One of the more budget-conscious options, Jabra’s Sport Pace Earbuds remain one of my most recommended due to their clear sound signature and robust fitness options.
Hey everyone, Jimmy with JimsReviewRoom. Many folks wear earbuds in the gym or while running, but sport earbuds give you the added protection of being sweat and dust resistant, not to mention, they’re built a bit more rugged. Jabra offers this with their Sport Pace model at the retail price of $99, but what is unique, besides offering sound for your music, these earbuds provides you information about your workout in real time – I’ll get into detail about that shortly. I’ll make this review part 1 of 2 and I would also suggest reading part 2 which is a very similar model Jabra provided to me, the Jabra Sport Coach which features a different design and some different features. And last, you can always click on the link above.
Going over the physical features first, there’s no question this looks like the Powerbeats 2. If you prefer the stability of earhooks rather than wing-tips on the Jabra Sport Coach, these are the way to go. Up top, the earhooks are flexible yet they do stay in a fixed position. Although they can’t hold their form after you bend them to offer a more versatile fit, they feel perfectly fine and the comfort was no problem at all, but more on my comfort test a little bit later. Moving down, the left earbud features a micro-USB port for charging with Jabra claiming a battery life of up to 5 hours. From my testing of leaving this on all day at 50% volume with two 15 minute runs in between, I was able to achieve 4 hours and 24 minutes of use, which when you compare to other wireless sport Bluetooth earphones, the up to 5 hours, or my actual results are a bit on the low side. Remaining on the left earbuds, on the outside of the device, there’s a small button to answer phone calls and when pressed during a workout, gives you information on your current performance.
Overall construction on these are all hard plastics, which held up well when throwing these into my bag and probably even worse, into my pockets. Taking these out of my pockets, the cords are tangle free, eliminating some frustration and Sport Pace model does come with a reflective coating so you can be more visible at night. Last on the right side are volume control buttons but also works at skipping songs by holding either volume up or down. And this worked on my locally stored music plus streaming services like Pandora or iHeartRadio… Also be aware, some earphones volume control buttons only work with either Apple or Android, however, I did confirm, the Sport Pace does work for both platforms.
Last as I stated earlier, these are water and dust resistant. Jabra states this is IP54 certified, with the number 5 out of 6 indicating this is, of course… dust resistant, and the number 4 out of 9 indicating this can withstand WATER SPLASHES FROM ANY DIRECTION. Essentially, you can sweat with this on and get them wet, or be caught in the rain and have no problems. After my testing which is a bit more aggressive, my earbuds are still working fine.
And right before getting into comfort, Jabra, unfortunately, doesn’t provide a carrying case, so the earbuds and the included eartips won’t be as protected as you’d like. But regarding the eartips, there’s three and they do provide a good bit of comfort. Although the Sport Pace includes the earhooks, the eartips do sit somewhat in the ear canal. From my experience, they’re not fully in-ear earphones, but they do isolate a good bit of outside noise. I know with some runners and especially cyclists, this can impact their purchase decision as it does isolate your surroundings. On the other end, having some sound isolation does provide an immersive experience, allowing you to hear music and the audio cues much clearer, so you guys be the judge on this. But these worked out great in regards to staying in my ear. Whether running or doing something more vigorous like jumping jacks, push-ups, or running up an oddly shaped hill, the earbuds never fell out of my ear nor did I lose audio isolation.
But before getting into the sound test, Jabra and their sport line-up of earphones differentiate from other sport earphones that just play audio by offering a very comprehensive app to help supplement your workouts. On the main page, you can customize and have it show different bits of information. On this page, you can select either distance, calories burned, avg. pace, speed, and your split pace.
Moving down, you can segment your workouts, and label it as any of the following you see on screen. and if you need to, feel free to rewind the video or pause if I’m going too fast. You can choose “Free Mode”, which will measure most of the basics for you, or… you can set goals before you start any activity. You can target a specific distance, time, calories to burn, target pace which is my favorite, and interval training. While you’re working out, the app and through your earphones will provide audio cues on your current progress. For example, while you’re running, this will indicate how much distance you’ve run, indicate your pace, time, et cetera, without the need to take out your phone. Last, you can select your music, and I’m glad you can choose local music stored on the phone, or choosing “show more”, you have a bunch others to choose from. But let’s start a running segment and see how it looks.
When you initiate a run, your phone’s GPS will kick in to track your distance and help with calculating your pace, speed, and other various data. During a run, as stated earlier, you can tap the button on the left side of the earphone to get all this information in your ear, but if you prefer to pull out your phone, Distance and Duration are shown from the factory. But like I said, you change the information displayed. Also, and before I forget to mention, comparing to the Jabra Sport Pulse and Jabra Sport Coach, the apps are very similar at first glance, but there are different metrics that are displayed for each. One example, I didn’t see cadence being available for running on here as it was indeed available once I paired the Jabra Coach. Again, watch part 2 if you want to see what else is offered. Swiping right, much more information is displayed, again, all customizable. And the very last page is a real-time map of your run. I’m showing you my run from the other day since I don’t want the GPS to show where my studio is. ANd once finished, you receive a quick summary, and as I always love, graphs to see your performance. For those who already use popular apps like Endomondo, Runkeeper, Strava, MyfitnessPal, and Runtastic, this app does feed data to those apps… for you.
Before going into audio next, let me show you real quick what other features are on here. In the menu icon, you have History to see all of your runs, but better, achievements are viewable to see and compare, your best week, best month, and you can even compare what your best record was for the year. There’s also a Fitness test which you can perform when you first get this to baseline your performance. Last, in Settings, as I stated earlier, during any of your workouts, the earphones will periodically come on, lowering the music if it has to, and inform you of the following information on screen. What’s also important, you can select when the audio-prompts comes on. Every minute or every hour, or a read-out at certain markets, like every half a mile or every mile.
And for those who will be at the gym, some folks leave their phone down while reracking and whatnot, I tested the signal strength and I was able to achieve between 30 to 40 linear feet until the audio starts to cut out a bit.
Finally, let’s talk about Jabra’s sound signature. Starting with bass, these do offer a good amount of bass. It’s not sub-bass levels, or sounding as deep as the Powerbeats, but these offer I think a very much acceptable amount of bass boost fitting for more genre’s of hip-hop, pop, and EDM. And although it’s a bit more bassy, it’s clean without droning in general and not bleeding over to the mid-range. The mid-range accompanies the bass levels without sounding weak, yet not sounding bright either. For the price of these earphones, vocals and the mid-range of instruments are done very well with clear audio that’s still pleasant and satisfying to listen to. And as for the high-notes, no screeching, no tinging, nothing too high-pitches from my experience to cause listening fatigue after long-term listening. Overall, I’m enjoying these. If I had to critique, there isn’t much or any sound separation or a sound stage to be present which is a bummer, but yet again, for the price, it’s not a bad experience.
So that’s it for this review. Remember to check out the links at the top of this review if you want to check for updated prices or to view Part 2, in which I detail the Jabra Sport Coach and compare it with these here. Remember to show your support by adding me on either Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Again, I’m Jimmy with Jim’s Review Room and my website is here to help you make a purchase decision. You guys take care, I’ll see you on the next one.
[table id=4 hide_columns=”all” show_columns=”a,c,e,h,i” /] Specs from manufacturer. If incorrect, please contact us.