I don’t run. I’m not a gym bunny. My chosen sport involves me sitting on the back of a horse while it does all the work. So why am I reviewing fitness headphones? Because fitness headphones need to be durable. In ear buds need to stay put no matter what. They need to be able to take a battering no matter the circumstances.
What better place to test that then on a back of a horse?
First downfall for me, the Jabra Sport Pulse earphones’ app only works with iOS and Android devices. So if you have a Windows Phone back away slowly from the ear buds. The price puts me off. That is pretty steep for a set of fitness earphones BUT they do have a heart rate monitor and link up via Bluetooth to an app that allows you to set fitness goals like number of calories burnt, time to complete an activity and just a basic track my progress set up.
This is also the first fitness gadget I’ve reviewed that lets me input MY activity (horse riding) and track accordingly rather than only being stuck with the usual running, cycling, mountain biking, being ridiculous and acting like you’re Bear Grills type options. So that’s cool. They also come with hundreds not really, a few different options for buds and phone wings to make sure those earphones stay in your ears!
The Jabra Sport Pulse earphones stay put. Mainly because they don’t sit IN the ear canal but rather sit in the opening, if that makes sense? It means there is less of that gross suction type effect when you remove them (and the reason I hate in ear headphones). So I was suitably impressed. I also had my doubts about the heart rate monitor. A heart rate monitor on ear phones? Yeah right. But I’ve done a bit of research and it seems it could be a legit feature and works much like those finger monitors in hospitals. So I’m not ignoring the lady in my ear.
That’s right, once you’ve filled in your goals a lady will pop into your ears every so often to tell you your progress and whether you need to push it or not. I didn’t like that so much, she pulled my focus but it was so easy to switch her off (just hit the button on the left ear bud). The other ear bud has a micro USB port (it gets covered by the wing) to charge the headphones. One full charge lasts about 5 hours.
These buggers stayed in while I worked my horse. Impressive. I’m yet to find earphones that don’t move around. The band around my neck kept it rather secure which assisted and the lack of wires also was a big plus for me. I work horses from 6am. My coach usually comes down from her house to teach me with the sparrows. The Jabra Sport Pulse earphones connect to my phone via Bluetooth and if people call you can carry on doing what you’re doing while chatting on the phone (there’s a volume adjuster and mic on the right hand side of the neck band). Anyway, we realised with the Jabra Sport Pulse my coach could sit in bed, watch her security cameras and teach me over the phone by using the Jabra Sport Pulse earphones to shout in my ear.
I doubt anyone would actually use the earphones for this purpose but it gives you an idea of the capabilities. For the most part I used them to stream Deezer into my ears. I left my phone on the bench next to the ring and moved a considerable distance from the phone and back again (at speed) but the earphones’ blue tooth wireless connection held up.
The Jabra Sport Pulse earphones are military tested to handle all weather and shock standards. So you can get them wet without much worry. They’re durable buggers. The sound quality (it’s the important ‘phones bit) is good. You’re not going to be disappointed on your run. Clarity in the bass lacks a bit if you’re literally blasting your ear drums into oblivion (NO one plays music that loud for long). The earphones come with a fantastic carry pouch as well so they don’t get grimey and dirty.
I gave these Jabra Sport Pulse earphones a beating. I tossed them to a friend from the top of a horse, I pulled, I poked and did everything to make sure they were as durable as they say they are. They are. The technology crammed into such small little in bud earphones is incredible and I was rather in awe once I’d figured out how to use them.
Here’s the thing though, R2399 is A LOT of money to spend on earphones. I’m not sure my occasional running gym bunny friends are going to be too keen to spend that. I think the person dropping over 2k on a pair of fitness ‘phones is the professional athlete. Someone who is on the track/road/in the gym for most of their day and needs a pair of earphones that work as hard as they do. It’s those girls who are going to love the Jabra Sport Pulse earphones and be happy to blow their moola on them.
So many add on features, you’ll be able to toss many of your other fitness gadgets
Makes us sad
They’re rather expensive
App doesn’t work with Windows Phones
Disclosure: This review was conducted on a review unit of the Jabra Sport Pulse earphones. I.e. once our review is published they are returned to the brand.
I usually send out a weekly mailer with a recap of blog posts but also some personal anecdotes. If you want to know about competitions or just catch up in a more personal setting then you might like to receive the mailer.