- Accurate heart rate monitoring
- Good fit for sport
- Comprehensive app support
- Battery life could be longer
- Fit could be comfier
- In-ear heart rate monitor
- Five-hour battery
- IPX5 rated
- Under Armour Record app support
- Android and iOS
- Microphone and in-line remote
- Manufacturer: Under Armour
- Review Price: £169.99/$254.99
WHAT ARE THE UNDER ARMOUR SPORT WIRELESS HEART RATE EARPHONES?
The Under Armour Wireless Heart Rate earphones are Bluetooth-connected earbuds that let you play music via a connected device.
But not only that – they also come with a built-in optical heart rate monitor, work with the Under Armour Record app for audio coaching, and offer JBL quality sound.
UNDER ARMOUR SPORT WIRELESS HEART RATE – DESIGN AND FEATURES
It appears that Under Armour, known for its form-fitting clothes, has applied the same design philosophy to its earphones. The Sports Wireless Heart Rate earbuds sit securely in the ears as a result of the company’s TwistLock technology. Essentially, it means that the buds, which are available in varying sizes, twist into your ears and stay there.
I found this to be the case in real-world use, where they fit effortlessly into my ears and stayed put throughout the duration of a vigorous workout. A clip is included to attach the cable that hangs behind your head, but even without it using the weight of the in-line control alone means these earbuds didn’t move a millimetre.
All that said, the best fit did mean opting for a slightly larger size of earbud than I was used to, which could get uncomfortable after long sessions. However, seeing as the battery lasts for a maximum of five hours, you’re unlikely to experience such discomfort.
Note, however, that despite the Sport Wireless Heart Rate earphones coming with a handy zip case, there’s no mobile battery unit so you’ll need to plug them in via micro-USB to charge them. Of course, if you have a phone or mobile charger handy then this shouldn’t be an issue.
While training I became rather sweaty and have since been out running in the rain. In both instances, the IPX5 water resistance rating kept the earphones working just fine.
Coaching, too, is excellent thanks to the Under Armour Record app. This uses the phone’s GPS for outdoor tracking, but in terms of both outdoor and indoor training also uses the headphones’ own optical heart rate monitor.
Pop the buds in, open the app and in seconds the heart rate will be recognised. It starts a little low but finds a steady pulse after about ten seconds. This was accurate, even when compared to a chest strap – which is considered one of the most accurate ways to monitor heart rate.
Thanks to the snug fit, thin skin in your ear and years of optical measurement tech and algorithm development, this is a truly viable alternative to the chest strap. It actually works, is more comfortable and offers greater accuracy than wrist-worn optical heart rate monitoring options.
Your heart rate can be seen on-screen using the app, or heard via a tap of the earphones’ touch-sensitive sides. This is useful when training in heart rate zones and was instantly responsive.
UNDER ARMOUR SPORT WIRELESS HEART RATE – SOUND QUALITY
Under Armour uses JBL by Harman quality audio in these earphones. This is a well-known audio brand – and the result in the Sport Wireless Heart Rate is decent-quality sound for fitness earphones.
While everything is clear for read out commands and even for music, compared to dedicated earphones, these might be found wanting a little in the bass department. Thankfully, the excellent fit offers a level of passive noise cancellation that means the sound is clear and music can be appreciated on many levels.
I’m not a huge fan of bass and often feel that there’s too much on display in many headphones. However, even in my opinion, the Sport Wireless Heart Rate earphones could have done with a little more punch. Of course, you could make adjustments on your phone via an EQ app.
Audio was perfectly clear in terms of call quality – at this end at least. I received a call while outdoors and the person at the other end of the line said it was so unclear that I had to call back without the headset. Of course, these earphones aren’t made for that purpose exclusively. There appeared to be decent enough clarity to have a quick chat while out running, for example, but you wouldn’t want these as a replacement for a dedicated wireless headset.
SHOULD I BUY THE UNDER ARMOUR SPORT WIRELESS HEART RATE EARPHONES?
If you exercise regularly and find that music helps to motivate you then the Under Armour Sport Wireless Heart Rate earphones are great. They’re excellent for setting goals that heart rate training can offer, and the Under Armour Record app doesn’t only track your training tracking but offers a food diary, daily step tracking and more – all aimed at a healthier you.
For those who find chest straps uncomfortable and wrist-worn trackers inaccurate, these earphones are the ideal solution. The Under Armour Sports Wireless Heart Rate earphones are a good way to train with music, or navigation, while getting heart rate updates audibly so you don’t even need to look at your phone or a watch.
Alternatives such as the Jabra Sports Pulse offer a more comprehensive coaching app, while the Bose SoundSport Pulse offer better sound quality so might be better choices depending on your needs.
At £170/$255, these earphones aren’t cheap – but for heart rate accuracy and a snug fit, Under Armour has got a lot right with the Sport Wireless Heart Rate.