The Bose SoundSport Wireless are good sports headphones. They're comfortable, compact and sufficiently breathable to take to the gym. They also have an above-average sound, a decent battery life, and a good wireless range. However, they don't block as much noise as other in-ear/earbuds which is not ideal for commuting, and their build quality is not as durable as some of the other Bose designs.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless are well-designed wireless earbuds. They have a comfortable fit that's similar but a bit more open than the SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear, which makes them a bit more suitable for runners. They're lightweight and sufficiently stable for most sports (they're one of the best wireless earbuds for working out we've tested so far). They're also decently built, but they're a little bulky and protrude out of your ears. Unfortunately, some units have been damaged by humidity and were not as sweatproof as expected, which is disappointing and their control scheme can be difficult to use due to the thick rubber coating.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless have a sleek sporty aesthetic. They come in a variety of bright color schemes to suit your taste, including a less flashy all-black model. The headphones look premium and well-designed, but the earbuds are larger than most typical in-ear headphones. They're a little bulky and protrude out of your ears, once you have them on, which is a little disappointing.
The Bose SoundSport have a comfortable earbud tip design. They don't fully enter the ear canal, removing the pain that some listeners often experience with in-ear headphones. Also, these Stayhere+ tips are a bit more comfortable and open than the Stayhere+ tips of the SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear and the QuietComfort 20. Unfortunately, they sometimes move around while walking, which causes slight discomfort and frustration especially, when it affects the audio.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless have an above-average control scheme that lacks good tactile feedback. They provide call/music, track skipping, and volume controls. The buttons are fairly large and heavily rubberized to make them sweat proof. Sadly, this also makes the buttons hard to push, especially the volume controls, unlike the AKG N200 clicky and responsive in-line remote.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless, like most in-ear/earbuds, are very breathable headphones. They trap a little bit of heat within the ear canal due to their design, which makes the notch of your ears a little warmer, but it's a very negligible rise in temperature that shouldn't make you sweat more than usual.
The Bose SoundSport wireless are easy to carry around in a pocket bag or purse. They are a little larger than regular in-ear models, but the cable is not too long or thick and doesn't take too much space. This makes them very portable even if they're a little larger than some other wireless in-ear headphones.
The Bose SoundSport come with the same small, circular soft pouch as the wired SoundSport In-Ear. It's a decent case that will shield your headphones from scratches and everyday wear and tear. However, the soft fabric will not protect the headphones from water damage or heavy physical stress.
The Bose SoundSport have an above average build quality. The earbuds are dense and made of a tough plastic that won't get damaged by a couple of drops. The audio cable has a decent thickness, and the in-line control module is coated with a layer of rubber to make them sweat proof. Sadly, the cable isn't flat or additionally rubberized to be more durable. They're also not as sweat-proof as expected and may get damaged by regular exposure to humidity, which is disappointing.
These headphones have a stable wireless design. The Stayhere+ tips fit well within the contours of your ears and won't easily fall out while running or exercising. They're not as stable as some in-ear models with an ear-hook design, but they will comfortably maintain their fit during casual listening sessions or at the gym. Also, the wireless design means, they're less likely to be yanked out of your ears because the audio cable got hooked on something, although they are not as stable as the JBL Endurance Sprint or the more recent Powerbeats3 Wireless since they do not have ear hooks to help them stay attached to your ears during more demanding exercises.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless are a good sounding pair of semi-open earbuds and one of the best wireless earbuds we've tested so far. They have a very good and deep bass, an excellent mid-range, and a very good and well-balanced treble. They also perform quite consistently from person to person given a good fit/seal, and have low distortion. However, like most other earbuds, they don't have a large and out-of-head soundstage.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless have an excellent bass performance. Their low-frequency extension (LFE) is at 10Hz, which is great. It means these headphones are able to produce very deep thumps and rumbles. The entire bass response (low-bass, mid-bass, and high-bass) is virtually flat, but it is over our target by about 2dB. This results in a very well-balanced bass, with ample kick and punch, which is only slightly north of neutral.
The mid-range of the Bose SoundSport Wireless is very good. Low-mid and high-mid are virtually flat and within 0.3dB of our target response, which is hard to beat. Mid-mid, however, is recessed by less than 2dB. The effect of this 2dB recess is very subtle, but it could nudge the vocals and lead instruments towards the back of the mix by giving a bit more emphasis to bass/kick instruments.
The treble range performance of the Bose is great. Low-treble is flat, neutral, and consistent. This ensures that vocals and lead instruments have well-balanced presence and articulation. Mid-treble and high-treble, however, are a bit less consistent, which could make the sibilances (S and T sounds) a bit uneven.
The frequency response consistency of the Bose Soundsport Wireless is very good across multiple users and re-seats, ensuring a consistent delivery of bass and treble. The maximum deviation in frequency response under 10KHz is less than 0.5dB, which is outstanding. This, however, is with the assumption that the user is able to achieve an air-tight seal by choosing an ear tip option that provides the best fit.
The imaging of the of the Bose Soundsport is excellent. Its group delay is among the lowest we have measured, suggesting a tigh bass and clear treble. Also, as shown in the graph, its group delay is consistently below our audibility threshold even in the high-treble region. This is in contrast to some other Bluetooth headphones we have measured, such as the Google Pixel Buds, which has high group delay in both the bass and treble ranges. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched, resulting in accurate and clear placement and localization of objects and instruments (footsteps, voices, drums) in the stereo image.
The soundstage of the Bose Soundsport Wireless is poor. One of the key factors in creating a good soundstage is activating the resonaces of the pinna (the outer ear). Since earbuds/in-ears don't interact with the pinna, their soundstage tends to be small and located inside the listener's head, as opposed to in-front like a loudspeaker. However, since the Soudsport are relatively open earbuds, their soundstage will feel more open and spacious than that of closed-back in-ears.
The total harmonic distortion performance of the Bose is very good. The overall amount of harmonic distortion is within good limits. However, the amount of THD in the low-bass region is slightly elevated. This suggests that the Bose may struggle with producing sub-bass frequencies at extremely loud volumes. This is normal for a relatively open earbud design, but also means that they may not be the best headphones for EQ-ing if you are planning on adding a lot of sub-bass to them. Also, the spikes in THD around 300HZ and 2.5KHz, could make the sound of those frequencies rather harsh and brittle.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless only isolate passively. They're less open than the wired model, and their tip design is similar the SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear. However, they have a looser seal than the Soundtrue, which combined with the already weak passive isolation, make these headphones not ideal for commuting. Runners will be able to hear traffic while running, but frequent commuters may prefer a more isolating design like the Jaybird X4, the Bose QuietComfort 20 or the SoundTrue Ultra In-Ear. On the upside, they don't leak much.
The noise isolation of the Bose Soundsport Wireless is poor. This is expected due to their semi-open earbud design. The Bose doesn't isolate at all in the bass range. In the treble range, where the bulk of speech sits, they provide only 5dB of isolation, which is poor. In the treble range, where S and T sounds are located, the Soundsport provide about 16dB of reduction in noise, which is about average. If you would like to be able to hear your surrounding while listening to music or an audiobook, then an open earbud like the SoundSport Wireless is a suitable option. However, since they still block your ear canal, they won't be as open as the AfterShokz Trekz Air which will be a better option if you really do need to monitor your environment while running outdoors.
The sound leakage of the Bose Soundsport wireless is good. As a rule of thump, closed-back in-ears leak the least, and open-back over-ears leak the most. Earbuds sit kind of in between, which is also the case with the Soundsport. Their leakage is present only in the treble range, meaning sounds leaking out of the Bose will mostly consist of S and T sounds (speech, cymbals) and will be very thin. However, the overall level of the leakage is moderately loud, so if you blast your music/podcast in a quiet environment, chances are people around you would hear some of the leakage.
The overall microphone performance of the Bose Soundsport Wireless is mediocre. Recorded speech with the integrated mic of the Bose will sound rather thin and muffled, but still intelligible in a quiet environment. In noisy situations, however, the Soundsport will have a tough time separating speech from ambient noise in moderately loud environments, such as a busy street.
The recording quality of the SoundSport's integrated mic is sub-par. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 285Hz means speech transmitted/recorded with the Soundsport will sound thin. Also, the HFE of 2.2KHz results in a muffled and airless speech transmission. This will have a subtle but negative effect on the intelligibility of the transmitted speech.
The noise handling capabilitis of the Bose Soundsport Wireless' mic is okay. They achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 19dB, which is average, but better than most Bluetooth headphones we have measured. Nevertheless, the integrated microphone of the Bose is suitable only to quiet environments and they will struggle to separate speech from background noise in moderate and loud environments.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless have a decent wireless range considering their small size but a mediocre battery life. They also have an app, but it doesn't do much except provide basic playback controls. On the upside, the short charge time and auto off timer make them just above-average for active features.
The Bose Soundsport Wireless have a mediocre-at-best battery life that's decent for a wireless in-ear headphone. However, it's not sufficient for long road trips or extended use throughout the day. You also can't use them while charging. On the upside, they take about 1.5 hours to fully charge, which is relatively short compared to full sized headphones. They also have an auto-off timer to save power.
The Bose Soundsport Wireless use the same app as the QuietComfort 35 and SoundLink Around-Ear II, which looks sleek and stylish but only provides a disappointingly small list of features. You get an auto-off timer you can set at different intervals, a bare bones in-app media player and the battery level status but no equalizer, room effects or any other experience-enhancing features that would set this app apart from the others.
The Bose Soundsport Wireless are Bluetooth-only headphones with no audio cable or base/dock. They do not support multi-pairing like other Bose headphones but do have a limited memory of previous synced devices for auto-pairing when you turn them on. On the upside, they support NFC, which makes them a bit easier to pair with smartphones and they have a great range for a wireless in-ear/earbud. Unfortunately, they also have quite a bit of latency which is noticeable when watching movies or gaming.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless don't have multi-device pairing, like the Bose QuietComfort 35 or SoundLink Around-Ear II. On the upside, they support NFC which makes it easier to pair with certain mobile devices.
Update: 03/13/2019: We've retested the Bluetooth connectivity of the SoundSport Wireless and can confirm that they do support multi-device pairing. We've updated the score to reflect this adjustment.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless do not have a dock. If you want a headphone that's versatile and has a dock, try the SteelSeries Arctis 7. However, it won't be as compact and easy-to-carry around on your person.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless have a better wireless range than most of the other in-ear headphones we've tested so far. They maintained a strong wireless connection up to 40ft when the Bluetooth source was in another room. This makes them a good wireless option to use in a moderately large office or at home without needing to carry your Bluetooth source on you at all times.
These headphones have quite a bit of latency which is not ideal for watching movies and a lot of video content. It's not more than most typical Bluetooth headphones but it won't be suitable for gaming and movies.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless are good sports headphones with an above-average sound and a comfortable earbud fit. They're one of the best sounding wireless earbuds and best wireless earbuds for running we've reviewed; they're compact and have a good wireless range, but their build quality is not as durable as some of the other wireless in-ear/earbuds we've reviewed.
If sound quality is the most important thing for you, the Bose SoundSport Wireless are better headphones than the Jaybird X4. Their sound quality is better and they are more comfortable. On the other hand, they barely isolate any noise, so the X4 are the better pick in that category. The X4 also have over an hour more in battery life and the Jaybird MySound app offers more customization than the Bose Connect app. The build quality is better on the X4, thanks to the waterproof IPX7 rating.
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.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless are a much better wireless headset than the Apple AirPods. The Bose have a more stable fit that's better suited for sports and running. They also have a better-balanced sound that delivers a lot more bass than the AirPods. The Bose also block a bit more noise, although they will not be the best headphones for commuting due to their semi-open earbud fit. On the other hand, the AirPods are a lot more portable and come with an excellent case that gives them more than 24hrs of battery life. They also have a slightly more stable connection, and they're also easier to use and have lower latency with iOS devices.
The Jaybird X3 are slightly better wireless in-ear/earbuds than the Bose SoundSport Wireless. The Jaybird X3 have a more isolating in-ear fit that is better suited for loud and quiet environments since they block a lot of noise and do not leak much. They're also a bit more stable for working out and running than the SoundSport Wireless and have a longer battery life. On the upside, the SoundSport have a much better default sound quality. They're also a lot more comfortable to wear for most listeners, thanks to their earbud fit.
The Jaybird Tarah Pro are better sports headphones than the Bose SoundSport Wireless. Also, due to their closed-back design, they isolate more and leak less, making them more versatile for everyday casual use as well. The Tarah Pro feel better-made, and their fit is more stable than the bulkier and heavier design of the SoundSport Wireless. They also have better battery life and have a companion app to EQ their sound. On the other hand, the Bose are more comfortable and don’t need a proprietary charging cradle. They also have a slightly better default sound quality.
If sound quality is the most important thing for you, the Bose SoundSport Wireless are better headphones than the Jaybird Tarah. They have an open design which barely isolates noise, which can be good for outside runners, but not suitable for crowded gyms. They are also one of the most comfortable earbuds we’ve tested so far. However, the Bose Connect app doesn’t have customization options like the Jaybird MySound application, and the Jaybird are rated IPX7 and should be more sweat and water resistant.
The Jaybird X2 are a better headphone overall than the Bose SoundSport Wireless if you prefer in-ear designs over earbuds. The X2 have stronger passive isolation in loud environments thanks to their in-ear fit. The X2 leak less than the SoundSport Wireless, so you can play your music at really high volumes to mask more noise and not distract the people around you. The Jaybirds also have slightly lower latency, although both headphones will not be ideal for watching a lot of videos. The SoundSport Wireless, on the other hand, have a comfortable earbud fit, which most will prefer over in-ears like the X2. They also have a better-balanced sound, come with an app, and support NFC which the X2 does not.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless are a slightly better wireless headset than the Sony WI-SP600N. The Bose have an earbud fit, which makes them a bit more comfortable for most listeners than the Sonys. They also have a longer battery life and a better-balanced sound that caters well to most music genres. They're also a tad more stable for the gym. The Sonys, on the other hand, have a better isolation performance which makes them a bit more suitable for other uses, like commute and travel. They also have a slightly more premium and durable design with better controls. You can also EQ the Sonys via their app, which you can't with the Bose.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless are slightly better headphones than the Fitbit Flyer. The Bose have a more comfortable earbud fit that most will prefer over the in-ear fit of the Fitbit Flyer. They also have a better-balanced sound quality and a better battery performance overall, thanks to their auto-off feature. The Fitbit Flyer, on the other hand, have a more isolating in-ear fit that's more suitable for noisy environments. They also leak a lot less so you can play your music at higher volumes without distracting the people around you. On the upside, both headphones are stable enough for sports and most physical activities.
The Jaybird Freedom are slightly better sports headphone than the Bose SoundSport WIreless, mostly due to their isolating in-ear fit which might not be as important for outdoor runners. The Bose have a more comfortable earbud fit with a semi-open design that's a bit better suited for running outdoors but won't be as good for blocking noise in louder environments. The SoundSport also have a much better sound quality than the Freedoms with a longer continuous playback time but a shorter battery life overall. The Jaybird, on the other hand, have a better isolation performance for noisy and quieter conditions. They also have easier to use controls and slightly longer battery life overall thanks to their charging clip. You can also customize their sound profile with their app, which you can't with the Bose.
The Beats BeatsX are a slightly better and more versatile headset than the Bose SoundSport Wireless. The Beats have a better isolating in-ear fit that is more suitable to use in noisy environments, like when commuting. They also have a fast-charging battery life that gives you over an hour's worth of listening from a quick 5-minute charge. On the upside, the Bose have a more comfortable earbud fit that most will prefer over the fit of the BeatsX. They also have a more balanced sound quality, and their semi-open fit, while not great for commuting, is a bit more suitable for outdoor runners, so you can more easily monitor for traffic and obstacles than with the in-ear fit of the Beats.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless have a similar design and overall score as the Bose QuietComfort 20 but have much different use cases. The SoundSport Wireless are a bit more practical for every day use and sports since there are no cables to hinder your movements. They also have a better-balanced sound quality that does not sound as bass-heavy/dark as the QC 20. The QC 20, on the other hand, are better travel and commuting headphones thanks to the strong noise cancellation that blocks a lot more noise than the semi-open of the SoundSport Wireless. They also have a longer battery life and no latency for watching videos since they are wired.
The JBL Endurance Sprint are a slightly better headset overall than the Bose SoundSport Wireless. The Bose have a more comfortable semi-open earbud fit that most will prefer over that of the Endurance Sprint. They also support NFC pairing with mobile phones, have a better-balanced sound and a slightly more precise control scheme than the Sprint although it is a bit difficult to use due to the heavy rubber coating. On the upside, the JBL have a slightly longer battery life on average. They also have a more isolating in-ear fit which makes them a bit more suitable for noisy environments and commuting although they will not be as comfortable as the Bose.
Both headphones are great for sports, but you should choose according to your criteria as they perform well in different categories. The Bose SoundSport Wireless have better overall sound quality and are more comfortable. However, the earbuds are bulkier than average, and they are semi-open, meaning they don’t have a good isolation like the JBLs. The JBL Reflect Mini 2 also have better battery life and fins for great stability.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless have a more neutral sound quality and their earbud-like design will be more comfortable for most people. However, the Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless have twice the battery life of the Boses and feel better built. Also, their closed-back design isolates more than the semi-open design of the Bose. For sports, the ear-hooks of the Powerbeats3 are more stable and their control scheme is easier to use.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless are better sports headphones than the AfterShokz Trekz Air. They are more typical headphones with in-ear drivers, and they also have an open design which doesn’t isolate noise. They have a neutral and even sound profile. They won’t be as open as the bone-conducting design of the Trekz Air, but you should be able to monitor your surrounding with the Boses as well. On the other hand, the Trekz Air have better build quality, with rubberized coating, and they also have better soundstage and battery life.
The Jaybird Freedom 2 are a slightly better headphone overall than the Bose SoundSport Wireless. The Freedoms have a better isolating fit which is more suitable for commuting and loud environments. They also have a customizable sound and easier to use controls. The Bose, however, are a bit more compact when not in their bulky charring case. They also have a better-balanced sound quality that may not even need an EQ on most tracks. They have a longer battery life overall, and a more typical earbud fit that some will prefer over that of the Freedom 2.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless and the AKG N200 Wireless are two similar headphones that have good audio quality, but the Boses have a small edge over the AKGs. Their semi-open design makes them more open-sounding, but this also means they barely isolate any noise. Also, the Boses have a slightly more comfortable earbud-like design. However, their cable feels thin and flimsy, and controls are hard to register, while the AKG feel well-built due to their braided cable and dense magnetic earbuds.