How to choose a Headphones and earphones for sportsmen

With or without wire

Now that you know everything about the issues of comfort and headphones maintenance in part 1, the question arises whether to opt for a model with or without wire.

Bluetooth Headphone

Advantage of Bluetooth headphones, you do not risk getting entangled in the wires or even being hampered by a cable during the effort. The connection is generally very stable and the comfort of use is real. On the other side of the coin, you’ll have one more device to recharge before you run. In case of a discharged battery, you can make a cross on the music. If you’re the head-up, we recommend PowerBeats 2 Wireless that take advantage of the fast charging technology. Plug in for 15 minutes to enjoy one hour of use.

As for wired headphones, you will not have to worry about charging any battery since there are none. Less expensive than Bluetooth models, they also have a remote control which in our opinion is more practical as part of a training. Ideally placed on the cable, one does not need to fiddle to find it. In addition, the risk of moving the earpiece into the ear is less as the remote control is usually integrated further down the cable near the chin. If you opt for a wired model and your budget allows, Bose Sound Sport have our preference in both comfort and audio quality. In Bluetooth, Divacore Blueskull enjoys excellent value for money. You may want to know best earbuds under 50 here!

What level of resistance?

As mentioned above, sweat is the sworn enemy of headphones. It’s the same with the rain for who does not hesitate to brave the elements when going to run. You have probably already heard about the IPXX certification which is used in particular in the world of mobile telephony. This is a protection rating that indicates the degree of dust and water resistance of an appliance. It is also used for sports headphones.

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A good sports helmet must resist sweat.

The two digits XX are interpreted independently. The first information on dust protection on a scale of 0 to 6. An IP6X index therefore means that the device is totally protected including against microscopic dust. The second digit indicates the resistance to water on a scale of 0 to 9. In terms of consumer electronics, the maximum is generally 8. In clear if an apparatus is IP68 for example, it is supposed to resist dust d On the one hand, and immersion in more than one meter of water for 30 minutes on the other hand.

Regarding sports headphones, you will encounter an IPX4 index most of the time. This simply means that they have not been dust-tested, but they are resistant to water spray, and therefore to rain. To be completely complete, you may wonder why no headset / earphone is IP67 certified, or even IP68, as is the case for some smartphones for example? Simply because the higher the IP, the more the sound is impacted by isolating the membranes. A balance must be struck between resistance and audio experience. If you intend to put your headphones to the test, for example during a Mud Day, the Jabra Sport Coach and Sport Pulse are IP55 certified. We can even wash them after the event.

Compatible iPhone or Android, what does that change?

Maybe you’ve already noticed that some headphones / earphones are iPhone compatible while others are for Android smartphones. It is also valid for models dedicated to sport that interest us here. Know first that this does not mean you will not be able to use them if you change a day of dairy. The advantage of this compatibility lies mainly in the remote control and its advanced features.

The compatibility of a headset with its smartphone can be important.

A MFI (Made For iPod or iPhone) certified headset will have access to all music controls in addition to volume. Next or previous song, pause, play or answer calls, everything is accessible via the three buttons on the remote control. In the case of a Bluetooth model, one can also consult the battery level directly on the screen of the iPhone. The principle is the same regarding the certification Works With Android or Works With Windows Phone but integration is less advanced than on iOS.

At Beats, all headphones and earphones are MFI certified which is not surprising following Apple’s acquisition of the brand. The same goes for Bose and Jabra who have chosen the same camp. Conversely, Sennheiser lets you choose between Android and iOS.

Apt-X or not

The apt-X is a coding system which is supposed to offer a sound quality close to that of the CD despite the compression related to the Bluetooth. To take advantage of this, the transmitter (the smartphone in this case) and the receiver (our headphones or headphones) must both be compatible with this technology. Regarding the iPhone, the question does not arise, Apple had not designed to integrate it in its smartphone or even in its iPod. If you have a compatible device, three models are able to play sound in apt-X in our selection: Monster Roc Sport, LG Tone Active, and Divacore Blueskull.

For his part, Jabra has opted for Dolby audio processing in order to offer a greater immersion or to personalize the sound of its headphones. Nevertheless, you have to go through the dedicated application to enjoy it. It then replaces the default player of your smartphone.

What about applications?

The helmets and headphones for the sport are of course compatible with the dedicated applications in the matter. Whether it’s Endomondo or Runstastic to name a few, voice announcements are available to help you know the distance traveled, the time elapsed, and the passage times. Jabra is once again demonstrating its own Jabra Sports Life application for its Sports Pulse and Sport Coach helmets. This allows you to monitor your progress and accesses a vocal coach. Thanks to the Jabra Sports Pulse heart rate monitor, the application is even able to calculate the VO2 Max and plan a split training or series without touching the smartphone.


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