JBL Under Armour Sport Wireless Heart Rate Headphones Review
THE VERDICT:
The JBL Under Armour Heart Rate headphones stick to your ears like velcro even through the most vigorous workout routines. Whether you’re a long time exerciser or just starting to workout, the built-in heart rate monitor makes them a valuable tool. If they had just a bit more oomph in the bass department, they could be the perfect workout headphone.

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Design8
Features8.5
Value7.5
Ease of Use8
Sound Quality7.5
The Good
  • JBL Heart Rate headphones offer a secure fit that won’t fall off during the most rigorous workouts. Heart Rate monitor helps you to keep track of your work out intensity and calorie burn. Vocals sound great coming through the headphones.
The Bad
  • The headphones don’t provide a lot of oomph in the bass department. Silicone earphone sleeves can be a pain to take off and put on.
7Overall Score

The wearable market has grown immensely the past few years and it’s no secret that Under Armour has been aggressively trying to get into this very lucrative field. UA and JBL have partnered on a couple projects recently, one of them being the JBL UA Sport Wireless Heart Rate headphones. These headphones don’t need to be tethered to your audio device. Instead they rely upon wireless Bluetooth connectivity to pull tunes from your MP3 player or Smartphone. However, the most notable feature on these headphones is their built-in heart rate monitor that, when combined with the app, can feed you useful information about your workout.
JBL Under Armour Sport Wireless Heart Rate Headphones Review

Design & Features

Take one look at these JBLs and you can tell that these headphones are designed for the active user. The ear tips of the Sport Wireless headphones fit snugly in your ear canal. They’re surrounded by rounded silicone sleeves that rest against your ear. To help secure the ear buds, the UA Sport Headphones have soft plastic hooks that loop around the tops of your ears. A set of sleeves comes pre-attached to the ear buds and if you’re lucky you’ll be able to slip the phones in your ear and they’ll fit perfectly. On the other hand, if you’re like me you’ll need to try on each of the different sized sleeves to see which fits you better.

 

The stretchy silicone sleeves will put up a fight when trying to swap them out and can be somewhat frustrating, however once you find the size that fits, the UA Heart Rate headphones will stay in place through the most vigorous exercises. I used them through varying workouts, from running and biking to weightlifting and plyometrics and the headphones stayed in place nicely. JBL states that these phones won’t fall out your ears and based on my experience that appears to be a pretty accurate statement.

JBL Heart Rate Wireless Headphones Review

The left and right ear buds have a thin cord connecting them that rests behind your head when in use. The inline remote and mic are situated closer to the right ear bud. The middle button lets you play/pause music as well as manage calls. The two outer buttons control volume and music track navigation. The inline remote also has a rubber flap which conceals the micro-USB slot that’s used for charging.

 

Heart Rate Monitor

The major selling feature of the Under Armour Sport Headphones is their ability to monitor your heart rate. Press and holding the right ear bud turns the heart rate feature on and off. When you do this you’ll hear a voice telling you that the heart rate monitor is activated or deactivated. To get your current heart rate simply tap the right ear piece again and the same voice will chime in with your current heart rate.

 

During my tests this worked pretty well about 80% to 90% of the time with the headphones quickly identifying and registering my heartbeat. However, on several occasions the Wireless Heart Rate headphones had a hard time picking up my heartbeat. When this happened the voice would inform me that I needed to “adjust headphones”.  As it turned out these headphones could be pretty finicky about how I had the earpieces plugged into my ears. As much as I tried sometimes the darn phones just wouldn’t recognize my heart rate. I discovered that the best way to solve this was by simply turning the headphones off and on and “Voila” – heartbeat detected.

 

The UA Heart Rate headphones are designed to work hand-in-hand with the UA Record fitness app. The app lets you sync numerous UA devices with the app including the Heart Rate headphones. Once you have the headphones paired to your phone via bluetooth, boot-up the app press and hold the right ear piece and you’re ready to get going.

 

The Record app has a boatload of analytics built-in.  In fact, almost too much. The app itself isn’t the most intuitive. If you’re a hardcore athlete you’ll probably enjoy all the stats it burps out. The average user will probably just want the basic info such as heart rate, peak heart rate, average heart rate, calories burned, and work-out intensity all of which is good stuff if you’re trying to stay in shape. Once you complete a workout you also have the option to share the fruits of your labor with friends if you so choose.

 

Sound Quality & Performance

After multiple work-out sessions with the JBL UA Sport Wireless Heart Rate headphones I began to really enjoy their sound. The headphones sounded clear and precise even at high volumes. They performed especially well in the upper mid-range, however they may not be the headphones for you if you like deep powerful bass. The UA Sport headphones aren’t powerhouses in the low frequency department, so if you need bass driven music to fuel your workout you won’t get that from the UAs.

 

Vocals on the other hand, sounded wonderful. The Weekend’s vocals shined on his new Starboy track as did Paige Duddy’s voice from the brother/sister duo Xylo. The JBL Wireless headphones also displayed good treble response with little to no harshness in the upper end.

 

As far as noise cancellation, these headphones do an OK, if not great job. At high volume levels you can still hear the outside world. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing especially if you’re an outdoor runner or biker. With these JBLs you can be aware of your surroundings while still enjoying your music.

 

JBL claims that you can expect to get about 5 hours of music enjoyment from the headphones on a single charge. After multiple weeks of testing this is fairly accurate as I managed to eek out about 4.5 to 5.5 hours once they were juiced up.

 

The Verdict

The JBL Under Armour Sport Wireless Heart Rate headphones are solid if not spectacular. Their sound quality is good, although they could use a little more punch in the bass department. The standout feature of these JBLs is the heart rate monitor which could make them a valuable asset for your workout endeavors.

 


Where to Buy:

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