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Oct 8, 2020

Bose Sport Earbuds Complaints Cannot Recommend Fully

I've been wanting to replace my old Soundsport since the battery was going and was excited to get these. I've been testing them for a month now to account for "burn in" and getting used to the new controls. 


I have to say I'm disappointed. I haven't decided yet if I'm returning them, but if I had to describe the Sport Earbuds, it would be UNRELIABLE. 

Let's get the PROS out first.
1) The sound is pretty good. The accentuated highs and lows do provide a livelier and CLEANER sound on average, but sometimes too much. You can hear this in songs that have high amounts of treble and bass such as Michael Jackson's Billie Jean. Overall though, the sound is pleasant.
2) The earbuds are very comfortable and stable. For my ears, the comfort was great though there was some sizing issue with my right ear, like I needed something in between a L and M size, but they never felt like they were going to fall out. 

And now the CONS:
1) While the sound is great, the volume stepping is horrible. My initial setup on my phone had the volume level set to middle in the Bose App. When I switched to my mp3 player, there was huge jumps between soft and loud. I had to minimize the volume in the app and that seemed to give me more steps in volume, but I can't verify.

2) Connecting to the Bose Music app was about 20% successful. The times I had to unpair and re-pair was astounding. Not only that, but since the buds can only pair to one device, disconnecting the buds bumps me out to home page. I can't simply connect to a listed device, and I can't go to another device without first connecting to the phone...which prevents me from connecting to other devices. That's a) poor app design, and b) frustrating when I can't connect to my phone. I simply don't use the app anymore.

3) Speaking of connections, there's this odd problem of the buds changing a sound profile when connecting to another device. When switching from PC to my mp3 player, the sound gets "tinny," like you're listening to a radio a block away. Disconnecting and re-pairing to the mp3 player DOES NOT solve the problem. You have to put the buds back in their case so the blue lights come on and then re-pair with the mp3 player to get the sound completely back. I've replicated this a number of times.

4) While the automatic EQ does a good job, it only does so a certain volumes. Bose has never had a manual EQ when it comes to buds, but the volume stepping limits what it can do and is frustrating itself.

5) Charging is HUGE problem. The buds drop in nicely to their docking stations, and I check to see if they are indeed charging, but WHY does only 1 bud charge at times and WHY does it FAIL to charge at all at times? This usually happens when I haven't used my buds for a couple of days. I assume that if there is a charge in my storage device, then I'll be at 100% for my buds. That has not been always the case, and I'm annoyed as hell when I hear "battery low, please charge now," when they are fresh out of the charging device after a few days. There is no off switch or power down capability. 

6) The gesture controls are a bit laggy. You the double taps and it takes a long second to go to the next track. You can't go back a track. Sometimes when repositioning the right bud, it interprets it as pausing. This might be because it automatically pauses when you pull out the right ear bud, but I had this feature disabled in my phone. It's possible though, that it's a default setting since I don't have it connected to my phone.

So. That's my review. I don't use the buds for phone calls, so I didn't test that. Thus, no comments on call quality, but as you can see...waaay more CONS than PROS. In switching back to the Soundsport, I found myself not entirely missing the way the Sport Earbuds sounded...and for $100 difference in price, that doesn't seem to make it worth the purchase. Below are the songs I used to test the sound.

1) Billie Jean, Michael Jackson

2) Carol of the Bells, Linsey Stirling 

3) Emerald Princess, Two Steps From Hell

4) Anticipation & Excitement, Two Steps From Hell

5) Jump, Van Halen

6) The Sunlands, Octopath Traveler OST, Yasunori Nishiki

7) The Greatest Showman, Pentatonix

😎 What is Hip, Tower of Power

9) Pray, Avalon

10) Titan's Spirt Song, Remember the Titans OST, Trevor Rabin