Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Gadget review: Jabra Elite Sport earbuds

Jabra's new fitness headphones are truly wireless. But how do they sound?
Jabra's Elite Sport headphones are waterproof and truly wireless.
Jabra's Elite Sport headphones are waterproof and truly wireless.

What are they? Many sets of headphones claim to be wireless - especially in the fitness category. But there aren't many options that truly are. Most sets come with a clunky cord attaching each earbud to the other, which is designed to go around the back of your neck. Often, they also include a volume control that ends up weighing down the wire and becoming an annoyance when you run. These, Jabra's Elite Sport model, really are truly wireless, with one bud that sits in each ear. For that, they should be applauded.

How do they work? Firstly there's a bit of setup. The Elite Sports require you to fiddle around with various inner ear options, from a plastic outer mould, to your required inner ear fitting. They include plenty of variety, with different shapes and sizes of wing fits, silicon gels and foam tips to trial. Spend a bit of time setting them up - you don't want these to come loose when you start pounding the pavement. But hooking them up through Bluetooth is super simple. So is charging. For that, you just pop them in a handy carry case and leave them alone. Each charge lasts three hours, and the case carries two full charges in it.

And yes, they're also waterproof.

Are they any good? The Danish company claims these are "the most technically advanced" sports earbuds on the market. None of that matters if they don't fit properly. It took me a few goes to really perfect that, but once they were in, they stayed in. And they sound good. Really good. Thanks to "passive noise cancellation," Jabra's chunky buds actually pack quite a wallop. I also like the volume pad, which means you don't have to muck around with your music player if you want to really get them pumping. And if you do, there's an in-ear heart-rate monitor to measure your fitness. That's impressive.

Jabra Elite Sports headphones come with a very useful snap-lock charging case.
Jabra Elite Sports headphones come with a very useful snap-lock charging case.

Any downsides? Only if you lose one. That would be super annoying.

Okay, so how much are they? For a pair of fitness earbuds, the Elite Sports aren't cheap. At $399, they're at the top end of the spectrum. That's what you pay for being truly wireless, and for all that tech. These are an investment for sure, but if you're really against those wires included on other "wireless" models, Jabra's provided the fitness earbuds of your dreams.

- NZ Herald

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