I’m a music-while-running fan since my first workout. It was back in 2006 when I enter the running world, having what I now consider short runs between 5 to 10 kilometers. In those years Apple was launching iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano, imposing a real revolution in the market of audio devices dedicated to sport funs.
I first started with the original Apple earbuds but I broke some pairs due to sweat and rain during trainings. After couple years I still had problems, so I moved to a more technical solution: the Nike Skylon Flight earbuds (take a look to the attached picture). I was pretty happy with sound quality and fitting but I suffered an annoying cable movement, so I implemented a selfmade solution. I added a clip to the cable in order to fix it firmly to the t-shirt. I was happy with these set and I brought it on over the years until device producers introduced wireless solutions.
My first experience had been with Jay-Bird Freedom Sprint, bought on the Apple website for €110 shipped to my desk. The Jay-Bird are simple in-ear earbuds connected together with a cable. The earbuds perfectly matched with my phone but, as you can imagine, bringing out your phone at any run is no good. I looked for a small Bluetooth enabled music player and I eventually picked an Apple iPod Nano, which is quite expensive. Unfortunately, even the iPod had a problem: it wasn’t provided with a clip so, as happened before, I solved the problem by myself buying a built-in clipped cover. At this stage, my running technologic gear was made of: a gps watch, earbuds and iPod. For my affliction, all of them had to be charged separately. Not easy, not comfortable and not cheap at all!
Last Christmas I have been gifted with the Powerbeats2 Wireless from Beats Audio, a company that has been acquired by Apple. Those earphones play nicely, better than the Jay-Bird and they also look fine. This changed brought on the same issues of a lot of devices to charge and to wear. I am beginning to feel a sort of android, since I I’ve recently added a heartrate monitor band.
I love to analyze my progress in training, but I am starting to hate all these various wearables on me while running, especially during races or long runs (often I run more than 3 hours in a single session). I am gasping for simplicity.
These days I realized a major change is out of the door. No more wires (yes, I said no more wires, also the one between the earbuds!) and no more Bluetooth players. Just two small things that represents the perfect fitness earbuds. This is possible with Samsung Gear IconX.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to try them out, but I love them for the capacity of responding to my new mantra: simplicity. They act as earphones, music player and fitness tracker, including heartrate monitor. I do not expect the best sound, I also think that 4GB are not a huge space for my music and I know that tracking without GPS is quite basic, but in the end who cares. The only issue that might need an upgrade soon is battery capacity. They say that the Gear IconX can play music in autonomy for 3 hours, but if paired with a Bluetooth device only for 1,5 hours. The retail box includes a container for the earbuds that works also as charger on the move so you can extend the play-time during stops or everywhere else.
Can’t wait to put my hands on them. The price in Italy is €229. Definitely not cheap but, if you compare them with the Powerbeats2 that I’m currently using, they cost just €30 more, bringing much more value.