I am a regular visitor to the stadium adjacent to my residence for my daily morning walks—giving company to many health-conscious ex-servicemen who throng the sprawling complex at the crack of dawn. Quite often, I find people struggling with their over-sized headphones—corded or without wires—in the middle of their brisk walk or even while running. Most people seem to have an uneasy relationship with their earphones or headphones that they use to listen to music.
Jabra Elite Sport, a pair of wireless sports ear-buds, promises to provide a good listening experience to those who cannot bear to be separated from their music even while exercising. Designed with true freedom in mind, Jabra Elite Sport delivers a cord-free wearing style whether you choose to use one or both earbuds. It offers very good stereo sound for calls and music, as well as full sports functionality.
At the same time, the Elite Sport’s audio pass-through allows you to hear your surroundings at the touch of a button. Most important, the ear-buds are comfortable to wear and fit tightly in your ears. They are available in two colour variants—Pure Black or Lime Green Gray. I have been using them for over a week and here’s what I have to say.
In the box, you will get the Jabra Elite Sport, an on-the-go charging case and a micro-USB cable. An array of ear gels and ear wings are included, as well as foam tips for passive noise-cancellation and enhanced bass. To get started, you need to select an ear-gel or foam tip, along with the ear wing. Once you are done with the selection, insert the ear-bud into your ear, rotate them to fit snug inside your ear-canal and tuck the tip of the ear wing into the ridge of your ear.
Moving further, pair the Jabra Elite Sport with your mobile and fire up your favourite song. While this Jabra unit is recommended for an iPhone, iPad or iPod, it is compatible with most Android phones as well. Check that the sound quality is crystal and that the bass is deep and powerful. For optimal performance, try each of the different ear gels, foam tips and ear wings—a proper seal of the ear canal is essential. In order to pair your mobile phone, hold three seconds to turn on the ear-bud, and then follow the instructions. Believe me, it is a kid’s play to do the entire set up.
What makes the Elite Sport so elite? For starters, the Jabra ear-buds are fully sweatproof and waterproof. There’s also an integrated heart-rate monitor that provides in-ear fitness analysis and, as you would suspect from a high-end Jabra headphone, they work quite well as a headset for making calls, with built-in noise reduction technology.
Technical-speak, there are two integrated microphones in each ear-bud. During a voice call, one captures your voice and the other focuses on external noise. Together, the ear-buds overlay the two feeds, identify the background noise and remove it, allowing you to take calls without interruption. If a call comes in whilst you are running, voice controls and audio prompts let you manage your calls without having to touch your phone. The best part: The ear-bud will run up to three hours of calls and music when fully charged—more than enough for most running schedule or workouts—plus up to six hours of additional charge from the compact carry-case.
You can use the Elite Sport with some of the widely popular iOS and Android running and fitness apps, such as Endomondo, RunKeeper, but Jabra has its own training-management app called Jabra Sport Life. The personalised VO2 Max data generated by Jabra Elite Sport, and captured by the app, tracks your fitness development. It uses intelligent in-ear coaching to provide real-time feedback. When your workout is done, the Jabra Sport Life app provides a range of information to help you improve your fitness level in the future, including distance covered, pace, route, calories burnt and training effect.
My takeaways: The Jabra Elite Sport sounds quite good and its impressive fitness app gives valuable feedback about your overall health status. What impressed me was its ability to maintain a steady, hiccup-free connection and stay in my ears while running.
– Estimated street price: Rs 18,990