I’ve never tried Bose before. I knew they were a big name in sound but never actually tried their products. I’ve tried all the other big names and still own a few of them. When the opportunity came up to test out the Bose SoundTrue and SoundSport in-ear headphones I jumped at the chance to see if Bose can live up to the reputation they have garnered since their inception in 1964.
With both the SoundTrue and SoundSport in-ear headphones to review they are both included in the same review as the difference between the two is very minimal. The SoundSport headphones are designed for exercise in that they’ve been manufactured with sweat and weather resistance in mind as well as with an enhanced durability while maintaining the same “performance, comfort and stability as other Bose in-ear headphones. The differences between the two are the durability as mentioned above, the colours and the cases that come with each. The SoundSport variety also come with an extension cable to provide extra reach when in the gym.
The headphones come with the standard cable rather than the flat “tangle-proof” cable that is becoming popular with many manufacturers lately. The cables are not the standard solid colour cable though, with a twisting two-colour cable that adds a nice distinguishing feature to the headphones.
There is an inline remote/microphone for calls and controlling music playback. While we only had the iOS version to test the start and stop worked as advertised, only missing the volume up and down that works for iOS devices. The mic did not work while on phones calls with the remote buttons muting a non-functioning microphone but not answering nor ending the phone calls. If these functions are a must for you then we suggest testing them out before purchasing. For me though I do not need any of these functions, although it would be nice to have the phone call function if required.
There is a standard clip attached to the cable to allow attaching the cable to clothing to prevent the cable being pulled.
Both headphones came with a decent carry case with the SoundSport case being much nicer than the SoundTrue case. Interesting the cases are so different when the headphones are so similar.
Comfort has always been an issue with me and in-ear headphones. I’ve always had the ones where you stuff them all the way in to make them sound good and stay in. I have both Etymotic and Klipsch in-ear headphones and neither feel very comfortable when listening for more than a few minutes.
These are the first in-ear headphones I have tried with the triangular shark fin thingy (?proper name). They always looked uncomfortable to me not really understanding how they worked. I can honestly say that after using them I am converted. The shark fin allows for the ear phone to sit in the ear comfortably, while being secure without having to be stuffed halfway down the ear holes which can become painful after a while.
With respect to the shark fins, there are three sizes included with each set of headphones, obviously a small, medium and a large. I started off using the medium size which seemed quite good but the ear bud didn’t seem to be fully pushed into the ear. Switching over to the large size meant a much better fit into the ear hole, as well as how secure they were. There is no way these were coming out easily, while at the same time being very comfortable.
The headphones offer “superior audio reproduction, features that are ideal for mobile devices” Bose have included TriPort® technology to the headphones which apparently delivers “full, balanced sound” and the music “sounds smooth and rich, with detail and clarity.” This is what I wrote in the announcement post but I also wrote that there was “nothing to backup these statements”. Now I can say that every single statement by Bose is accurate and correct in my opinion.
The sound coming out of the Bose SoundTrue and SoundSport has to be heard to be believed. When it comes to in-ear headphones I already own a couple of decent pairs. I have a Klipsch S4-II set and an Etymotic pair as well. Neither of these can be considered high end headphones but neither are cheap and nasty. I can comfortably say that the Bose headphones absolutely and entirely wipe the floor with these headphones.
First off was my favourite music, metal. The highs and lows were amazingly crisp with the range of sound really more than I was used to with my Etymotics. The amount of bass that was able to pump out of these small headphones was amazing. I haven’t experienced that before in a set of in-ear headphones. While the bass was a good level the crispness of the higher end did not seem to suffer. The full range of sounds present blew my mind. I can’t believe what I had been missing out on with my other in-ear headphones.
From metal I moved onto hiphop, One Direction, Katy Perry, and the guy who sang at the AFL grand final (yes my 9yo daughter did choose my playlist after the hiphop). While the headphones did not improve the quality of the music these artists produced they certainly accurately reproduced the sounds as required. The full range of sound was experienced for all songs. I even lent a pair to a friend to test with her iPhone and top 40-type music for a couple of hours after she was sceptical about how much I was raving about them. She has since binned the earpods that came with her iPhone 5s and purchased a pair of the SoundSport iPhone variety. They are that good. Maybe there is something to this Bose TriPort® technology.
While the sound is not as good as a noise cancelling pair often are but the fit of the in-ear headphones resulted in very little ambient noise getting in to disrupt the Bose experience.
The Bose SoundTrue and SoundSport in-ear headphones are not the cheapest pair of headphones around in this category but they are the best I have heard from this class in a long time. Bose have lived up to their reputation with these headphones and I am comfortable recommending them to anyone looking for a high end set of in-ear headphones without paying the exorbitant prices for noise cancelling in-ear headphones.
The Bose SoundSport and SoundTrue in-ear headphones come in both Samsung and Apple varieties with the Samsung varieties only coming in green for the SoundSport and black for the SoundTrue. If the inline remote is not required then they have a SoundTrue version without the remote. The SoundSport comes in at $199 at the Bose online store, the SoundTrue with remote $179 and the SoundTrue sans remote control $129.
Coming into the Christmas period you may be able to find these cheaper at local stores but if they fall within your price range I can highly recommend them as a good set of comfortable, accurate in-ear headphones.