Bose Sport Earbuds review: Excellent sound and fit with one downside

I first wrote in regards to the Bose Sport Earbuds means again in June 2019. Again then, Bose was calling them the Earbuds 500 and I acquired to attempt on a non-working prototype. In the end, greater than a yr later, they’re about to hit shops. At $179 (£180, AU$300), they’re the extra reasonably priced, non-noise-canceling various to Bose’s flagship QuietComfort Earbuds, which retail for $279 (£250, AU$400). Whereas Sport fashions have some downsides — their high quality throughout telephone calls might be higher, for instance — they characteristic glorious sound, are lighter and smaller than the QuietComfort Earbuds and likewise barely extra snug to put on. 


  • Glorious sound
  • Comfy, safe match
  • Rock stable wi-fi connection
  • IPX4 splash-resistant
  • Smaller and lighter than QuietComfort Earbuds (and the case is extra compact)

Do not Like

  • Buds are smaller than QuietComfort Earbuds however they nonetheless protrude out of your ears a good quantity
  • Voice calling might be higher

The Sport Earbuds have the identical IPX4 splash-resistant rating because the QuietComfort Earbuds, are geared up with Bluetooth 5.1 (my connection was rock stable) and share the same design aesthetic, with three colour choices out there. To be clear, they haven’t any lively noise canceling and an hour much less of battery life — 5 hours as a substitute of 6 — in addition to no wi-fi charging. Whereas they do stand out from your ears, they’re noticeably smaller and lighter than the QuietComfort Earbuds and their case is about 30% to 40% smaller. The case nonetheless is not as small because the circumstances for such rivals because the AirPods Pro, Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus, Galaxy Buds Live and Jabra Elite 75t. But it surely feels fairly compact.

Learn extra: Best true wireless earbuds for 2020: Apple AirPods, Google Pixel Buds and more

I discovered them barely extra snug to put on than the QuietComfort Earbuds, which work high-quality for for sporting actions. However the Sport Earbuds will probably be higher for runners: For biking each the Sport Earbuds and QuietComfort Earbuds stand out from your ears and create wind noise — the Galaxy Buds Dwell are higher for biking.

The contact controls are responsive though pretty restricted. You may double faucet the left earbud to advance tracks, faucet the suitable bud as soon as to pause, and faucet and maintain the suitable bud to entry your voice assistant. There are not any quantity controls on the buds themselves.

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Bose QuietComfort Earbuds: Finest noise canceling


Two main promoting factors

Actually, the the 2 greatest promoting factors for the Sport Earbuds are their match and sound. The earbuds embody three totally different sizes of Bose’s new StayHear Max eartips, which have built-in wing that means that you can get a very safe match. Most noise-isolating earbuds are designed to nestle in your yours. With Bose earbuds — and that features the sooner SoundSport Free — the StayHear tip is what does many of the nestling and the principle portion of the buds find yourself protruding out of your ears. It isn’t the best look, however some folks love the way in which Bose earbuds match, and with the massive ideas I used to be in a position to get a good seal that passively seals out a number of ambient noise and means that you can get optimum sound high quality.

Sport Earbuds (left) in comparison with QuietComfort Earbuds (proper). 

David Carnoy/PJDM

Bose has made an effort to scale back the dimensions of the Sport Earbuds after some folks complained their predecessor, the SoundSport Free, have been just a bit too huge and heavy. And they’re smaller. However Bose may solely shrink them a lot with out sacrificing an excessive amount of battery life and efficiency, in order that they’re simply not as discreet wanting as some rivals.

The Sport Earbuds do not sound fairly as dynamic and their bass would not go fairly as deep as that of the QuietComfort Earbuds, however they’re well-balanced with good element and punchy bass. I discovered the Sport Earbuds a contact brighter. (There’s at the moment no equalizer in Bose Music companion app for iOS and Android.) And whereas it is fairly potential a few of you who would possibly suppose the Sport Earbuds sound higher than the QuietComfort Earbuds — all people’s ears and brains are totally different — I barely most well-liked the QuietComfort Earbuds’ sound, although I might be comfortable to hearken to both mannequin.

The Sports activities Earbuds are smaller and lighter than the sooner SoundSport Free.

David Carnoy/PJDM

As for a way they evaluate to competing merchandise of their worth vary, they do sound barely higher than extremely rated earbuds just like the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus and Jabra Elite 75t. They only supply a bit of extra readability and extra highly effective bass with higher definition. Nonetheless, these fashions have a extra discreet design and supply superior voice calling efficiency.  

Name high quality evaluation

The SoundSport Free was criticized for under having mono sound for calls — that means, the audio of a telephone name solely got here by way of the suitable earbud. The Sport Earbuds have stereo sound throughout calls, although the microphones are housed solely in the suitable bud, in order that’s your solely alternative if you wish to make calls with solely a single bud. Name high quality was fairly good — I may hear callers nicely they usually may hear me — but when I went into noisier environments, the quantity of my voice would typically drop a bit.

In truth, Bose says that the SoundSport Free has two microphones in the suitable earbud for voice pickup, versus a complete of six mics on the QuietComfort Earbuds. (No less than a few of these are used to deal with the lively noise canceling on the latter mannequin.)

I feel Bose’s engineers may make some enhancements through a firmware improve — or at the very least I am hoping they will. However for now, voice calling is simply honest to first rate however falls wanting its rivals. It needs to be a bit higher for a $180 set of earbuds.

The Sports activities Earbuds case is considerably smaller than the QuietComfort Earbuds’ case however it would not characteristic wi-fi charging (solely USB-C charging).

David Carnoy/PJDM

Spend the additional $100 or not?

As I stated in my overview of the QuietComfort Earbuds, if nice noise canceling is what you are after — otherwise you simply need the flexbility of getting it — you should not hesitate to spend the additional cash on the Quietcomfort Earbuds. However for those who do not want lively canceling or discover it grating (some individuals are delicate to it), the Sport Earbuds do ship glorious sound and a snug, safe match. That stated, I do suppose with all the brand new true wi-fi fashions popping out, Bose will in the end should get these down in bit in worth (to lower than $150) to make them extra aggressive.    

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David Carnoy