Published on August 26th, 2015 | by Greg0
Jabra Sport Coach: Wireless Earbuds With A Sporting Mind
Wireless headphones come with a pretty broad range of shapes and sizes, from bigger over-ear sets meant for urban use to more compact pairs that fold tightly and travel well. There aren’t too many brands that try to compact Bluetooth electronics into an earbuds, but the number is definitely growing. Today’s set not only aims to do that but also includes a whole additional set of features, with fitness tracking and coaching functions built in.
The Jabra Sport Coach wireless earbuds are made for the gym, designed for cross training and indoor workouts. Tiny enough to fit even smaller ears, they are sweat, shock, and weather proof so will hold up no matter the conditions (IP55 certified). And they won’t keep you down since they weigh in at only 16 grams. Internal motion sensors measure distance, pace, steps, cadence and calories burned, relaying the information to your smartphone and the app. The Sport Coach earbuds look great and were comfortable enough for some exercise, and just as importantly kept firmly in place.
If your phone supports NFC pairing, then you’ll find it easy to connect. We did face some issues with having to reconnect regularly from our iPhones, and the Bluetooth didn’t have much range. The larger problem, though, was battery life- as you might expect from units this size and heft, they were forced to compromise a bit. The rated lifetime was around five and a half hours of talk time, but we would find ourselves running of power some days by the evening. That’s enough time for a good run though, if perhaps not quite a marathon, and they are easy to recharge via micro USB.
Music performance won’t impress audiophiles, and bass performance was middling, but they are definitely a step up from stock earbuds and music and voices were clear and crisp. They don’t get very loud, but they’re actually pretty impressive considering their size. The app itself is a key part of the experience, and initial impressions were very positive- it looks great and runs fast, and step counts were quite accurate. There aren’t a lot of social features though, nor the challenges and achievements that can help push you. But on the flip side, the structured workouts were excellent- perhaps the best we’ve seen from a fitness wearable of any type. They are quite customizable and varied, ranging from cardio to running to cycling.
Jabra has been making Bluetooth audio gear for a very long time- in fact, our earliest review dates back almost six years. And last year we really liked the Jabra Rox, which included nifty magnets to keep them clasped around your neck when not in use. Available in three colors- yellow, blue, and red- the Sport Coach definitely added some pep to training sessions. If you’re just looking for a pair or Bluetooth earbuds, the Rox are great- but if you want some workout encouragement, then the Jabra Sport Coach earbuds will run you around $149, online and in stores.