Heart rate tracking is all the rage these days. Its a big feature of the upcoming Apple Watch. And a number of other devices, like Fitbits Charge HR, also sport the technology. But you dont need a fitness device or dedicated heart rate band to track the important information.
SMS Audio has teamed up with Intel to produce the interesting new BioSport Earbuds. The wired headphones work just like any pair youve ever used. Intels optical sensor technology, located inside the headphones, are designed to measure heart rate while removing noise signals created from your bodys constant motion while running or working out.
And best of all, the heart rate tracking technology doesnt require any extra battery. It takes power from the audio jack and never has to be recharged.
Getting started with the earbuds is easy. Using one of my favorite exercise tracking apps, RunKeeper, just plug in the headphones to begin. After that, head to the Settings menu and select Manage Connections Apps, Services, and Devices. Select Devices & Hardware, and then choose Analog Headphones.
Simply flip this heart rate tracking switch on the earbuds to activate the technology.
After that, youll be ready to go. Just make sure to flip the heart rate switch located below the right earbud. As a quick note, when youre tracking heart rate, you wont be able to use the included microphone for handsfree calling. If you need to answer a call, just flip the switch back.
SMS Audio also includes a free month trial to RunKeeper Elite, which is a nice plus. As for RunKeeper itself, a recent update brought an iOS 8 Notification Center widget and integration with Spotify.
The heart rate information is available to view while on a run.
Heart rate tracking seemed to be quite accurate, and youll see the current information on the run screen, including the level of your current exercise. At the end of a workout, RunKeeper will also display the average heart rate.
Surprisingly, I thought the sound quality for fitness-oriented earbuds was great. I listened to audio from a number of sources, including Spotify, SiriusXM, and even the new Sling TV service, and the low, mid, and high sounds were crisp and clear, even during a strenuous run.
There are a few negative aspects to the earbuds, though. SMS Audio includes three different sizes of tips small, medium, and large. And I was unable to find a perfect fit for me. The small earbuds continually fell out of my ears while the medium size was somewhat uncomfortable after a long period of usage.
While the product touts compatibility with leading fitness apps I was unable to get the hear rate monitor working with anything but RunKeeper. So just be aware if you’re partial to another app. It wasnt a huge issue for me because I am a big fan of RunKeeper anyway.
Heart rate tracking technology is accurate and works great, all without a battery.
Sound quality is great for a fitness-oriented pair of earbuds.
Resistant to both sweat and water.
Includes a one-month free profile to RunKeeper Elite.
Extra-long cord is great for putting the iPhone in your pocket while out for a run.