The Bose SoundSport Free are truly wireless earbuds with a well-balanced sound profile. They've got a comfortable earbud fit with a semi-open design suitable for outdoor runners, but commuters won't appreciate the lack of noise isolating. Unfortunately, they're a lot bulkier than other truly wireless headphones we've tested so far. They also have a few bugs with their wireless connection and don't offer any customization options with their app.
Good for neutral listening. The Bose SoundSport Free are well-balanced and have a good amount of bass. Instruments and vocals also sound clear but a bit forward. However, their semi-open, in-ear design doesn't create a spacious and open soundstage, which might not be the most ideal audio reproduction for more neutral listeners.
Not bad for commute and travel. The Bose SoundSport Free have weak noise isolation which won't be ideal for the loud environments involved in commuting. While decently comfortable, they have a stiff control scheme and a somewhat bulky design for a truly wireless earbud which slightly reduces their portability. Their battery life isn't great, either: at just under five hours of continuous playtime, you might not make it through long flights without giving them a charge.
Great for sports. The Bose SoundSport Free are portable, truly wireless earbuds that you can take with you to the gym or outdoors. They've got a stable fit thanks to their stability fins, and their semi-open fit means that runners will be able to monitor their surroundings with ease. However, you might not have a lot of pocket space for the case, as it's a little bulky.
Mediocre for office use. The Bose SoundSport Free, while comfortable, have very poor noise isolation due to their semi-open ear design, so you'll hear most of your coworkers' chatter around you. On the plus side, they don't leak too much, so if you need to tune people out, you can turn up the volume. However, these earbuds have mediocre battery life and might not be able to get you through your work day without an additional charge.
Disappointing for wireless gaming. The Bose SoundSport Free are Bluetooth headphones that can't be used wirelessly on either the PS4 or Xbox One. While they can be used on PC via Bluetooth, these headphones aren't recommended for gaming due to their high latency and mediocre microphone.
The Bose SoundSport Free are Bluetooth-only earbuds and can't be used wired.
Disappointing for phone calls. The Bose SoundSport Free's microphone has poor recording quality, making your voice sound thin and muffled. While the mic doesn't have as much of a problem in quiet environments, if you're taking calls at the office or on a bus, it'll have trouble separating your voice from background noise, and you might not be understood by the other person on the line.
The Bose SoundSport Free are the first truly wireless headphones from Bose and are one of the best sounding wireless earbuds we've tested. They have a good and well-balanced sound quality and a sturdy and durable design. However, they're not as portable as some of the other truly wireless designs. They also have a few bugs when using their companion app and their high latency on PCs makes them poorly suited for watching videos. See our recommendations for the best true wireless earbuds and the best Bluetooth earbuds.
The Bose Sport Earbuds Truly Wireless are marginally better headphones for sport and fitness than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless. The Sport Earbuds have a more stable fit, so they're better suited for more intense workouts. They're also closed-back headphones, while the SoundSport Free are semi-open. However, the SoundSport Free have a more balanced, neutral sound profile.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless are better headphones for mixed use than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless. The QuietComfort Earbuds are closed-back headphones with a more neutral sound profile and a great performing ANC feature. They have longer continuous battery life and their integrated mic has a better recording quality. However, the SoundSport Free are semi-open headphones, which is nice if you want to stay alert while exercising outside, and they're more comfortable.
The Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless are better truly wireless headphones than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless. The Apple have a great ANC feature that blocks ambient noise, and their case is noticeably smaller and more portable. The Bose are bigger, have an earbud design, and aren't quite closed-backs, meaning you can monitor your surroundings, which is great for outdoor runners. The SoundSport also sound a bit more neutral with a more accurate bass performance.
The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are better everyday truly headphones than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless due to their superior noise isolation performance. The Sony have a decent ANC system and block ambient noise well, especially if you have a good fit. Their battery life is also better and their app offers more control and customization options. On the other hand, the Bose have an open-back design that's great for running outside and staying aware of your surroundings. They also have a more neutral sound profile, but it can’t be customized with an EQ.
The Jabra Elite 65t Truly Wireless are a slightly better truly wireless headphone than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless, but not by much. The Jabra have a more reliable wireless connection that supports Bluetooth 5.0. They also have better isolation performance that's more suitable for noisy environments, thanks to their in-ear fit. You can also customize the sound profile of the Jabra, and they're a bit more compact to carry around thanks to their smaller case. The Bose, on the other hand, have a much more comfortable earbud fit. They also have a more neutral sound profile and feel more durable and better-built than the Jabra. Their case is also sturdier, despite being a bit bulky to carry around.
The Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless and Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless are both sports-oriented truly wireless earbuds each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The Bose have a more neutral, immersive sound but also don't isolate noise as well due to their open-back design. While the Jabra do a better job at isolating the chatter of a busy gym, their sound profile isn't quite as well-balanced out-of-the-box. Their battery life is better, though, and their charging case is a lot less bulky.
The Jaybird Vista Truly Wireless are better sports headphones than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless. The Jaybird control scheme is easy to use and their stability fins offer a more secure fit than the bulky Bose. The Jaybird offer a slightly better battery life too, on top of having a great app. On the other hand, the Bose will be a better option for running outside due to their semi-open design, which is useful to stay aware of your surroundings. The wireless range is noticeably better on the Jaybird.
The Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless are a bit more versatile than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless thanks to their smaller and closed-back design. The Jabra isolate more noise than the semi-open Bose and they have a more typical in-ear fit. The Bose have a fairly neutral sound profile that some may prefer, but their design is quite bulky and doesn't have volume control.
The Jabra Elite Active 65t Truly Wireless are slightly better truly wireless headphones overall than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless. The Bose have a more comfortable earbud design with a semi-open design that allows you to hear more of the outside world. They also sound a lot more neutral out-of-the-box than the Jabra. However, the Jabra have better noise isolation and leakage performance than the Bose, which makes them more suitable for commuting and the office. The Jabra also have easier-to-use controls and a more customizable app, which gives you access to an EQ so you can tweak their sound to your liking.
The Jaybird Run Truly Wireless are a slightly better headset than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless. The Jaybird have a more compact and portable design than the Bose. They also have a customizable app that lets you EQ their sound profile to your liking, unlike the Bose. On the upside, the Bose have a better build quality that feels more durable than the Jaybird. They also have an earbud fit that most will prefer over the fit of the Jaybird. Lastly, the Bose sound a lot better out of the box than the Jaybirds, although they do not have an EQ so you won't be able to edit their sound quality like with the Jaybird.
The Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless and the Jabra Elite Sport Truly Wireless have about the same performance overall. The Bose have a more comfortable earbud fit that you can wear for a lot longer than the Jabra. They also have a much better default sound but do not have an EQ like the Jabra. On the upside, the Jabra have a more rugged design, better controls, and a more compact case that will easily fit into your pockets, unlike the Bose. They also have more customizable options and more sports-optimized app that gives workout data. The Jabra are slightly better sports headphones overall and isolate better in noisy conditions, but do not sound as good as the Bose even with a good EQ.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless are better truly wireless earbuds for mixed usage than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless, which are designed for sport. While both headphones have a very well-balanced, neutral sound profile, the Samsung have a longer battery life, isolate more noise, and are customizable with their companion app. On the other hand, the Bose have stability fins to help them stay in place, and outdoor runners in particular will appreciate how they provide better ambient awareness.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless and the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless have about the same performance in a slightly different format. The SoundSport Wireless are truly wireless earbuds that are a bit better for working out since they do not have a cable to hinder your movements. The Free also have a slightly better-balanced sound and a longer total battery life than the SoundSport Wireless. On the other hand, the SoundSport Wireless last a bit longer on a single charge.
If a neutral sound profile is your biggest criteria, the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless are the better headphones over the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless. The Bose deliver well-balanced audio reproduction and are versatile for a wider variety of music genres. They will also sound a bit more spacious due to their semi-open design. However, this means they don’t isolate ambient noise as well as the Sennheiser and will leak significantly more audio. The Bose companion app also doesn’t offer any sort of customization options and the buds’ control-scheme is hard to use, while the touch-sensitive area of the Sennheisers is easy to use and responsive.
The Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless and the Sony WF-SP800N Truly Wireless are fairly evenly-matched premium sports-oriented in-ears, though the Sony have an advantage in mixed usage scenarios. The Bose have a semi-open back design that lets in more ambient noise at lets you stay more aware of your surroundings. They also feel slightly more premium. The Sony are more stable in the ear, last longer off of a single charge, and have a better integrated microphone, not to mention a companion app that allows for a much higher degree of personalization.
The Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless are better headphones than the Apple AirPods (2nd generation) Truly Wireless. The Bose have a much more neutral sound profile and deliver audio much more consistently between different people. They have a more stable fit and you also get a better control scheme with volume control. However, they take a lot of time to charge for truly wireless earbuds, and they have a fairly short wireless range. Their case is also very bulky and doesn’t support wireless charging like the Apple.
The Bang & Olufsen E8 3.0 True Wireless are similar to the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless. While the Bose are smaller, they also have worse controls. If you want a more neutral sound, the Bose are relatively more consistent in sound reproduction. However, you can't customize the Bose's sound, unlike the Bang & Olufsen who have a ToneTouch EQ in their app.
The Bose SoundSport Free are better headphones than the Apple EarPods. The Bose are truly wireless, which is very convenient and portable, and have a great audio reproduction that is accurate and well-balanced. The Bose are also better-built and don’t have a plastic feel like the Apple. On the other hand, you don’t have to manage battery life with the wired Apple, and their design is very comfortable if you can find the right fit. They have a better microphone for calls, and their wired connection doesn’t have any latency, which is great for watching videos. If you’re looking for casual, everyday in-ears, the Apple are a decent option and might offer better value, but for sports or critical listening, the Bose will be better.
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 2.0 Truly Wireless 2019 are better truly wireless headphones than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless. The Bang & Olufsen have a more compact and premium-looking design than the Bose. They also have a smaller case that's easier to carry around and a better control scheme, although it can be a little confusing at first. The Bang & Olufsen also have a customizable sound thanks to their app support, better isolation than the Bose due to their closed-back in-ear fit, and slightly better battery performance with a faster charge time. On the other hand, the Bose have an earbud fit that some will find more comfortable than the fit of the Bang & Olufsen. The Bose have a better-balanced sound out of the box, which may not require an EQ for most tracks.
If sound is the thing you care about the most, then the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless are a better option than the Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless. Their frequency response is more neutral with a good amount of bass, which is great for their semi-open design. However, this also means they don’t isolate against ambient noise as well as the closed-back Samsung. You also get more battery life from a single charge from the Samsung headphones and get slight customization options.
The Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless are better truly wireless headphones than the Raycon E50 Truly Wireless. The Bose are more comfortable thanks to their earbud-like design and are noticeably better-built. They also have a more neutral sound profile. They're also semi-open, which is good if you want to work out while still being able to monitor your surroundings. On the other hand, the Raycon are more suitable for bass fans and are Bluetooth 5.0.
The Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless are better sounding earbuds than the Monster Clarity 101 AirLinks Truly Wireless. The Bose have a well-balanced sound profile compared to the Monsters. However, the Bose have a semi-open back design so they don't isolate noise well, unlike the closed-back Monster.
The Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless are slightly better headphones than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless. The Beats have an easier to use control scheme, and their ear-hook design is more stable for sports. Additionally, they have a noticeably better battery life on a single charge and have better wireless range. On the other hand, some may prefer the earbud fit of the Bose, which doesn’t enter your ear canal as deeply. Also, even if their case is quite bulkier, it's easier to carry around than the Beats’ case. The Bose are open-back headphones, which mean they barely isolate against ambient noise, but even the closed-back Powerbeats aren’t great in that regard.
The JBL FreeX Truly Wireless are overall better truly wireless in-ears than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless. The JBL have a less bulky design and a more portable charging case. They also isolate significantly more noise than the open-backed Bose, which makes the JBL a better choice for commuters or office workers. However, the Bose are better for critical listeners, since they sound better, are slightly more comfortable and have a longer battery life.
The Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless and the Bose Sport Open Earbuds Truly Wireless are both well-suited for sports and depending on your preferences, you may favor one over the other. The SoundSport Free are more comfortable, have a better-balanced sound profile, and leak less audio. Their carrying case also holds two additional charges. However, the Bose Sport Open is designed for outdoor running, which some users may prefer, as they don't go inside your ear. They also have longer-lasting continuous battery life.
The Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless are better than the Klipsch T5 True Wireless. The Bose have a more neutral-sounding sound profile, while the Klipsch have an excited, V-shaped sound profile. The Bose are also more comfortable thanks to their earbud-like design, while the Klipsch enter your ear canal very deep. However, the Bose are semi-open, which means their noise isolation is practically nonexistent.
The Jabra Elite 65e Wireless are slightly better wireless earbuds than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless, but not by much. The Bose have a slightly more compact design for sports. They also have a better-balanced sound quality that most will prefer over that of the Jabra although you can not EQ them. The Jabra, on the other hand, are noise cancelling so they do a little better in noisy conditions. They also have a much better microphone for making calls and a customizable app that gives them more options than the Bose. They also last longer on a single charge, although the Bose have a longer battery life overall when you include their charging case.
The Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless are better earbuds than the Google Pixel Buds 2017 Wireless. The Bose sound a lot more balanced than the Google, despite having a semi-open fit. The Bose still pack a lot of bass and cater well to all genres, unlike the Google. They're also a bit more comfortable thanks to their softer earbud tips, and their build quality feels a bit more durable than that of the Google headphones. On the upside, the Google have longer cumulative battery life, and since their fit is adjustable, they'll be a bit more suitable for all ear shapes and sizes.
The Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless are a better truly wireless headset than the Sony WF-SP700N Truly Wireless. The Sony are noise cancelling in-ears, so they do a little better in noisy situations, although the ANC of the Sonys is not that strong. They also have a customizable sound, which the Bose do not. On the upside, the Bose have a more comfortable earbud fit, a better-balanced sound that caters to a lot more tracks, and a more durable build quality. They also last longer on a single charge and have a longer cumulative battery life.
The Sony WF-1000X Truly Wireless are a slightly better truly wireless option than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless, but not by much. The Sony have an in-ear fit and isolate much better in noisy conditions which makes them a bit more versatile for commuting and different environments. The Sony also have a more polished and premium-looking design and come with a great case, but don't feel as durable as the Bose. The Sony, on the other hand, have a much better balanced sound quality that does not need an EQ for most listeners. The Bose also have a more comfortable earbud fit that you can wear much longer than the Sony. The Bose's open fit is also a bit more suitable for outdoor runners since it lets you monitor your environment for traffic and obstacles, but also blocks a lot less ambient noise.
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 Truly Wireless 2018 are a better truly wireless headset than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless. The Bang & Olufsen have a more compact and premium looking design than the Bose. They also have a smaller case that's easier to carry around and a better control scheme, although it can be a little confusing at first. The Bang & Olufsen also have a customizable sound thanks to their app support, better isolation than the Bose due to their in-ear fit, and a slightly better battery performance with a faster charge time. On the other hand, the Bose have an earbud fit that some will prefer over the fit of the Bang & Olufsen. The Bose also have a better-balanced sound out of the box, which may not even require an EQ for most tracks.
The Samsung Gear IconX Truly Wireless are a better truly wireless headset than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless. The Samsung have more features that make them more suitable for sports than the Bose. They have a customizable app with a built-in coach to keep track of your workout progress. The Samsung are also a lot more portable than the Bose and have 4GBs of onboard storage, which makes them a bit more suitable when running and working out, since you do not have to carry around your phone. On the other hand, the Bose have an earbud fit that most will find a bit more comfortable than the in-ear fit of the Samsung. The Bose also have better-balanced sound quality, a slightly sturdier design, and longer battery life.
The JBL Reflect Flow True Wireless are better headphones than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless. The JBL have much better noise isolation than the Bose, which are semi-open headphones that let you hear your surroundings, making them great for outdoor runners. The battery life of the Bose is significantly worse, but they have an auto-off feature to help you conserve battery. They do sound good, though, suitable for most genres and don't have any hint of sharpness or sibilance in the treble.
If you prefer the compact format of a truly wireless design, then the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless will be a better choice; however, if you want a typical wireless in-ear for sports go for the Fitbit Flyer Wireless instead. The Bose have a better sound quality than the Fitbit. They're also a bit more comfortable to wear thanks to their earbud design. The Bose are also a bit more portable, thanks to their truly wireless design, although their case is rather bulky. On the other hand, the Fitbit have a more isolating in-ear fit, which makes them more suitable for noisy environments and commutes. They're also more stable thanks to their multiple tips and stability fins sizes. The Fitbit also have a longer battery life on a single charge.
The Jaybird Run XT Truly Wireless are slightly better truly wireless headphones than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless. The Jaybird feel more stable, isolate much more background noise thanks to their closed-back design, have a better quality microphone, and have a much better companion app which gives you access to a parametric EQ to customize their sound profile. On the other hand, the Bose are more comfortable, feel slightly better-built, and have a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box.
The Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless are better truly wireless headphones than the Altec Lansing True Evo Truly Wireless, especially if you care about sound quality. The Bose have a more neutral sound and include a more comfortable, durable build. You get volume controls, which you don’t have on the Altec, and their battery life is longer. However, the Altec have a better and more portable case. Since the Altec are closed-back, they isolate more than the semi-open design of the Bose.
The Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless are slightly better truly wireless headphones than the Apple AirPods (1st generation) Truly Wireless. The Bose have a more stable fit for sports and a better-balanced sound quality that delivers a lot more bass than the Apple. On the other hand, the Apple have a better wireless performance with a more stable connection and a lot less latency when watching videos on PCs. They also have a longer cumulative battery life of more than 24 hours when you include the additional recharges from the case.
The Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless are similarly performing headphones to the Beats Powerbeats 4 Wireless, but are slightly better for outdoor sport use. The Bose are semi-open earbuds and while they let in more background noise, their design makes it easier for runners to stay aware of their surroundings. On the downside, the Bose also have a shorter continuous battery life than the Beats but their case holds two additional charges and the headphones have an auto-off timer.
The Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless and the AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction are both sports-oriented headphones with different features, so depending on your preferences, you may prefer one over the other. The Bose in-ear headphones are more versatile. They leak less audio, so they're better-suited for uses like office work and have a semi-open design that doesn't block a lot of ambient noise, which is great for people who exercise outside. They also deliver sound more consistently and have a more neutral sound profile, which some listeners may prefer. The AfterShokz, on the other hand, are more comfortable if you don't like the fit of in-ears, have much better controls and block even less external noise than the Bose because they sit outside of your ears. They also have an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, although we don't currently test it.
The JBL UA True Wireless Flash are better headphones than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless for most. The JBL are more versatile thanks to their closed-back design that isolates well against ambient noise. They’ll be a better option for commuting, but as sports headphones, it comes to preference. Outside runners might prefer the semi-open design of the Bose to stay aware of their surroundings. The Bose earbud design is also a bit more comfortable, and they have better sound quality and a slightly better battery. On the other hand, you’ll get better range with the JBL, and they have a better microphone for calls. Their case is also more portable and sturdier, on top of being waterproof.
These headphones look well-built and durable. They're a little bulkier than most truly wireless designs and come in a flashy yellow and blue color scheme that stands out. They also come in other colors, such as black and bright orange. If you're into collectibles, Bose offers a limited edition Ultraviolet variation, but it's only available through Amazon. The buds feel premium and sturdy in your hand, but once in your ears, the bulky design sticks out; this might not be ideal for everyone. They won't fit as discretely as the Jaybird Run Truly Wireless or the Samsung Gear IconX Truly Wireless, which is a little disappointing.
The Bose SoundSport Free have the same earbud fit as previous Bose models like the Bose SoundSport Wireless and Bose SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear, and they're quite comfortable. However, they're bulky earbuds. Since they're truly wireless, if you don't get the right tip for your ears, the weight of the buds can slightly pull on the stability fins and cause a looser or an unstable fit, which may ultimately feel less comfortable than previous models.
The Bose SoundSport Free have a disappointing control scheme. They have physical buttons that provide all the essential functions: call/music, track-skipping, volume controls, and a dedicated pairing/Bluetooth button. Unfortunately, the buttons are very stiff, making them difficult to use. We had trouble turning the volume up and had to remove the earbud from our ears to physically push on the button for it to work. You'll get a click once the buttons are pressed but they're so rigid that it's easier to just switch tracks or change the volume directly on your smartphone, which isn't always practical when working out and could be a deal-breaker for some. If you prefer an easier-to-use control scheme, take a look at the Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless.
These headphones are very portable despite their bulky design, and they'll easily fit into most pockets. However, if you carry them in their case, you'll lose a bit of portability as it's surprisingly bulky.
The Bose SoundSport Free come with a decent hard charging case. It'll protect them against impacts and drops but its bulky size reduces their portability as it's larger than most other truly wireless headphones we've tested so far. It creates a pretty big bulge in most pockets and it feels a bit counter-intuitive for a truly wireless design, especially since it doesn't offer any special features like wireless charging available on the similarly-designed Altec Lansing True Evo Truly Wireless.
The Bose SoundSport Free are decently stable earbuds. While their heavier and truly wireless design can make them more prone to falling out of your ears, Bose offers three differently sized stability tips, making it easier to find your right fit. However, if you don't get the right tip size for your ear they'll be considerably less stable than the Bose SoundSport In-Ear, the Bose Sport Earbuds, or the Bose SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear.
The Bose SoundSport Free's frequency response consistency is excellent. Assuming the user can achieve a proper fit and an air-tight seal using the assortment of tips that come with the earbuds, then they should be able to get consistent bass and treble delivery every time they use these earbuds.
The bass accuracy of these earbuds is excellent. Well-balanced and fairly smooth, the SoundSport Free's bass will be good for most genres of audio content. While the dip in the low-bass range will slightly muffle thumps and rumbles, the high-bass has a little bump, bringing a touch of warmth and fullness.
The Bose SoundSport Free earbuds have good treble accuracy. The gentle slope isn't noticeable to all listeners in the low-treble range. However, the slight under-emphasize in the mid-treble can make notes here sound dark or lispy.
The peaks and dips performance of the SoundSport Free is impressive. There are a couple of small peaks in the bass range, which may overemphasize thumps and rumbles. However, a dip in the mid-range can make the mix sound slightly muddy and cluttered. Continuous peaks between the mid to treble range also bring a slight brightness to their sound.
The Bose SoundSport Free have excellent stereo imaging. Their weighted group delay is very low and the entire response is well below the audibility threshold, ensuring tight bass and transparent treble. The left and right drivers of our unit were also well-matched in frequency, amplitude, and phase response, which is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects in the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.
As producing an out-of-head and speaker-like soundstage requires the pinna or outer ear to be activated by resonances, the SoundSport Free's in-ear design by-passes this altogether, resulting in a poor soundstage that both feels small and is localized more inside the listener's head. Their semi-open back design also makes its soundstage feel less wide than that of open-back earbuds.
These earbuds don't have any virtual soundstage features.
The Bose SoundSport Free's results are only valid for these test settings.
We weren't able to determine the firmware version. If you own the SoundSport Free and know where to find it, let us know in the discussion section below.
The noise isolation of these earbuds is bad. Due to their semi-open earbud design and lack of active noise cancelling, the SoundSport Free won't reduce a lot of noise. These aren't a great choice if you're looking to block out low sounds like bus or plane engines. In an office setting, they're also pretty poor at reducing chatter. However, outdoor joggers will appreciate the semi-open design as you'll be able to hear and keep you aware of your surroundings. If you want to hear even more ambient noise around you, try the Bose Sport Open Earbuds Truly Wireless, which have an open-ear design. For earbuds with active noise cancelling, check out the Bose QuietControl 30, or see our recommendations for the best noise cancelling earbuds.
The Bose SoundSport Free have a good leakage performance. While your coworkers won't hear the words to whatever music you're blasting, they'll likely hear what's in the treble range, even in loud settings like a cafe, although it'll sound thin. If you want even less audio leakage from your sports-oriented truly wireless headphones, consider the Sony WF-SP800N Truly Wireless.
The Bose SoundSport Free have an integrated microphone.
The recording quality of this microphone is poor. Your voice will sound noticeably thin, significantly muffled and lacking in detail. To the other person on the line, you might not sound too understandable, either.
The noise handling performance of the Bose SoundSport Free's integrated microphone is okay. This microphone is suitable for quiet and moderately noisy environments, but it may struggle to fully separate speech from ambient noise in louder situations, making it less than ideal for taking calls in an office or cafe.
The Bose SoundSport Free has mediocre battery performance. They've got a continuous battery life of just under 5 hours, which might not be enough to make it through your work day. However, there are two additional charges in the case. When you're not using them and they're not in their case, they'll go into sleep mode after 20 minutes. Unfortunately, they don't have a quick charge mode like the Jaybird Run or the Beats BeatsX. If you're looking for a similarly sports-oriented pair of headphones with better battery life, consider the Beats Powerbeats 4.
Update 03/29/2021: We have changed Playback Control from 'No' to 'Yes' and raised the scoring of this box from 6.5 to 7.0 to better-reflect the app's capabilities.
The Bose SoundSport Free uses the Bose Connect app. Its features are limited but they aren't bad. You've got a standby timer, battery data, and an in-app player. You can only control your audio if it's already playing though. There's also a handy finder feature that gives you the last known location of your earbuds should you lose or misplace them. On the downside, there's no equalizer, room effects, or alternate control options. There were also a few bugs when we first tried to pair our earbuds to the app, making it feel like the app was slightly less optimized for the truly wireless design. For sports headphones with an app that lets you EQ their sound, take a look at the Jaybird Run XT Truly Wireless.
Update 01/27/2022: These headphones were updated to Test Bench 1.5 and their latency values have changed. Our previous Test Bench 1.4 measurements reported 'PC Latency' at 220 ms, 'iOS Latency' at 145 ms, and 'Android Latency' at 152 ms. However, our new test bench uses an average of three measurements instead of one, resulting in 555 ms of latency on PC, 52 ms on iOS, and 96 ms on Android. As a result, we have updated our text to better reflect test bench 1.5 measurements.
The Bose SoundSport Free only connect to other devices via Bluetooth. They also don't support NFC or multi-device pairing. For truly wireless earbuds, their PC latency is very high, so they won't be ideal for playing video games or watching videos. In comparison, their latency is significantly on Android and iOS. That said, some apps seem to compensate for latency, so your mileage may vary in regular use.
These earbuds can only connect wirelessly via Bluetooth.
The SoundSport Free don't have a wired option. If you want a similarly-designed wired earbud, check out the Bose SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear or the wired Bose SoundSport In-Ear.
Update 03/29/2021: We have tested Xbox Series X compatibility.
The Bose SoundSport Free aren't compatible with the Xbox One or Xbox Series X.
The Bose SoundSport Free have a charging case that delivers up to 10 hours of extra battery life. It charges using a USB connection. However, this case doesn't offer any inputs.