Jabra Sports Pulse & Coach Special Edition review

{ 0 comments }

jabra_pulsese-boxes

Last year Julie and I reviewed the Jabra Sport Coach and Sport Pulse wireless headphones, respectively. Both are sweat-proof Bluetooth earbuds with a built-in virtual coach designed to not only stream your motivational music but provide verbal feedback on how your workout is going. The Jabra Sport Pulse earbuds add the ability to monitor and wirelessly stream your heart rate data to your smartdevice running the Jabra Sport app. Recently Jabra has released follow-on Special Editions of each of these sport-centric headphones, hopefully raising the bar even higher on their flagship devices.

jabra_pulsese-together

Physically there is nearly zero difference between the original 2015 Sport Pulse or Coach and the 2016 Special Editions…they appear to be almost identical. The differences are under the hood, a few tweaks features/design and the length of time Jabra backs their sweat-proof promise.

jabra_pulsese-sidebyside

With either the 2015 originals or 2016 Special Editions, visually the only differences between the Pulse and Coach are colors and markings, so I will review them as a pair focusing mainly on their 2016 SE improvements.

Package Contents:

jabra_pulseSE-contents

Sport Pulse Special Edition wireless earbuds

  • 4 sets of EarWings
  • 3 sets of EarGels
  • 3 Comply Foam Tips
  • 4 FitClips
  • Protective bag
  • USB cable
  • Quick start guide

Sport Coach Special Edition wireless earbuds

  • 3 sets of EarWings
  • 3 sets of EarGels
  • 3 Comply Foam tips
  • 2 FitClips
  • Protective bag
  • USB cable
  • Quick start guide

jabra_pulsese-bagpouch

The only step backwards with the Sport Special Editions is the downgrade from last years carrying case to a simple nylon bag. Last year’s zippered pouch definitely provides more protection than the flimzy bag included with the Special Edition earbuds. Seems like a silly item for Jabra to cheap-out on when protecting $100+ headphones.

Features:

Sport Pulse Special Edition:

  • Better fit and comfort
  • Better sound quality with added bass
  • New automatic (continuous) VO2 Max fitness testing
  • In-ear biometric heart rate monitoring
  • Advanced planning and tracking based on heart rate
  • Resting and orthostatic heart rate tests
  • Smart in-ear audio coaching
  • Meets IP55 dust- and water-resistant standards
  • Lightweight (16 grams)
  • Up to 5 hours of talk/music time
  • Up to 10 days of stand-by time
  • New Comply foam tips included
  • New three-year extended warranty against sweat

Sport Coach Special Edition:

  • Better fit and comfort
  • Better sound quality with added bass
  • New automatic repetition counting with TrackFit motion sensor
  • Smart in-ear audio coaching
  • Meets IP55 dust- and water-resistant standards
  • Lightweight (16 grams)
  • Up to 5 hours of talk/music time
  • Up to 10 days of stand-by time
  • New Comply foam tips included
  • New three-year extended warranty against sweat

Instead of talking about all of the features that really have not changed between the 2015 and 2016 variants, I will be discussing what I see are the four notable improvements the Special Editions have over the originals.

Fit and comfort:

Since they look identical to the originals, I am not sure what Jabra tweaked in the Special Edition’s design that makes them stay in my ears better…all I know is that they do. For the most part, they stay well seated in my ears without having to be regularly adjusted while running or lifting. These sports earbuds also feel a bit more comfortable as well. This improvement in fit brings greater passive sound isolation. Though not so much as to block out all the ambient noise around you. Thus you can still hear traffic as long as you do not have the music up too loud.

Audio Quality:

With a better fit and seal, the earbuds sound better. But going beyond that, according to Jabra they have added extra bass and improved the overall sound experience of the Special Editions. And I have to agree, the overall sound experience is better than the originals.

Better/Greater Fitness Data:

In addition to Jabra’s “smart” in-ear coaching, workout updates (speed, distance, time, etc) and the Pulse’s heartbeat monitor, the Special Editions have automatic repetition counting with TrackFit motion sensor. The Pulse SE have also added automatic (continuous) VO2 Max fitness testing. All of which combine to give you a very good picture of your fitness level.

That said, I was surprised when the Jabra Sport app informed me I was in only AVERAGE shape for my age. This took me back a bit, I workout at least 5-6/wk and do my best to eat right, get a good nights sleep, not imbibe too much, etc. But this one moment was as if the Pulse Special Editions were throwing down the gauntlet and letting me know old age and slackness were winning. Since this wake up call, I have been running more and working on getting back into true shape.

Warranty:

The improvement I am most pleased with is that Jabra is backing their Special Edition sport headsets with a Limited 3-year warranty against failure from sweat. I have killed every pair of running wireless earbuds (and most of the wired ones as well) I have ever owned, to include my original Sport Pulses. So the new warranty is a huge plus for me and the way I workout. Though to receive this extended warranty Jabra requires you to register your Sport Pulse SE or Sport Coach SE earbuds via the Jabra Sport Life app. It is a quick, easy and painless process.

Bottom Line:

With the Special Editions, Jabra has made some minor improvements that take their wireless sports headsets from good to great. I have been using the Special Editions for nearly a month and have zero complaints (aka they are rock solid). The Sport Pulse and Sport Coach earbuds fit better, have improved sound quality, greater bass, added fitness features, better warranty and all for a lower price than the original 2015 models.

Source: The sample for this review was provided by Jabra. Please visit their site for more info and check Jabra’s Amazon shop for pricing.

 

Product Information

Price:Pulse - $159.99 / Coach - $119.99
Manufacturer:Jabra
Retailer:Amazon
Pros:
  • Better more secure, comfortable fit
  • Well made
  • Pulse: New automatic (continuous) VO2 Max fitness testing
  • Coach: New automatic repetition counting with TrackFit motion sensor
  • IP55 certified water-resistance
  • Improved sound quality with added bass
  • Pulse: Accurate heart rate
  • Solid workout/partner app
  • Useful voice prompts
  • Limited 3 year warranty against sweat
Cons:
  • Nylon carrying bag
Posted in: Audio, Video, TV, Health, Fitness, Sports, Reviews
{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment