Asking friends and family members to give me advice on picking out a new multi-purpose fitness device that I could wear when I exercise once again proved that if one asks too many questions of too many people, confusion will reign supreme.
So I was on my own when I shopped, and while I received plenty of information about various brands from their corporate websites, I experienced a moment of enlightenment, deciding that I must stop placing so much emphasis and trust on other people's opinions and rely instead on my own instincts.
How important did this prove to be? A priceless experience. I picked up a Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition wireless headset because I was favourably impressed by the brand history and the price tag of $160 was just a few bucks over my budget.
Besides, this is the first time I've ever bought a “special edition” of anything, so what could go wrong? Keep reading to find out about my rocky journey through Jabra Sport Pulse SE ownership.
We get acquainted
Just before I get it, I reviewed the plethora of Jabra online information profiling the newest member of the Pulse family and was favourably impressed. Engineers put quite a bit of emphasis on the sound features that have been improved with this iteration, including passive noise cancellation and enhanced bass tones.
I rely upon a solid beat to get me through my workouts and killer conditioning runs. Indeed, I could tell the difference immediately after comparing my old device with the Pulse SE by loading the same playlist.
Great start, I thought, moving on to this Jabra's heart rate monitor that literally takes my ear pulse to deliver readings. Again, well done, Sport Pulse! Because my state of fitness is now measured by VO2 Max criteria, there's a good chance I could cut minutes off my typical 10km run time if I use these readings properly to keep tabs on my "state of heart."
The 3-year warranty offers me a sense of reassurance - just in case the Jabra Sport Pulse SE had some sort of manufacturing flaw, but I quickly learned that I failed to read the disclosure statement: this device is only warranted against “failure from perspiration” and can be applied only as long as I registered the product via the Jabra Sport Life app. I need to read small print more carefully.
Are my personal goals compatible with the Jabra Pulse SE?
Yes, and no. I was eager to enjoy living life in the wireless lane to see whether, as all of my friends insisted, I could learn to love true freedom of movement. The answer is, wow. I love it.
I'm not much of a techie, so it took me awhile to get up to speed on the real-time coaching feature, but once I was in the loop, it took no time at all for me to become dependent upon my unpaid coach and guide. No complaints about weight or design, either. But then, things went downhill.
Problems with my iPhone interface happened enough times to irritate me, but I already belonged to the school of thought in which iPhones aren't as reliable as Android phones when it comes to inter-connectedness, so I made peace with this issue because the coaching app feature is just so great and I only experienced a few interruptions.
But then, the earbuds started to annoy me; they're relatively short, so they started to fall out more often than not. So much for the "sweat-related" warranty that I failed to properly register! No worries. I remedied the situation with new buds.
- Sound quality is great by my standards and I solved my earpiece dilemma by purchasing some silicone ear tips.
- Did I mention how much I love the coaching app? If you failed to pay attention, let me say it again.
- This product surpasses other named brands in terms of overall performance in my opinion.
- Controls are easy to manage on the fly once I got the hang of manipulating them.
- I'm happy with the 5-hour battery life because that's long enough for my longest workouts.
- Mum loves the fact that I can't turn up the volume to ear-splitting levels; she says it will save my hearing!
- I mastered control of the heart monitor feature and found it accurate - but quickly discovered that the reading can be off by as much as 50 beats per minute when I sweat a great deal!
- At one point, my monitor read-out read "heart rate not detected." That's happened a couple of times.
- "I'm all about the bass, no treble" and I'm not 100-percent happy with the volume, even though mum is.
- The retail price of S$258 may not be in everyone's ballpark.
- That active 5-hour battery life can be a deal breaker for those requiring more.
Would I have been wiser to read other people's reviews before I settled on my Sport Pulse Special Edition? Not really, because I'm pretty satisfied at this point and it was an exercise in maturity for me to take a chance on my own instincts to make this electronic purchase.
For the moment, I'm feeling good about my pick and the confidence I've gained making this decision on my own. Of course, if the product fails to keep me happy into the future, I've no hesitation to get rid of my Sport Pulse SE in the same way I've dumped guys in the past. You just move on, learn your lesson and try not to make that particular mistake again!
Do you require validation and/or opinions of others when you purchase an electronic device like a wireless headset or do you view life as a series of opportunities to test your own judgement? We'd love to read your answers.