Disclosure: The writer received a sample of UA Headphones Wireless to do a product review and adhered to journalistic integrity when he wrote this.
You might have grappled with this problem before: Wires caught onto something, ripping the buds off your ears and breaking you from the runner’s trance you’re so deep in.
Or you have gone for a wireless version, but the sound quality was sub-par at best, and the statics kept you on the frustrating edge.
Once bitten, twice shy – faith in wireless headphones was shaken for a while.
But what if there were no need to choose?
Introducing the UA Headphones Wireless
The UA Headphones Wireless is one of the first of a line of wireless sports earphones, jointly engineered by JBL and Under Armour. It is built to stay in your ears even when you sprint against the wind, to be resistant to sweat and storm (but don’t do it often), and to give you a true audio experience.
As JBL and Under Armour calls it, it embodies “the sound of high performance”.
Launched in 2016, it has indeed taken the fitness audio scene by storm.
But does it live up to its hype?
We will find out in this product review.
4 Things You Will Love
Comfortable and secure fit
The ear buds are huge. That might be the first thing you noticed, as I had when you have a UA Headphones Wireless on hand. But despite its size, it was lightweight when I held it in my palm and snug when I fit them in my ears.
The makers called it the TwistlockTM technology. It gives the ear tip its odd shape but makes it ergonomic. Once the tip is twisted, it stays in place.
I took it for a 5km run at West Coast Park just the other day, and it passed the test.
Full audio experience with a solid bass
If you’re audiophile, this will be crucial. The audio experience is incredible not just for a wireless earphone, but earpieces in general.
The vocals are distinct; the music is smooth with a lot of clarity and detail, and the bass is punchy and deep, but not so much that the other audio range is muffled. Just the way I like it.
My peer, whom I lent, tried it with acoustic and classical music and thought the sound was well-defined in that domain too. Combined her experience with mine, I can safely say this earpiece provides a full audio experience.
Partial noise cancellation
As you exercise alone, you may want to shut out the world to fully immerse. The in-ear design and feel-good seal provide enough to allow that immersion. But they don’t offer full noise cancellation.
Which is good - when you’re running or working out, you don’t want to be fully isolated from your environment in sound – from a safety standpoint.
The inline remote lets you control the volume of your music, switch on and off the earpiece and start and pause the music, all in one place. It’s convenience at its finest.
While it’s not special to UA Headphones Wireless, it’s still noteworthy to mention as you don’t want to keep reaching for your phone or music player to control the music.
Two things that can be improved
I love the earphone, but nothing is perfect. It has some flaws that may affect a few people.
Only two sizes to choose from
UA Headphones Wireless only comes with two-set silicon covers for you to choose from, so it may not be a snug fit for a minority group of people.
On the upside, I have passed the earphone to multiple people to try with varying ear sizes, and they fit – from perfection to satisfactory comfort. So I will think this is a minor hindrance that affects only a few.
Love-hate relationship with the headphone case
UA Headphones Wireless comes with a beautiful maroon-coloured (at least to my eyes) case. It’s nice to touch and looks classy. But it traps dust and furs easily, so you need to pay extra care to it. Or you need to clean it regularly. Still tolerable to me.
Bonus: 12-month premium subscription to MapMyFitness
MapMyFitness lets you “plan, track, analyse and share your journey”. It is part of Under Armour Connected Fitness suite of apps and supports not just running but up to 600 other fitness activities.
The complimentary 12-month subscription is not for me but more avid athletes will find it helpful to map routes and choose new ones to take. Or even improve diet and lifestyle by tracking their food intakes.
Give it a shot. Either way, it’s free.
As a whole
I fully recommend it for the great audio and cord-free experience it can provide. It really adds another dimension of joy to your workouts. For me, I use it as a daily earphone, from commuting to doing work.
As it retails at S$289.00, it is on the high-end side of earphones. But for its durability and performance, it’s worth every cent.
P.S. You can find its specifications and more information on all its features here.
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