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Bose SoundSport Free: the complete review 2020

To say that Bose true wireless headphones were expected is an understatement. The American brand, renowned for its expertise, was absent from this booming market. Since then, some manufacturers have taken the lead, such as Sony, Apple, Samsung, Bang & Olufsen or – more surprisingly – the little UK’sman Divacore; as evidenced by our top 10.

To tackle this type of product, Bose has chosen a sporting strategy. Because of their look and their support system, the SoundSport Free target fans of running and other physical practices. Those who want to remain discreet will prefer the black version to the orange one that we reviewed or blue and yellow, the third version available.

A very comfortable support system

Once in the ears, the headphones do not move anymore thanks to the very effective system called “StayHear +”. The outgrowth of silicone is wedged in the hollow of the ear without completely blocking them as would an in-ear model. Advantage: the process offers greater comfort and the headset can be worn longer. Disadvantage: it isolates much less outside noise. Difficult, for example, in our case not to be tempted to increase the volume in the metro excessively to hear a podcast distinctly. The set is IPX4 certified to withstand sweat and rain, but not at all submerged.

The application is very successful

In terms of ergonomics, let’s start with Bluetooth pairing, which is relatively easy with the American manufacturer thanks to its Bose Connect application. Always as complete, it allows you to choose the time to put the earphones to sleep, activate or change the language of the voice prompts or apply updates when they are available. It also gives the possibility of finding lost earphones by ringing them remotely, as with Apple AirPods.

Bulky, but endowed with great endurance

The headphones themselves are quite large and clearly one of the most bulky on the market, alongside the Sony WF-1000X. If this may seem frightening – all the more so since the charging case is also quite imposing – there is, however, the advantage of having complete controls thanks to easily accessible buttons: volume, play, pause or even trigger the voice assistant on his smartphone. Even if you have to exert a fairly significant pressure on the buttons, having them located on the edge is a good idea because this avoids sinking the earpiece at the bottom of the ear canal each time you want to put the music on pause.

Bose also took advantage of this large footprint by integrating very efficient batteries. This allows it to keep its promise of five hours of autonomy and even exceed it. We measured 5 h 20 of consecutive listening. And we were able to carry out approximately two and a half recharges with the case, which brings the total use to a little more than 5.30pm, a very nice score which places these “true wireless” among the best of their kind (6 h 19 for the Divacore Antipods, 4 h 58 for the Apple AirPods or 5 h 46 for the Jaybird Run).

Powerful sound, deep bass

We also note the perfect robustness of the Bluetooth signal as it is managed by Bose. At no time have we experienced a cut between the smartphone and the SoundSport Free, regardless of the position in which our phone was. The range is excellent, we were able to verify that the 9 meters announced by Bose were completely realistic. Even when changing rooms, the signal held up.

True wireless technology, however, prevents it from being used while watching a video. A gap which is due to the significant latency of about half a second linked to its mode of operation. The signal is first transmitted to the right listener, which then sends the information to the left. Suffice to say that by the time the audio signal arrives safely, the character in the series we are watching will have already said the following word.

We will therefore clearly reserve this model for listening to music. Especially since they excel in the field. Bose must be recognized for his talent: whatever the product he markets, the manufacturer manages to offer him his typical sound signature. Basses present, voices well put forward, but treble noticeably behind: we are far, very far from the fidelity sought in hi-fi obviously, but the overall result is quite impressive. We notice it immediately, as soon as we try these headphones. “How can such little things send so much?” Was the first thought that crossed our mind.

 

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