Bose SoundSport Free: not just another alternative to the AirPods

We’ve seen enough of budget alternatives AirPods (in all cases, alas, I was disappointed), and it’s time to find out what’s on offer in the segment of wireless headphones (with a charging case and all the “Goodies”), the leaders of the market of portable audio. Many producers got very nervous when the game entered Free SoundSport headphones from Bose, because this is the first attempt to Express themselves in a completely new direction, which was, apparently, the future of wireless headphones.

But Bose is not the company that tries to assert itself — this is one of the leading manufacturers in the field of audio devices, which is known to be the first applies modern technology, and boasts its expertise in the area of active noise cancellation. More interesting to us was to look at a model SoundSport Free to see if they can take away the palm from AirPods. But the impression the review was much more interesting.

Let’s begin with technical characteristics.

Specifications

  • Emitter: 2, dynamic
  • Frequency range: 2 Hz — 20 kHz
  • Version Bluetooth: 4.1 LE
  • Supported codecs: SBC and AAC
  • Range: up to 10 meters
  • Battery (1 earphone): 85 mA/h
  • Battery (charging case): 800 mA/h
  • Working time per charge: ~ 5 hours
  • Charging time: ≤90 minutes
  • Weight (1 headset): ~ 14 grams.

Starting a conversation about the equipment, not to mention the box design in the signature minimalist style Bose. It can be opened like a bundle, in which is hidden some treasure. Inside we are greeted with the headphones, which are hidden in a plastic charging case. Slightly below — documentation and accessories.

The interior of the box already makes it clear, which is mainly designed SoundSport Free — sports! Very clearly this tells us the picture of a runner who is willing to run the coveted 100 meters (maybe a world record to beat, who knows…).

Among the accessories — micro-USB cable for charging case, two pairs of changeable silicone ear cushions size S and L (M already wearing headphones) and documentation. Tips, incidentally, are United with clamps: this is useful since separate fasteners are often lost, besides landing in the ears becomes much more reliable.

Headphones look modern — the colors are very nice and vibrant, plus each earpiece hosts the Bose logo (just adds statisti). On the right earpiece there is a button playback control (Play/Pause), she is responsible for the accept or reject call, call the voice assistant and track switching. Yes, there is such a multifunctional key, whose purpose depends on the quantity and strength. The left earphone decided not to load and put one button to pair via Bluetooth (headphones remember up to 7 devices). Buttons moderately elastic, and conveniently, the main control center is on the right: most often, we interact with headphones right hand.

Around ear cushions located the compensation holes for ventilation, plus the headset has a MIC — yeah, headset is also. Copper contacts for charging are not striking and are made carefully.

An important advantage SoundSport Free on the same AirPods — protection against ingress of rain and sweat to the IPX4 standard. Of course, in the shower or the pool you are not going with them, but to give training in the gym completely, and the headphones will be nothing. I must say thanks to a special coating on the outside which will protect the exterior of the device from drops of sweat.

A few words about the case for charging. It comfortable headphones you can get and place in your ears with one hand. Yes, there is the question of why the engineers chose the micro-USB instead of the more modern Type-C, but so be it we let this slide. The hinges are made “on the conscience”, so the charging case will last a long time.

On the case hosted the only button you can click on it and view the battery level using the led indicator located below or open the lid and get headphones.

The shape of this “box” really convenient, and the coating soft-touch nice. However, the only downside of this case is associated with the coating — soft-touch too well collects fingerprints. But quite a few times to “walk” with a cloth and all is well again.

Sound

But for the sound can be forgiven, and micro-USB port in the charging case and its cover, and even the fact that someone these headphones may seem big. Sound Bose SoundSport Free not just cool: not slukavil if we say that this is the best sound in the segment. AirPods here and some were not, despite the lack of support of the codec aptX. The bass is pronounced, but not rumble “in the skull”, the vocals in his place, as the lower with the upper frequencies.

At first it seemed that the headset lacks noise insulation, but then I remembered that they are specifically made for outdoor technology. SoundSport Free simply created for running and walking outdoors, so they don’t cut the extra sounds, so you can control the external environment.

Cool that headphones keep connection and not “fall off”, as well as working with a proprietary Bose Connect app, available for iOS and Android.

The app allows you to search for the lost headphones, upgrade software, configure the sleep timer and…Yes, to control playback in a nice embedded player. This is in addition to standard features like viewing the charge level.


As for runtime, it meets the stated — we got in almost 5 hours when listening to music on the street and in the office. A little? Think about charging case — capacity enough to charge the headphones twice. Here we have 15 hours of listening — full daylight even more.

True wireless

In-class Bose SoundSport Free clearly feel on a horse. And it is ensured not only by the quality of sound and connection, as well as a unique design. These headphones sold everything that I would like to see in wireless sport headphones. Yes, they are not connected to “magic” as AirPods, but here everyone chooses for himself what is more important: ease of connection or sound quality.

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