Review: Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones

Filed Under: Travel Technology

I’ve been a Bose customer for as long as I can remember. There aren’t many material things that I value highly (I’d much rather spend money on experiences), though I’ve always found Bose products to be worth the money. Yes, there are cheaper products out there, but given how much I use travel technology, it’s not an area where I’m looking to save a few bucks and compromise on quality. After all, I use my Bose headphones every single day, so on a per use basis my costs are minimal.

Personally I’ve always found it useful to have both in-ear and over-ear headphones:

  • I generally find over-ear headphones to have better sound quality and be more comfortable, and typically use them on planes
  • I still value having in-ear headphones for the ability to use them when not on a plane, like when in a hotel gym, etc.

Back in the day I had the Bose QuietComfort 25 Headphones, which are over-ear, and the Bose QuietComfort 20 Headphones, which are in-ear. They were both fantastic, though unfortunately for me became largely obsolete once I got the iPhone 7, since it no longer has a headphone jack. That means I now need wireless headphones.

My Bose QuietComfort 20 in-ear headphones, which become obsolete when I got an iPhone 7

So last year I picked up the Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones, which are over-ear. They’re awesome. While I don’t notice a difference in the sound quality compared to the QuietComfort 25 Headphones, the ability to use them wirelessly is great.

My Bose QuietComfort wireless over-ear headphones, which I love

However, up until now I haven’t actually purchased any wireless in-ear headphones, so that has been long overdue.

My wireless in-ear headphones decision making process

Since I’m a Bose fan and needed new wireless in-ear headphones, I narrowed it down to the following two options:

I ended up going with the cheaper SoundSport option for three reasons:

  • My main reason for wanting these is for when I’m out and about or at a hotel gym, and in those situations I don’t value noise cancelation
  • They seem more mobile and easy to put in your pocket, since they don’t have the “collar”
  • This might sound weird, but I hate feeling “restrained,” and I feel like the collar would have made me uncomfortable; I don’t like watches, jewelry, etc., for that reason

So between those factors, that made the decision easy for me.

The Bose QuietControl 30 Headphones, which I didn’t get

My thoughts on the Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones

Last week I got the Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones, and I love them.

You can buy them with or without a charging base. The charging case is an extra $49, and I decided not to buy it, since the headphones can be charged with the same micro-USB that I charge my other headphones and camera with.

The headphones couldn’t be easier to use, even for someone as technology challenged as me, and they’re easy to pair.

The headphones never fall out of my ears, and you barely feel the cord around the back of your neck, as it’s loose. Bose claims the battery life on these is about 10 hours, and that matches my experience. I’ve had to charge them twice so far, and I’ve been using them a lot. The micro-USB plugs directly into one of the earbuds.

Bottom line

I’m sure there are cheaper and decent quality in-ear headphones, but for me I just always go with Bose since I know they have great quality products, and I’ll be using it every single day for years. I had also considered getting a pair of Apple AirPods, but they’re just so small that I feel like I would lose them.

The Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones offer exactly what I was looking for — they’re comfortable, stay in my ears even when running, are compact, easy to charge, and easy to pair. While I wouldn’t want to use these as my primary headphones on airplanes (where I value noise cancelation), for other purposes while traveling, these are great.

Do you have favorite in-ear wireless headphones that I should have otherwise considered?

  1. I have had these headphones for a few months now and loved them, but they’ve started to get a bit wonky.

    When you plug them in to charge them, they show as fully charged, even though they haven’t finished charging. The button to turn them on and off has also started to show some premature wear and tear. I could see issues like this after a year or 2, but it just seems premature after a few months.

    They still work fine though! Just a bit disappointed in the glitches/durability.

  2. These are my favorite. Got them as a Christmas present last year and use them all the time for gym workouts and long runs. Couldn’t be happier with sound quality, comfort, battery and ease of use. Even after a 15+ mile run, I barely feel them. Also… call quality (even out on a run) is great. Strongly recommend these.

  3. I have the QC30’s which I use for my travel. I’m all about having small gadgets. They work great for me when I fly every week.

  4. Add $15 bluetooth receiver with those wired buds when you need to switch back and forth, like between phone and IFE on travel day. Size of a domino, usb charge. +$30 for receiver/transmitter if you want to make the IFE work with a wireless.

  5. Help! I have these and always run into this problem: The lady’s voice interrupts the music to say, “Lost – Daniel’s Macbook pro” when I walk into another room. Given that I have 4-5 bluetooth devices, it seems the music is constantly getting interrupted when I leave the house, enter a new area, etc.

    Anyone else experience this or have a fix?

  6. Sorry to nitpick, Lucky, but these headphones (like the QC35s) charge via micro-USB, not mini-USB. In any event, I echo your thoughts — these are my daily drivers.

  7. So, I have been considering getting these or the AirPods (briefly considered the BeatsX or PowerBeats 3, but those seem to have many problems).

    I have a iPhone and iPad (and might add a Apple Watch Series 3 soon), so the AirPods iOS integration seems like a real selling point. Also, I frequently use only one earbud when I’m moving through the airport, and it sounds like the AirPods remix the audio to one channel when only 1 is active.

    So I am wondering, does anyone have experience with both “standard” bluetooth headphones and AirPods? Are AirPods worth considering?

  8. Typo: “since it no longer has a headphone back”


    I love my QC20s, but would definitely consider the SoundSport.

  9. IMHO Bang & Olufsen H8 are better. I have also tried model you have but still for my taste B&O has better product

  10. I like the QC30, neck band style is always more comfortable than no neckband. I don’t know why but wireless earbuds without a neckband always end up falling out of my ears because the cord gets tangled up in some weird way that ends up applying a pushing-out force on my ear. Noise cancelling on it is great and on par with the QC20. Only weird thing is that the noise cancelling alternates between noise cancelling and amplifying outside noise and when you receive a call it switches to the amplifying mode, making it incredibly difficult to hear the other side since you hear mostly what’s around you. Very strange choice for Bose to make….

  11. Was using the 3.5mm to lightning adapter not a solution? Seems like such a sad thing to let $300 headphones go to waste, when a simple solution would be to just leave the small adapter permanently attached. Though probably worth it for you given how much you travel and for the added convenience that wireless brings.

  12. @Daniel

    The Bose Connect app, which allows you to change the device settings, includes a toggle to turn “Voice Prompts” off. You will still hear the notification tone as devices go in and out of range, but it won’t interrupt your audio as noticeably as her voice.

  13. 1) I prefer the superior technology of Samsung, so I also get to keep my headphone jack.

    2) I view $149 is entirely too much for what amount to ear buds. You can get OEM Samsung in-ear buds, which have passive noise cancelling and decent sound quality, for all of $5 or so, in bulk, on Amazon. This is a much better value. They will still work on your iPhone, with an adapter.

    3) Any reason you didn’t go with the AirPods?

  14. I’ve had the SoundSport Wireless since they came out (around a year ago I believe), and love them. I have wonky ears, and the only earbuds that consistently stay in my ears are from Bose – I’ve tried a number of other brands using a number of other tip sizes and options, and nothing has had the comfort and fit like these do. I’d highly recommend them to anyone looking for wireless earbuds for athletic purposes.

  15. I have had mine since April of 2017, they quit on me. These things happen and the return and replace process was easier than I have ever experienced. When I received them I did not register for the warranty, just lazy and I have never had a problem before with Bose. I have had the wired over the ear headphones and then upgraded to the wireless over the ear headphones. I started hinting that I wished for these headphones after doing my homework. I wanted a sports headphone to wear as I started to train for my first 5K. My training took a sideline however I discovered that these were awesome on the DC Metro system and great for situations where the over the ear headphones would be inappropriate. While these are not invisible they are not the do not talk to me sign that the over the ear ones are. When they died I really wanted to cry as they have become my go to earphones except for when on a plane. I will post again when I get my new pair. Bose is replacing them for me and paying for the shipping both directions. All of this without a receipt or registering the product. I do not know if I got lucky or if that is Bose policy but I will be registering the new pair as soon as I get them.

  16. Was just discussing with a friend yesterday what sports headphones I should buy. It amazes this blog I check daily supplies me with a handy answer! Thanks, Lucky

  17. iPhone 7 made wired headphones obsolete? This is completely untrue.

    You can still connect them using the Lightning to 3.5mm adapter that came with the iPhone (if you lost it, buy one on Amazon/eBay).

    An entire article based on an incorrect premise…

  18. I switched from Bise to Shure 8 years ago and have been thrilled. Awesome warranty service (replaced mine twice- no charge – I’m hard on them).

    They have many price options, I have the SE425 predecessor.

  19. “However, up until now I haven’t actually purchased any wireless in-ear headphones, so that has been long overdue.”

    Pretty sure we saw you rockin a pair of AirPods in your Bravo net show

  20. Just got a set – nice wireless buds, not in-ear-canal noise isolating but great sound. Easy to pair. Generally comfortable – maybe a bit too light and easy, to the point of worrying they’ll fall out, but they probably won’t. Strong bass, a bit on the modest side on the treble but that’s fine. I would also not like the neck plastic band as that’s too constricting and what to do with it when you’re done? Can’t just throw them into a jacket pocket.

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