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Bose Sport Earbuds Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Nov 26, 2020 at 09:49 am
Bose Sport Earbuds Truly Wireless Picture
7.3
Neutral Sound
6.6
Commute/Travel
8.4
Sports/Fitness
6.3
Office
5.7
Wireless Gaming
5.6
Wired Gaming
5.4
Phone Calls
Type Earbuds
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Bose Sport Earbuds are well-built truly wireless earbuds with a comfortable, stable fit so you can wear them during your workouts. They have a balanced though somewhat warm sound profile, so bass and vocals are more prominent in the mix than higher-frequency sounds. Unfortunately, their companion app doesn't offer any sound customization features. While they don't block out a lot of background noise, listeners who want to stay aware of their surroundings may appreciate this design feature, especially if they're running outdoors.

Our Verdict

7.3 Neutral Sound

The Bose Sport Earbuds are decent for neutral sound. They have a balanced, though somewhat warm sound profile, so higher frequency sounds like sibilants may be weak or distant. They're also lacking a touch of low-bass, so audio lacks deep thump and punch. However, their neutral mid-range makes them suitable for vocal-centric content.

Pros
  • Consistent audio delivery.
Cons
  • Bad passive soundstage.
6.6 Commute/Travel

The Bose Sport Earbuds are okay for commute and travel. They have a comfortable fit, and their portable design makes it easy to bring them on-the-go. However, with 4.3-hour continuous battery life, they may not last through long international flights without a recharge. Also, they don't block out background noises like bus or plane engines or chatter from other passengers.

Pros
  • Comfortable, stable fit.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
8.4 Sports/Fitness

The Bose Sport Earbuds are impressive for sports and fitness. Thanks to their stability fins, these earbuds have a stable fit and shouldn't fall out of your ears during your workout. They're well-built, comfortable, and easy to bring on-the-go. They also have an IPX4 rating for water resistance, although we don't currently test for this.

Pros
  • Comfortable, stable fit.
  • IPX4 rating.
Cons
  • Bad passive soundstage.
6.3 Office

The Bose Sport Earbuds are acceptable for office use. They're comfortable and they don't leak a lot of noise, so your music shouldn't bother nearby coworkers. However, they struggle to block out background noises, which can be distracting. Also, their 4.3-hour continuous battery life may not be enough to get you through your workday without a recharge.

Pros
  • Comfortable, stable fit.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
5.7 Wireless Gaming

The Bose Sport Earbuds are compatible with Bluetooth-enabled PCs, but their latency is likely too high to be suitable for wireless gaming. They aren't compatible with Xbox One or PS4 consoles.

5.6 Wired Gaming

The Bose Sport Earbuds are wireless-only, so they aren't suitable for wired gaming.

5.4 Phone Calls

The Bose Sport Earbuds are sub-par for phone calls. Their integrated microphone has a poor recording quality, so your voice can sound thin, muffled, and lacking in detail. The mic also struggles to separate your voice from ambient noise around you. They don't really block out background noises either, which can help you hear your own voice more clearly but can make it difficult to hear whoever's on the other end of the line.

Pros
  • Comfortable, stable fit.
Cons
  • Poor mic performance.
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • 7.3 Neutral Sound
  • 6.6 Commute/Travel
  • 8.4 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.3 Office
  • 5.7 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.6 Wired Gaming
  • 5.4 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Jun 29, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  2. Updated Mar 05, 2021: We have retested their controls using a new firmware update. The scoring of this test has changed.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Bose Sport Earbuds are simple truly wireless earbuds. They're a bit bulkier than many truly wireless headphones, and they protrude out of your ears a bit. You can get these headphones in three color variants: 'Triple Black', 'Baltic Blue', and 'Glacier White'.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.03 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

The Bose Sport Earbuds are comfortable. The ear tips feel comfortable, and they don't go too deep into your ear. There are also stability fins to help them stay put on your ear. However, the earbuds are a bit bulky and protrude from your ear, which may be annoying for some listeners.

6.8
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Great
Feedback Decent
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls Mappable Button

Update 03/05/2021: Bose released a firmware update which added volume controls. We have updated the review to better reflect these changes, and raised the scoring of this box.

The Bose Sport Earbuds have alright touch-sensitive controls. The right earbud lets you play and pause your music or end and answer your calls. You can also turn on volume controls via the companion app, allowing you to swipe up or down to adjust the volume on the right earbud. However, you won't be able to remap this control onto the left earbud. While there are no controls by default on the left earbud, you can activate or disable them by using the companion app. The app allows you to remap the 'hear battery level' or 'skip track' button onto the left earbud. While you get some audio feedback when connected, the touch-sensitive buttons aren't very clicky, so you may accidentally change a setting while adjusting them in your ear.

9.2
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 0.8 ยฐC
9.5
Design
Portability
L 1.0" (2.5 cm)
W 1.5" (3.8 cm)
H 0.9" (2.3 cm)
Volume 1.40 inยณ (22.94 cmยณ)
Transmitter Required No

The Bose Sport Earbuds are outstandingly portable. Like most truly wireless earbuds, they're small and should easily fit in your pocket. Their portable charging case is a bit bulky, but it should still fit easily in your bag.

7.0
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 3.6" (9.1 cm)
W 1.7" (4.3 cm)
H 1.2" (3.0 cm)
Volume 7.10 inยณ (116.35 cmยณ)

The charging case is decent. It's made of hard plastic, and it locks and unlocks to help keep the buds secure. There are also magnets inside the case to hold the earbuds in place while they charge. You can also use the 5-light LED battery indicator to keep track of their battery level.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Bose Sport Earbuds have an impressive build quality. They're mostly made of plastic, which feels solid and durable. There aren't any noticeable weak links in their build. They're also rated IPX4 for water resistance, though we don't test for this.

8.5
Design
Stability

These earbuds are amazingly stable. They feel more stable than the Bose Sport Open Earbuds Truly Wireless and come with stability fins to help keep them in place in your ear. They shouldn't fall out of your ears during casual listening sessions or while working out at the gym.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Bose Sport Earbuds headphones
  • 3x Stability fins/earbud tips
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Carrying case
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-3.5 dB
Treble Amount
-2.14 dB

The Bose Sport Earbuds have a balanced, though somewhat warm sound profile. They're lacking a touch of low-bass, which can be disappointing for fans of bass-heavy music genres like EDM. However, their neutral, balanced mid-range makes them suitable for lots of audio content, especially vocal-centric content like podcasts or audiobooks.

8.0
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.39 dB

These headphones have an impressive frequency response consistency. While the treble is a little inconsistent, you should get consistent sound once you achieve a proper fit and air-tight seal.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.2
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.4 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
35.64 Hz
Low-Bass
-4.08 dB
Mid-Bass
1.26 dB
High-Bass
1.61 dB

These headphones have great bass accuracy. They're lacking a touch of low-bass, so you don't feel the deep thump or rumble in your favorite EDM or hip-hop songs. However, the rest of the range is quite balanced, resulting in a present punch and boom.

8.4
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.11 dB
Low-Mid
0.29 dB
Mid-Mid
-0.33 dB
High-Mid
3 dB

These headphones have impressive mid accuracy. Most of the range is quite balanced and neutral, so vocals and lead instruments are clear and present. However, the overemphasized high-mids can make some of those instruments sound honky or harsh.

7.4
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.93 dB
Mid-Treble
-1.91 dB
Low-Treble
1.32 dB
High-Treble
-9.56 dB

These headphones have decent treble accuracy. Low-treble is overemphasized, so vocals and lead instruments can be harsh or piercing. The underemphasis in the mid-treble makes sibilants like cymbals weak or distant.

7.1
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.06 dB
Dips
1.13 dB

The Bose Sport Earbuds have decent peaks and dips performance. While they're missing a touch of low-bass, the peak across the bass range adds punch and boom to the mix. The dip in the mid-mids nudges vocals and lead instruments towards the back of the mix, while the peak in the high-mids and low-treble can make those same instruments sound honky or harsh. The mid-treble is uneven, resulting in sibilants that are both piercing and lispy.

8.8
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.32
Weighted Phase Mismatch
1.62
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.79
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.23

The Bose Sport Earbuds have excellent imaging. Their weighted group delay falls mostly below the audibility threshold, resulting in tight bass and transparent treble. Also, their L/R drivers are well-matched in amplitude, frequency, and phase response, so objects like footsteps are accurately placed within the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our test unit, so your experience may vary.

2.5
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
9.0
Acoustic Space Excitation
2.4

The Bose Sport Earbuds have a terrible passive soundstage performance. By design, they don't interact with the outer ear, which is one of the key components in creating a speaker-like and out-of-body soundstage. As a result, audio seems like it's coming from inside the listener's head, rather than from speakers placed all around them. Also, they have a closed-back enclosure, so their soundstage doesn't sound as spacious as open-back headphones.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No

These earbuds don't have any virtual soundstage features.

8.0
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.225
WHD @ 100
0.093

These headphones have an impressive weighted harmonic distortion performance. Aside from a small peak in the high-treble, most of the ranges fall within good limits, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
1.07-10904+620b71c
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings we used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when using these settings.

While Bose advertises an 'Active EQ' feature, we don't consider this an EQ because you can't turn it off.

Isolation
2.7
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-6.77 dB
Bass
-0.12 dB
Mid
-4.27 dB
Treble
-16.2 dB

The Bose Sport Earbuds have a poor noise isolation performance. They don't isolate against bass-heavy noises like bus or plane engines, and they struggle to block out background voices or the hum from nearby AC units. However, this may be preferred by listeners who want to stay aware of their surroundings, such as outdoor runners. If you're looking for a pair of truly wireless Bose headphones with an active noise cancelling feature, consider the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless.

7.9
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
34.1 dB

These headphones have a very good leakage performance. They leak a bit of noise, but it's mostly thin-sounding.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No

The Bose Sport Earbuds have an integrated microphone.

6.3
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
320 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
8.34 dB
HFE
7,671.33 Hz
Weighted THD
0.387
Gain
6.75 dB

The microphone has a mediocre recording quality. Your voice sounds thin, muffled, and lacking in detail. However, the person on the other end of the line should still be able to understand you.

4.3
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
44.76 dB
Noise Gate
Always On
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
4.5
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
4.0
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

Update 06/04/2021: There seems to be a noise gate built into the microphone, which we couldn't turn off during our original test. However, we were able to retest the mic after fixing the noise gate. As a result, the scoring of this box has changed.

The microphone has a disappointing noise handling performance. The microphone struggles to separate your voice from moderate background noise like a busy street. If you need to take an important call, it's best to do so from a quieter environment to be heard clearly.

Active Features
6.1
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
4.3 hrs
Additional Charges
2.0
Total Battery Life
12.9 hrs
Charge Time
1.2 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The Bose Sport Earbuds have a mediocre battery performance. They only last 4.3 hours off of a single charge, which may not last through your workday. However, there are about two additional charges in the case, which is nice. They also have an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life when not in use.

7.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Bose Music
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
Yes
Button Mapping Yes
Surround Support
No

The Bose Music app is decent. It lets you remap the controls on the left earbud to hear the battery level or skip to the next track. You can also turn on or off the volume touch controls as well as the "In-ear Detection" feature, which automatically answers your calls when you insert the right bud, and automatically plays/pauses your music when your insert/remove the right bud. However, it lacks more premium features like an equalizer, so you can't customize the buds' sound.

Connectivity
6.6
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.1
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
53.00 ft (16.15 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
329 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
36 ms
Android Latency
71 ms

The Bose Sport Earbuds have a fair Bluetooth performance. They're compatible with Bluetooth 5.1, but they don't have multi-device or NFC pairing. Their latency on PCs and Androids is likely too high to be suitable for gaming, but you should be able to use them to watch videos on iOS devices. However, some apps compensate for latency, so your real-world experience can vary.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A

These are Bluetooth-only earbuds.

0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection
No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

The Bose Sport Earbuds can't be used with a wired connection. They come with a USB-C charging cable for their charging case.

Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
No
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
No
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
No
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
No
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones aren't compatible with Xbox One.

2.2
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Charging Case
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
Yes
Power Supply
USB-C

The Bose Sport Earbuds come with a portable charging case that charges using a USB-C connection.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Bose Sport Earbuds come in three color variants: 'Triple Black', 'Baltic Blue', and 'Glacier White'. We tested the 'Triple Black' variant, and you can see the label for the model we tested here. We expect the other color variants to perform similarly.

If you come across another variant of these headphones, let us know in the discussion section below.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Bose Sport Earbuds are sports-oriented truly wireless earbuds with a very comfortable and stable fit. They have poor noise isolation performance, but this can help you stay aware of your surroundings if you're running outdoors. However, their control scheme doesn't offer as much control as some of the other truly wireless earbuds we've tested, and they don't come with any customization features. See also our recommendations for the best truly wireless earbuds, the best wireless earbuds for running and working out, and the best in-ears and earbuds.

Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless

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.

Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless

The Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless are better headphones than the Bose Sport Earbuds Truly Wireless. The Jabra have longer continuous battery life, a better noise isolation performance, and they leak less sound. They have a very thumpy and excited sound profile compared to the more neutral Bose, but unlike the Bose, you can customize their sound using the parametric EQ and presets in their companion app. However, the Bose are more stable.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds Truly Wireless are better headphones for most uses than the Bose Sport Earbuds Truly Wireless. The QuietComfort Earbuds have a better-balanced sound profile, a great ANC feature, and a better battery performance. However, the Sport are better for physical exercise as they're more comfortable and stable.

Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless

The Bose Sport Earbuds Truly Wireless are marginally better headphones for sports and fitness than the Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless. The Bose have a more stable in-ear fit. However, the Jabra have a more versatile overall performance, as their controls are easier to use and they have a better noise isolation performance. They have an excited sound profile with more bass than the Bose, and they're more customizable thanks to their graphic EQ and presets.

Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless

The Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless and the Bose Sport Earbuds Truly Wireless have different strengths, and you may prefer either. The Bose are better for sports since they come with a few differently-sized stability fins and block out much less ambient sound, which is nice if you want to stay aware of your surroundings while you exercise. On the other hand, the Apple are equipped with a great ANC feature and have a longer continuous battery life as well as a case that holds a greater number of extra charges. Also, some listeners may prefer their more neutral sound profile.

Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless

The Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless and the Bose Sport Earbuds Truly Wireless are both impressive for sports and fitness, but the Beats are better for mixed usage. The Beats have a longer continuous battery life. However, the Bose are better-built, more stable, and they leak less noise.

Bose Sport Open Earbuds Truly Wireless

The Bose Sport Earbuds Truly Wireless are more versatile headphones than the Bose Sport Open Earbuds Truly Wireless. While both headphones are designed for sports, the Sport Earbuds are more comfortable and stable. They have a better-balanced sound profile and their carrying case holds two additional charges, which is nice. However, the Sport Open have a completely open-ear design that allows you to hear more ambient noise around you, which make them even more suitable for running outdoors.

Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless

The Bose Sport Earbuds Truly Wireless are marginally better for sports and fitness than the Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless, however, the Jaybird are better for mixed usage. The Bose are more comfortable and more stable than the Jaybird. However, the Jaybird have a better noise isolation performance, leak less noise, and have a longer continuous battery life. Also, thanks to their parametric EQ and presets, they're more customizable than the Bose.

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