Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones, Black (761529-0010)
The Bose SoundSport Wireless headphones are aimed, in fact, at sporty types: anyone who may be keen on keeping fit but for whom the drudgery of the treadmill or rowing machine is just too much to bear. As such, they’re Bluetooth wireless headphones, lightweight and colourful, with a built-in battery, a microphone for making and taking calls, and remote control built in. They’re sweat- and splash-proof and they sound pretty sweet, too.
So what do the Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones offer that the competition doesn’t? On paper, at least, the answer to that question seems to be “not a lot”. Battery life isn’t exceptional at a claimed “up to six hours”. They’re sweat-proof, but not IP-rated. And there are only three pairs of ear tips supplied in the box, so it’s possible you won’t find a snug fit.
That’s not to say these are a poor pair of headphones, though; far from it. If they fit your ears, and their popularity indicates they will to most people, you’ll find them a comfortable, secure fit. They sit on the outside of the ear canal rather than slipping in all the way like most earphones, allowing you to hear some of what’s going on around you instead of being sealed off from the outside world. Each “umbrella” tip is kitted out with rubber wings that hook into the outer part of your ear, locking them in place when you rotate the earpiece.
The neck cable is just the right length: not too short and not so long that it snags on your shirt collar. And, although the earpiece housings protrude around a centimetre out from the ear (a touch further than I’d like), they never felt like they’d fall out and they aren’t too heavy. They are a savvy design. The remote barely weighs anything, leaving nothing to drag the cable down, and they are comfortable to wear. The soft silicone rubber hooks trace the basic lines of the ear, making the fit secure enough for running or going to the gym.
Sound quality is good, though, and typically Boseesque in profile. Bass is solid and meaty but it’s not too blousy and indistinct. There’s also plenty of detail in the upper registers and the mid-range is pleasingly open.
While the Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones don’t have the stellar insight of some earphones at this price, they are among the best-sounding wireless in-ears. Bose has managed to craft a sound signature with no glaring flaws: no harshness, good detail and no clear focus on one part of the frequency spectrum that might turn some of you off. Solid dynamics make the music sound lively too: it’s not just down to the fun bass.
As a result of not having a big battery pack as part of a rigid neckband, the battery life is a modest six hours, but that should be more than enough for the average workout or commute. It’s enough to get you through a couple of days’ worth of exercising and commuting, but you’ll need to charge the headphones at the very least twice a week, even if you use them lightly. At least they’re easy and quick to charge, with a micro-USB port located on the left earpiece beneath a flap.
The Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones are the more conventional siblings of the SoundSport Pulse. They lose heart-rate tracking but keep everything else. They are comfortable, sound great, are easy to use and don’t cost more than their high-quality rivals.
The sound is better than most fitness headphones and most importantly they will stay on your ears no matter what you do. You get so much for such a competitive price when you consider how much premium fitness headphones usually cost. The fact that Bose never competitively prices anything, and also how good these headphones actually are. The sound is fantastic, they are easy to wear and keep surrounding sounds out so you get to enjoy the sharp and crisp sound they produce. Battery life is good. Worth the money.