Sports specific headphones are rapidly emerging as one of the most competitive niches within the headphone market. This market as hotted up markedly within the past sixth months, and now Jebra have joined the party with their Sports Wireless+ headphones. Here’s a quick BurnTech.TV review
Sports headphones have some specific needs over and above the average set of ‘phones that you may plug into your smartphone as you head into work on the tube in the morning. They need to be more resistant, they need to offer a snug fit, they need to be as sweat resistant as possible and they need to be robust. After all, your average pair of headphones would be in some trouble pretty quick if they were getting bundled into a kit bag every day of the week. Jabra recognised all of this, and employed sports professionals to aid them in drawing up a prototype that would tick all of the gym-goers boxes.
Their creation, the Jebra Wireless+ headphones offer a mix of all of the qualities needed in the gym allied with a useful built-in radio and full wireless connectivity.
The company were showing these off at the recent IFA event in Berlin. An expo is not the best of places to test out sports headphones. So rather than putting them through their paces on a nice intense 60 minute treadmill session, i had to make do with a slightly sweaty walk around the expo hall. So this test is not as thorough as we’d like to make it, but we can give you some feedback before we get out hands on a pair for the full test.
Full Wireless connectivity
The premise behind these headphones is the use of Bluetooth tech in your smartphone to beam the music wirelessly to your headphones. Its a smart idea and works very well in the gym environment, where modern day cardio machines are all but designed with pockets for smartphones and other such gadgetry. You simply pair your smartphone, or any other bluetooth enabled device for that matter, with your Jabra wireless headphones and you’re in business. There is thus no need to worry about dangling, stretched wires as you workout. Another benefit is that the range on the Bluetooth is sufficient that you can keep your smartphone well out of range of flicking sweat, which is probably a good thing for its longevity.
A built-in radio
The full wireless support through Bluetooth is great in the gym, but sometimes its not practical to use. It could be that you’re going on a long outdoor run and won;t have any pockets, or perhaps like me you have a pretty big aversion to taking your smartphone into the gym with you at all. Incoming calls, emails and text messages have never done much for my intensity in the gym, so i prefer to avoid taking my phone in with me. Jabra have recognised all of this, and as to combat it they have built a radio into their headphones. Its a nice value add, allowing you to enjoy some tunes without needing any further tech. The genius design feature with the built in radio? One simple tap of the lead toggles the radio stations that you have pre-programmed, allowing you to quickly find the station that you’re looking for.
Packing full wireless connectivity and a radio into a set of headphones would normally be a recipe for an overweight and clunky design. This is the area where I feel that Jabra have excelled the most, as they have pulled off a set of headphones that are as light and low profile as any of ‘phones in this space. Its an impressive piece of engineering and will set a new standard for the rest to adhere to.
The actual design is no revolution, they feature the standard clip over the ear shell design feature that has been the norm since the birth of sports headphones.
The fairly slimline design doesn’t look super-robust, but the Jabra have designed these to meet the USA army regulations for ‘dustproof and rainproof’. You therefore have nothing to worry about if you like to pound the streets, especially with winter fast approaching.
Perhaps most impressive is the overall attention to detail that Jabra have demonstrated with these headphones. On the back is a ‘fitclip’, a small clip which pinches away any slack in the cable, avoiding the cable from striking your neck as you run. It is testament to the fact that a whole host of research, designing and application went into the production of these headphones.
So Jambra have produced a great set of sports headphones, with some nice extra features. We look forward to bringing a full review to you once we get our hands on them in the gym.