Review: Bose SoundSport Wireless

The Bose SoundSport Wireless headset offers as secure an in-ear fit as we've come across

Bose SoundSport
Pictures by Aiza Castillo-Domingo

While battery, form and audio quality have improved, wireless headset manufacturers often struggle to nail the right fit for different ears. Most brands offer a set of buds that cater to different shapes of ear, but the fit comes under scrutiny while you’re running at 10kph on the treadmill — not something that’s easy to test in an electronics store. It’s a bit surprising that Bose — a brand better associated with high-fidelity home theatre systems than sports tech — has come closest to providing the right fit for a moving head with its SoundSport Wireless headset.

Bose SoundSport
Like most contemporary in-ear sets, the Bose SoundSport comes with ear buds and wings in different sizes. Unlike most, the SoundSport buds stay in even during active workouts such as boxing or burpees

This set isn’t entirely wireless like Apple’s AirPods or Samsung’s IconX. A cable joins the left and right earbuds, with an in-line microphone-remote positioned under the latter. The right earbud also contains a covered microUSB port for charging and a button for pairing and switching the SoundSport on and off. The cable has a non-slip, matte texture and rests on the back of the wearer’s neck. It comes with a detachable crocodile clip, which is good for tethering to the back of a T-shirt. The buds stayed in my ears while on the treadmill, punching a bag and even doing burpees. In terms of comfort, I had no issues wearing the set for three hours at work.

Bose SoundSport
The remote has tactile buttons for volume, playing/pausing and skipping tracks. The microphone is sensitive enough to pick up the wearer’s voice without needing to be moved closer to the mouth. The removable crocodile clip can tether the wire to the back of your T-shirt

The headset delivers warm sub-bass while blasting Pink Floyd’s Pigs (Three Different Ones) at the gym, but you wouldn’t wear one at the library or a similar quiet environment, where the lack of high-res sound support becomes clearer. A downside of the audio in louder environments: no noise cancellation. Phone calls come through clearly though, with the wearer’s voice communicated with clarity to the other side. Connectivity is never an issue, with the pairing process relatively simple. Ditching noise cancellation has probably enabled the SoundSport to deliver more than five hours of playback. Even better is the fact that the battery didn’t discharge despite being unused for a couple of days.

Bose SoundSport
The headset reads out the battery level when you switch it on. It’s also nice that it doesn’t discharge after a few days of not being used

The Bose SoundSport comes with a premium soft carry case that has an attached clip useful for hooking to a bicycle, belt loop or backpack. The case includes an inside pocket for holding those spare earbuds.

The SoundSport is good for travel and working out, but not necessarily for drowning out noisy colleagues. Despite the lack of noise cancellation, a wireless Bose product at Dh599 represents good value.