Another set of headphones from our friends at EC Technology. I’d tell you the name but they don’t really have one; it’s more of a description. The EC Technology Sweatproof Bluetooth 4.1 Sports Headphones (phew) are specifically for outdoors and gym activities. So how do they sound?
We’ve reviewed what seems like hundreds of budget headphones and earphones since we started this little shindig, and EC Technology has always been one company quick to show us their latest designs. My favourite EC Tech buds from last year were these little pocket pistons, and they did a great job of sitting at the centre of a price, audio, features and battery Venn diagram. What we’re looking at here is a slight adjustment to their usual in ear buds though. These units have an over the ear silicone stabilisation band which, for me, is welcomed! I must have strange ear canals because IEMs struggle to stay put and I either end up dumping them on the floor, or losing some of the audio from one side in particular before I notice them slipping.
The package contains only the headphones, a USB charging cable and a quick start guide, with two sets of buds of differing size. The ear pieces are decked out in rubberised plastic with an EC Technology branding plate with red accents. I half expected one of these to be a play/pause/power toggle button, but alas not. That button is instead housed on the left ear piece, flanked by Volume/Track up and down dual purpose buttons.
These buttons are tiny, and I was fully expecting them to be difficult to reach, distinguish, and actuate. Thankfully I was pleasantly surprised. Within 2 uses I was able to easily go straight to the button I required, even when on the move. Along the flat 55cm cable that connects the left and right buds is a tension/anti-tangle dongle which again is welcomed by me. This enables those with different sized necks to adjust the flex in the left over cable behind the head.
In terms of audio then this headset isn’t their best effort. It’s decent enough but there seems to be a lack of bass, which is strange as their other 2016 offerings were largely good on that front given the comparative size of the drivers. Here though, the bass is felt sporadically.
The highs and mids are clear enough, although nothing of any note. The mids if anything are more clear than any other part of scale on these units. Vocals sound clear enough and percussion is easily distinguished from other aspects of the production. It’s just that pesky bass. As a Hip-Hop head, bass is one aspect that has to be present, but not overpowering and EC Technology have proven they can deliver that on a flat EQ previously, but just not here. Thankfully most music apps can sort this out with a few taps. Using the Rock preset on most of the apps in question will deliver a more even scale. Once I enabled this on DSub (my music player of choice) I had no complaints in general, when on the move with these buds.
You can certainly be on the move some time with these units. In testing I managed just over 7 hours of play back at about 70% volume, and that’s compared to EC Technology’s claim of 6 hours of continuous playback at 100% volume. More than good enough for gym sessions and a running companion headset. I had no issues using these for just over 2 hours at a time; no ear discomfort at all.
Another benefit of these particular units is that the fit is so snug that there is very little bleed. Removing these headphones, and placing them around two feet away renders them almost inaudible. When in ear the results are similar. Nice to know I won’t be offending any of the elder members of the gym when I turn up in 2017 with a bit of Lil’ Dicky playing on my buds!
The EC Technology Sports Headphones are only currently on sale at the US Amazon site for $19.99, but we’re sure to see them hit the UK store shortly, and if you want a pair of buds that you can just throw in a bag a few times a week and hit the gym, these will do the job at a wallet-friendly price. What they won’t give you is “Beats by Dre”-esque bass, or the clarity you’d get from a Bose or Sennheiser; then again, you won’t get any of those for this price.