“The SoundSport Free is the closest thing to what people have always wanted in a sport headphone – a technology-packed solution that’s stripped down to just two rugged earbuds that feel great, stay connected, stay in, and sound amazing,” says Brian Maguire, director, Bose on-the-go products. “And the QC35 is already the world’s most celebrated wireless headphone, and a survival tool for modern life. We didn’t change anything that people already love – with the Google Assistant built in, and new choices for what you hear, we made it better.”
According to Bose, the SoundSport Free headphones were engineered to strike a new balance between size, performance, power and stability – in a no-wire, made-for-exercise design. The earbuds use proprietary StayHear+ Sport tips for a secure, firm and comfortable fit. They’re built with an IPX4 rating to resist water and sweat year-round, inside and outdoors. Each earbud weighs just .35 ounces (10 grams) and measures just 1.1” high x 1.2” deep.
They house a new antennae system to maintain a strong and reliable connection between each earbud, and the phone or tablet they’re paired to – whether the device is 30 feet away, in the user's pocket, or gym bag. Combined with a miniature acoustic package, including Bose digital signal processing, volume optimized EQ, and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, SoundSport Free delivers up to 5 hours of music listening, taking 2 hours for the earbuds to fully charge, while a quick 15-minute charge provides up to 45 minutes of play time.
SoundSport Free headphones connect to the source device using the right earbud. The larger, middle button is the multi-function button. It initiates play/pause and other track controls for videos and music, answers and ends calls and also provides access to the phone’s Siri or Google Assistant. The buttons on either side of the multi-function button are volume +/- buttons.
As long as the right earbud and the device are within 30 ft (9 m) of each other, the right earbud will play audio from the source device. The left earbud will stay connected to the right earbud as long as it is out of the case, charged and within 30 ft (9 m) of the right earbud.
Bose's SoundSport Free headphones have an integrated dual-microphone array located on the right earbud to allow calls when connected to a smartphone that supports the Bluetooth HFP profile. Call audio will be heard in the right earbud. In addition to traditional calls, the headphones will work with many apps that use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), such as Skype or FaceTime. Pressing and holding the multi-function button for 1 second will initiate voice recognition on mobile devices that support Siri or Google Assistant.
The SoundSport Free charging case magnetically holds each earbud in place, doubles as storage, and provides two additional full charges for up to 10 more hours of battery life. When not stowed away, a new “Find My Buds” feature on the Bose Connect App displays the last time and place they were used to locate them quickly.
The QC35 II Noise Cancelling Headphones
Bose's new QC35 II noise cancelling headphones have all the performance and features of the original QC35, in terms of noise cancellation, audio performance, and up to 20 hours of battery life. The same controls remain on the right earcup – audio volume, and the multi-function button for incoming calls and accessing Siri. On the new version II, Bose added a new Action button on the left earcup to connect to Google Assistant – without the user having to grab the phone, unlock it, and find the app.
Bose and Google worked together on this experience in the QC35 II, making it the first integration of Google Assistant in a headphone. Pressing and holding the Action button, and talking, and Google Assistant helps the user manage music or get things done, like adding appointments to a Google calendar. It can help users stay connected – from simple things like making a call, to notifying the user about incoming messages, events and reminders, and reading them back. The voice assistant is also able to answer questions and find information – check a score, the latest headlines, whether a flight’s on time, what movie’s playing downtown – and more.
To implement the improved voice assistant feature, Bose used a proprietary microphone system that picks-up voices with improved accuracy, so commands are understood. And in a fraction of a millisecond, Bose active noise cancellation dramatically reduces unwanted sounds around the user, allowing him to only hear the Assistant or the music.
Like its predecessor, the QC35 II’s noise cancellation is fully activated when the headphone is on, but the Bose Connect App now allows choosing to keep it on (high), turn it down (low), or disable it completely (off). The Connect App also allows users to change the Action button’s functionality, to control the noise settings from the earcup, and switch back to Google Assistant.
SoundSport Free headphones will be available for $249.95 in two colors; Triple Black is available to pre-order for early October delivery, and Midnight Blue with Yellow Citron will be available later in 2017. The new QC35 II noise cancelling headphones come in black and silver, and are available now. Their price remains at $349.95. The QC35 II’s Action button will access the Google Assistant in the markets where Google Assistant is available; in other markets, the Action button will control noise settings only.