Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Earbuds: Hands On

Yes, there was just an article about these on IReTron last week. And now, here’s another one. But the difference now is that I have the Bose SoundSport Free buds in my ears and can tell you what my experience listening to them has been like for the past three days.

I was going to write an article about these on Wednesday, but wanted to use these for two more days so I can give the most accurate review. I am more impressed with the Bose buds than I thought I would be. The only thing I’m not quite impressed with is the price ($249).

Bose’s new buds are fat, but not clunky. They fit in your ears well once you put on the correct fins. (Bose includes three different pairs.) The right bud has all the basic controls, including a volume rocker. The left button has a connect/disconnect button that’s hard to press. Actually, all the buttons are hard to press, but at least they are there.

The SoundSport Free wireless earbuds are now available.

While the Bose buds fit comfortably in your ears, they don’t comfortably cancel out a lot of noise. Active noise cancellation would have hurt the battery life, but more passive noise isolation would have made these great buds even better. If you think you are going to go into a gym or a train, put on the SoundSport Free, and forget about background noise, you’ll be disappointed.

However, compared to the AirPods, Bose’s earbuds at least offer a small amount of noise isolation. Actually, there is more noise isolation than early reviews will have you believe. But the fact that I can’t sit down at Starbucks and just concentrate on the music when the Buds are on is, perhaps, the only major disability of Bose’s latest product. However, I don’t think this, for the most part, is a deal breaker.

The SoundSport Free earbuds come with a charging case.

Now let’s talk about what really makes the SoundSport free shine — the sound! I am absolutely impressed that Bose has been able to reproduce the sound of many of their high-end headphones (without the noise cancellation) and put them into these two little nuggets.

What’s interesting is that there is no AptX codec when using the buds with the Galaxy Note 8. I believe there is no AAC codec for better sound through the iPhone. But the SoundSport Free buds sound even better than the Sony W1-1000x headband earphones, which has both AptX and AAC.

Bose’s sculpted bass (which some audiophiles don’t like) is here in its full glory. However, the middle and high ranges of the sound spectrum are there as well — at least enough so you can hear all the instruments in Kesha’s “Praying” while also enjoying the vibrato in her voice. Hip-hop and EDM music are also practically made for the SoundSport Free.

Are the SoundSport Free buds worth $249? I think they should be priced as much as the Sony WF-1000X buds, which are $199. Sony’s offer active noise cancellation, but operate only three hours each charge (Bose’s buds last 5 hours). Still, the SoundSport Free may be the best wireless earbuds on the market right now.

About Daryl

Daryl Deino has been a technology enthusiast since 1995 and has written for several newspapers and technology sites. Please reach him at [email protected]
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