These days, Bluetooth headphones are pretty much a commodity and they come in lots of different shapes, sizes and prices. So naturally, companies are trying to offer headphones for specific audiences that are designed for a certain purpose. Adidas has the FWD-01 in-ear headphones and the RPT-01 on-ear headphones that provide you with a fantastic way to complete your workout while listening to whatever makes that time go by faster.
Both the RPT-01 and FWD-01 have very similar design language to each other since they’re both meant to be used for active workouts where you are expected to sweat buckets. However, they both are suited for different activities.
For example, the FWD-01 in-ear headphones are great for running or where you are going to be moving your body a lot regularly since they will remain secure in your ears without much issue while the RPT-01 on-ear headphones are better suited for stationary workouts like strength training, weights or really anything that won’t make them fall off your head.
- Sweat proof & Water resistant (IPX4)
- Up to 40 hours of playtime
- Control knob for easy interaction
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Washable Ear cushions and inner headband
- Water-resistant (IPX4) design with sweat-proof construction
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Up to 16 hours of playtime
- Low-friction knitted cord
- Interchangeable ear tips
- Fast charge option
Both have a very nice fabric material, that on the RPT-01 on-ear headphones can be removed and run through the machine if it gets really nasty. The FWD-01 have a neck cord that is also made of that fabric material that feels very nice and even when it rests on your neck it’s not something that you’ll notice or be bothered by.
One of my favorite features of both is that they are both charged by USB-C. You may laugh but we are fast approaching a time where a USB-C cord could charge all your devices, well except Apple devices because well, Apple.
The RPT-01 also have a multi-function knob that can be pressed in but also moved like a joystick up, down, left, right. Up/down controls volume while the left/right controls track movement. It’s a smart idea but my main beef with the RPT-01 is there is a tiny white light that shows any kind of power/connection status and it’s very very easy to miss. What is worse is neither the RPT-01 or FWD-01 have any kind of voice reporting of what’s going on but instead rely on what I would best describe at musical chimes. Now, while after using you will figure out what the sounds mean (some are easier to figure out than others) it shouldn’t be necessary at all. I don’t understand why Adidas went this way and didn’t just include voice recordings that simply said things like “power on”, “Ready to pair”, etc. like many headphones out there that cost far far less. In any case, it is something that will be annoying but hopefully, you can get used to over time.
The FWD-01 in-ear headphones have a nice fit and come with many cushions as well as ear-loops to make sure you can find the right fit. There are 3 buttons on the neck cord that provide some controls. They’re pretty comfortable and I didn’t find myself feeling uncomfortable after prolonged use. Like with any headphones though, that comes largely down to finding the right fit for you.
The RPT-01 on-ear headphones are truly on-ear as the cup is too small to cover all but the smallest of ears (maybe an elf?). The fit is comfortable and it helps that all the surfaces that touch your body are fabric from the cups to the headband. After a rough workout, I sweat a lot and having all these surfaces be resistant to perspiration, especially my hair, is comforting.
You’ve noticed by now, I haven’t talked much about sound quality. That’s simply because it is purely subjective and different people like different sounds. My opinion is that these both sound very good but not spectacular. You will not be disappointed by the sound on either of these but I wouldn’t say you should be using these as your reference headphones nor do I believe Adidas planned for them to be used as such. They’re active headphones for people who are working out and provide great sound for that purpose.
Source: Manufacturer supplied sample
What I Like: IPX4; really nice fabric throughout; USB-C charging; great sound for active oriented headphones; long battery life
What Needs Improvement: Confusing sounds to interpret instead of voice; tiny white LED showing power/status is hard to see