right ear panel also launches the default digital assistant on your device – Google Assistant in my case but I have very little use for these while I’m at the gym though so use it very rarely.
The app can also be used to change the sound through the equaliser. Although it is a fairly rough EQ it is at least an EQ with many other true wireless earbuds not having that option. The app also allows you to easily switch from them connected to one device to another — no you cannot connect to more than one at a time.
How do they sound?
There’s no point having earbuds that fit and look as good as these if they don’t sound great. As mentioned above Bose have a history of great sounding headphones and at the price they charge you’d hope so. These are no different to their other headphones with an amazing sound produced no matter the style of music you listen to.
I’m a hiphop and metal fan and the quality of the sound was superior to all other sports earbuds I have tested. Sure, they lack the ANC of some but the sound makes up for it. The bass was deeper and crisper than the others I tested it against (Skullcandy and Sony) and the mids and highs were more expressive and crisper. The sheer range of music and its accuracy was fantastic, but of course that comes at a price.
They were not as good as the Bose QC Earbuds but they are more expensive and much larger than these and thus not as ideal for a workout. The sound was slightly better than the Skullcandy Grind, but not by much and with the Skullcandy headphones currently around half the price it’s a tough sell. The Bose Sport Earbuds excelled over the Skullcandy though in their fit and security within the ear — those ear wing tips really do make a big difference. If you are on a tight budget I’d recommend checking out the Skullcandy but if you want the best fit and the best quality sound for the gym then the Bose Sport Earbuds are for you.
One thing I did not like about the Sport Earbuds was that if you are listening with a single earbud you need to use the right earbud, or at least have the right earbud out of the case. As soon as you stick in in the charging case and close the case it disconnects from your device. A small issue but it would have been nice to have this Bluetooth 5 feature.
Who should buy them?
Are you someone who loves their high intensity workouts? If so you need earphones that are not just comfortable but also secure and no amount of jumping around will dislodge the earbuds. If you are a fan of high-quality sound and are willing to pay for it but still need the flexibility of the earbuds being extremely light and perfect for workouts then you will want to check these Bose Sport Earbuds out.
The Bose Sport Earbuds are not cheap but you get what you pay for. These workout earbuds are designed for that specific purpose and achieve everything you’d need during a workout including a high-quality sound. Currently at $249 from the Bose website in black, Baltic (blue) and Glacier white (light grey and yellow) I can highly recommend them for those of you who’s budget extends that far and if it doesn’t, wait until they are on sale at your local retailer.
The Bose Sport Earbuds are currently one of, if not the, best workout true wireless earbuds on the market. If you purchase them you will not regret it.