Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Jabra unveils the Elite Sport; truly wireless earbuds that track your heart rate
Jabra has announced the company’s first pair of truly wireless earbuds. They’re called the Jabra Elite Sport, and they focus on fitness with features like heart rate monitoring and intelligent voice coaching. The earbuds will go on sale exclusively at Best Buy on October 30th for $249.
The Elite Sport seem to have all the basics that you want when it comes to truly wireless earbuds. Jabra promises a decent battery life with three hours of playback and a carrying case that can give the earbuds two full charges. The earbuds are IP67 water resistant, meaning they can be submerged in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. And they even have an audio passthrough feature, which is helpful if you need to hear the outside world while you’re wearing the earbuds.
But, much like Samsung’s recently announced Gear IconX earbuds, the Elite Sport also have a big focus on fitness tracking; Jabra even built a heart rate monitor into these earbuds. Jabra is promising around 90 percent accuracy, but it’s worth keeping in mind that in-ear heart rate monitoring can be tough because it’s hard to achieve a consistent fit and everyone’s ears are shaped differently. The Elite Sport will also come with real-time audio coaching, which uses the heart rate monitor and the Jabra Sport Life app on your phone to keep an eye on how you’re performing during a workout. The earbuds can then offer feedback, like telling you to slow down or pick up the pace.
Jabra is promising great audio quality with the Elite Sport earbuds, especially when it comes to phone calls. There are two microphones embedded in each earbud, and Jabra says it uses one to pick up your voice while the other helps determine which background noises to filter out. If you receive a call while wearing the earbuds, Jabra says you can also pick up incoming phone calls with a voice command.
Wireless earbuds have proven to be a tricky technology to execute, but the early market has been dominated by startups like Bragi and their Dash. Bigger companies like Samsung, or maybe even Apple, should have a better chance of making compelling truly wireless earbuds. We’ll have to wait to get our hands on the Elite Sport before we see how well Jabra’s done.