Apple or Soul Electronics: “championship” and relevance issues for wireless fitness headphones

    Over the past 10 days, announcements of two full-fledged wireless fitness headphones appeared almost simultaneously in the Western audio press. It's about Apple and the relatively new California company Soul Electronics. The question naturally arises who will be the first. In addition, it is very logical to speculate whether the use of state monitoring in headphones makes sense at all, whether such monitoring is possible in the form required on the market and whether such an innovation will have a chance at all. Under the cut more about the announced updates, as well as their likely prospects in the market.

    Soul Electronics - the first damn lump, and the second?

    So let's start with the fact that the title of “first” wireless fitness headphones is at least not accurate. And it is not already accurate due to the fact that Soul Electronics has already released a similar product, namely Run Free Pro. Strictly speaking, their product cannot be called completely wireless, due to the presence of a headphone cable. But, of course, the signal is transmitted via Bluetooth.

    This product was mercilessly criticized on the villages for an archaic “semi-conductive” (let's call it that) construction and a lack of fidelity to play. The last reviewers of the online edition were considered insufficient for £ 100. Although they note that Run Free Pro Bios is somewhat better than the average intra channel plugs.

    As the name implies, these are running headphones, it’s quite natural that the device is supplied with an application. In general, a bunch of headphones with biometrics + the application in the smartphone was called technology - Beflex Biomech Engine. The application is available for both Android and Apple, it gives a variety of commands in the process of training, while on the basis of previously entered parameters, it tracks not only activity, but also body position, for example.

    The system recommends maintaining a certain body position while running, moving at a certain speed, tilting the head, taking wider or narrower steps, breathing more evenly, etc. Despite the generally interesting approach, such a virtual coach was not very much liked by most reviewers and raises serious doubts among people who are engaged in athletics.

    In general, there is nothing supernova in the recommendations of the virtual trainer in real-time mode, but Soul Electronics should be given credit for the not perfect, but bold realization and role of one of the pioneers.

    The new gadget of the company will obviously be more modern. He announced as a fully wireless headphones with a function of fitness biometrics. The future product is called Soul Electronics Blade and is positioned as the “first” fully wireless fitness headphones.

    They will also be intra-channel and, judging by the pictures that show Californians, will have touch controls, unlike their predecessors, which were controlled using physical buttons.

    It is likely that manufacturers will move away from the pre-failure narrowly running focus of monitoring, which is likely to require further development of the application. While it is known that the device will be able to accurately count the speed, distance, frequency of steps, step length, step width and head angle, and will also be protected from sweat, rain and other wet troubles according to iPX7 standard.

    It is also obvious that the device will be fastened with a silicone hook protrusion that clings to the auricle and thus holds the earpiece. In addition, it is known and the likely price of the device, which at the time of release will be $ 250. As I have already noted, the output of the device was announced in the first half of this year.

    AirPods 2 - the best enemy of the good or we do not know something?

    Despite the shortcomings of the AirPods, about which every third, then every third reviewer on YouTube speaks, the first model has become truly iconic, popular, recognizable and truly popular. But time passes, and the apple giant, obviously, does not intend to stop there. Apple is committed to constantly adding new devices to the ecosystem, and headphones are no exception.

    The first evidence that development is underway related to the biometric functions of the new headphones, appeared in Bloomberg . Due to the fact that the publication also reported on the appearance of a full-size model from Apple, it was not clear which headphones they wanted to enrich with the functionality of a fitness bracelet. The estimated cost of the AirPods 2, namely $ 159, was also announced.

    Now there is also no reliable information, there is only information from insiders who spread through and .
    So the Digitimes report , which is referenced by most publications, says that Apple will release AirPods 2 during the first six months of 2019 and will equip the model with state monitoring functions.

    Despite the credibility of publications providing insider information, weirdness remains. First of all, this is due to the fact that the accelerometer, which could be placed in the AirPods form factor without a fundamental design change, is placed in the Apple Watch, which successfully perform their function. The need to increase the capacity of the battery also makes it impossible for developers to put into the headphones any precise optical heart rate monitor.


    Very intuitively and subjectively, I am attracted to the idea of ​​placing a fitness device in headphones, there is something in it. At the same time, for quite objective reasons, I understand the chances of both companies to release successful fitness headphones are extremely small. Usually, with such initial data, the output of devices is delayed for an extremely long period of time, gadgets are obtained either raw and problematic, or expectations from announcements and insiders are not met. Sometimes it also comes out a suitable device, but not having the declared functions. There is also a cubic centimeter of chance that someone will make a miracle (technological breakthrough) and do the impossible, the apple company is definitely more likely to have more resources and resources for such a breakthrough. I would appreciate your opinions in the comments.

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