Sports 'true wireless' headphones, experience and conclusions …
Recently, a detailed review of Bose headphones from Alexei Podbolotov was released on the main page of the MR. He skimmed through the text, decided not to finish reading, so that later he could compare his impressions. Thanks to wonderful people, I managed to use the SoundSport Free model for a couple of weeks, I would like to tell you about my experience and impressions.
In everything inherent in this model, the emphasis is on the active use case, whether it is an ordinary run, workout at home or an express crossfit session in the gym. Sport is everywhere – in the name, in the design of the booklet of the box, in the shape and layout of the cover and, of course, in the features of use. Looking ahead, I want to say that the main and main use case is listening to music when there is no particular need to talk to someone during training or active sports.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed using the headphones, including at home, sitting at a laptop or doing my usual household chores. Of course, for everyday use, I would not buy this model, it would be at least not very smart, the headphones are very highly specialized. Everything in order.
The case of the case is as reliable as possible in terms of protecting the headphones from external influences. There is no fear that by throwing the cover into the backpack in the compartment with the rest of the things (keys, case for glasses, portable charger, change, climbing boots, emphasize the necessary), you risk damaging it, and besides, the headphones themselves. No really, pipes. The mechanism of the cover works reliably, closes tightly, and it is quite difficult to open it by accident. At the moment of opening, I agree with my colleague, it would be more effective to snap the mechanism into the desired position – a trifle, but it would be nice.
As for the material of the headphones themselves, there are no complaints here. The plastic used on the outside of the case looks pretty solid, but I wouldn't put it under heavy stress. The material of the earbuds, as well as their shape, resembles that of the QC30 (s), it does not cause any inconvenience. However, more on that in the next paragraph.
The first desire after unpacking and listening to Bose sports headphones was a trip to the gym, it did not take long. I went by public transport and managed to catch several glances, in which one could read misunderstanding and curiosity. Yes, the headphones look peculiar, again, as was the case on the QC30, they stand out in size and protrude significantly from the ears. At the same time, the risk that the headphones will fall out is minimal (tested with flip ups), SoundSport Free is very reliably felt in the ear, while they are not heavy and it is easy to forget about them: nothing clings to clothes, there is no risk of pinching the wire and leaving the headphones in doors, etc.
I agree with Aleksey about the control buttons: well, very tight. Yes, you can bring this feature to the use case, they say, you won't accidentally press it, but I would prefer a softer button travel.
To paraphrase a colleague, I am ready to forgive this model for all possible flaws for the sound quality. Apparently, the rule worked here that 'everything is learned in comparison'. I used the reliable, but inexpensive OnePlus Bullets V2 all day on purpose and then switched to Bose. I will try to describe my impressions. It seems that at first I was listening to music in an extremely compressed space, which for some reason concentrated exclusively on the sides of the head, and then expanded and acquired an impressive volume. It was the three-dimensional picture of the sound that gave the first 'wow' when listening. A stone in the garden is quite a good wired headset from OnePlus for its money, but here the comparison is inappropriate, of course, different segments and all that. Still, against my will, I had to compare.
A clear, solid, but at the same time, readable sound for instrumental parts captivates, and it is impossible to fight with it. At least, as an unwitting lover, I spend two or three or even four hours alone with a laptop screen and background music in headphones. For myself, I noted a good volume margin and acceptable passive noise cancellation, which, however, almost disappears on a noisy street or in the subway. In terms of sound quality, SoundSport Free works at the highest level, I think.
The first incomprehensible and not entirely pleasant moment was the sound delay noticed in the game, and then when watching the video. The image 'overtakes' the sound by about a second, this is not very convenient and slightly spoils the overall picture and the resulting user experience. Here's what they write about this feature on the user support page on the official website:
'The SoundSport Free headphones are designed for workouts, and we hope they bring you listening enjoyment outside the gym. Some users have complained about a delay in audio sync when watching individual videos. We are aware that true wireless headphones are subject to some latency between audio and video, but the feedback we have received suggests that the product does not perform quite as expected. Our engineers are working on a solution to the problem, we will try to provide a software update for this model as soon as possible. '
The situation with this model, apparently, has long been known to the manufacturer, but the update did not eliminate the delay, yes, it became a little shorter, but remained noticeable. Again, according to the support page, the new software will fix the problem on devices with full protocol support Audi o / Video Distribution Transport Protocol version 1.3 and higher. Unfortunately, so far support has been confirmed only on smartphones and tablets Apple, they promise to add more devices.
My attitude to the problem is as follows: it is unpleasant, makes you scratch your head and think, but if you discard the desire to make SoundSport Free universal headphones, then everything, in principle, falls into place. Of course, the user wants to squeeze the maximum out of his acquisition, to take it beyond his capabilities, 'since I wasted money, please be so kind'. Bose decided to focus on a narrow application, the company is not without reason puts such an emphasis on sports, this scenario has been worked out well. In this case, the rest may feel some discomfort. For example, with voice communication.
I will be brief – only the right earpiece is used during the conversation. Perhaps this is a consequence of the fact that he is the presenter, first it is he who connects to the smartphone, and only then the left one is synchronized with him. In any case, in this moment my cognitive dissonance reached its highest point, I simply did not expect such a realization. I do not exclude the fact that a solution with two independent headphones would have cost more and would have been technically more difficult, but would have saved from such an unpleasant surprise. You can get used to it, not too critical, but spoils the impression a little.
The first couple of days I observed frequent short-term disconnections of the left earphone, followed by re-switching in a second or two. I can't find a logical reason, there was a laptop next to it, maybe it somehow affected the connection. I also noticed a similar problem when trying to put a hat on the headphones. This was mentioned in the review, but I decided to try it myself. Ergonomics starts to suffer a little, you just have to put on a hat. The left earpiece immediately begins to 'get lost', they don't 'like' tight hats. So either a cap, or some kind of headdress that does not press on the ears, or its absence as such. Subsequently, the problem with the loss of connection practically did not occur, it was a sinful thing to listen to headphones even in the subway, such breaks were not observed.
In this aspect, everything is fair – the model fulfills the declared five hours, the case charges the headphones to 100% for about an hour and a half. At the same time, at first it was thought that it would be better to add an option to turn off the headphones to the model without having to put them in a case, but over time it became clear that this is even better, it is less likely that the earphone will be lost or a cat will play it somewhere. The earbuds snap into place and immediately begin charging when the case has a charge. So you have to remember about the charge level of the latter, since the LEDs on the case, when opened, immediately report the approximate percentage of the remaining charge.
Bose SoundSport Free will go on sale in Russia at the end of the month at a price of 14,990 rubles. For this money, the user will get a cool workout solution with excellent and clear sound, pleasant ergonomics and, in principle, standard battery life. There were some questionable moments, which are due to the company's position in terms of the narrow specialization of the model. You need to understand that Bose products are often expensive, while delivering quality sound. So in this case, price positioning cannot be called budgetary, so the potential owner should be clearly aware of why he buys headphones.
The sound delay and the implementation of functions are related to the features from the series 'this is not a bug, this is a feature', but not everyone will agree with them. If you are looking for sports 'true wireless' headphones with quality sound, a secure fit in your ears and guaranteed moisture protection, then this is the place for you. If you are looking for a more versatile solution, then you should pay attention to the SoundSport Pulse or SoundSport Wireless models.