When Samsung announced the Gear Icon X in June, the odds for success were stacked in its favor. But now, things are different. Apple launched its AirPods alongside the iPhone 7, and Bragi has stepped up with a new, improved (and cheaper) set of wireless earphones, to name a few high-profile examples.
Despite the increase in competition, the Gear Icon X nail the basics (no easy feat) and even offer a few perks that the others don’t. But it comes at a higher $199 (£169, AU$279) price point, which puts Samsung’s offering well above the $159 and $149 tags on the AirPods and the upcoming Bragi Headphone, respectively.
All in all, the Gear Icon X are an impressive feat of engineering that deliver basic fitness tracking features and serviceable sound quality. But the high price, spotty battery life and occasional signal drop-outs serve as constant reminders that, if this really is the future of headphones, we’re content at the moment being stuck in the past.
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