Reviewed on Aug 30, 2018

Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
6.8
Mixed Usage
7.5
Neutral Listening
6.5
Commute/Travel
8.2
Sports/Fitness
6.1
Office
5.8
Wireless Gaming
5.7
Wired Gaming
5.7
Phone Call
Type : Earbuds
Enclosure : Semi-Open
Wireless : Truly Wireless
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Bose SoundSport Free are surprisingly good-sounding truly wireless earbuds. They have a comfortable earbud fit with a semi-open design for outdoor runners, but this also makes them a bit worse for commuting since they do not block a lot of noise. Unfortunately, they are a lot bulkier than other truly wireless headphones we've tested, they have a few bugs with their wireless connection and no customization option with their app.

Pros
  • Great audio reproduction.
  • Stable and comfortable fit.
  • Sturdy and durable build quality.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation, by design.
  • Bulky truly wireless design.
  • High latency.

Test Results
Design 7.9
Isolation 3.9
Microphone 5.9
Active Features 6.2
Connectivity 2.8
  1. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

Check Price

7.9

Design

The Bose SoundSport Free have a good, sturdy design but they're slightly bulky and come with a fairly large case. They have the same comfortable earbud tips of the SoundSport Wireless, which makes them a bit more comfortable than most wireless in-ears. They're also decently breathable and stable enough for running and exercising. Unfortunately, the buds stick out of your ear quite a bit which doesn't look as good as some of the other truly wireless designs and slightly reduces their stability. They also have an extremely stiff control scheme with difficult-to-use buttons that force you to take the earbuds out of your ears which is not practical when working out.

Style

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. You can also get them in a more understated black scheme if you prefer. The buds feel premium and sturdy in the hand but once you put them on, the bulky design sticks out of your ears, which might not be ideal for everyone. They won't fit as discretely as the Jaybird Run or the Samsung Gear IconX, which is a little disappointing.

7.5 Comfort
Weight : 0.04 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0 lbs

The Bose SoundSport Free have the same earbud fit of previous Bose models, like the SoundSport Wireless and SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear. This makes them quite comfortable. However, they are bulkier earbuds than the other models mentioned. This means since they are truly wireless, if you don't get the right tip for your ears, the weight of the buds will slightly pull on the stability fins and cause a looser or an unstable fit which feels a bit less comfortable than previous models. They are more comfortable than conventional in-ear designs but aren't the most comfortable Bose earbuds we've tested.

6.5 Controls
OS Compatibility
:
N/A
Ease of use : Poor
Feedback : Mediocre
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : No

The Bose SoundSport Free have a mediocre-at-best 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 so stiff it makes them really difficult to use. We often 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 do 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 is not always practical when working out. This may be a deal breaker for some. If you prefer an easier to use control scheme, take a look at the Beats Powerbeats Pro.

8.9 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 1.1 C

Like most truly wireless designs, the Bose SoundSport Free earbuds are very breathable. They do not cover your ears and only trap a small amount of heat within the ear canal, which has a negligible effect when exercising.

9.4 Portability
L : 0.9 "
W : 1.8 "
H : 0.9 "
Volume : 1.5 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

These headphones are quite portable despite their bulkier design. They will easily fit into most pockets but since you will most likely carry them in their case you will lose a bit of portability. Their case is surprisingly cumbersome and about twice the size of the Apple AirPods' charging case, which is not ideal if you want to carry them around on you at all times. They won't fit as nicely in your jean pockets.

7.0 Case
Type : Hard case
L : 3.8 "
W : 1.5 "
H : 1.2 "
Volume : 6.9 Cu. Inches

The Bose SoundSport Free come with a bulky hard case that will protect them against impacts and drops but significantly reduces their portability. The case is larger than most other truly wireless headphones we've tested and is sturdier than the one of the Jabra Elite 65t, but it isn't flat like the Sony WF-1000X. This creates a pretty big bulge in most pockets and 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.

8.0 Build Quality

The build quality feels durable and sturdy. They won't break from a couple of shoulder-height drops and feel considerably denser than some of the other truly wireless designs we've tested. Even the case is pretty durable but slightly heavy and bulky.

7.5 Stability

The Bose SoundSport Free are stable headphones for sports. They're not the most stable of the Bose earbud designs since they are truly wireless and a bit heavier than most. This means if you don't get the right tip size for your ear they will be considerably less stable than the SoundSport In-Ear or the SoundTrue ultra In-Ear. On the upside when you have the right fit, they're stable enough for running and working out at the gym.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
Top

Sound

They have a deep, consistent, and well-balanced bass, able to produce thumpy basses and punchy kicks. They also have virtually flawless mid and treble ranges, resulting in clear and well-balanced vocals and instruments. However, their bass is a little bit hyped, which fans of heavy bass may like, and they may distort in the treble range at maximum volume. Overall, they are a very versatile pair of headphones suitable for a variety of genres from bass-heavy EDM, to vocal-centric jazz, and even classical. However, like most other earbuds, they don't have a large and speaker-like soundstage.

Sound Profile
Neutral
:
8.7
Bass-Heavy
:
6.4
Warm
:
6.6
Bright
:
6.4
8.3 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
1.03 db
Dips
:
1.08 db
8.6 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.29 dB

The frequency response consistency of the SoundSport Free is great. This is especially impressive, considering the earbud design. The maximum deviation across 5 re-seats throughout the entire range is less than 2dB. This ensures a consistent delivery of bass and treble across users and re-seats, given proper fit and seal has been achieved by choosing the correct sized tip.

9.3 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.15
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.6
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
0.7
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
1.2

The imaging is excellent. Their weighted group delay is 0.15 which is excellent. Also, the GD graph shows that the entire group delay response is below the audibility threshold. This indicates a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were exceptionally matched. This is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, footsteps, video game effects) in the stereo field.

2.4 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
N/A
PRTF Distance
:
N/A
Openness
:
9.2
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
2.8

The soundstage of the Bose SoundSport Free is poor. This is mainly due to their earbud design, since earbuds fully bypass the pinna (the outer ear), and activating the resonances of the pinna is one of the key factors in creating a large and out-of-head soundstage. However, they will feel more open and spacious than closed-back in-ears because of their high openness. Overall, the soundstage will be perceived as relatively open, but small and located inside the listener's head.

7.4 Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
:
0.271
WHD @ 100
:
0.199
3.9

Isolation

The Bose SoundSport Free have the same fit as the SoundSport Wireless, which have a semi-open earbud design that doesn't isolate well in noisy environments. On the upside, it does make them a bit more suitable for outdoor runners who need to monitor their surroundings for traffic and obstacles, like with the open-back Apple AirPods 2 2019, but also a worse choice for regular commuters. On the upside, they do not leak much so you can turn up the volume to mask some of the ambient noise in your surrounding without distracting the people around you. Although higher frequency sounds will be audible at really high volumes. If you want better isolation, look at closed-back in-ears like the JBL Free X or the JBL UA True Wireless Flash

2.1 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-4.66 dB
Bass
:
-0.08 dB
Mid
:
-2.38 dB
Treble
:
-11.63 dB

The isolation is poor. This is expected and due to their semi-open earbud design and lack of active noise cancelling (ANC). In the bass range, where the rumble of airplane and bus engines sits, they don't provide any isolation. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they achieve less than 3dB of isolation, which is inadequate. In the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts, they achieve about 12dB of isolation which is below-average. Overall, they are suitable for situations where you'd like to be able to hear your environment, like jogging, and not for blocking it out. For an earbud with active noise cancelling, check out the Bose QuietControl 30, or see our recommendations for the best noise cancelling earbuds.

7.6 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
36.15 dB

The Bose SoundSport Free have a good leakage performance. The entire leakage is concentrated in the treble range, so their leakage will sound thinner than that of over-ear and on-ear headphones. The significant portion of their leakage is between 2KHz and 15KHz, which is quite a broad range. However, the level of their leakage is not very loud. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 36dB SPL and peaks at 64dB SPL, which is noticeably louder than the noise floor of an average office. Overall, the leakage should not be an issue in most situations, unless you are really blasting the music in small and quiet places.

5.9

Microphone

Integrated
:
Yes
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A

The Bose SoundSport Free have a sub-par microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this integrated mic will sound relatively thin and noticeably muffled and lacking in detail, making speech rather difficult to understand with this mic in certain cases. In noisy environments, they do a decent job separating speech from background noise in moderately loud environments, but they will struggle in louder places, like a subway station.

5.1 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
285.09 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
3.29 dB
HFE
:
1758.66 Hz
Weighted THD
:
50.014
Gain
:
43.61 dB

The recording quality of this microphone is sub-par. Low-frequency extension (LFE) is at 285Hz, resulting in recorded/transmitted speech sounds noticeably thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 1.8KHz is poor and means speech will sound significantly muffled and lacking in detail. This will have a negative effect on the comprehensibility of the speech, since speech intelligibility is mostly dependent on the 500Hz - 4KHz range.

6.6 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
18.21 dB

The noise handling performance of the SoundSport Free's integrated microphone is about average. They achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 18dB in our SpNR test, which is decent. This indicates that this microphone is suitable for quiet and moderate environments, but it may struggle to fully separate speech from ambient noise in louder situations.

6.2

Active Features

The Bose SoundSport Free have a decent battery life of 4.8 hours of continuous playtime, and up to 15 hours in total, thanks to the 2 additional charges provided by the case. Unfortunately, they take a bit longer to charge than other truly wireless designs and do not benefit from a good quick charge feature like the Apple AirPods, Jaybird Run or  Jabra Elite Active 65t. Also, their app is fairly barebones and doesn't provide good customization options like an equalizer or room effects. However, since they have a decently balanced sound, this may not be an issue for some.

6.2 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
:
4.8 hrs
Additional Charges
:
2
Total Battery Life
:
14.4 hrs
Charge Time
:
1.9 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
Auto-Off Timer
Audio while charging
:
No
Passive Playback
:
No
Charging Port : micro-USB

These headphones have a decent battery life with additional 10 hours of charge stored in the case. This gives them a total of 15 hours of playback but only 4.8 hours of continuous playtime between charges. This makes them good for more casual uses, but they won't be ideal for heavy users. They also have an above average standby mode that puts the earbuds in a sleep mode when they are not in the case and not playing any music after 20 minutes which is pretty convenient. Unfortunately, they do not have a quick charge mode like the Jaybird Run or the BeatsX.

6.5 App Support
App Name : Bose Connect
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
No
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : No
Room effects
:
No
Playback control
:
No
Button Mapping : No
Surround Sound : N/A

The Bose SoundSport Free support the Bose Connect app which gives them a few features. It provides a standby timer, battery data, an in-app player, and a find my buds option that lets you locate the last known location of the earbuds which is a nice addition. Unfortunately, there are no Equalizer, room effects or alternate control options. We also encountered a few bugs when first trying to pair the earbuds via the app. This makes the app feel slightly less optimized for the truly wireless design, a bit barebones and not as useful as some of the other companion apps we've tested that give you more customization options. For sports headphones with an app that lets you EQ their sound, take a look at the Jaybird Run XT.

2.8

Connectivity

The Bose Soundsport Free are Bluetooth only truly wireless headphones. This means they have no other connection options but Bluetooth and unfortunately can not pair with multiple devices simultaneously. They also do not have NFC support for easy pairing with smartphones. Their case/dock has no inputs but does provide 10 hours of additional charge. Their latency performance is much better thanks to the most recent firmware update (1.4.5) but they still won't be the best headphones for gaming or watching videos. 

6.8 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
4.1
Multi-Device Pairing
:
No
NFC Pairing
:
No
Line of Sight Range
:
72 ft
Default Latency
:
220 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

These headphones only connect to other devices via Bluetooth. They are not compatible with consoles, do not support NFC or multi devices pairing simultaneously. However, they store up to 7 devices in memory for auto-pairing when you open the charging case starting with the last synced device.

The Bose SoundSport Free have one of the worst latency performances for a truly wireless design. This makes them poorly suited for watching video content and gaming.

Update 07/03/2018: Firmware 1.4.5 considerably reduces the latency for the Bose SoundSport Free. They still won't be the ideal headphones for videos but they are within the comparable range for the most bluetooth headphones.

0 Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Non-BT Latency
:
N/A
0 Wired
Analog Audio
:
N/A
USB Audio
:
N/A
Detachable : N/A
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A
Wired Latency
:
N/A

They have no wired option. If you want a similarly designed earbud but wired then check out the Bose SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear or the wired Bose SoundSport In-Ear.

PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
:
No
PC / PS4 Wired USB
:
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
:
No
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox Analog
:
No
Xbox Wired USB
:
No
Xbox Wireless
:
No
2.2 Base/Dock
Type
:
Charging Case
USB Input
:
No
Line In
:
No
Line Out
:
Optical Input
:
No
RCA Input
:
No
Dock Charging
:
Yes
Power Supply
:
USB

The Bose SoundSport Free have a charging case that delivers up to 10 hours of extra battery life. However, it has no inputs and isn't used to pair the earbuds to new devices, which is done by pressing and holding the Bluetooth button on the left earbud.

In the box

  • 'Bose SoundSport Free' Headphones
  • Earbud tips (x3)
  • USB charging cable
  • Carrying case
  • Manual

Compared to other Headphones

The Bose SoundSport Free are the first truly wireless headphones from Bose and 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 have a few bugs and somewhat high latency which makes them poorly suited for watching videos. See our recommendations for the best true wireless earbuds and the best Bluetooth earbuds.

Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless will be better every day truly headphones than the Bose SoundSport Free due to their isolation performance. The Sony have a decent ANC system and will 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 SoundSport Free has an open-back design that will be great for running outside and staying aware of your surroundings. They also have a more neutral default sound, but can’t be EQ’ed inside their app.

Jabra Elite 65t Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Jabra Elite 65t are a slightly better truly wireless headphone than the Bose SoundSport Free, but not by much. The Jabras 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 of the Jabra but not the Bose, 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 sound better balanced and feel more durable and better-built than the Jabra Elites. Their case is also sturdier, despite being a bit bulky to carry around.

Jabra Elite Active 65t Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Jabra Elite Active 65t are a slightly better truly wireless headphones overall than the Bose SoundSport Free. The Bose have a more comfortable earbud design. They also sound a lot more balanced out of the box than the Jabras. However, the Active 65t have a 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.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

If sound is the thing you care about the most, then the Bose SoundSport Free are a better option than the Samsung Galaxy Buds. 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 Galaxy Buds. You also get more battery life from a single charge from the Galaxy headphones, and get slight customization options.

Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Beats Powerbeats Pro 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.

Bose SoundSport Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose SoundSport Wireless and the Bose SoundSport Free have about the same performance in a slightly different format. The Free 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. They also have a slightly more reliable wireless connection with less perceived latency.

Raycon E50 Truly Wireless
Unavailable
Amazon.com

The Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless are better truly wireless headphones than the Raycon E50 Truly Wireless. They're more comfortable thanks to their earbud-like design and are noticeably better-built. They also have a great audio reproduction quality, being one of the better sounding earbuds. They are 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 E50 are more suitable for bass fans and are Bluetooth 5.0.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

If sound quality is your biggest criteria, the Bose SoundSport Free are the better headphones. They have a good audio reproduction and are versatile for a wide variety of music genres. They will also sound a bit more open due to their semi-open design. However, this means they don’t isolate ambient noise well like the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless and will leak significantly more. 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.

Jabra Elite Sport Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose SoundSport Free and the Jabra Elite Sport 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 Sport 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.

Sony WF-1000X Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sony WF-1000X are a slightly better truly wireless option than the Bose SoundSport Free, but not by much. The WF-1000X have an in-ear fit and isolate much better in noisy conditions which makes them a bit more versatile for commuting and different environments. They also have a more polished and premium looking design and come with a great case, but do not feel as durable as the Bose. The SoundSport Free, on the other hand, have a much better balanced sound quality that does not need an EQ for most listeners. They also have a more comfortable earbud fit that you can wear much longer than the Sonys. Their 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.

Sony WF-SP700N Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose SoundSport Free are a better truly wireless headset than the Sony WF-SP700N. 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. Both headphones are equally poor for watching videos and with latency-sensitive content.

Jaybird Run Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Jaybird Run are a slightly better headset than the Bose SoundSport Free. The Run have a more compact and portable design than the Free. 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 Run. They also have an earbud fit that most will prefer over the fit of the Jaybird Run. 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 Run.

B&O PLAY Beoplay E8 Truly Wireless 2018
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The B&O PLAY E8 are a better truly wireless headset than the Bose SoundSport Free. The E8 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 E8 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 E8. The Bose also have a better-balanced sound out of the box, which may not even require an EQ for most tracks.

Samsung Gear IconX Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung Gear IconX are a better truly wireless headset than the Bose SoundSport Free. The Gear IconX have more features that make them more suitable for sports than the Free. They have a customizable app with a built-in coach to keep track of your workout progress. They're 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 Gear IconX. The Bose also have better-balanced sound quality, a slightly sturdier design, and longer battery life.

Jaybird Run XT Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

For most users, the Bose SoundSport Free will be a better option than the Jaybird Run XT thanks to their more comfortable fit and their good out-of-the-box sound quality. They also feel better-built than the XT. On the other hand, the Jaybird headphones are slightly more stable, which is great for sports. They also have a good isolation performance, which can be useful for commuting, making them slightly more versatile. You also get access to an EQ inside their companion app, which Bose is lacking. They also take noticeably less time to fully charge. You’ll have better range with the XT, but their latency is also noticeably higher than the Bose SoundSport Free.

Apple EarPods
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose SoundSport Free are better headphones than the Apple EarPods. They are truly wireless, which is very convenient and portable, and have a great audio reproduction that is accurate and well-balanced. The SoundSport Free are also better-built and don’t feel as plasticky as the EarPods. On the other hand, you don’t have to manage battery life with the wired EarPods 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 EarPods are a decent option and might offer better value, but for sports or critical listening, the Bose SoundSport Free will be better.

Google Pixel Buds Wireless
SEE PRICE
B&H

The Bose SoundSport Free are better earbuds than the Google PixelBuds. The SoundSport Free sound a lot more balanced than the Pixel Buds, despite having a semi-open fit they still pack a lot of bass and cater well to all genres, unlike the PixelBuds. They're also a bit more comfortable than the 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 Pixel Buds have a longer cumulative battery life and since their fit is adjustable they will be a bit more suitable for all ear shapes and sizes.

Jaybird Vista Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Jaybird Vista are better sports headphones than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless. Their control scheme is easy to use and their stability fins offer a more secure fit than the bulky Bose. The Vista 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 Vista.

Apple AirPods 2 Truly Wireless 2019
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose SoundSport Free are better headphones than the Apple AirPods 2 2019. Their semi-open design doesn’t isolate any noise like the AirPods, but their sound quality is superior and more accurate. 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 AirPods’. On the other hand, the SoundSport Free are more stable for sports and will also let you monitor your surroundings.

JBL FreeX Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The JBL Free X are overall better truly wireless in-ears than the Bose SoundSport Free. The JBL Free X 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 Free X 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.

JBL UA True Wireless Flash
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The JBL UA True Wireless Flash are better headphones than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless for most. They 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. Their 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 Under Armour Flash and they have a better microphone for calls. Their case is also more portable and sturdier, on top of being waterproof.

B&O PLAY Beoplay E8 2.0 Truly Wireless 2019
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The B&O PLAY E8 2.0 are better truly wireless headphones than the Bose SoundSport Free. The E8 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 E8 also have a customizable sound thanks to their app support, better isolation than the Bose due to their closed-back 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 find more comfortable than the fit of the E8. The Bose also have a better-balanced sound out of the box, which may not even require an EQ for most tracks.

Apple AirPods 1 Truly Wireless 2017
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The Bose SoundSport Free are slightly better truly wireless headphones than the Apple AirPods. The Bose have a more stable fit for sports. They also have a better-balanced sound quality that delivers a lot more bass than the AirPods. The AirPods, on the other hand, have a better wireless performance with a more stable connection and a lot less latency when watching videos, especially on iOS devices. They also have a longer cumulative battery life at more than 24hrs when you include the additional recharges from the case.

Jabra Elite 65e Wireless
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The Jabra Elite 65e are slightly better wireless earbuds than the Bose SoundSport Free, 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 Elite 65e although you can not EQ them. The Elite 65e, 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.

Altec Lansing True Evo Truly Wireless
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The Bose SoundSport Free are better truly wireless headphones than the Altec Lansing True Evo, especially if you care about sound quality. They have a more neutral sound and have a more comfortable and durable build. You get volume controls, which you don’t have on the True Evo, and their battery life is longer. However, the Altec Lansings have a better and more portable case, and since they are closed-back, they isolate more than the semi-open design of the Bose.

Fitbit Flyer Wireless
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If you prefer the compact format of a truly wireless design, then the Bose SoundSport Free will be a better choice; however, if you want a typical wireless in-ear for sports go for the Fitbit Flyer instead. The Bose have a better sound quality than the Fitbit Flyer. 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 Flyers 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. They also have a longer battery life on a single charge.

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6.8 Mixed Usage

The Bose SoundSport Free are somewhat decent mixed usage headphones. They're good for sports, and they're one of the best sounding wireless headphones we've tested. They're also quite comfortable and well-built but the earbuds are a tad bulky which makes them protrude out of your ears and won't look as nice as some of the other truly wireless headphones we've tested like the Samsung Gear Icon X. Their case takes up a lot of space which is not ideal for a truly wireless design since it slightly reduces their overall portability. Unfortunately, they do not isolate well against ambient noise due to their semi-open earbud fit and have relatively high latency, so they're not the best headphones for gaming or watching videos.

7.5 Neutral Listening

Good for neutral listening. They have one of the most balanced frequency responses that we've measured so far. They have a good amount of bass and instruments and vocals sound clear without but a bit forward. They're comfortable enough to wear for extended listening sessions but unfortunately, their small earbud design does not create a spacious and open soundstage which might not be the most ideal audio reproduction for more neutral listeners. On the upside, their sound is satisfyingly good for most listeners. If you prefer the fit and isolation of in-ear designs and want a truly wireless headset that sounds almost as good as the Bose then consider the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air. If you want truly wireless headphones that have a bit more bass then consider the Skullcandy Push. They won't be as good for neutral listening as the soundsport but the extra bass might be worth it for some.

6.5 Commute/Travel

Average for commute and travel. They're comfortable but have weak noise isolation which won't be ideal for the loud environments involved in commuting. They also have a stiff control scheme and a somewhat bulky design for a truly wireless in-ear/earbud which slightly reduces their portability.

8.2 Sports/Fitness

The Bose SoundSport Free are good headphones for sports use. They're truly wireless and decently compact enough although their case does add quite a bit of bulk when carrying them around. On the upside, they have a stable and semi-open fit that allows runners to monitor their surroundings.

6.1 Office

Average for office use. They don't leak much so you can play your music at higher volumes but they also do not isolate much so you will hear some of the ambient chatter in a lively office.

5.8 Wireless Gaming

Poor for gaming. The Bose SoundSport Free have relatively high latency which is not suitable for gaming. They also have a sub-par microphone and aren't as customizable as most gaming-oriented headsets.

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