Jabra have been around for a while now. They specialise in audio and lately headphones designed for sport. They’ve recently been putting some extra tech into their devices. First came the Jabra pulse which came with a built in heart rate monitor and this: Their most ambitious set to date: The Jabra sport coach:
These come with a built in motion sensor. Jabra claim the integrated TrackFit™ motion sensor will measure distance, pace, steps, cadence and calories burned. In combination with their sport coach app they will suggest a workout plan, track your movements and evaluate performance. There’s also a fitness test to evaluate your current level of fitness and they even count your reps.
The first thing I noticed about these is the weight. These things are super lightweight, where they manage to hide the drivers, battery and motion sensor is beyond me.
They come in gray, with either red, yellow, or blue accents and come with a small bag for storage a selection of “ear Gels” (a flexible rubber fin that fits into the crease of your inner ear to stabilise them, preventing them from falling out and a selection of different sized ear buds.
You get 3 regular silicon ear buds and three comply foam™ ear buds.
The comply foam ear tips are superb, their memory foam, similar to the Jaybird x2s but the seal these things provide is superb. This coupled with how light they managed to make these earphones make them incredibly comfy to wear. The “ear gels” work perfectly and in terms of comfort and fit these are without doubt the best set of wireless earphones I’ve ever tried.
They come with an in line remote with a mic to take calls etc, (typical of most wireless headphones) but these also come with a built in sports button on the left earphone. It’s used in conjunction with the app to control workouts, stoping, pausing and so on. It works really well.
You’ll need to download the free app (Jabra sport) to make full use of them. The software looks great and is easy to use, and while it does indeed count your reps, I did spot a couple of issues.
Firstly the training activities are limited to only cross training. So it’s good news if circuit training is your thing but if not you may be a little disappointed.
So if you’re trying to do say: 5 sets of 8 on one exercise, you’re out of luck because the software will be expecting you to move on to the next exercise after every set. The other issue is the exercise selection, while I was impressed that they include some of the highly effective compound movements, I did notice that there were some noticeable exclusions though.
For some reason they included deadlifts and squats (which is great) but left out benchpress for some reason. (no variation of bench is included.) It seems odd to me that they would develop a device with all this great tech which works really well and than limit it only to circuit training. Especially when it would be so easy to open it up to any style of weight training.
It does give you some recommended circuits and the ability to crete your your own program but your limited to a circuit and with only the selection of exercises they include, which is pretty scarce. It’s worth mentioning that its still early days for this app and any limitations could be easily fixed with an app update or two.
I did however test these out on a run and they are absolutely superb, the distance is measured by GPS via your phone. Calories, steps and voice queues, its all here and it all works really well. The effective software combined with the light weight and great fit make these really shine for outdoor running.
For me the biggest surprise here was the sound, I wasn’t expecting them to be as good as they actually are. The audio is clear and crisp with good volume and the bass is great, almost Dre beats level. Its clear they’ve done they’re homework on the market leaders, selected some of their best features and applied them to this new device.
For me this is an great all rounder, the hardware is fantastic and although I feel they do have some cons in terms of software the good news is these could all be ironed out with some software updates. Its worth keeping in mind that this is still a very new device so to fair to expect the odd drawback at this stage.
I feel the term “game changer” gets thrown around a bit too often these days but with some good advice and a few software tweaks thats exactly what they have the potential to be. Unlike the big brands you’re unlikely to see LeBron James rocking a pair anytime soon but if you’re looking for value for money, these are a great choice.