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Bose SoundSport Review

Great sound in an otherwise average package
Bose SoundSport
Credit: Bose
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Price:   $150 List | $129.00 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
#11 of 14
  • Sound Quality - 30% 8
  • Comfort - 20% 6
  • Athletic Performance - 20% 6
  • Battery Life - 15% 6
  • Portability - 10% 5
  • Ease of Use - 5% 8

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

 
Bose SoundSport
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Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $150 List
$129.00 at Amazon
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$120 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Great sound quality, keeper clip on wireSound quality, secure fit, water resistance, very portable, battery life, great in-app EQFantastic sound quality, great battery lifeGreat price for high performance, good sound quality, portability, charging caseGood for working out, low profile design, relatively inexpensive
Cons Some find bulky design awkward and uncomfortableNoise cancellation only averageComfort is quite hit or miss, athletic performance also hit or missBulky, uncomfortable for long periodsMay not fit large ears well, average sound quality and comfort, not true wireless, no charging case
Bottom Line Great sound in an otherwise average packageOur favorite earbuds to recommend combine great sound with a secure fit and impressive battery life to keep up with your lifestyleFantastic if they fit well, but very uncomfortable if they don'tA quality, high-scoring product with a price tag that won't break the bankDecent performance at a mid range price, this model is likely to have most appeal among athletes who don't mind the wire
Rating Categories Bose SoundSport Jaybird Vista 2 Jabra Elite 75t Amazon Echo Buds (2... JBL Reflect Mini 2
Sound Quality (30%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
5.0
Comfort (20%)
6.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Athletic Performance (20%)
6.0
10.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
Battery Life (15%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
9.0
Portability (10%)
5.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
Ease Of Use (5%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Specs Bose SoundSport Jaybird Vista 2 Jabra Elite 75t Amazon Echo Buds (2... JBL Reflect Mini 2
Weight (oz) 0.82 0.47 0.4 0.47 0.54
Waterproof Rating IPX4 IP68 buds
IP54 case
IP55 IPX4 IPX5
Measured Battery Life (hours) 6.5 9 7 5 11.5
Claimed Battery Life (hours) 6 8 7.5 5 10
Carrying Case? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Charging Carrying Case? No Yes Yes Yes No
Wireless Charging Option? No Yes Yes Yes No
Microphone? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

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


Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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

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

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.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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