There are a ton of in-ear headphones for the gym. While those are lightweight and practical for working out, sometimes I want the sound and comfort of on-ear headphones. I’ve used Under Armour headphones that were engineered by JBL before, and I enjoyed them. After using the UA x JBL Sport Wireless Train headphones for a few weeks, these will be in heavy rotation for a long while
Design and Build
These definitely have a more rugged look to them. When I see these headphones I picture an athlete working out with them. That’s all the motivation I need to go to the gym and work out. The headband is wide, but snug enough for a comfortable fit. The ear pads are cushioned with breathable material as well as the inside of the headband. The pads along with the semi-flexible headband contribute to the snug fit.
You’ll find the controls on the right. Your power/pair button. On the bottom front of the speaker, you have three button control. The volume rocker surrounds the play/pause button. That same button can be used to pick up and hang up calls. You’ll also find the multifunction TalkThru button on the right ear cup as well. The UA logo serves as a mute button. With TalkThru, when you put to press the button, it lowers your music and turns on the mics to allow you to hear your surroundings. The left side has the charging port. These headphones charge via micro-USB. The overall matte finish, make these headphones look cool but not flashy.
Experience and Features
Since these are “fitness headphones”, I tried using them mostly at the gym. I used them casually too. I really enjoyed the fit. With long sweaty hair and my poor running form, the headband on over-ears usually starts sliding around. Remember, for me a long run is 5 – 7 miles depending on the day. I constantly have to adjust them or keep pressing them down in onto my head. The Sports Wireless Train stayed in place for the most part. While they stay in place, you may still feel the thumping when running on the treadmill. If you’re doing long runs, the headphones may get heavy after a while. Lifting with these is more comfortable. When bending over to pick up the dumbbells, the headphones stay in place. The same goes for squatting and basic stretching. I do wish the headband had a bit more cushioning. Sometimes it feels like it’s flat on my head.
I used the TalkThru more outside of the gym when inside. Usually, people don’t bother me at the gym. Since these headphones are a little snug, it is annoying to take them off and put them on just to talk to people. Even though I feel weird using the TalkThru button, I did it a few times to prevent messing up the placement of my messy bun. These headphones are rated IPX4. While I do sweat at the gym, I don’t think I sweat enough to short these out. So far so good. The material has a lot to do with it. It doesn’t soak up everything. The button layout is also pretty helpful. I use the volume button and the play/pause button with no issue since it’s in an ideal place and it’s easy to press. I think that may be my favorite thing about these; being able to change the track quickly and no accidental presses make that button a major win.
Sound and Connectivity
I expect great sound with JBL. They are known to deliver the bass without distortion. The Sport Wireless Train headphones are no different. These have great isolation. I absolutely despise the choice in music my gym has and it’s great to be able to block them out. These headphones don’t’ have proper noise cancellation, so you have to make sure to fit them snuggly for proper noise isolation.
I’ll admit I don’t go to the gym as much as I should. But when I did make it three to four times a week, I charged the headphones weekly. They have great battery life but more importantly, they have good standby time. Of course, that is subject to use. I don’t work out for more than an hour at a time, so keeping the headphones charged or a week wasn’t a problem. I do wish these charged via USB-C that way I could completely get rid of micro-USB chargers. I hope they bring that in for next gen.
If you’re a gym rat, especially a lifter you will enjoy these. The secure fit is a selling point on its own. It will keep you in the zone. There is also a Project Rock edition, with different branding. They still have the same features. At $200, these headphones aren’t the most expensive out there, but they are expensive gym headphones overall. At least you’ll be getting both durability and great sound for intense workouts. You can find these at Jbl.com