The headphones market continues to surge and premium audio brand Bose is right in the mix of it all, easily keeping pace with the newest trends when they’re not setting them. At the forefront of the company’s achievements is their state of the art noise cancellation technology, which is in fact so precise and effective it’s used by astronauts in space shuttles to prevent hearing damage.
With their eyes and minds firmly facing forward, Bose is naturally no stranger to wireless gear, and last year saw among other things the release of the SoundSport Pulse Wireless Headphones. We got our hands (and ears) on a pair and wanted to share our thoughts in a hands-on review.
As with many modern wireless earbuds, the SoundSport Pulse is made for those who lead very active lifestyles (hence the “sport” in its name). Bose wants to be the brand of choice for young men who hit the gym or track before work and that means a resilient, tangle-free design, with the added inclusion of steadfast tech and some fitness tracking as well.
More specifically, Bose SoundSport comes equipped with a built-in PerformTek heart rate sensor that syncs with both the BoseConnect app as well as third party apps like Runkeeper. The sensor performs admirably and while many complain that these forms of heart rate measurement aren’t accurate, it certainly gets no complaints from me. So long as you’re consistent in your tool of measurement, you’re golden.
Also included is an inline remote. It aims to provide seamless control over everything from the music to Bluetooth communication, all without interrupting your workout. Also keeping your workout free of interruptions is StayHear+ Pulse technology, a design feature that represents Bose’s latest efforts to retain the highest tier of performance in the face of any and all activity. And of course it wouldn’t be Bose if it didn’t feature the latest in noise cancellation, which when coupled with StayHear+ Pulse equates to consistent, unwavering fidelity no matter how intense the workout.
One feature that Bose didn’t include, which would’ve been handy, was some built-in storage for music on the go. The whole point of wireless buds is the idea of a completely unfettered experience and to me this means the absence of cords and devices (when applicable). If future generations could include a little built-in storage capacity so that you could leave the phone at home on your next run, I would be forever grateful.
Aesthetically speaking, the SoundSport Pulse earbuds are similar to most other products of their kind, but with a little added bulk around the sides. The build quality is excellent but the outer edges of the headphones do stick out a fair way from the sides of your ears.
Also the medium size earbuds the pair came with were actually pretty big for my ears. Usually the medium size from Bose fits really well, but this time around I had to switch the buds out for a smaller size. Thankfully, snapping in the new buds was an absolute breeze.
Minor quibbles aside, the Bose SoundSport Pulse Wireless Headphones were still extremely comfortable and secure in my lobes, and the design was optimal in the minimalistic sense. A modest cord connects the two buds and features a handy clip at the back along with the tiny, accessible remote. The main takeaway from the SoundSport Pulse design is that it provides seamless access and extreme comfort in spite of a little added heft (at least looks wise).
The Bose SoundSport Pulse Headphones perform admirably if not exceptionally compared to most of the wireless gear I’ve tried to date. They’re easy to use and supremely accessible in every way I can imagine. The sound quality is 1000% awesome and the enhanced design keeps those buds intact–there was seriously no exercise I could throw at this gear that it couldn’t handle. As always, noise cancellation meant a welcoming, enclosed listening environment where the music can really shine. Lastly, the heart rate tracking was accurate from what I could tell and the adjoining app was helpful and hassle free.
If Bose could pack all that performance into a somewhat lighter body, and then toss in some built-in storage so I don’t need to keep my phone on hand (I know–I’m starting to come off as high maintenance), I think the SoundSport Pulse would be an indisputable contender for best in show. Nevertheless, those of you looking for premium, unyielding audio and a sturdy, comfortable design that can duly handle your most intense workout, you can now stop looking…and start listening.