How These Wireless Bluetooth Headphones are being tested
Here we’re going to talk about the Bose SoundSport and the Beats PowerBeats 3, tested for a week straight each. We tested the Bose the first week, then we put those away and reviewed the Beats the next week.
TPairair has worn them as much as possible during those weeks-in a reasonably quiet office, a busy Whole Foods, a run or two, a weight lifting gym session, and a CrossFit class.
All of this. It put a little stress on them but nothing excessive.
Unboxing and opening experiences
We ‘re not going to spend too much time worrying about unboxing these earbuds. When you pull some sweet new gear off the shelf for the first time, there’s a nice dopamine hit, but we’re much more interested in how they look, how they work, and how comfortable they are.
Wireless earbuds from the Bose SoundSport come in a sleek little box. The following items are included in the box:
3 Ear end measurements
USB Cable Charging
The easy case to hold
Fast Guide to Setup
The Bose SoundSport also seems like a high-quality product upon the first contact. They ‘re exquisite in style, there’s a nice mix of gloss and matte finishes (I got the black ones), and they feel quite firmly designed into your side. I would expect nothing less from Bose’s likes.
The design of the quick setup guide has pleasantly surprised her. It helps you get in about a minute from unboxing to listening to music, with a 1-2-3 step guide with broad diagrams easy to follow.
You essentially press a switch to one earbud, illuminating small light signaling that they are ready for pairing.
Including multiple-sized ear tips, these days is par for the course, but it is nice to find the best fit for your ear. The USB charging cable has a USB Type-A on one end (the big USB that you ‘re most used to seeing), and a USB Micro B on the other end, which is the small flat connector that fits into one of the earbuds to charge the internal battery.
The unboxing of the Beats PowerBeats 3 was very similar. The packaging also felt delicate and elegant, with the headphones themselves displayed prominently under clear plastic. The box contents are the same as the Bose SoundSport:
- The headphones
- Three sizes of ear tips
- USB charging cable
- Soft carrying case
Quick setup guide
You can tell each of these items to compete vigorously, as unboxing is almost similar. I’m going to say that while the PowerBeats 3 is design appealing, they don’t sound as good as the Bose. You have a little less heft, which could be a good thing because you just don’t want bulky headphones when you’re working out. The best way to describe is that there’s a little more plastic look with the Beats.
The USB cable for charging is similar to the Bose for, ensuring the charging process is the same.
Up to this point, judging on initial presentation and connectivity, it’s very close between the two. Still, I’ll give the Bose a slight edge because they feel like the better quality headphones as far as construction is concerned Bear in mind though we still haven’t gotten to the good stuff!
Analysis of the Bose Soundsport-Pros & Cons
Fit & Feel
Let’s talk about how they feel on the ears. When you look at them, you can sort of see they’re chunky headphones, due to the large “case” (not sure what else to call it) the earpieces are attached to. This led me to think they might feel heavy and be prone to fall out of my ears more quickly. Luckily, that’s not the case.
Sliding them into your ears is easy – I tended to over-complicate it at first, but basically, you put it in your ear and slightly rotate the headphones back so that the fin “locks” them in place. Easy-peasy, and provides a snug fit. Of course, you’ll want to experiment with the different ear tips and fin sizes to find the best fits your ears.
The Bose SoundSport, while being chunky, feels pretty light. Like the PowerBeats, there’s no hook or anything else that ‘s coming into contact with your ears, and even more than the PowerBeats, with the Bose, It felt like not even wearing headphones. Aesthetically, the shell certainly juts out a little from the outside. Luckily as the headphone wearer, I hardly noticed this.
We’d expect any Bose-made headphones to sound good. When you buy into a luxury brand like Bose, that’s just what you ‘re hoping. The SoundSport certainly does not disappoint in that respect. As we mentioned, everything sounded rich and complete in a range of music genres.
Keep in mind that these are designed for exercise and entertainment, so we are not saying they have a flat frequency response and are an excellent fit for mixing and mastering music. They’re great for enjoying music, pure and simple. And they do a stellar job for that. When it comes to music richness and clarity, the Bose SoundSport has a slight edge over the PowerBeats 3.
As much as we love how they sound at an average volume, a big flaw is the lack of maximum capacity. Perhaps if you’re working out in quiet environments or just not listening to music too loud, they’ll be okay. Most of the people we know who love exercise also love the extra bit of oomph that loud music can offer, and it’s a shame that the SoundSport falls short.
Life of the battery
The battery life quoted by Bose is 6 hours on one charge. It was close enough, getting between 5 and 5.5 hours. Admittedly this is not a lot of gas in the tank. The PowerBeats 3 somehow manages to double that battery life, so it seems surprising that Bose couldn’t do any better here. If the SoundSport could even do 8 hours, that might be enough for me to call it a wash, but with half as much battery life as the Beats give, we ‘re going to tip the scales more in favor of the PowerBeats.
More to Offer
The Bose SoundSport comes with a bit of a soft carrying case that doesn’t get us too excited. Being fitness headphones,, we want these on the desk or in the gym bag, ready and within reach.
Close to the wire at the right earbud is a function of volume and play/pause that works well. I like that it’s branded with the letters “+” and-,” “which the PowerBeats didn’t do for some reason.
Analysis of the Power Beats 3 -Pros & Cons
Fit & Sense
The PowerBeats 3 don’t feel as smooth as the Bose SoundSport. We like how the Bose earbuds combine glossy and matte components, whereas the PowerBeats 3 are 100% matte and sound more “rubbery.
We have the idea that Beats items often seem to be expensive despite not having an outstanding quality of construction. To be clear, nothing in our experience with the PowerBeats 3 leads us to believe that the quality is inferior; quite the opposite, they beautifully handled every test we put them too
The Beats have: a large rubber hook that wraps around the back of your head-unlike the Bose that uses a head-fin to hold them stuck between your ears.
Beats headphones have a bit of a reputation for the way they sound, for better or worse. They tend to be a bit “boomy,” and the bass is over-emphasized, at the cost of some clarity and midrange detail. We have tested a number of Beats over-ear, on-ear, and in-ear headphones and can confirm that there’s a reason for that reputation. It’s as though they’re targeting the consumer who’ll listen to more bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop, both of which benefit from low-end thumping.
That trend continues with the PowerBeats 3. Don’t get us wrong; they’re still good, it’s just that you can say they are losing a bit of clarity compared to the Bose SoundSport.
What Beats claims is a whopping 12-hour battery life. They were able to achieve between 10 and 10.5 but we listened to music on them pretty loud. You will definitely reach 12 hours at more realistic volumes. That’s mighty impressive, indeed! They also come with “5-minute Fast Fuel,” which means that if you have a low battery life, a 5-minute charge will give you one hour of playtime, typically enough for a workout or a run…
More To Offer
With these earbuds, a soft rubbery case is included,, but we found it difficult to comfortably stuff the PowerBeats 3 inside (maybe it’s just a case for the accessories). In any case, it’s no big selling point.
Unlike the Bose, volume and play/pause controls are provided on an inline remote. It fits right, but the one on the Bose earbuds is a tiny bit less user friendly.
Ashley is a mastering sound engineer. In addition to his studio work, she is particularly interested in the areas of loudspeakers and headphones. She was able to compare dozens of loudspeakers and wireless headphones over the years.
Last update on 2023-01-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API