I enjoy wireless headphones. There are so many to choose from now. I always wear wireless headphones at the gym (there’s no going back to tangling headphones and weights). I was excited to see the Under Armour headphones wireless (powered by JBL) at CES earlier this year. At the JBL suite they had basketball players shooting around with the UA headphones. After a few weeks of using them I am ready to share my thoughts.
Design and Build
The UA Headphones Wireless look like your typical wireless earbuds. Earbuds at each end and 3 button mic control. The mic control has the micro-USB charging port on the other side of the three buttons. The cable seems to be shorter than what I am used to. I guess it’s to keep the lock and twist motion in place. JBL recommends you wear the wire in the front for best access to the mic as well. The earbuds have 5.8mm drivers in them. They earbuds are large.
UA Headphones Wireless Experience
Rarely do I run outdoors. I’m not an experienced runner, and New York’s weather has been crazy and unpredictable. As I said before UA recommends wearing the headphones with the cable hanging in the front as opposed to behind the neck. For some reason I thought they would get in the way since I’m used to wearing headphones behind the neck. They didn’t bother me. I barely heard the microphone thump when on the treadmill. Changing the ear tips was a bit hard at first, but then it was
You buy wireless earbuds mostly for the comfort of no tangles, but you hope to get at least decent sound out of them. The UA headphones Wireless don’t have noise cancellation. They rely on noise isolation (besides the drivers) to get the sound. While I don’t think the UA headphones do a great job of noise isolation, they are loud enough to get the groove going safely. It’s good for safety when running outdoors but sometimes it’s not enough to block out all the noise in the gym. These offer clear sound, but you won’t get too much bass from these. I didn’t experience any breakage or interruptions with these headphones.
Since the earbuds are large, they look awkward and it’s a bit weird to lock and twist. They are light on the ears regardless of the size of the earbuds. After twisting and locking them in, they fit pretty snug. As I always say you have to find the right ear tip size, but this is crucial with the UA Wireless. If you don’t lock these in, they won’t stay on at all. The headphones come with ear tips in two sizes (I’m used to getting 3 different sizes). These are extremely light. There was no pressure after a full gym session. I have even used these to commute to and from the office and it was nice to not have the pressure in my ears. The mic works with iPhone. You press and hold the volume up and down buttons to go back and skip tracks.
Battery life is good on these. When I am consistent at the gym (4 – 5 times a week) I go for about an hour to an hour and a half. I charge the headphones once a week and it does fine, but usually dies by the end of the 5th gym session (does fine for four sessions). Takes about an hour to charge, and they charge via micro USB (port is located on the 3 button mic) so that’s pretty good too.
Pricing and Availability
These headphones will run you $180 from the JBL website or from the Under Armour site. While many won’t spend nearly $200 for headphones, those who enjoy lightweight headphones and rely on the twist and lock motion will splurge on these. You do get a sub to MapMyFitness which is worth about $30 for the year’s subscription.
I enjoy using these headphones for extensive and/ or intense gym sessions. They can handle the sweat and the long workouts. They did the job of staying in ear. The question is are you willing to shell out that amount for the twist and lock feature. They are definitely quality build and will last a while.