I bought the SoundSport Free (SSF) earbuds to use at the gym with a SanDisk SDMX28 Clip Sport Plus bluetooth MP3 player. I will say this - the packaging these come in is beautiful - it''s a very handsome, sturdy, folding-flap box with molded compartments. The medium ear...
I bought the SoundSport Free (SSF) earbuds to use at the gym with a SanDisk SDMX28 Clip Sport Plus bluetooth MP3 player. I will say this - the packaging these come in is beautiful - it''s a very handsome, sturdy, folding-flap box with molded compartments. The medium ear molds fit me nicely (they also come with small and large) and the earbuds themselves are pretty lightweight. The SSFs themselves sound amazing. The bass is good without being overbearing, and I am, thankfully, not experiencing the left-right connection issues that many others seem to be talking about in other reviews.
Although my workouts generally last only around an hour, I love the portable recharging case - "just in case".
What I AM struggling with is maintaining a consistent audio connection to the Clip Sport Plus. The bluetooth wireless pairs between the aforementioned devices just fine, but half the time I cannot get any audio to play. I can see the song running on the player, but there is no sound heard in the SSFs. It works SOMETIMES, but it''s not 100% reliable, and that''s just annoying. I''m going to have to try some connection experiments with other devices, but for now I cannot tell is this is a transmit problem from the Clip Sport or a receive problem with the SSFs. I will update this review after some experimentation over the next couple of days.
I discovered the SSFs came with version 1.2.0 of the software on them, so I ran the updater and upgraded to version 1.4.5 to make sure this was not a software issue, but that did not help. I ran some connectivity tests with my Microsoft Surface 4 Pro. I can get the SSFs to connect to the Bluetooth wireless without any hassle at all, but again, there is simply no audio being played in the SSF earbuds.
I also have a set of on-ear Bose Soundlink headphones. Those work fine with both my Surface Pro and the SanDisk MP3 Player, so now I know the issue is not with the MP3 player at all.
If I go through a maddening, time-consuming ritual of putting the buds back in the case, clearing the source device bluetooth list, then reconnecting, it MAY work, but I can''t get it to work consistently, and even then the next time I put them back in the case, they stop working again. I''m not going to go through all of that every time I want to use them with maybe a 50% chance of success. They need to simply connect and work with any device I have paired them to like my other bluetooth speakers and headphones. Anything less is of no value to me, especially for the price point of these things.
I''m dropping my rating on these to two stars... if I can''t get them to work properly in the next couple of days, they will be going back for a refund.
Called Bose Support, explained all the troubleshooting steps I have taken. They are sending a shipping label and I am to return the defective unit then will receive another one about a week after they receive mine.
Seems like it would just be easier/faster to ship these back to Amazon and get a replacement, but whatever. We''ll see if things change. I will report back once that whole switcheroo is complete.
Almost 2 weeks have elapsed, but the new set finally arrived. I took them out and the first thing I did was update the firmware (they shipped with 1.3.2 on them, so I updated them to 1.4.5). Initial test with my Clip Sport Plus appears to work: Bluetooth connected right away and the audio from the songs sounds great. Next test is to put them back in the case then try to connect and listen again. I do this and they SSFs connect right away. I hit play and the music plays for about 5 seconds, then I hear what sounds like a disconnect tone and it all goes quiet. I can still hear the device''s female voice say things like "Clip Sport Plus Connected", and I can also hear the tone when I raise or lower the volume, but there is no longer any sound when playing songs.
So I test with my Microsoft Surface 4 Pro. Again, it makes a seamless connection to the bluetooth wireless, and I pull up some music and I can hear it fine. I test the re-connection by putting the SSFs back in the case for a couple of minutes, then I pull them out to reconnect to the Surface. Once again, the audio fails. The bluetooth connection is fine and I can hear the voice in the SSFs say so, but I get no music audio in the SSFs. If they can''t fix this remotely, I''m sending them back for a refund. As far as I can tell, these devices are garbage. I cannot even begin to describe my disappointment and frustration with the SSFs and Bose at this point. I am dropping my rating to 1 star, and I will try support one more time.
If there''s some special procedure to use these effectively and I''m not doing it correctly, I''d love to be enlightened. I have no problems with any other bluetooth headsets or speakers (all Bose!) with these audio sources, so it cannot possibly be my source devices.
6/26 Update: Today I requested my refund and put the SSFs back in the box. As I was packing everything back up, I noticed on the rear of the product box that it explicitly says "made for iPod/iPhone/iPad" and Android. Of course, neither of the devices I was using these with was either of those two things. There is NOWHERE in this ad page that calls that out, and there is no picture of the box either (I attached a picture of the rear of the box) - I''ll be suggesting the page be updated to reflect such. I figured Bluetooth was Bluetooth, but the SSFs may not be engineered as such. I don''t know if that means there is no guarantee they will work or if there would just be reduced functionality without an iX device or an Android, but after 2 pairs it is clear they don''t work stably with what I have.
I really, truly wanted to keep this product. They briefly sounded amazing and they were comfortable, but at the $200 price point the no-source-audio-after-reconnecting issue is simply neither normal Bose quality nor acceptable. I may give them another try someday if they explicitly state FULL SUPPORT for generic MP3 devices or Win 10, but sadly until then these are a disappointing no-go.