Hands On with the Rugged Jabra Sports Bluetooth Stereo Headset
The Jabra Sports Bluetooth stereo headset offers decent quality music playback and phone-call audio in a rugged form factor that's ideal for outdoor activities and sports.
By Paul Mah, CIO
It’s not exactly easy to find a solid set of earphones that produce good sound, are sweat resistant and don’t fall off easily. But the rugged new Jabra Sport Bluetooth stereo headset fits the bill–and looks good in the process. Like Jabra’s popular Sport-Corded headset, the Bluetooth-based Jabra Sport offers military-grade protection against rain, dust and shock, but it also takes things one step further with wireless Bluetooth functionality.
On the outside, the Jabra Sport is nearly identical to the Jabra Sport-Corded with the same dash of snazzy-yellow color and the unique behind-the-ear styling. There is a sturdy, tangle-free cord that connects the two earpieces. Two additional pairs of ear gels come along with the headset so you can find the most comfortable fit for you. (The default rounded gels worked perfectly fine for me.) Finally, the gadget also comes with a rugged armband made from an elastic material to hold your various audio gadgets. And it worked well with my BlackBerry and a slightly larger iPhone in a somewhat bulky case.
The Jabra Sport supports A2DP audio for better sound and call quality. The headset lets you determine its approximate battery life when used with devices like the iPhone, and you can adjust the volume and change tracks via built-in buttons on the right earpiece. Though Jabra says the Sport comes with bass-audio enhancement, I didn’t really notice any notable bass improvements when using the headset. I consider the overall audio quality to be average for mid-range earphones, though better than many cheap, low-end headsets on the market today.
I didn’t think anything much about the Jabra Sport’s built-in FM radio at first, though it did provide relatively clear reception. But there is something alluring about being able to listen to your favorite radio station on a job or while working out, and some users will surely appreciate the functionality. Pressing the button labeled “FM” on the right earpiece toggles to the radio, with the volume buttons also serving as radio station navigation keys. (You just press and hold them for a couple of seconds to move up or down the dial.) The Jabra Sport’s “scan” feature lets you automatically find the next broadcasting station, though its lack of a display means that finding the station you want can be somewhat frustrating.
The Jabra Sport also works with Endomondo Sports Tracker, which is a popular workout app for a variety of smartphone platforms including iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Symbian.
Unfortunately, Jabra Sport battery life is short at just three hours when listening to music via Bluetooth, which could be a problem for folks who workout for long periods of time. And like most Bluetooth headphones, it has limited range and can suffers from intermittent interference when the Bluetooth source is placed in a pocket, for example. The included armband mostly eliminates this problem.
The Jabra Sport Bluetooth Stereo Headset is available for $99.99 here.
Close-up view of the Jabra Sport (right earpiece). Notice the volume buttons and FM toggle along the bottom.
The Jabra Sport comes with two other pairs of ear gel designs for an optimal fit
The armband for holding your Bluetooth-enabled music player of choice