Most people who play sports or exercise have at least a gadget or two hanging around their bodies. If you’re like most people who love to listen to music while taking a long jog beneath morning sun, or if you are one who just can’t resist checking the number of calories you’ve burned every after a good Zumba session, then the Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition is the right pair for you.
Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition is a wireless Bluetooth headphone set with an accurate built-in fitness tracker that lets you track your heart rate in real time while listening to your favourite band. It is the first headphones to feature an automatic VO2 Max Measurement allowing it to measure your oxygen intake, performance, and many others, while providing quality music experience.
Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition Review – Whats in the Box?
The packaging of the Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition headphones is striking, making use of bright bold colours and great imagery. The packaging is high quality and very sturdy which ensures that the items inside remain nice and secure in the packaging.
Inside the box, is a pair of high-quality earphones, a protective pouch, 4 different sets of wing tips, 3 pairs of Jabra EarGels of varying sizes, 3 pairs of Comply foam tips, 4 FitClips, a USB cable, and the device’s Quick Start manual, along with a sheet containing the QR code to download the Jabra mobile application that is available for both iOS and Android.
While not boasting any out-of-this-world or state-of-the-art designs that many headphones seem to go for, the Pulse’s minimalist design makes it good for casual use. Despite its non-flashy look, the Jabra Sport Pulse is functional, as it is efficient. Once you properly put the pieces to your ears, they will definitely stick and stay right where you hook them – even when you’re all sweaty, giving it an extra edge against other exercising headphones.
The better fit and seal of the earbuds are clearly one of the reasons as to why the device sounds great. The included improved bass under the hood also makes the earphones sound way better than the 2015 Jabra Sport Pulse.
The product is lightweight (only 16 grams) and really comfortable to wear. It also comes with a set of Comply foam tips, wing tips, and EarGels to insure the right comfort of the wearer. The Pulse has a short tangle-free cord with an inline remote that handles most of the functions of any standard earphones like volume control, and a load of others.
When not worn, small LEDs can be seen inside of the earphones that has multiple uses like Bluetooth pairing indicator, charging indicator, power indicator, and more. The right earphone has a tab that hides a micro USB slot which is used for charging the whole device. The micro USB charging port is nice to have since you can just bring one charger for both your Android phone and headset, rather than bringing another special charging cable that other headsets in the market tend to go for.
The earpieces themselves look fairly normal on a quick glance, but upon closer inspection, you will notice that the left earphone is slightly different. That bit is the one responsible for reading your pulse, which is the main selling point of the product. There is a single button on the left earpiece that functions as a quick control of the device. To initiate a work out, all you need to do is press it long enough. A simple short press will tell you various details like your current heart-rate and the time elapsed since the session started.
The device also meets the IP55 dust and water-resistant standards so you don’t have to worry about your corrosive sweaty ears being the culprit of your new headphones’ destruction. And on a rare case that your sweat did manage to break the device, you’ll still be entitled to a limited 3-year warranty.
The Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition features crystal clear audio that’s quite impressing for its size. Although the original Pulse is plagued with sound leakage, Jabra not only fixed the issue by using the new Comply Foam tips, they also added an enhanced bass in the drivers which provided the much-needed boom.
With its enhanced bass, the in-ear has a mid-high sound definition, making it at par to many great earpieces in the market while providing many extra features.
Passive Noise Cancelling
The Pulse’s earcups are designed to reduce and isolate outside noise so you can concentrate on your routine despite the noise of the gym. Pair that with the earphone’s enhanced bass, and you’ll definitely have a wonderful musical experience.
With its better seal and noise isolation, the device gives a much better reception and voice quality making phone calls and connecting with other people a much more pleasant experience.
Although not enough to block all the ambient sounds around you, it still great for muffling the sidelines’ idle talks. Enough so you won’t hear the latest gossips (or if they’re talking about you behind your back), but not enough to block the horn of the truck behind you and the traffic ahead. Speaking only for ourselves, this is how we prefer it to be.
In-Ear Heart Rate Monitor
One of the selling point of the Jabra Sport Pulse products is its built-in Heart Rate Monitor that gives precise feedback so you can accurately measure your fitness performance while you train without relying on another dangling device. This is a great alternative to fitness tracking watches and other devices of similar function. On top of that, the device can tell your heart-rate in real time, as well as guide you on your exercise routines and exercising “in the zone” moments.
Automatic VO2 Max Tracking
The Automated VO2 Max Tracking feature is why you would want to pick up the Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition over the original. This nifty technology uses various scientific ways to measure your fitness by measuring the maximum rate of oxygen your body consumes during your exercise. Paired with a helpful Phone App, and you can determine your endurance level, allowing you to fine tune your performance – perfect for competing athletes.
Customizable and Secure Fit
The Jabra Sport Pulse earphones has one trait that makes it stand out against other competing brands – it has unbeatable comfort when worn. With the added extra foam tips, wing tips, and EarGels, you can manually choose which style and size fit your ears perfectly. Designed for extensive movement, the earpieces just won’t fall on the floor unless intentionally pulled off from the ears. The Jabra website also features dozens of tutorial videos on how to properly wear them. If properly attached, the Pulse simply has one of the most comfortable and securely fitted in-ears in the market.
Just one important thing to note, is that the device’s heart-rate sensor apparatus is located in the left earpiece. Taking it off or not inserting the earpiece properly will affect the result and data collected will be inaccurate.
Jabra Sport Life App
The Jabra Sport Life app is the companion app for the Jabra Sports Pulse Special Edition headphones. The app is your training buddy that tracks your fitness and training progress thanks to the integration between the Sport Life app and the Jabra headphones.
The Jabra Sport life app is available for both iPhones and Android smart phones and is completely free to download and use. The app is incredibly well designed and is a piece of cake to navigate and browse. Using the app, you are able to track your fitness routines and track information such as heart rate, calories, distance and duration plus much more. You are able to create new exercise routines using the app that you can complete and track your progress over timer.
One of the best things about the Jabra Sport Life app is its ability to show all tracked data in a simple to understand and visually pleasing manner. Your training results are displayed as various graphs which allows you to quickly and easily compare and analyse activity data over time.
The Jabra Sport Life app is easily one of the best fitness apps out there that really does make use of all of the tracking features of the Jabra Sport Pulse headphones. The app gives you complete control of your training routines and provides important data that you can then use to optimise your routines and training programs.
Sports Tracking is done in the Jabra Sport Life Application – which means you have to bring your phone wherever you are. For those who just want to get started, a “Just Track Me” button is there to simplify your life. However, if you want to get the most of the App, setting your own training setting is highly recommended. If only the “Fat Burn” mode would burn the fats for you, then it would be perfect. You can also choose whether the device will play music or just block out the noise while doing a specific activity.
Although the device does not have its own built-in GPS, the app can also integrate to your phone’s capabilities and make use of various features like the GPS to track the distance you’ve travelled, your speed, relevant location data, and more. The device does rely on your phone’s capability, that means your phone must be near you at all times to benefit the device’s advanced features. For older phones with wavy GPS, or for places with weird satellite signals, then you’ll probably encounter some misreports with your distance and pace. This is something not uncommon to a lot of phone applications.
Audio Feedback and Fitness Data
The wireless Jabra Sports Pulse SE earphones gives an audio feedback at a set of intervals depending on your setting. It is usually every after 10 minutes, or after a mile of running.
After a successful and productive workout, the device’s application will display a bunch of nitty-gritty details about your fitness and health including your heart-rate and the amount of fat that just went out of your body. Graphs and Heart-Rate Zones are also included in the App so you can figure out whether your exercise is helping you push your limit or pull you down. Just be warned though, the App can sometimes be a little too harsh when analysing and categorising your shape. (Yes, I know I’m not in my best shape, you don’t have to tell me. You meanie!)
Improved Battery Life
One major flaw of the original Jabra Sport Pulse is its abysmal battery capacity. The Special Edition addresses this issue and improved its battery life to up to 10 days of stand-by time. However, continuous usage still comes down to only four to five hours which is rather average as compared to other headphones in the market. Especially when used as an exercise partner, four hours can come by quite quickly, and charging the device often in between breaks is rather annoying. Although a 4-5-hour span is still in the line of average, the added functionalities of the device makes it average battery life quite reasonable. After all, it doubles as your heart-rate tracker on top of being a pair of very good headphones.
Jabra company offers a three-year warranty for the earpieces that have been damaged by sweat. The standard one-year warranty still applies. However, if you want to avail to the additional two years, you must register the Sports Pulse Wireless SE device through the Sport Life App. The registration will only take a few minutes and you can opt in for notifications about firmware updates, and more.
Water-resistant wireless Bluetooth headphones
Built-in biometric in-ear heart rate monitor
Jabra Sport Life App for Android and iOS mobile operating systems
Compatible with third-party application like Strava and MyFitnessPal
Built-in microphone and music controls in the cord
Up to 4-5 hours of battery life per 1 hour of charging
How to Use
The Jabra Sport Pulse SE is quite easy to set-up and install. Pairing is no different from any Bluetooth headphones. A voice prompt will confirm the pairing and installing the Sport Life App is also a breeze. The device will also confirm the setup while displaying your heart rate.
There is also a resting heart rate test where you must relax for two minutes as the device reads and measures your fitness data. Jabra recommends that you do this every so often, especially early in the morning before consuming anything, be it drinks or food.
For proper fitness of the in-ears, it is recommended to watch the tutorial videos in the Jabra website.
Setting a custom workout routine for the Jabra Sport Life application is also pretty simple and straightforward. You can also just use the built-in Sports profile or use it as a reference for your custom workout.
Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition is a high-quality Bluetooth headphone set that is the first in the world to feature automatic VO2 Max Measurement. Packed with many features such as a built-in fitness tracker, and a passive noise cancellation so you can flex those lean muscles in front of the gym’s gigantic mirror undisturbed. The device also comes with the Jabra Sport Life App which packs a lot of information and phone integration. Although it only has an average battery life, it also acts as a designated fitness tracker that perfectly justifies its battery life and even its price.
Perhaps the product’s real downside is its heavy reliance on a phone. Although you won’t need to hold the phone in your hand while exercising, most of its added functionality and fitness tracking capability requires the phone to be nearby within Bluetooth range. While it is not a problem for indoor workout routines, it is not really ideal when going on long distance runs and other sports activities.
The Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition Wireless headphones offers a solid mix of fitness features and music quality. Albeit more expensive than other earpieces of the same quality, the innovative heart-rate tracker and VO2 Maximum tracking are more than enough to make up for it. It’s a great alternative if you don’t own or don’t want a fitness tracker on your wrist. On top of that, getting the three-year warranty is also a very smart addition. For the category of fitness tracking earphones, the Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition is a must-have to any serious athletes and exercise goers, and is easily one of the best fitness tracking headphones in the market so far, and did I mention it fits really great in the ear?