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Sennheiser Sport True Wireless
May 3, 2022
Original: $129.95 USD
Ear tips: 9mm, 10mm, 11mm
Promising rugged durability, great sound, and tons of bonus features, the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless aims to beat the top dogs in the true wireless earbud fitness market. We’ve been impressed by other recent offerings in the Sennheiser lineup, including similar wireless earbuds such as the MOMENTUM True Wireless 3. At a relatively affordable price, does the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless stay true to the Sennheiser recipe for success? We brought the Sport True Wireless along on our gym and fitness adventures for over a week to find out.
Editor’s note: This review was updated on September 21, 2022, to address an FAQ about active noise cancelling and to update the formatting.
What is it like to use the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless?
The Sennheiser Sport True Wireless is built from the ground up with fitness enthusiasts in mind. The charging case and earbuds are both made from sturdy plastic, and the IP54 dust and water rating ensures the earbuds will survive indoor or outdoor adventures.
A plethora of ear tips and ear wings provide a snug fit for ears of different shapes and sizes. Included in the box are two different types of silicone ear tips, which Sennheiser describes as “closed” and “open.” In theory, these ear tips aim to provide a varied experience similar to that of open-back vs closed-back headphones, but in practice, the difference between the two different ear tips types is barely audible.
Along with three different sizes of both the closed and open ear tips, there are four different sizes of wings. The wings wrap around the earbuds and keep the buds locked in place during intense workouts. The wings and ear tips are easy to interchange without too much fuss.
How do you control the Sport True Wireless earbuds?
Touch panels adorn the outside of each earbud for easy control over music playback, calls, and your voice assistant of choice. You can fully adjust the controls within the Sennheiser Smart Control app, but we’ve outlined the default controls in the table below. You can also fully disable the touch controls from within the app.
|Single tap||Double tap||Triple tap||Tap and hold|
Play/pause, or answer/end call
Previous track, or reject call
|Tap and hold|
Play/pause, or answer/end call
Next track, or reject call
|Tap and hold|
No, the earbuds don’t support auto play/pause. There’s no sensor for in-ear detection on the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless, so the earbuds won’t automatically pause when you remove an earbud from your ear.
Should you download the Sennheiser Smart Control app?
You must download the Sennheiser Smart Control companion app (iOS/Android) to get the most out of the Sport True Wireless earbuds. A crucial feature of the app is its ability to download and install firmware updates to the earbuds. Before we updated our earbuds to the latest firmware, there were some serious issues with the sound quality, so make sure to update the headset after the set up process.
Make sure to install the latest firmware updates before using the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless.
Beyond installing updates, the app provides many opportunities to customize your listening experience. There’s a custom three-band equalizer and a listening test that will build a custom EQ setting for you. You can also adjust the touch controls and enable sidetone from the app’s home screen.
Since it’s important for athletes and joggers to hear their surroundings while working out, Sennheiser includes an “Aware” mode to maximize your ability to hear environmental noise, especially when paired with the open ear tips. Moreover, this mode adjusts the EQ of the earbuds to provide more bass, which helps to limit the common auditory masking of low frequencies from environmental noise.
How does the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless connect?
The Sennheiser Sport True Wireless connects to your device over Bluetooth 5.2 and supports the SBC, AAC, and aptX codecs. This ensures a steady connection across all devices, whether you have an Apple or Android phone. The earbuds are quick to connect to new devices, and stay connected even while we move them meters away from the source device during workouts.
When you open the charging case for the first time, the earbuds automatically enter pairing mode. Simply look for the earbuds in the Bluetooth settings on your device. To pair to another device, place the earbuds in your ears. Then, press and hold the touch panels on both earbuds for 3 seconds until the earbuds enter pairing mode.
How long does the battery last on the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless?
The Sennheiser Sport True Wireless earbuds lasted 7 hours and 13 minutes in our standardized battery testing of continuous playback peaking at 75dB(SPL). This is above average for wireless earbuds and helps extend the lifespan of the product.
The charging case provides an additional two charging cycles. Only 10 minutes of fast charging provides 60 minutes of music playback, and it takes about 90 minutes to fully charge the case and earbuds. Wireless charging is absent, but you can use the USB-C cable to power up the case.
If the LED indicator is flashing yellow, that means the earbuds and case are currently charging. When the light turns green, the earbuds and charging case are fully charged. A flashing red light means a charging error, whereas a constant red light means the earbuds are almost out of battery.
How well does the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless block out noise?
The biggest drawback to the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless is the absence of active noise cancelling. ANC is increasingly becoming a standard feature we expect to see on all wireless earbuds, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that every shopper wants it. Seeing how Sennheiser has other IPX4-rated earbuds with ANC, you have many other options. That said, some background noise is attenuated if you achieve a tight seal with the ear tips on the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless.
Passive isolation reduces the loudness of high-frequency noise by up to 90%. This helps block the clanging of weights at the gym and background office chatter. However, these earbuds don’t block out low-frequency noise, such as the rumble of an airplane engine. If you care about zoning out from the world around you and focusing on your music, check out some of these noise cancelling earbuds instead.
How does the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless sound?
Sennheiser rarely misses when it comes to headphone sound quality, and the Sport True Wireless is no exception. The frequency response of the earbuds closely follows our ideal target curve. While the earbuds slightly emphasize bass more than treble, most people will enjoy the sound of these workout buds. If not, it’s easy enough to adjust the sound from within the Smart Control app or a third-party EQ app instead.
Lows, mids, highs
The earbuds slightly emphasize low-frequencies more than studio headphones, but not beyond what most people enjoy. At 0:50 of A Moment Apart by Odesza, the droning bass line sounds slightly louder relative to the strings and piano than you would hear on headphones with a more neutral frequency response.
The entire midrange hugs our target curve up to 2kHz; however, the earbuds slightly under-emphasize upper mids from 2-4kHz by a couple of decibels. This is noticeable in the snare drum in that same Odesza track, which sounds quieter than it does from studio headphones. Keep in mind we’re nitpicking here. In general, these are some of the best-sounding earbuds around.
Can you use the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless for phone calls?
The Sennheiser Sport True Wireless microphones work well enough to take calls on the go in most environments. As you can see in the chart above, the microphones don’t pick up frequencies above 7kHz, leaving vocals to sound a bit “muffled.”
In the second microphone demonstration below, you can hear how the microphones still relay the background noise of our simulated office environment alongside the speaker’s voice. This is especially noticeable when using these earbuds at the gym, where background music, shouting, and clanging of weights make it hard for people to hear you. Still, this is better than a handful of other embedded mic systems we’ve heard.
Sennheiser Sport True Wireless microphone demo (Ideal conditions):
Sennheiser Sport True Wireless microphone demo (Office conditions):
Sennheiser Sport True Wireless microphone demo (Street conditions):
How does the microphone sound to you?
Should you buy the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless?
If you’re a fitness enthusiast that likes to be aware of your surroundings, you should buy the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless earbuds. From the great sound, to dust and waterproofing, to a secure fit, these earbuds have everything most athletes need. Combining the open ear tips, with the “Aware” mode that amplifies background noise while increasing bass, provides the best implementation of a transparency mode we’ve seen on any earbuds.
On the other hand, anyone that prefers to block out distractions should not buy the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless. The lack of active noise cancelling prevents these earbuds from competing with the best true wireless earbuds.
What is the difference between Sennheiser Sport True Wireless and Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3?
Upgrading to the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 provides access to many more premium features. Along with active noise cancelling, you also get wireless charging, aptX Adaptive, and a unique Sound Zones feature that adjusts the earbuds depending on your location.
On the other hand, the MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 isn’t as good for adventure junkies. You only get IPX4 protection rather than IP54, and you don’t get the same level of customization with ear tips and ear wings. Most people will also prefer the sound of the Sport True Wireless, as the MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 under-emphasizes high frequencies.
What are some alternatives to the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless Earbuds?
If you’re looking for the best workout earbuds, get the Jabra Elite 7 Active. These earbuds tick almost every box on our checklist, including good sound, adjustable listening modes, and great durability.
Another great option is the Jabra Vista 2, with its IP68 and MIL-STD-810G durability ratings. Since these earbuds have been out for a while, you can typically find them on sale below the original retail price.
If staying aware of your surroundings is your top priority, check out bone-conducting headphones such as the Shokz OpenRun. This style of headphones keeps your ear canal completely open, providing more transparency than any set of in-ear earbuds (aside from maybe the Sony LinkBuds).
Frequently asked questions about the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless
Disconnect the earbuds from any of your Bluetooth devices. Then, take one of the earbuds out of the charging case, and touch and hold the touch panel on the earbud for ten seconds. Next, take the second earbud out of the charging case and press and hold the touch panel on the earbud for ten seconds. If the LEDs on the earbuds flash blue three times, that means the earbuds have successfully been reset and connected.
Active noise cancelling headphones help reduce the effects of auditory masking, the neurological phenomenon that only allows us to hear the louder of two sounds occurring simultaneously. If you’re at a noisy coffee shop and trying to listen to music in your headphones, you’ll likely feel compelled to turn up the volume of your music so you can hear it better. But blasting your ears with louder and louder decibels can harm your long-term hearing health. A lot of the noise attenuation that headphones do is through passive isolation, which occurs due to the physical seal the headphones create with your ear. Active noise cancelling tends to work the best on lower, droning frequencies, such as the sounds of a humming dishwasher or airplane noise. Finding a pair of headphones that effectively block out environmental noise can improve your ear health and give you a more enjoyable listening experience.