Why do we have to wear both fitness tracker and earbuds separately while the heart rate monitor (HRM) earbuds go beyond a regular stereo headset for music. Actually HRM earbuds can do the job for fitness tracker. In other words they are the combination of the functionalities and quality audio in a single wearable. Yet it is still debatable whether the heart rate monitor in form of a wrist band is better earbuds that fit into your ears in terms of accuracy. Additionally, the fitness band like Fitbit Charge HR have an advantage of all day long wearing, so they can track your heart rate any time, while HRM earbuds fit in your ears, and you can only wear them in a number of hours, probably during your working out sections or you want to have them on for listening to your favorite tracks. And here are some very first earbuds (in ear headphones) integrated with heart rate tracking feature a long with other extra features that you may be interested in.
Not long after the release of Bose SoundSport Wireless, Bose announced their first smart sports earbuds with HRM feature, the Bose SoundSport Pulse Wireless. This pair works perfectly with familiar apps for sports like MapMyRun, RunKeeper, Endomondo and Runtastic, giving accurate measurements.
Given it is a set for sport, the Pulse Wireless provide a pretty good and comfortable fit. The HRM measurements are reliable, but be sure you get a proper fit on the left–the HRM sensors are built on the L-earpiece.
Jabra Elite Sport Totally wireless earbuds with accurate HRM
HRM earbuds now are totally cordless, giving you more freedom to your move. Intended for active listening, Jabra Elite Sport is water-proofing and suppied with earhooks to lock the buds into your ears.
Given that it’s a Bluetooth headphone the Jabra Elite Sport sounds good and fit comfortably. But their battery life is short, and it is pricey. If you value the reliable HRM and free-cord experience and have extra money to spend, the Jabra Elite Sport will be a good choice.
LG has been successful with their LG tone series behind the neck headphones, which is Bluetooth and sounds good. But there is a limitation that they are just for music on the go and calls. Their new in ear set, LG Electronics FR74 is designed for sports and added with a bunch of features, including HRM. If you are one of those people who feel burdened when a device is strapped to your body like chest strap-based heart rate sensors, the LG FR74 is simpler just like wearing a Bluetooth earbuds. Their data collected is synced with RunKeeper and some available iOS and Android fitness apps. With these earbuds, the next time you are running on the treadmill, you will be able to keep an eye on your heart rate while listening to music. Isn’t that cool?
Designed for fitness, they have soft hangers to wrap around your ear, eartips and earhooks works that well together to keep earbuds stay exceptionally secure in your ears. The eartips are furnished with rubber tubing to make the earbuds fit comfortably to your ears. You may think that the asymmetrical design of the earbuds will cause discomfort, but they are actually quite comfortable. There is an extra flexible wing to provide support.
The two earbuds are marked L and R for you convenience. A lanyard clip holds the two wires together and prevents them from getting tangled. This clip remote has buttons to control volume and play and pause music. The Bluetooth module connects with the headphones through a micro-USB. Since these heart rate monitor earbuds use a micro-USB, they cannot be connected to a normal headphone socket.
To use the headphone, one must use the LG fitness app. Using the companion app, you can track your daily activity. With it, you can also calculate your daily calorie intake, distance traveled, and step counts. That aside, the GPS built within the app can also be used to track route. However, the app itself is slightly cluttered and messy.
One of the cons of this headphone is that the quality of the sound is indecent. This is a bummer given the high price of this headphone. The sound clarity is mediocre. The volume doesn’t reach as high as you would expect it to reach. Likewise, the bass response is missing — if you like your beats, you may not feel very happy with these heart rate monitoring earbuds.. Another issue with the device is its battery. A fully charged battery will work upto 4 hours. While this is not exactly bad, wish LG had created a more powerful battery.
Though the Jabra Sport Pulse Earbuds are slightly expensive, they serve many different functions. These earbuds are good value for money.
The quality of sound is quite decent. The sound doesn’t break even if you increase the volume to the highest. The earbuds isolate noises pretty well. The bass quality is pretty amazing too — you will be able to feel every beat in your ear. If you are still not satisfied and want to enhance the sound quality furthermore, use Jabra’s sound app. The app delivers Dolby high-definition sound which will make your workout sessions even more fun.
These heart rate monitor earbuds have long wires that are easy to maintain with the lanyard clip. The box comes with wire accessories that can be used to control the length of the wires. The clip is provided with buttons that control important functions — you can control volume, switch on siri, change tracks, etc. Also, the earbuds are very comfortable — the pack comes with three different set of ear hooks. The silicon tips of the earbud ensure that these water-resistant plugs stay set in your ear while you are working out.
The Jabra Sport Pulse can be used to measure many different metrics — with it, you can measure distance, time and calorie intake. This earphone has an in-built opto-mechanical sensor that sits comfortably inside the ear and gives accurate update on your heart rate and oxygen consumption. They send the data directly to your phone. You will have to download the free Jabra Sport Life App to be able to use these earbuds efficiently.
While these earbuds are quite precise when it comes to heart rate monitoring, they have shown some inefficiency when it comes to distance racking. The other issue with this amazing gadget is its battery. A fully charged battery won’t last more than 4 to 5 hours. While this is better than most devices, it disappoints when compared to other Jabra wireless phones. A good idea to keep switching off the device between workouts. This will save the battery.
The Sport Pulse Special Edition, the next version of Jabra sport wireless will be released in September, 2016 with major upgrades about fit and sound quality.
SMS Audio BioSport Earbuds
If you are looking for a pair of fancy earbuds with outstanding sound, you may feel disappointed with the SMS Audio BioSport–it sounds good enough for sports. However for a pair that’s efficient and have multiple functions for fitness, you need to look no further.
Available in three different colors — yellow, blue, and grey, these are the first heart rate monitor earbuds, which were designed by Intel engineers.
Audio performance may seem a bit disappointing, especially when you take into account the fact that you are paying quite a lot of money for these headphones. The bass response is unsatisfactory — the beats come restrained. Also, the clarity isn’t impressive — you will constantly feel that the sound is echoing. However, the good part is that volume can go really loud. Increase the volume to the highest level and you will be able to block most of the surrounding noise.
These earbuds are quite comfortable and use wings to sit comfortably inside the ear. The cords are long and easily manageable. If you find them difficult to handle, use the wire clip that comes with these earbuds to manage the length of the cords. There are only two buttons on the remote. While the first button can be used to pause, play and skip tracks, the second button can be used to switch off the heart monitor. All the other functions must be controlled through the device to which the earbud is connected.
It is a wired earbuds, so fitness feature works without battery. This means you won’t have to constantly worry about charging your earbuds. They also measure the heart rate accurately. To track your heart rate, just switch on the Heart Rate tracking mode and the device will start working instantly. The right earbud is built-in with a sensor which shines a light to track your heart rate. Yet another problem with this earbud is that it only works with a single app, RunKeeper. Also, if you want to use these headphones to talk, you will have to switch off the HR monitoring — the microphone doesn’t work when the earbuds are monitoring the heart rate.
Seven Things Heart Rate Monitor Earbuds Should Be Improved
- Sound quality
- Battery life
- Connection stability
- Durability: since these HRM earbuds are for fitness, so they should be built with shock and water proof feature.
- Fit and comfort
- Tracking sleep
- Smart earbuds are not for just listening to music, they can be a great wearable to track health. One of the most wanted feature is monitoring blood sugar level, which currently Apple is working on. Earbuds will be built with optical sensors to measure the glucose level in blood.
Bose SoundSport Pulse Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds will be on the market ($200) in September and feature hear-rate tracker.
Update on 01/14/2017