I’ll be honest, I hate Bluetooth.
Nothing upsets me more than having my music interrupted. The feeling of grooving to some music while laying on a beanbag and sipping a beer in Bali, only to have it choppily paused over and over again, is a memory that haunts me. I grew up with the AUX cord and I’ll die by the AUX cord. Perhaps it makes me unsuitable to test out any form of wireless earphones and headphones, but I must admit that I was partially swayed by the idea of the freedom it’d grant.
That is of course, the biggest draw for Bose and its new SoundSport Free Wireless. Unlike the previous version in the range that saw the two earbuds connected via a wire, the new SS Free buds are two distinct ones, promising zero constraints as far as the nine metre Bluetooth connection can handle.
Straight off the bat, I wasn’t sure about the sizing of the pair. While the actual bud (that enters the ear) is of an average size, the larger shell containing the receiver holds a little larger than usual. Thankfully, the weight of the entire earphone wasn’t compromised by either, with each earbud weighing at less than 10 grams. The unfortunate truth with most in-ear headphones however, is that they’re absolutely subjective when it comes to comfort.
Initially, the earphones stayed on fine with no problem but after half an hour, I could feel my ears getting a little sore. We’re positive that for those with perhaps more “developed musculature” around your ears, the SoundSport Free Wireless shouldn’t be a problem. We had another colleague test it out at a gym and it stayed on perfectly well with no problems or discomfort. Make sure you give them a test-go if possible before purchasing them.
We can’t praise the sound of the Bose SoundSport Free Wireless well enough. When it comes to wireless earbuds, it’s rare to have a sound as balanced and clear throughout all ranges. Given Bose’s history with audio, we suppose it could be a given. Our only critique of the sound however, would be the lack of noise isolation. The SS Free Wireless sits on the outer canal of the ear so there isn’t the same “sealing off” effect with other in-earbuds.
The team gave it a test with the different silicone inserts to see if it could be a size fit but determined that it was a design element. If you tend to work out in gyms that aren’t crazy crowded or go for runs after a certain hour, they make for a great choice. In public transport however, not as great.
The biggest gripe that comes to mind with wireless earbuds tends to be the battery life and we’re happy to note that Bose took the time to fully develop this, even if it meant the slightly larger size of the buds. The advertised five hours of battery life came through, with only connectivity issues on the Bluetooth front at the start although that’s on my smartphone, rather than the earbuds.
We think that the Bose SoundSport Free Wireless will work wonders for the exercising crowd who is looking for free hands (the easy to use touch buttons on the top of the earbuds make things a lot simpler) and a pair of earbuds that can take the sweat and what have you of fitness. The earbuds are out in three different colours, and will sell for S$319 at authorised Bose dealers.