The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of tech gear

Bose SoundSport Review

Great sound in an otherwise average package
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Price:   $150 List | $129 at Amazon
Pros:  Great sound quality, keeper clip on wire
Cons:  Some find bulky design awkward and uncomfortable
Manufacturer:   Bose
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Aug 22, 2017
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66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 19
  • Sound Quality - 30% 8
  • Comfort - 20% 6
  • Athletic Performance - 20% 6
  • Battery Life - 15% 6
  • Portability - 15% 6

Our Verdict

Delivering top quality sound, the Bose SoundSport has enough audio juice to keep you delightfully entertained on a plane ride or during your commute. However, the earbuds themselves don't have quite as streamlined a design as some other models, making them slightly less well suited to high octane workouts. They are still good gym companions, but there are better models out there. If you want top notch sound for your next gym session and your workouts tend to be of the intense variety, we would suggest you check out the Beats by Dr. Dre Powerbeats and the Jabra Elite 65t.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Bose SoundSport
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $150 List
$129.00 at Amazon
$170 List
$128.90 at Amazon
$249 List
$249 at Amazon
$100 List
$94.95 at Amazon
$130 List
$129.99 at Amazon
Star Rating
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Pros Great sound quality, keeper clip on wireGreat sound quality, secure fit, great for working outGood sound quality, active noise cancellation, great user interfaceGood sound quality, good for working out, low profile design, relatively inexpensiveGood sound quality, active noise reduction, comfortable, relatively inexpensive
Cons Some find bulky design awkward and uncomfortableExpensive, relatively short battery lifeExpensive, Android users lose many of the unique featuresMay not fit large ears wellSome may find it hard to get a secure, athletically inclined fit
Bottom Line Great sound in an otherwise average packageThe best sounding and most comfortable buds we've found for working outFor Apple users that are willing to pay a premium for great sound and versatility, these are a great choiceA sleek package that offers high end performance at a mid range priceOffers almost everything you could want from truly wireless buds for far less than most competitors
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Rating Categories Bose SoundSport Jabra Elite 65t Apple AirPods Pro JBL Reflect Mini 2 Amazon Echo Buds
Sound Quality (30%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
Comfort (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
Athletic Performance (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
Battery Life (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
6
Portability (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
8
Ease Of Use (%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
6
Specs Bose SoundSport Jabra Elite 65t Apple AirPods Pro JBL Reflect Mini 2 Amazon Echo Buds
Weight (oz) 0.82 0.4 0.38 0.54 0.56
Microphone Yes/No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Claimed Battery Life (hours) 6 5 4.5 10 5
Measured Battery Life (hours) 6.5 5.25 5 11.5 5.25
Carrying Case Yes/No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
EMF Measurement 4.1 V/m 1.7 V/m 3.7 V/m 3 V/m

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Bose SoundSport is a great sounding pair of earbuds, but all other aspects of their performance are somewhat average. This makes for a fairly good product, but there are better ones available in the same price range.


Performance Comparison


The Bose SoundSport received a slightly above average overall score in our testing, mostly buoyed by its great sound quality. Below we discuss how the SoundSport performed in all of the tests we ran.

Sound Quality


The SoundSport shared the top score of 8 out of 10 in our sound quality metric with two other models. It produces solid, punchy bass and the kind of impressive clarity one would expect from a Bose product. These two things combine to form a well rounded and nuanced sound that can make anything from death metal to twangy country sound great. Just don't expect them to sound as good as Bose's over the ear headphones, unfortunately no pair of earbuds can do that.

These earbuds performed great in our testing for making phone calls. Calls sounded clear and crisp, and the microphone was able to produce clear audio for the callee.

The SoundSport sounds so good we didn't want to take them out of our ears...except for photo ops.
The SoundSport sounds so good we didn't want to take them out of our ears...except for photo ops.

Comfort


The SoundSport earned an average score of 6 out of 10 after our final round of comfort testing. These earbuds only come with one size of earpieces, but the earpieces are flexible enough that they are able to fit in most ear sizes. They do come with three different sizes of ear fins, which allowed everyone who tried these earbuds on in our testing to find a fairly secure fit. The only downside is that these earbuds have a large profile outside the ear. This sometimes created a slight tugging sensation when we moved our heads around that wasn't quite annoying, but noticeable.

Athletic Performance


The SoundSport only partially lived up to their name in our testing, earning an average 6 out of 10 score in our athletic performance metric. Remember that large protrusion from the ear we just mentioned? It can bounce around a bit when you're working out, which can tug on the ear a bit. We never had the earbuds fall out of our ears during testing, so we are confident the fit is secure enough for intense workouts. Plus the SoundSport's wire has a small clip that you can attach to your shirt so you won't lose them in the unlikely event that they do fall out.

The SoundSport did well in our running testing  but can create a tugging sensation if you have a jerky stride.
The SoundSport did well in our running testing, but can create a tugging sensation if you have a jerky stride.

Battery Life


The SoundSport slightly outlasted its claimed battery life in our testing, shutting off after 6.5 hours of continuous listening. This ended up being just a bit below the average for the 10 models we tested, but is more than enough for general working out most plane rides.


Portability


The SoundSport was again average in our portability testing with a score of 6 out of 10. Here again the large piece that protrudes from the earbuds themselves lost the SoundSport some points, these protrusions make the earbuds a bit more bulky, meaning they likely won't fit comfortably in the front pocket of your jeans.

The SoundSport's included carrying case.
The SoundSport's included carrying case.

Value


The Bose SoundSport delivers top notch sound at a list price of $150. If you're looking for a balance of great sound and reasonable athletic performance, and $150 is your maximum budget, then these earbuds are a decent value. However, the Beats by Dr. Dre Powerbeats also deliver top quality sound with better athletic performance, but do list for $50 more.

Conclusion


The Bose SoundSport delivers great sound quality and somewhat average performance in all other aspects. This makes them a good all-around pair of earbuds, but there are better athletic earbuds available in the Beats by Dr. Dre Powerbeats.


Max Mutter and Steven Tata