PROS / A smartphone app complements the earbuds and serves as a guide to help you complete several different workout regimens.
CONS / These earbuds don't provide as tight a fit as others.
VERDICT / The Jabra Sports Coach wireless earbuds are a great pair of earbuds for the gym. They have a "virtual coach" that guides you through different workout routines, are sweat-resistant, and have a balanced sound that's almost sure to help keep you motivated.
Two defining traits that distinguish some brands of wireless earbuds from others are battery life and sound quality. Most earbuds are water-resistant, include different-sized tips and have a wireless range of at least 30 feet. The Jabra Sport Coach, though, has more features than other earbuds. Packed with a motion sensor, these earbuds track your movement. They even have their own smartphone app to guide you through different workout regimens and display your progress as you complete them. A "virtual" coach's voice guides you through different workouts, and lets you know how much time is remaining for each one. These are just a few reasons why they receive the Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award for best wireless earbuds.
Size & Fit
To accommodate the fitness tracker and battery, these earbuds have some thickness to them, but they don't feel heavy. Like the Jaybird X2, these earbuds have rubber wings to secure them in place. However, we found that included silicone tips didn't work well with all ear types. This left us with a not-so-tight seal. Oftentimes, we had to reinsert and adjust the earbuds during our workouts. The tips aren't as comfortable as others, mainly because they just felt loose. Just as Goldilocks struggled to find a bed that was just the right size, these earbud tips were either too small or too large. Jabra throws in three different sets of earbud tips to accommodate various ear sizes, which is better than none, but our two top picks came with six sizes.
The Jabra Coach earbuds have a well-balanced sound for the most part. The low-end response was strong but not as thundering as cordless earbuds like the PowerBeats2 wireless. Most other earbuds' bass was overpowering, but it didn't seem as exaggerated with this pair. As for the midrange, the sound is crisp and not tinny. The main issue we had with audio performance was poor fit. Without a true seal, sound quality suffers, and your music is drowned out by external noises, which can be distracting; for instance, hearing the sounds of your feet hitting the pavement while running. Noises like that suck people out of the zone, and it impedes your workouts. When earbuds properly fit, this isn't an issue.
On the plus side, Jabra's earbuds have a remote and microphone, which allow you to take calls, skip the track or adjust volume. We also liked that when we used the app and its "coach," the music didn't stop when the voice interjects, the volume just lowers slightly.
Battery & Connectivity
These earbuds have a 5.5-hour battery life, which is a little less than average than other brands. Most wireless Bluetooth earbuds typically average seven hours, but other brands don't have to power a fitness tracker, too. Once the battery is depleted, it takes two hours to recharge them. Despite a subpar battery, the Sport Coach has an outstanding wireless range. We were able to use the earbuds 100 feet away from our smartphone without the audio cutting out.
Probably the coolest part about these cordless earbuds is their fitness-tracking abilities. A British-sounding female voice guides you through workouts and motivates you to keep going. Workouts include lunges, high knees, burpees and various jumps. The app is convenient and may teach you trick or two to incorporate into your next workout. Fortunately, the earbuds are sweat-resistant, because I was drenched while simultaneously having flashbacks to high-school soccer conditioning as the British woman told me to keep going.
Although the app is easy to use and the workouts were a breeze to follow, we can't help but think the fitness tracking motion sensor is a bit more of a gimmick than it is useful. The motion tracker provides some interesting data but not enough to get much out of it, especially at a gym. For instance, it doesn't count squats or crunches, which was a bit of a disappointment. If you run outdoors, though, the app tracks distance using your smartphone’s GPS, which is both cool and convenient.
Help & Support
The Jabra Sport Coach comes with a one-year warranty. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact representatives by telephone, email or through Jabra’s social media channels.
Very few earbuds, especially wireless ones, are as unique as the Jabra Sports Coach. Its built-in motion sensor tracks distance, and its virtual personal trainer pushes you to improve your workouts. The sound quality is balanced, but its battery is below average and not everyone will find the perfect fit. That said, these are one of the best pairs of wireless earbuds. They are extremely helpful in the gym and will work well at the home or office too.