Running outdoors with headphones can require some difficult decisions when it comes to audio fidelity vs safety.
While many manufacturers have modes that can allow in ambient noise, it doesn’t completely offset the effect of having something inside your ear pumping audio into the canal.
Bose is hoping to resolve this quandary with the true wireless Sport Open Earbuds and the clue is in the name. They have an open ear design that sits just above the ear canal, meaning you’ll be able to hear “traffic, a training partner, nature” and anything else you choose.
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Unlike the bone conducting efforts from the likes of Aftershokz, which sit completely outside of the ear, Bose has designed these buds to “gently grip the ear’s outer ridge.” The company said there’s no ear-tip and very minimal skin contact at all.
Bose says this is superior to bone-conducting alternatives because there’s no squeezing and vibrations. Despite the open design, Bose reckons that only the wearer should be able to hear what’s being played, even if they’re blaring the tunes teenager-on-the-back-seat-of-the-bus style.
“Exclusive OpenAudio technology directs high-quality sound toward you and away from everyone else, while leaving your ears completely open,” Bose says. “It’s a more natural listening experience than traditional earbuds. Plus, others around you hear practically nothing. So, listen to your “beast mode” playlist, get your heart rate up, and stay connected to your running group — all at the same time.”
Naturally, this means there’s no ANC as we’ve seen from the AirPods Pro and other in-ear headphones, because the idea is to allow plenty of it in.
Elsewhere, they have 8-hours of battery life from a single charge and offer some decent water and sweat resistance thanks to the IPX4 certification. Connectivity is handled by Bluetooth 5.1, while the built-in microphones will enable voice call and smart assistant support.
Unfortunately, they’re only available in the US for now at a price of $195.95, which is around £145. Hopefully Brits will have access soon too because these seem like a good leap forward in many regards.