Customer Review

27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for active use, but weak and bass-deficient sound, August 22, 2011
This review is from: Jabra SPORT - Corded - Sports Headset - Retail Packaging - Yellow (Wireless Phone Accessory)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Despite appearances, these Jabra Sport Corded headphones are not an in-ear/earplug design, but rather small outside-the-ear headphones with large bendable earhooks to help them stay put during active use, an upmarket take on a form that's usually been taken only by cheap "sports" headphones. It's an interesting form factor, with distinct advantages and disadvantages.

In use, with any of the included eargels and any shape bent into the hooks, these Jabras stay well outside the ear canal. This is a deliberate design feature, since it allows a lot of environmental noise in -- helping users stay safe while running near traffic, for instance -- but it also has some bad consequences for the sound. The headphones are very weak in the bass and lower midrange, not producing much richness of tone even for non-bass-heavy music (and they're pretty much unacceptable for hip-hop even with heavy EQ bass boosting). In any use, they need to be driven very loud, near the top of the volume range, for acceptable sound, cutting down on battery life and headroom. The sound tends toward tinny treble-heaviness, but is otherwise pleasant; still, at this price point, there are a host of far better choices for serious music-listening.

The nifty form factor is what makes these Jabra headphones worth considering for active users, despite their average-at-best sound quality. Their distinctive wide, rubbery, yellow cable is excellent, the best I've seen on any set of portable earphones for resisting tangling, and includes a useful, moveable clip as well as a phone-compatible mic/remote. (But the in-line volume control is useless, considering how loudly they need to be driven in order to be audible at all; every user will have to leave it at maximum.) The earphones themselves have massive, rubbery-silicone ear hooks, which can be bent into a shape that keeps them in place even if you're moving around a lot -- a great design for exercise. The downside is that the ear hooks are so clunky and fat that they are very hard to fit with glasses -- worn with glasses, they tend to come unhooked easily, or to end up in uncomfortable positions.

TL;DR: In short, these headphones are pretty good for:
* use while exercising outdoors
* preserving the ability to hear your surroundings
* resisting cable tangling

But DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER buying these if:
* you wear glasses
* you like very loud or bass-heavy music
* you want rich, deep sound for music listening in a quiet environment
* you want to be isolated from environmental noise

Recommended only for heavy outdoor-exercise use; for any other use, you can get much better sound for the money with a different set of headphones.

For great quiet listening sound in an outside-the-ear headphone, try some larger Grado cans instead; for a portable set of noise-isolating earphones with excellent sound, consider in-ear models from Klipsch or Shure. None of these is directly comparable to these Jabras' oddball exercise-friendly form factor, of course -- but as a result they're also free of the compromises that the form imposes on the Jabras' sound quality. And users who want ear hooks for active use but don't care much about sound might also want to try a cheaper set of sports earphones before deciding to spend this much on workout-only headphones.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 31, 2013 8:00:10 PM PST
Can I get earbuds that fit the larger end but are narrower for inside my ear? I can't find any and they keep falling out as the earbuds with the Bluetooth Jabra headphones are to big for inside my ears. Thanks. Shane
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