I couldn’t be bothered less with running last year in December just before I started training for the CPC run in The Hague, Netherlands in March… Now, I just love the freedom I get when I’m running, and listening to music is a must for me if I’m running on my own. Therefore, I’ve been testing the Jabra Sport Pulse SE in-ear Headphones to see if these are the go to headphones for all running occasions.
Disclaimer: Although Jabra did provide me (Jeffrey) with the headphones, they had no influence on the editorial outcome of the review. I’ve tested the headphones for a full week, due to an allergic reaction to the earbuds (the included Comply earbuds) I didn’t test them for the usual review period of 2/3 weeks. This doesn’t impact any of the results of the testing I did with these headphones.
- Bluetooth Version: 4.0
- Speaker Size: 6mm Dynamic Speaker
- Max speaker input power: 5mW
- Frequency range: 20Hz – 20kHz
When I took the Jabra Sport Pulse headphones out of the box, they felt a bit flimsy for me, though this doesn’t really say a lot about the real build quality, and that is indeed what I’ve noticed after using the headphones for a full week. While the cord connecting both headphones to each other is a bit thin and it feels like it could snap in a few seconds, there just isn’t a lot weighing down on the cable (read: nothing). Although I’d rather have the solidly build cable of the FIIL Carat on every pair of headphones, this will do the job just fine and that’s the most important thing here.
The headphones themselves are made of the shiny, oh so shiny, plastic, and don’t forget the oh so shiny fingerprint attracting plastic… Yeah, I’m not too big of a fan of this type of plastic being used on headphones burning a €150 hole in your wallet. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to be scratching as easily, so that’s something you don’t really need to worry about.
Sport headphones are made to look sporty, and the same goes with these headphones. Big plastic headphones with the usual wings to keep them in your ears. The black glossy plastic looks a bit boring, and attracts fingerprints within seconds. Closer to the attachment of the cable to headphones Jabra decided to use a flexible rubber material with the Jabra logo printed on it.
Overall, I’d say that the headphones look like I’d expect of a pair of in-ear sport headphones, not too fancy and more focused on the functional side of things. Though you may expect a more expensive build for the amount of money you’re spending on these headphones, the target audience for Jabra isn’t the people who are looking for a sleek pair of designer headphones.
What makes these headphones so special is the software functionality Jabra added to the headphones through their app in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Let’s start off with the Jabra Sport Pulse SE headphones are the first headphones with the Vo2 Max Measurement. I’ve tried it out myself with these headphones, and although it was the first time for me to ever do a Vo2 measurement, it was very easy to complete it.
Furthermore, the app keeps track of your fitness activities and even goes as far as keeping track of your speed and heart rate at certain parts of the track you’ve ran. All in all, it’s very useful, and if you start using it for a longer time it may even get more useful as it shows all your achievements in a special list, and you may learn to use functionalities of the app I just hadn’t found out before the end of my review period.
Like I just mentioned the headphones include a heart rate sensor, but unfortunately the measurements of the sensor aren’t really accurate, and I’ve had many times when I had trouble to even get it to work.
I’d like to talk about the audio quality of the in-ear headphones, which was surprisingly good. Usually with these outdoor/sport headphones the audio quality gets bumped down the list of important things, fortunately Jabra didn’t do so. I’m nowhere near an audiophile, so I’m just going to tell you how I’ve experienced the audio of these in-ear headphones. The audio is a bit bass heavy at times, though nowhere as bad as I’ve seen with other headphones, and my guess is that most of you will actually like it. The vocals are nice and clear, not overruling the instruments which nicely pops-up in the background.
Next is the battery life of the headphones, and I’d love to keep this part short, just like the battery life itself. Jabra mentions 5 listening to music, but it was extremely hard to even get close to that number. I’ve maxed out at 4 hours of constant listening to music with my volume set at 60%. This means that I couldn’t even get through half of my day before needing to recharge the headphones. If you’re only using these headphones for running though, 4 hours should be more than enough.
At last I’d like to talk about how the fit of these headphones is, because I couldn’t get them to fit at all. I’ve been using the headphones for a full week with different earbuds and with different wings. Nothing really helped, what I do need to say is that I’ve got a strange pair of ears… And when I read the online user reviews on the Jabra website, they do seem to fit well for others. So, just take my issues with the fit with a grain of salt.
The Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition in-ear headphones can be had for £119.99 on Amazon UK, but is it worth that kind of money? First of all, that’s a question you’ll need to answer yourself. £119.99 is a lot of money, especially if you’re not going to use the headphones for what they’re intended for.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for the functionality this pair of headphones offer… You’re getting a lot of functionality, and with the Vo2 Max Measurement you’re getting something nobody else on the market has offered up to now. Besides, the sound quality is great and the overall design is like how you’d expect it to be for these kind of headphones.