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Better-Built Alternative: Bose Sport Best Budget Earbuds

Sports Earbuds by Bose have been designed to energize your workout with acclaimed lifelike sound, great comfort, and a secure fit. No matter how loud you crank up your music, proprietary technologies ensure clear, balanced sound, while the sleek design of the earbuds allows you to wear them close to your ears. No matter what length of time you exercise for, or how much you move, the ear tips won't hurt your ears. Be on your way to breaking even more personal records.

Bose believes that everyone deserves a second chance or at least hopes you believe that way. Bose's Sport Earbuds will be a mainstay among gym-goers thanks to the company's second true wireless workout earbud. Does Bose's Soundsport Free actually improve on the original, or does it simply repackage old problems? We examine the Bose Sport Earbuds in depth below.

What kind of person should get Bose Sport Earbuds?

  • These earphones are great for athletes because they have an IPX4 rating and easy-to-use touch controls.
  • Because the proprietary ear tips of the Bose Sport Earbuds keep them in place no matter what, anyone can use them. With the integrated mics, you can take hands-free calls from anywhere, and the bud and case can be charged in an instant.

Bose Sport Earbuds: What are they like?

The Sport Earbuds by Bose are made of plastic which is a smart choice since weight and durability are important when it comes to workout earbuds. There is nothing fancy about the earbuds' design, but it is very modern. Sport Earbuds are completely smooth and have no rough corners or edges. Although the oblong shape sticks out from the ear, it does not attract as much attention as the original SoundSport Free wireless headphones.

Each earbud is equipped with a touch panel on the outside of its housing, so there are no buttons. Bose has recently added functionality to the right earbud so you can adjust the volume using the earbud. The right earbud can be double-tapped or removed to pause playback. For automatic play/pause functionality, only the right bud contains a sensor to detect the ear. Mono listening is another exclusive feature of the right earbud. You can't use the left earbud by itself if your right ear is hearing impaired, which is unfortunate.

Bose's Sport Earbuds are distinguished by their StayHear Max ear tips, one of their best features. Though they appear intimidating at first glance and are much larger than a normal sleeve, the ear tips do wonders for your ears. No matter how much you shake your head, the earbuds stay in place. In addition, they're extremely comfortable: the wingtips lightly grip your concha, and the ear tips seal and cushion your ear canals without being too painful.

There's nothing special about the case, but it's much smaller than the one that comes with the Bose SoundSport Free. Since it does not rely on magnets to keep it closed, the Bose Sport Earbuds case is different from most true wireless headset cases. The lid is opened instead by pressing a button that releases a lever. It's more practical since it stops accidental opening whenever you drop it.

One Bluetooth pairing button sits inside the case, while four LED lights line the outside to indicate the remaining battery life. Because the Sport Earbuds have their fair share of connection quirks, you'll have to press down a bit to make sure it works.

Is the Bose Music app worth getting?

Bose Music provides firmware updates as its most useful feature. Otherwise, it is very basic.

Bose Music has very little functionality other than firmware updates and set up a function for the left earbud. The Active EQ software provided by Bose, which can't be disabled, is the only way to create a custom EQ. However, some tinkerers may find this limitation irksome as Bose's Active EQ is very effective.

Switching between paired devices is easy with the Bose Music app. In addition to the Bose Music app options, you can turn off call and audio streaming from your smartphone's Bluetooth settings, although that is more complicated. Bose's voice prompts can also be toggled if you find them redundant. You can also customize the name of the earbuds through the app, and a battery reading is displayed clearly. Bose does have some creative options for naming, though I'm not a fan of the latter.

Is the Bose Sport Earbuds compatible with all Bluetooth codecs?

AAC will play well on iPhones, which is good news for iPhone owners who use the SBC Bluetooth codec. The Bose Sport Earbuds may not be able to stream AAC to an Android phone, however. It may be necessary to force SBC streaming from your smartphone's developer settings if connection issues become too severe.

Bluetooth 5.1 is used by the Bose Sport Earbuds. Bose took this opportunity to update the firmware version 1.0.7-10904+620b71c to fix the connection quality issue at first.

How does Bluetooth 5.1 differ from Bluetooth 5.0?

The location features in Bluetooth 5.1 are more advanced than Bluetooth 5.0, as it can pinpoint the direction of the peripheral's location in relation to its source device (e.g., the distance and direction between your earbuds and smartphone). The Bose Music app doesn't support find my earbuds in version 4.1.1 due to Bluetooth 5.1's improved accuracy.

There has been a revamp of caching in Bluetooth 5.1, so it is even more energy-efficient than Bluetooth 5.0. Battery life will be a bit longer with Bluetooth 5.1 than with Bluetooth 5.0. This new caching system makes connecting to a smartphone faster, so automatic pairing with smartphones should be instant, but it may not be perfect with these earbuds. This allows you to broadcast the status of the Bose Sport Earbud's connection to different devices when trying to pair them.

It is not part of LE Audio; both Bluetooth 5.0 and Bluetooth 5.1 are part of Wireless Low Energy (LE) technology. Initial Bluetooth Core Specification version 5.2 will support LE Audio, so we probably won't see earbuds with LE Audio for quite some time.

Bose Sport Earbuds: How long will the battery last?

Using a constant 75dB (SPL) output, Bose Sport Earbuds last for 5 hours, 17 minutes; not bad for a pair of earbuds that cost $500. In terms of truly wireless earbuds, this is above average, and you can always fast charge the buds when you don't have time: 15 minutes in the case provides two hours of playback. The earbuds and case take two hours and three hours, respectively, to fully charge. You can keep the Qi charging mat away since the Bose Sport Earbuds case does not support wireless charging.

Is it worth buying the Bose Sport Earbuds?

As far as workout earbuds go, the Bose Sport Earbuds are unmatched. Using Bose's proprietary StayHear Max ear tips, you'll be able to get a secure fit without the uncomfortable feeling of strong suction. Despite their unattractive appearance, Bose's StayHear Max ear tips provide a great deal of comfort.

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