Meet the Bose Sport Open Earbuds, a pair of true wireless headphones designed for exercise. Instead of the usual in-ear tip, this unusual set of buds features a flat enclosure that sits above your ear canal, suspended by a plastic loop.
The aim of this design is to provide a more secure fit than traditional wireless earbuds like the AirPods Pro or the Bose Sport Earbuds while allowing users to hear more of their surroundings — without sacrificing audio quality.
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While the completely open shape of the Bose Sport Open Earbuds might not appeal to those who want a tight seal for noise-cancelling, it's not without merit. With fitness-focused features like sweat proofing and Bose’s ear for sound quality, the Sport Open Earbuds is a respectable effort even if it's not quite among the best wireless earbuds you can buy.
Check out our full Bose Sport Open Earbuds review for the full verdict, or read on for more key details.
Bose Sport Open Earbuds release date
Bose originally announced that the Sport Open Earbuds would come out in "mid-January." It ultimately launched on January 20, though some orders weren't sent out until February 1.
Bose Sport Open Earbuds price and availability
The Bose Sport Open Earbuds costs $199. This puts it among the pricier end of the sport headphones scale, though it's at least cheaper than the AirPods Pro, and costs the same as the feature-packed Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, give or take a dollar.
Bose Sport Open Earbuds specs
As the Bose Sport Open Earbuds is a pair of true wireless earbuds, it connects via Bluetooth 5.1, and can pair with Android and iOS devices alike. Each bud weighs just 0.5 ounces, and battery life is rated at 8 hours per charge. We got about 7.5 hours per charge in our own testing.
Of particular interest to fitness fans will be the IPX4 water resistance rating. This means that while the Sport Open Earbuds can’t be fully submerged in water, the two buds are sweat-proof and will survive splashes of rain.
Bose Sport Open Earbuds features
The most eye-catching aspect of the Sport Open Earbuds is that flat enclosure, which fires sound down your ear without any kind of seal. To maintain quality and prevent sound leakage, Bose is using a dipole transducer — essentially a speaker that fires sound in a single direction — in each bud, so passers-by won’t be able to hear your music or the other end of a phone conversation.
At least, that's how it works in theory. In practice there is some leakage, so be wary if blasting your music loudly when out and about.
The idea is to allow ambient sound into your idea without the need to engage a transparency mode, though while the open design naturally precludes any kind of active noise cancellation, the Sport Open Earbuds does also include external microphones that improves clarity when you’re speaking to someone. That’s a very similar system to the transparency or ambient modes offered by ANC headphones, and while it's susceptible to wind noise, call quality is good indoors.
One thing you can’t do with the Sport Open Earbuds is charge it on the go, as although a carrying case is included in the box, it’s not an AirPods-style charging case. Instead you get a wired charging base, on top of the which the Sport Open Earbuds fills up until ready to go again.