These earbuds are the total package.
Unpacking and first impressions
Wow. Just wow. This was a mind changing experience with this set of Jabra Wireless Sport Coach earbuds. First these are small and very lightweight. I’ve tried other Bluetooth wireless sets and have always been disappointed with the heft and size of them, so much so as to just stick with my standard wired earbuds. Second, the design and quality is immediately apparent. I was impressed by the clever “earwing” design that helped them fit perfectly in my ears and stay put as well as the well hidden but easy to access charging connector. Finally, they come packaged with 4 sets of gels (the part that fits inside your ear) that give you a range of sizes, 3 sets of “earwings” that fit against the ridge of your ear to hold them in place without using those annoying over-the-ear clips that some other sport headphones use, a standard USB micro charging cable, and a convenient carrying and protective case to store the headphones and all of the pieces and parts.
Setup was made especially easy by Jabra. They hit you with at least three ways to learn how to use the product. First, you will notice when you unpack them you are greeted with a bright yellow sleeve over the instructions covered in QR codes to download the Jabra software. Scanning these I was able to install both the Jabra Sound app and the Jabra Sport Life app without any problems on my Android 5 device (4.0.3 and higher is supported). Second, the Sport Life app itself has a easy and straightforward wizard that walks you through the pairing process and initial use instructions. Finally, there is an easy to follow printed instruction guide. There are a few details in the guide that you will want to know that the other methods didn’t discuss, so I suggest reading it. I did find that the manual I received talked about some features that the Sport Coach didn’t have such as the heart rate sensor. I would have preferred that their be a special section for each model in the manual instead of leaving me guessing if my product had the feature.
Also, a nice feature that I discovered after reading the manual was the NFC pairing mode. This makes the normal pain of Bluetooth pairing a breeze. All you have to do is turn the unit on and touch it to the back of your NFC phone and it immediately syncs. Touching again disconnects. It is best to have all of the software installed beforehand. Simply follow the links provided by the QR codes included in the documentation. This worked flawlessly for me in my tests.
I fully expected to be disappointed by the sound quality of these headphones based on my experience with previous Bluetooth sets. However, I found them delightfully high quality. Choosing the right gels to ensure a nice and snug fit is critical to get the best bass quality. After choosing the right ones for me, I was able to get a surprisingly rich and full sound. There are limited sound artifacts from any digital compression going on for the Bluetooth connection. These are good enough to replace my standard wired earbuds for my runs. This is big news for me since I didn’t think I’d find a set that I could say this about.
The earbuds feature a few controls. You can pause, play, move between tracks, change volume, and control the workout features of the Sport Life app. A very nice feature is the textured feel of the buttons themselves. Each one has a different raised shape which makes it a snap to know which button you are pressing. A microphone is also included so that you can receive calls as well. Also included in the set are some clips you can use to stow the cord behind your head so you don’t hear the cable slapping against your chest as you run.
The set is IP55 rated against dust and water so I felt free to run in the rain last night with them. There were no problems at all. Its battery is rated for 5 hours.
Continuing with the theme of high quality, Jabra provides a free workout management app called Jabra Sport Life that works flawlessly with the headphones. Using the special control on the left earpiece I can instruct the headset to give me workout stats including pace, distance, cadence, and how close I am to my goal. The app shows GPS enabled maps of my run, allows me to share my results on social media, and track my workout history. I had no problems learning how to use this software, and it worked surprisingly well on my runs. Each kilometer of my run a friendly voice gently lowered the volume of my music and announced stats of the workout. You can tell the software what your goals are: distance, calories burned, cadence, or you can create your own cross training workout including running and calisthenics. It even allows you to get a brief instruction diagram of how to do planks, back extensions, push ups, and other exercises.
Sport Life can work with your built in music player, the Jabra Sound app, or streaming music providers. I was able to use it with Google Music without any troubles or issues. Using the left earpiece button I was even able to start the workout and music simultaneously. It makes it effortless to start an impromptu workout.
The included Jabra Sound app allows you to play your existing music library that you store on your phone with special equalization if that is something you are interested in. Me personally, I prefer the convenience of Google Music and the ability to play custom radio stations, so I don’t see much value there for me, but it is a nice extra. It is worth noting that the equalization features of this app can’t be applied to your streaming music, it only works with local music stored on your device.
I was more than a little impressed with these. This is the total package. You get fantastic headphones you can use in the rain that will handle your roughest workouts, a wonderful workout management app, and a design that ensures comfort and convenience. I fully recommend these for any use you’d have for a wireless headset.
For more information, visit http://www.jabra.com.