Bose Sport Open Earbuds

Feb 12, 2021 By: Ryan

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When I’m running outside, it’s very important to me to be able to hear the traffic around me. Therefore, I don’t use any earbud that needs to be jammed into my ear and passively blocks noise. The Apple AirPods have been my savior, as they’re lightweight and have an open design that doesn’t “seal” into my ear canal. However, the AirPods are not specifically sweat-proof like the newer AirPod Pros, so I worry if my sweat will ruin my AirPods over time.

I was happy to learn that Bose has come out with sport earbuds that don’t go in front of your ear canal at all! The bulk of Bose Sport Open Earbuds sits behind your ear with the speaker portion resting on the top of your ear. It then seems to “shoot” the sound down at your ear canal, allowing you to both enjoy your music and still hear what is going on around you.

The earbuds have a smooth black exterior with a small button located near the speaker. The earbuds are rigid and really don’t flex to accommodate your ear. While they feel fine for a 30-minute run, I’ve noticed my ears feeling a little sore after wearing them for a couple hours.


I’m actually really surprised by the sound quality of these earbuds. I’ve tried using some bone-conduction earbuds before and while they worked, the bass was really lacking and the music sounded “tinny” at time.

These earbuds from Bose do not use bone-conduction, but instead pipe the sound down to your ear canal. The sound comes through loud and clear, and the bass is decent! The bass is not as strong as what you might get from over-the-ear headphones, but it’s definitely a lot more than I was expecting for “open air” earbuds.

The earbuds work well for runs and even stayed in place when I did some indoor workouts like jumping jacks and burpees. However, there is some weight to these earbuds so prolonged workouts might put some strain on your ears.


  • Physical buttons: I am happy that there are physical buttons as opposed to touch controls on these earbuds, however the button is in an awkward location that requires me to partly pull the earbud away from my ear in order to access it. Pressing the button on the right earbud will play/pause your music, while a double-pressing skips forward and triple-pressing the button rewinds. Unfortunately, the volume can’t be controlled from the earbuds and must be done on your phone.
  • Microphone: There are two microphones for phone calls, but both microphones are located on the right earbud. One microphone picks up your voice while the other microphone measures ambient sounds to help with noise reduction for your caller. The microphone is OK for phone calls, but I’ve noted that my voice can sound a little distant when using these earbuds.
  • IPX4 water-resistant: These earbuds should stand up to normal sweat and light rain, but the IPX4 rating means that they are only “splash-proof” and therefore cannot be submerged in water. Therefore, make sure not to accidentally put them through the wash. The manual for the earbuds notes that the IPX4 rating is not a permanent condition and may degrade over time (newer iPhones have the same type of disclaimer).

Battery Life and Charging

The earbuds can last up to 8 hours on a single charge. Surprisingly, the carrying case that comes with the Bose Sport Open Earbuds does not charge the earbuds. Charging the earbuds requires a proprietary USB charging cradle, which makes traveling with the earbuds a little more of a hassle as it’s bulky and does not fit in the included case.

Recharging the earbuds takes 2 hours, with Bose stating that a 30 minutes charge can get you up to 3 hours of playback if you’re in a hurry.

Some things to know when buying

  • Carrying case doesn’t charge: The carrying case does not have a built-in battery. You need the USB charging cradle to recharge the earbuds. It does not appear that the charging cradle can be purchased separately at this time.
  • No auto pause: If you remove one earbud, your music does not automatically pause.
  • Manual power on/off: Unlike many other earbuds today, the Bose Sport Open Earbuds do not automatically power on when you pull them out of the case, nor do they automatically power off when they are placed back in the case. You can hold down the button on the right earbud until you hear the power-off sound, or the earbuds will automatically power down after 10 minutes of no playback.
  • Charging contacts should be cleaned: The manual recommends that to prevent rusting, wipe the charging contacts with a dry, soft cotton swab.

Our Verdict


The sound quality on the Bose Sport Open Earbuds is amazing and the open-air technology is definitely cool. Just be aware that these are missing some of the convenience features we've come to expect, such as auto on/off and a charging case.


  • Awesome sound
  • Hear traffic and others while running
  • IPX4 sweat resistance


  • Carrying case does not charge
  • Charger is bulky
  • No auto on/off


A picture of Ryan Hi, I'm Ryan! I've worked in the IT industry for over two decades and I love checking out new gadgets, apps, and services that make our lives easier. Read more...