I’m sitting on an old-fashioned rocking chair on the porch of an inn in Martha’s Vineyard with a cup of coffee. The air is a bit brisk but the sun is shining and there is a nice breeze. It is about as close to a perfect fall morning as you are going to get. My iPad has served me well as my Sunday New York Times for the past hour or so and now I am writing this post. And the scene is made close to perfect by a soundtrack provided by Pandora. (I’m listening to a custom station I created using the group Conjure One as the jump off point.). I could be using a pair of wired headphone but the cord would get in the way a bit.
Instead I’m using the Jabra Sport Bluetooth Wireless headphones that arrived for review last week. They. Are. Fantastic.
They are comfortable, sound great and are easy to control. They aren’t waterproof but they are designed to deal with sweat, dust and other hazards that might otherwise ruin a pair of wireless headphones.
Add in the fact that they have a microphone built-in and they are one of those tech accessories that just rock! Here’s the more detailed review.
Get more from your exercise with wireless music and calls
Exercise is about freedom, about pushing limits and enjoying doing it. Some people like to exercise while listening to music, some talk on the phone. With the Jabra SPORT Bluetooth® stereo headset it’s easy to do both – and without the hassle of headset wires that slow you down. You simply stream music and calls via Bluetooth to it.
With the Jabra SPORT you get exceptional music and call sound quality. It has A2DP, AM3D Power Bass audio enhancement and a wind-shielded microphone and Virtual Surround Sound audio enhancements. It also has a built-in FM radio so you can tune in to your favourite station while you work out.
The Jabra SPORT is ultra-light and easy to wear. With a choice of different ear gels and a flexible behind-the-ear fit, it stays firmly Eargels™ and comfortably in place. It’s also tough. With Military Grade Rain, Dust and Shock Protection it is fit for any challenge, indoors or outdoors.
The Jabra SPORT comes with a free download of Endomondo Sports Tracker, a fitness tracking application for smartphones that functions as a motivational tool for running, giving quick updates on speed, distance, and lap time. Endomondo allows users to visually see past running routes on their smartphone via a GPS tracking feature. The Endomondo Sports Tracker app is designed to work with iPhone®, Android or BlackBerry® handsets.
Play music and take calls, skip tracks and adjust volume from headset
Secure and comfortable fit during workouts
US Military Grade rain, dust and shock protection
Powerful bass sound and built-in FM Radio
Offers up to 4.5 hours of talk time and up to 3 hours music time
Works with Apple, Android, Blackberry and standard phones or music devices
As you can see the specs on the Jabra Sport are impressive. The biggest issue I can see is the estimated talk time of just 4.5 hours and music of just 3 hours. While I would prefer longer time between charges there is a delicate balance Jabra had to find between size/weight and battery life. Considering the comfort of the headset I have to conclude that they made a good call. And, after all, 4 1/2hours isn’t all that short.
Charging is accomplished through a microUSB port that is hidden behind a door. While the headset is dust and sweat proof it is not waterproof. This port is one of the more vulnerable points is there is an abundance of moisture.
Comfort: If you are like my wife Elana and don’t like headphone that sit in your ear you aren’t going to like these. If you don’t mind in-war earbuds you will LOVE these. The earpieces are surprisingly light and comfortable. Jabra wanted to ensure this level of comfort so they included some additional loops for the portion that sits inside the ear. I have not needed to use them but you might want to try all three to find the best fit and greatest degree of comfort. The cord connecting the two earpieces is flat rather than the more traditional round ones. The result is that the cord doesn’t get tangled and, at least in my experience, feels more comfortable when it sits on your neck. Overall I all but forget I am wearing the headset unless I move my head. Even then I simply feel their presence.
The controls and the microphone for the Jabra Sport are found on the right earpiece. Each is covered in the same rubber from which the earpieces are made but each is raised and has a unique feel so that you can control everything by touch. It only took a few minutes before I was able to control the headset with ease.
Because these are designed for people who are active they are sweat-proof. They also come with a recommendation to use the Endomondo Sports Tracker app (iPhone®, Android or BlackBerry® handsets) and service. I have not tried it (I’m a big RunKeeper fan) but this is what the website says about Endomondo.
The free Endomondo Sports Tracker is the highest rated sports tracking app in most app stores, and it can be used for running, cycling, walking and all other distance-based outdoor sports. Using GPS, the app tracks route, distance, duration, split times, calorie consumption, and more, while providing audio feedback on your performance for every mile or km. The app offers a full history with previous workouts and statistics, as well as a route map for each workout. On certain handsets, the app also supports integration with the built-in music player and heart rate monitors.
At Endomondo.com, Endomondo users have a full social community where they can challenge each other, follow friends live and share everything on Facebook and Twitter. Endomondo has more than 2.5 million users and supports almost all GPS phones. More info at www.endomondo.com.
So the Jabra Sport looks cool, is comfortable and has some great specs. That leaves the most important aspect of this unit to discuss- sound. How does the Jabra Sport sound and is it something to which you would actually want to listen? The answer is, in a word, “Yes”. The headset sounds great and I am finding it a pleasure to listen to music with it. The combination of good sound and lightweight comfort combine to make this a rather nice experience. The fact that the headset has a microphone built into it is an added plus. The calls I made using it sounded good and, when I used it with Dragon Dictation on my iPad I found that I was able to walk away from the tablet and still get perfect transcriptions. That is a pretty good indication of the microphone’s quality. None of which is, of course a surprise considering these come from Jabra.
The other day I reviewed the Sennheiser MM450 Bluetooth headset. I was truly impressed and should have been considering the MSRP of $589.95. I debated buying the review unit but ultimately decided I would not. I may, however, at some point get a pair because they are that good. The Jabra Sports are a different animal but they do cover a good deal of the same ground. While they are not noise canceling and do not have the ability to use as a corded headset the way the MM450s can, they are Bluetooth enabled, they do sound good and they do double as a headset for your phone. One big difference? The Jabra Sport has an MSRP of $99.99. No, they don’t sound quite as good as the MM450s but they sound good enough that I find using them a pleasure and don’t feel I am compromising at all. At $99.99 I can recommend them without hesitation. And if you want to save a few dollars you can get the corder version for $30 less.
I do have a few complaints with regard to the Jabra Sport. As previously noted I do wish they had a longer play time but at least they charge in 2 hours or less. I do wish they came with some sort of cary case and think Jabra missed the boat here. It doesn’t cost all that much to include a cloth pouch and since this is the kind of headset you are going to want to keep with you a carrying case is a must. Other than that these are great and I am looking forward to continuing to use them long after this review is published. You can learn more on the Jabra website.
You can buy the Jabra Sport Bluetooth headset at Amazon for $99.99. [Affiliate link] The corded set is as low as $59.99 at Amazon. [Affiliate link]
What I Like: Comfortable; Light; Easy to control sight-unseen; Sound good; Built-in microphone;
What Needs Improvement: Only 4.5 hours of talk time and just 3 hours of play time; No included carrying case