I’m writing this as we’re traveling back from Russia, where we played against Chehovski Medvedi on Saturday. The match went great, we won by 6 goals and it was nice to finish up the last Champions League match of the year on high note with a win.
We visited Moscow a little while there and I have a few photos that I wanted to share with you in a later post. Today I wanted to tell you about a great gadget I’ve been using and testing for the past couple of weeks and which I’m very enthusiastic about.
When we were at the Olympics this year in Rio we had the pleasure of testing a lot of different products and we were even able to hang out in the Samsung lounge. It’s another great part of experiencing the Olympic games haha!
We got the Samsung Gear Icon X earbuds as a gift and because the season has been so crazy I’ve hardly had the time to try them out. I finally set them up a few weeks ago and I wanted to share my thoughts.
First, let me tell you about the fit. It was one of my top concerns because as some of you who regularly exercise with headphones know, not all headphones are great and some keep falling out if you’re working out hard so the fit is very important. Especially with cordless earbuds like these. They come with three sets of buds and wings in the case so you can choose the one that fits you best.
I can report that these work great. I’ve moved around with them (casual, not heavy excersise) and they stayed put. I then gave them to Masa to try to see how they would fit her (same size as mine). She took them running and was very pleased. She was worried about them falling out but they stayed in and weren’t bothering her at all.
The next up is controls. You control the buds, (on/off, volume, music change) by tapping and swiping. This works great when you’re in place, it’s a little more difficult if you are moving and it take a little bit to get used to the right movements. I’m used to touch controls from may Parrot Ziks but this is a little harder obviously since the touch surface is a lot smaller.
The Gear Icon X has 4GB of storage on them so I saved about 2 hours worth of music on there. The set up to do this is pretty simple with the Gear IconX Manager. We have Macbooks and despite this being a Samsung product I had no problems uploading the music. The battery life, if you’re just listening to music stored on the Icon X, is about 3.5 hours, which is enough for me of course, but probably won’t be if you’re running a marathon. Unless you’re very fast! If you’re connected to Bluetooth it’s about 1.5-2h.
The only thing I will say is this though, if you’re using a Samsung phone, you install the app on your phone first and then you need to connect the case in which the earbuds come in to the computer, which will then install an app onto the case, which will eventually update the Icon X when necessary. It’s a little confusing maybe and a bit time consuming but I kind of like playing around with things like this so not really that much trouble for me.
The biggest thing about the Gear IconX is that they’re not just Bluetooth earphones, they can also track your workout activity, which makes for a very innovative concept that I love. The only problem is that you obviously need a Samsung phone to do this and view your activity after. I have a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge phone, which I used to try this and it worked great. I was able to see distance and heart rate and if you run with your phone, your route as well. If you run without the phone, which you can you won’t be able to track your location because there is no GPS on these buds. I was connected to S Health to view the activity and I think it gives you a pretty decent overview.
If you’re wondering, yes the Icon X will also work with your iPhone, but only for listening to music. If you’re using an activity tracking app such Strava or Endomondo, you can also track your heart rate but no distance or calorie use.
So you can’t use it as your full activity tracker, which in some ways isn’t that bad because you’ll save up tons of battery life. On the other hand you’re not really getting the most out of everything it has to offer.
For us the Gear Icon X works great because I use my iWatch to track my activity if I need it and I just like the earbuds for music when I work out. They’re really comfortable and hassle free. Masa is the same way because she has a GPS and activity tracking watch she uses when running so the only thing she really needs is the music.
My final review: I think these earbuds are really good for anyone that works out a lot and wants quality sounds with activity tracking options. If this is in your budget and you are a Samsung Galaxy user, these are a win. I like the fact that you can store music on the earbuds, which means streaming isn’t necessary, which in turn is great for battery life. You don’t get that option with Powerbeats wireless earphones for example.
Best deal I found:
Cdiscount: 209 €
Amazon: 218,49 €
Darty: 229 €