Bose Sport Open Earbuds Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Mar 11, 2021 at 10:44 am
Bose Sport Open Earbuds Truly Wireless Picture
5.5
Neutral Sound
5.8
Commute/Travel
8.2
Sports/Fitness
5.6
Office
5.5
Wireless Gaming
5.3
Wired Gaming
6.0
Phone Calls
Type Earbuds
Enclosure Open-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds are open-ear headphones designed for outdoor sports. They have a stable fit and sit outside of your ears so you can still hear ambient sound around you while running outdoors. However, this design makes them less versatile than other sports-oriented headphones like the Bose Sport Earbuds Truly Wireless. They can't block out any background noise and they leak a lot of audio. They also lack a lot of bass and don't have any customization features. While their 9.5-hour battery life should be enough to last through a commute, their carrying case doesn't offer any additional charges.

Our Verdict

5.5 Neutral Sound

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds are mediocre for neutral sound. While they have a flat and balanced mid-range, they lack a lot of low-bass. Unfortunately, they don't have any sound enhancement features to help tweak their sound to your liking. Their design doesn't really produce a wide or natural soundstage, either. That said, they can reproduce bass and treble consistently.

Pros
  • Consistent audio reproduction.
Cons
  • Lacking bass.
5.8 Commute/Travel

The Bose Open Earbuds are sub-par for commute and travel. While they're portable, they won't isolate you from any of the rumble of bus engines or ambient chatter, and they also leak a lot of audio. Even though they're comfortable, you won't be able to wear them while also wearing glasses or a mask. On the upside, their 9.5-hour battery life should last through a long commute.

Pros
  • Great build quality and IPX4 rating for water resistance.
Cons
  • No noise isolation.
  • Leaks a lot of audio.
8.2 Sports/Fitness

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds are great for sports and fitness. They have an open-ear fit so you can hear ambient noise around you while running or working out outdoors. They also have a stable fit, although they can put some pressure behind your ears and their design isn't the most malleable. They also have an IPX4 rating for water resistance, although we don't currently test this.

Pros
  • Great build quality and IPX4 rating for water resistance.
  • Open-ear fit is good for running outside.
Cons
  • Lacking bass.
5.6 Office

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds are disappointing for office use. They don't isolate noise by design, so you hear everything that goes on in the office, and they leak a lot of audio. They're decently comfortable but unfortunately, you won't be able to wear them while also wearing glasses or a mask. On the upside, their 9.5-hour battery life should be enough to last you through your 9-5 workday.

Pros
  • Great build quality and IPX4 rating for water resistance.
Cons
  • No noise isolation.
  • Leaks a lot of audio.
5.5 Wireless Gaming

The Bose Open 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.

5.3 Wired Gaming

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

6.0 Phone Calls

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds are middling for phone calls. Their integrated mic captures your voice clearly, although it struggles to separate speech from ambient noise around you. Since these headphones don't really cover your ears, they also don't block out any noise around you, so it may be harder to focus on your conversation.

Pros
  • Great build quality and IPX4 rating for water resistance.
Cons
  • No noise isolation.
  • Mediocre noise handling.
  • 5.5 Neutral Sound
  • 5.8 Commute/Travel
  • 8.2 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.6 Office
  • 5.5 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.3 Wired Gaming
  • 6.0 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Aug 11, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  2. Updated Mar 11, 2021: Review published.
  3. Updated Mar 08, 2021: Early access published.

Check Price

Triple Black Sport Open Earbuds
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds have an unusual design. They have thick ear-hooks to hold the headphones in place, as the earbud sits just outside of your ear canal. They look a bit bulky, though, and only come in black.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.07 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

The Bose Open Earbuds are decently comfortable. Once you're placed them correctly, you don't really feel them and they don't move around too much. That said, you won't be able to wear them if you're already wearing glasses or have a mask on. They're also quite big, can put pressure behind your ear, and don't have a very malleable design, so people who have bigger earlobes may find them a bit more tricky to wear.

6.9
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Great
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds have alright controls. The right earbud has most of the controls. Using the button, you can play or pause audio with one press, skip a track forward with two presses, skip a track backward with three presses, and a long press turns them on, off, or accesses pairing mode. You can also slow tap the touch-sensitive surface to raise the volume. The left bud allows you to check the battery level with one press of its button, activate voice assistant with a long press, and lower the volume by slow tapping the touch surface. Both touch surfaces are responsive and you can also turn them off if it bothers you. The buttons are responsive, and there are voice prompts when connected, as well as a battery level when powered on.

10
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 0 °C

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds aren't very malleable, so we can't properly test them using our rig. However, as their design doesn't really cover the ear, we don't expect them to trap heat and their average temperature difference should be negligible.

9.0
Design
Portability
L 2.5" (6.4 cm)
W 1.9" (4.8 cm)
H 0.8" (2.0 cm)
Volume 3.80 in³ (62.27 cm³)
Transmitter Required No

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds are outstandingly portable. They're a bit bulkier than traditionally designed truly wireless headphones. They should still fit in most pockets, though.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 4.5" (11.4 cm)
W 2.8" (7.1 cm)
H 1.2" (3.0 cm)
Volume 15.00 in³ (245.80 cm³)

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds have a good case. It's made of plastic with a fabric inner covering. It has a magnet to keep it closed. However, the case won't turn off or recharge the headphones, so you need to remember to turn them off before putting them in their case.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds have a great build quality. They're made of a plastic composite, which makes them feel sturdy and durable. They're also rated IPX4 for water resistance, although we don't currently test for this.

8.0
Design
Stability

These headphones are impressively stable. However, it depends a lot on the shape and size of your ears. While they shouldn't fall off during moderate physical exercise, you may experience the feeling that they could fall off.

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

  • Bose Sport Open Earbuds headphones
  • USB-A proprietary charging cradle
  • Carrying case
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-17.56 dB
Treble Amount
-2.6 dB

As the Bose Open Earbuds sit outside of the ear canal and they have an open-back design, they really struggle to reproduce low-bass, so genres like EDM and hip-hop lack thump and rumble. That said, they have a neutral mid-range, which helps vocal-centric content sound clear and accurate. Unfortunately, they lack any sound customization features to help tweak their sound.

8.5
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.3 dB

These headphones have an excellent frequency response consistency. While there are small deviations in bass and treble delivery, you should be able to achieve a consistent sound if you take the time to adjust them each time you use them.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
1.0
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
16.16 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
100.79 Hz
Low-Bass
-32.16 dB
Mid-Bass
-8.48 dB
High-Bass
3.18 dB

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds have bad bass accuracy. They're lacking a lot of low-bass, which is due to their open-back, open-ear design which sits away from your ear canal. Their mid-bass is also underemphasized, so your mixes lack punch and body. However, the high-bass adds boom, although some users may find it a bit muddy.

8.9
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.45 dB
Low-Mid
1.27 dB
Mid-Mid
0.26 dB
High-Mid
1.62 dB

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds have excellent mid-accuracy. The response is very flat and neutral, resulting in present, accurate, and detailed vocals and lead instruments.

8.0
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.05 dB
Mid-Treble
-4.8 dB
Low-Treble
1 dB
High-Treble
-6.51 dB

These headphones have good treble accuracy. The low-treble is even and slightly overemphasized, resulting in detailed and present vocals and lead instruments. The mid-treble is a little underemphasized, though, so sibilants like cymbals are dull and lispy.

5.4
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
3.42 dB
Dips
2.04 dB

The peaks and dips performance is disappointing. There's a dip in the low-bass, so your mixes lack thump and rumble. The peak in the high-bass adds intense boom, which can muddy your mix. Another peak in the low-treble adds some detail to vocals and lead instruments while a dip in the mid-treble weakens sibilants.

4.7
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
3.18
Weighted Phase Mismatch
42.2
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.33
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.98

The Bose Open Earbuds have poor imaging. There are a few large peaks in their group delay response, indicating loose bass. The treble range falls under the audibility threshold though, ensuring transparent treble. While the left and right drivers are well-matched in amplitude, they're mismatched in frequency and phase response, so objects like footsteps may not be accurately placed within the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our unit, and your experience may vary.

3.4
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
9.8
Acoustic Space Excitation
4.9

The headphones have a poor passive soundstage. Since they sit outside of your ear canal, they're somewhat able to interact with your outer ear, which helps their soundstage seem a bit more open. However, it won't sound very natural.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No
6.9
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.531
WHD @ 100
0.324

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds have an alright weight harmonic distortion performance. There are a few peaks across the range at a normal listening volume, but it's very minor and can be hard to hear with real-life content. At a high volume, the range falls within good limits, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
1.1.2-2174+132ebd5
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when using them in this configuration.

Isolation
0.6
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-0.56 dB
Bass
-0.06 dB
Mid
0.32 dB
Treble
-1.86 dB

The noise isolation performance is bad, but that's to be expected for open-ear headphones. They don't really cover the ear, as this design allows you to stay aware of your surroundings while you run outdoors. Due to this, you can easily hear the rumble of bus engines, ambient chatter, and the hum of an AC unit.

5.8
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
46.15 dB

The Bose Open Earbuds have a sub-par leakage performance. Since they don't go inside your ears, they leak a lot of audio, especially in the treble range. Although escaping audio sounds thin, if you're listening to audio at a high volume in a somewhat noisy environment like an office, people around you can hear it.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
7.6
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
171.98 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
1.7 dB
HFE
6,544.63 Hz
Weighted THD
1.48
Gain
5.63 dB

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds have a good recording quality. Their integrated mic can capture your voice clearly, although it sounds a little thin and lacking in brightness.

6.5
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
11.56 dB
Noise Gate
Always On
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
6.5
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
6.5
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds have mediocre noise handling. The integrated mic struggles to separate your voice from even moderately noisy environments like a busy street.

Active Features
7.0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
9.5 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
9.5 hrs
Charge Time
1.2 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port Proprietary

The Bose Open Earbuds have satisfactory battery performance. They're advertised as having 8 hours of playback time with a two-hour charging period. While we measured about 9.5 hours of continuous battery life with a recharge time of just over an hour, battery performance can vary according to usage, so your experience may vary. If you're looking to save battery life, they have an auto-off timer that can be set within their companion app.

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's pretty basic and it allows you to check the battery level, update the headphones, turn on or off the touch surface volume controls, and adjust the auto-off timer. You can also access a guide on how to use the headphones and see all known devices. However, this app lacks sound enhancement features.

Connectivity
6.7
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.1
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
153.00 ft (46.63 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
86 ms
Android Latency
120 ms

The Bose Sport Open have alright Bluetooth connectivity. They don't support multi-device or NFC pairing, and their latency on PC is likely too high to be suitable for gaming or streaming video. Their latency on iOS and Android devices is much lower, though. That said, some devices and apps compensate for latency, so your experience may vary.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection
No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

These Bluetooth-only headphones can't be used wired. They come with a USB-A to proprietary charging cradle to recharge the headphones.

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
2.2
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Wired USB dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
Yes
Power Supply
USB

These headphones come with a proprietary charging cradle, which can be annoying if you forget it somewhere but need to charge them up. It doesn't hold any charges or have any inputs.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds come in one color variant: 'Triple Black'. You can see our model's label here. If you come across another variant of these headphones, please let us know in the discussions and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds are open-back, open-ear headphones designed for sports and fitness. Unlike the Bose Sport Earbuds Truly Wireless or the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless, they sit slightly outside of your ear to give you better spatial awareness while outdoors. However, due to this design, they may not be comfortable for all users and they lack a bit of low-bass. While they have a carrying case, it doesn't hold any extra charges, which can be a little limiting. Check out our recommendations for the best headphones for running, the best open-back headphones, and the best Bose headphones.

Bose Sport 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.

AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction

The AfterShokz Aeropex Bone Conduction and the Bose Sport Open Earbuds are both headphones designed for outdoor use. The AfterShokz have a bone conduction transducer that uses vibrations on your temples to produce audio, and they don't go into your ear at all, which helps keep you aware of your surroundings. They're more comfortable, have a longer continuous battery life, and support multi-device pairing. However, the Bose sit outside of your ear, also leaving it completely open so that you can hear what's going on around you. They're more comfortable, better-built, stable, and have a more neutral sound profile.

Apple AirPods 2 Truly Wireless 2019

The Bose Sport Open Earbuds are better for outdoor sports and fitness, while the Apple AirPods 2 Truly Wireless 2019 offer a more versatile overall performance. The Bose are more stable and don't cover your ear, so you can stay aware of your surroundings. They also have more consistent audio reproduction. However, the Apple are more comfortable, have five additional charges in their carrying case, and have an H1 chip so that you can seamlessly pair them with your Apple devices. Their sound profile is better-balanced, too.

Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless

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.

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