Oct 25, 2013 Mohannad Alchalabi
Jabra has become synonymous with Bluetooth with Jabra providing both budget and premium quality products to consumers and businesses alike. The Jabra Sport Wireless+ headset is Jabra’s answer for the sports enthusiast who wants durable, tangle free earphones that can withstand the rigors of a decent workout.
The headset comes boxed with a quick start guide, micro-USB cable for charging, six ear-gels, a fit-clip, and a sports armband. The quick start guide is just that, a multi-language booklet with 3 pages per language. For more instructions and a list of features and commands you have to download the manual from Jabra’s website. The micro-USB cable is short so you might want to use one of your own if you need a longer cable. It does not come with a charger.
The ear-gels come in different shapes so you can choose the shape that fits you best. They’re not very durable though; I accidentally tore two of them while trying to install them. The fit-clip is a fastener that is clipped to the band and used to fasten the band to the back of your head or neck for a tighter fit. The sports armband has a small pouch for an mp3 player but don’t expect your new mobile phone to fit in.
The headset has an on/off, an FM Radio button and a volume rocker on the right speaker with the left speaker button free. The USB connector is also on the right speaker. The first time you turn the device on it will instantly go into pairing mode. The device provides you with simple instructions on how to pair your headset to your Bluetooth device. To pair a second device at any time, press and hold the on/off button when the device is off to activate pairing mode.
Jabra’s Multiuse feature allows for a total of two devices to be connected to the device simultaneously. Receiving a call from your mobile phone automatically stops music playback on on the separate mp3 player if you happen to be using two devices. This of course is provided the devices support AVCRP which most modern Bluetooth devices should.
The on/off button is used to play or pause music and to answer or end calls. The volume rocker can be used to skip tracks by pressing either up or down for a few seconds. While not connected to any devices, you can use the volume up button to query the battery level of the headset. The headset also has an FM Radio feature which can be used without connecting to any devices. The FM Radio button turns the feature on and to search for channels, use the volume rocker the same way the rocker’s used to skip tracks. Double pressing on the FM button stores the current playing station. The headset can store up to 3 stations.
The headset also comes with a 3 month subscription to Endomondo. Endomondo is a training program website that monitors and tracks your workouts and progress. Provided your phone or music player has a GPS and is an Apple, Android or Blackberry device; you can download the app from the respective stores and use it with your headset.
Wearing the headset is simple and straightforward however it does take some time to get used to wearing it comfortably and well enough so it doesn’t fall off when running. With the provided ear-gels, the headset was quite comfortable to wear for long periods but if you wear glasses, the headset could come out of your ear when removing them. Otherwise I had no issues with the headset staying put. To test whether the headset was comfortable enough and would stay on during a workout, I used it on a treadmill, elliptical trainer and stationary bike. At first it felt like the headset would fall out after a short while but it never actually did.
I used three devices to test the audio quality of the headset, a PC with built-in Bluetooth, a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and an iPod Touch 5th Gen. With the PC I noticed some skipping and lag when changing tracks or searching through a track. The skipping was not as severe or frequent on either the iPod or Note 2 but did occur once or twice per couple of songs. Also the audio quality on the PC was significantly worse than the other two devices. I did find the music to be a bit hollow at times and definitely not as good as a reasonably priced pair of earphones. The equalizer options on the Note 2 and iPod Touch made a huge difference but built-in Bass booster wasn’t as intrusive as I expected.
The FM Radio quality was pretty good as long as there was good reception however searching for channels without even knowing their names can be somewhat annoying and confusing. The headset supposedly plays up to 3 hours of music- I got around 2.5-3 hours. I could not test its waterproof capabilities since it did not rain but it looks like it can take few drops of water and a few drops on the floor too.
Jabra claims that its Sports Wireless+ Headset won’t fall out of your ears and I found that to be true especially once you find the best fit for your ears. The buttons and features are easy to learn and use but it would have been nice if they had figured out a way to get the FM Radio channels or frequency spoken out loud since you don’t even know what channel you’re listening to unless the presenter mentions it. Audio quality was quite decent for a Bluetooth device but did lack the depth you get from a pair of decent wired earphones.
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