Sports headphones and earbuds are already the go-to gadget for most gym goers and runners, so adding heart rate monitoring and other fitness tracking features makes perfect sense.
Our guide, 10 sports headphones with heart rate Monitoring features all the best brands available now and some coming soon. With all that smart biometric earphones offer in a workout environment, such as real-time audio feedback and coaching, hands-free phone calls, and of course music, the “hearables” space is going to become well occupied over the next few years.
All the devices featured are wireless. Here’s the best of what’s on offer so far in 2016..
10 Sports Headphones With Heart Rate
Samsung Gear IconX
The totally wireless Samsung Gear Icon IconX in-ear headphones give you live audio feedback on your heart rate, speed, distance, calorie output and duration while you’re working out.
Music can be either streamed from your smartphone or played directly from the 4GB standalone music player onboard the earphones.
Along with fitness tracking and music, the Gear IconX can be used to take phone calls. On the side of the earphones is a touch-enabled interface so you can control your media with taps and swipes.
Your fitness data goes over to the S health app, and can be synced with some of the best fitness apps such as Runkeeper, Strava, MapMyRun and Endomondo.
Splash proof only.
Up to 1.5 hours music streaming; 3.5 hours using the onboard 4GB music player (both including fitness tracking). The Gear IconX package includes a carrying case that doubles up as a power bank to give you two full charges on the move.
Samsung Gear IconX is Compatible with Android 4.4 + (your Android device needs a minimum of 1.5 GB of RAM).
• Samsung Gear IconX
Jabra Sport Pulse
The Jabra Sport Pulse wireless in-ear headphones offer live audio coaching and biometric feedback on your heart rate, heart rate zones, speed, pace, distance, calorie output and workout duration. There’s also an interval training feature and goal achievement notifications.
You can stream music from your smartphone over Bluetooth, but there’s no standalone music player onboard like some of the others featured here.
The Jabra Sport Pulse doubles up as Bluetooth headset so you can take phone calls while you’re working out. The earphones are controlled with the in-line remote built into the chord.
As well as real-time coaching and feedback, you can review your fitness data in the Jabra Sport Life app and sync with some of the best fitness apps, including Endomondo, RunKeeper, MapMyFitness and Strava.
IP55 (not suitable for swimming).
Up to 5 hours music streaming + fitness tracking; up to 10 days in standby mode. Around 2 hours charging time.
The Jabra Sport Life app is compatible with Android 4.0.3 + / iOS 8.3 +.
• Jabra Sport Pulse
The Bragi dash offer a completely wire-free solution to music and fitness tracking. The smart in-ear headphones will track your heart rate, steps, cadence, calorie output, and workout duration giving you real-time audio feedback from the onboard sports assistant.
Bragi Dash is also pretty smart in the swimming pool, offering heart rate data, music playback, length counting and swim duration.
Either stream music from your smartphone over Bluetooth, or play directly from the onboard 4 GB standalone music player.
Along with music and fitness tracking, Bragi Dash double up as a Bluetooth heasdset so you can take phone calls while you’re training. Control your calls and media with taps and swipes thanks to a touch-enabled interface on the side of the earphones, and gesture control means to you can answer and reject incoming calls simply by nodding or shaking your nugget. There’s also a smart Touch Lock feature that prevents unwanted commands if you accidentally brush the touch controller.
Third-Party app support has arrived for the Bragi Dash, so you can sync your data with Google Fit and Apple HealthKit.
At a depth up to 1 Meter you can listen to tunes, get heart rate, lengths and swim duration data.
Up to 3 hours music playback + fitness tracking; 250 hours standby mode. Under 2 hours charging time.
The Bragi app is compatible with Android 4.3 + / iOS – iPhone 4S +.
• Bragi Dash
Sony Smart B-Trainer
Sony’s answer to tracking your BPM while listening to tunes is the Smart B-Trainer. The sporty headset is equipped mostly for running, and a feature that makes it stand out from the crowd is a built-in GPS.
In addition to GPS tracking, the in-ear headphones track your heart rate, steps, distance, speed, calorie output, pace, cadence, strides, pitch, lap times and elevation changes. A real-time voice guide will keep you in touch with your stats while you’re working out. The Smart B-Trainer also works in the swimming pool for heart rate data and music playback.
For music, you can either stream via Bluetooth from your smart phone, or play directly from the earphones’ standalone player which has 16 GB of storage. There’s also an innovative feature that selects tracks to suit your workout pace with a tempo in time with your heart rate.
The Sony Smart B-Trainer can be used for taking phone calls. Your media is controlled with various buttons on the side of the earphones.
Third-party app support (fitness and music) isn’t the B-Trainer’s strong point, so the Sony app will have to do.
IPX5 / IPX8. Can be used for swimming (heart rate tracking and music playback).
Between 3 and 13.5 hours depending on usage (GPS, music player, Bluetooth streaming and calls). Around 1.5 hours charging time.
Sony Smart B-Trainer is compatible with Android 4.1 + / iOS 7.0 +.
• Sony Smart B-Trainer
LG FR74 Heart Rate Earphones
LG’s in-ear heart rate headphones feature a real-time voice guide to give you audio feedback on your workout stats – heart rate, heart rate zones, steps, distance, calorie output, speed, pace, and Vo2 Max.
You can stream music from your smartphone over Bluetooth, but unlike some of the others featured here, there’s no standalone music player onboard the LG FR74.
The earphones can be used for taking phone calls. All your media is controlled via a medallion hub that clips onto your clips onto your waistband.
The LG Fitness app is user-friendly and plays nicely with third-party apps such as Runkeeper and MyFitnessPal.
Sweat proof only.
Up to 4 hours fitness tracking + music streaming; 6 hours music streaming only; 250 hours standby mode.
Compatible with Android 4.3 + (4.2 for LG G2 and Galaxy S4 only) / iOS 6 +.
• LG FR74 Heart Rate Earphones
Bose SoundSport Pulse
Bose have entered the biometric tracking space with the SoundSport Pulse heart rate tracking earbuds. The wireless earbuds have been specially made for exercise, although they don’t bring as many fitness tracking features as the others in this gude.
You can take phone calls and calls from apps such as FaceTime, Skype and more hands-free thanks to the on board mic, plus get incoming caller ID from the SoundSport voice feature.
Bose’s inline remote makes it easy to control music, videos, accept/reject calls, and activate voice commands with Siri, Google Assistant, and voice dial.
The Bose Connect app for iOS and Android was designed to work seemlessly with the SoundSport Pulse earphones and deliver real-time heart rate data. In addition, you can sync your data with some of the best fitness apps, such as Endomondo and Runkeeper.
Splash and rain resistant but not for swimming.
Around 5 of full use – music playback and biometric tracking. Around 1.5 hours charging time.
Compatible with iOS 9.0 + / Android 4.3 +.
• Bose SoundSport Pulse
Under Armour Headphones Wireless Heart Rate
A collaboration between Under Armour and audio experts JBL is aiming high in the sports headphones space.
The UA Headphones Wireless Heart Rate (their official name) are actually earbuds, not headphones; but if Under Armour and JBL prefer to call them headphones, I can handle it.
With a built-in heart rate monitor, users can get a real-time BPM reading with the touch of a button. The UA headphones use Bluetooth 4.1 to sync with the UA Record app for iOS and Android. Upon purchase, users will also get a 1 year free subscription to MapMyFitness Premium.
Three-button control allows you to organize music tracks, and a built-in microphone means you can use the earphones to talk on the phone.
Splash and sweat-proof.
Up to 5 hours with audio and heart rate monitoring. Around 2 hours charging time.
Compatible with iOS 9.0 / Android 4.4 +.
• UA Headphones Wireless HR
Heart Rate Headphones Coming Soon
Kickstarter Backers of the LifeBeam Vi should be receiving their orders in January 2017.