The Samsung Gear IconX in-ear headphones with heart rate monitoring went on sale today in select countries: Canada, Australia, UK, France, Germany, Russia, and Samsung’s home nation, Korea.
Smart headphones (earbuds) with biometric tracking are no doubt going to be a big hit for fitness enthusiasts; after all headphones #earbuds are already the technology of choice in the gym and for runners.
The Samsung Gear IconX are totally wireless with a wingtip design to keep them from falling out of your ear, a good thing really as without any wires to hang on to theses little gadgets could quite easily end up as lost property.
Onboard is standalone music player with 4GB of storage and supports all the major audio formats. You also have the option to stream music from your Android device, and there’s a built-in microphone so you can use the IconX to talk on the phone. On the side of the earbuds is a capacitive touchpad so you can swipe and tap to control your music.
Along with monitoring your heart rate, the Gear IconX track your speed, distance, calorie output, and workout duration. A voice guide recorded by real people (no annoying robot here) gives you real-time audio feedback on your stats while you’re working out. So far, the voice guide works in 15 languages.
The Gear IconX use Bluetooth LE to connect to Android devices. The collected fitness data goes over to Samsung’s S Health app, and you can sync your data to some of the best fitness apps, such as Strava, MapMyRun, Endomondo, and Runkeeper.
The Gear IconX have a battery life of around 1.5 hours for Bluetooth music streaming, and 3.5 hours using the standalone player (both including biometric tracking).
The Gear IconX app plugin is compatible with Android 4.4 and higher. As Apple are Samsung’s biggest rival in the realm of mobile, it’s not surprising there’s no iOS support. If you’re an iPhone user looking for some heart rate earbuds, then check out these other options.
It probably won’t be too long before we get word of some heart rate-enabled iBuds, Apple Earbuds, or Biometric Beats by Dre coming our way, anyway..
• Samsung Gear IconX