Call me jaded, but when I was notified about new ear gear coming onto the market courtesy of Samsung, I yawned.
There simply comes a time when a runner like me suffers from Earbud Saturation. I was diagnosed with this disease after a friend opened my kitchen drawer to find it filled with earbuds.
Every colour. Every style. Too many of them to count. It’s not that I’m an addict. I just can’t seem to find buds that live up to their hype.
Upon seeing my huge inventory, my friend’s eyes grew to be the size of Singapore. She told me to call her immediately if the urge to buy more ear buds struck, and I was doing pretty well on my promise until I spotted the new Samsung Gear IconX ear buds that seemed too good to be true.
I had to have them. Find out why.
Because these new ear buds do everything but clean out my kitchen drawers once I interface them with my smartphone, I was predisposed to like them.
Fortunately, my Android has sufficient RAM to make this linkage possible. These earbuds are quite compact and fit into a clever case that also acts as a charging station. Thanks to the P2i Nano coating, I can wear them in the water as they have proven to be both water and splash resistant.
Despite their tiny size, each earbud has two (that’s no typo!) microphones that deliver on clarity and quality and I can play up to 1,000 music tracks. If I wanted that many choices, of course!
It’s All About Control
Allow me to make an admission here: When I first started using these earbuds (and in answer to your question, no, they never wind up in a drawer because I love using them too much), I felt awkward when I was out in public.
The “control with a touch” mechanism makes me appear to be playing a tiny conga drum with my finger every time I poke at one of the buds to activate one of these 5 ingenious options:
- If I want to play or pause music, I deliver a single tap to my bud.
- If someone calls me, I double tap to hear the caller and double tap again to end the call.
- To listen to a previous track of music, I tap three times and voila! The tune appears in my ear magically.
- No taps required to adjust the volume; I accomplish that with a mere swipe.
- To manage all functions, I tap and hold to access the menu readout that delivers workout or ambient sound.
- I can’t get over the fact that the earbud case serves as a charger so my Gear IconX buds don’t get lost.
- These earbuds never met an audio format they didn’t love: MP3; M4A; AAC; WAV; WMA v9.
- Human voice prompts are at the heart of the “control with a touch” menu so I’m always in the loop.
- I enjoy Bluetooth streaming to deliver training motivation songs I personally need to keep going!
- Despite their tiny size, these buds offer great onboard storage capacity and a built-in heart rate monitor.
- You’re out of luck if you haven’t an Android phone because these buds don’t interface with Apple products. Yet.
- At $298 (or thereabouts) you may wish to wait until prices drop so your budget doesn’t take a hit, but at least it’s more affordable than its rival.
- New users may finding themselves a little bit disappointed by this Samsung product’s battery life.
- Activity tracking can be hit or miss; there’s no GPS, so read-outs aren’t always accurate and you may not want to count on the accuracy of the heart monitor, either.
Having a real human voice to take me through my paces (in 15 different languages, I might add!) on my way to my personal vigorous-intensity zone is a plus, and while I enjoy checking my stats and progress courtesy of the S Health app, it’s the ability to turn on ambient sound mode so I’m in constant touch with my surroundings that I appreciate even more because I sometimes run at night or in traffic and I need to remain vigilant.
These buds, it turns out, aren’t annoying because they come in different wingtip and ear-tip sizes, so I got a custom fit. Do they fall out? To test their mettle, I undertook some serious jumping and they didn’t budge.
Samsung isn’t one to use a lot of hyperbole to hide flaws and imperfections, so I guess that the battery life might be an issue (max charge, in my experience, lasted about three hours).
I weighed the other features and decided that it wasn’t too much to ask myself to be more diligent about charging. That stated, they are sleek enough to make sure I don’t look like Dumbo the elephant when I wear them.
I don’t depend upon the activity tracker (I already have another device that does that) so I can’t join the growing Greek choir of complainers, but I urge readers to keep this in mind if activity tracking is a deal breaker.
In summary, for a new adventure in earbud design and functionality, the Samsung is a welcome addition and I believe my friend is delighted that I finally found a solution to my former earbud-buying obsession!
How eager are you to invest in a new earbud system like this Samsung Gear IconX when you know – and the company admits – that battery life could present problems?
The first Samsung Cord-free Fitness Earbuds with advanced features and capabilities—Samsung Gear IconX are available now in Singapore.
The recommended retail price is $298, and the Samsung Gear IconX will come in colour options of Black, Blue and White. They are available at all local telecommunication operators, major consumer electronics stores, Samsung Experience Stores, Lazada Singapore and Hachi.tech.