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Jabra Sport Pulse

Jabra Sport Pulse review: Save over 25% this January

Matt Breen Richard Easton
22 Jan 2019
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
200
inc VAT

The Jabra Sport Pulse does away with the need for a bulky and uncomfortable heart rate monitor, but battery life could be better

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Specifications

Headphones subtype: In-ear headset, Plug type: None, Weight: 16g, Cable length: N/A

The Sport Pulse is designed to be used alongside the Jabra Pulse app, which is available on iOS and Android. The app is similar to the multitude of other running apps available for either operating system, and provides much of the same data. Naturally it takes readings from the heart rate monitor built into the headphones, but it also uses your smartphone’s GPS to track distance and pace. This is correlated with a built-in pedometer in the headphones for greater accuracy. However, during treadmill running we found the headphone’s distance differed from that of the treadmill; on most occasions the headphones sold us slightly short.

The app is easy to use and really well designed. It presents maps and historical data from your runs and keeps track of your personal bests, which is a great motivational tool. You can easily identify which heart rate zone you have been training in, whether it's Fat Burn or Intense, and you can set goals based on variables such as distance or time. The app will also give you voice prompts in the headphones to let you know your pace and distance covered, which is handy and means you don’t need to look at your smartphone’s screen.

You can also use the app to conduct various fitness tests based on the heart rate monitor readings, including a resting heart rate test, the Rockport test and an Orthostatic test. The Rockport test will let you know your VO2 max, which is an indication of how optimally your heart, lungs and muscles are working together - essentially letting you know if you are overtraining and should take more recovery time. It’s also possible to use the heart rate data from the Sport Pulse with other running apps such as MapMyRun and Endomondo if you prefer those services, but overall we were impressed by the Jabra app's comprehensive fitness tracking abilities.

Sound quality was certainly very respectable for a pair of sports headphones. There’s a decent amount of bass, which will really help get your heart racing, while mids and trebles are suitably crisp. The Sport Pulse has a slight tendency to sound bright at louder volumes, but it was never uncomfortable. These headphones aren’t designed for critical listening and the nuances of its sound won’t be a critical concern when running, but they’re more than good enough.

The real issue with the Pulse is its battery life, which is only around four hours. This means you’re having to remember to charge them very often and it rules them out for regular listening. You’ll really only use these for when you’re running, rather than as your go-to pair of headphones for commuting or daily listening. The Pulse app does give a good indication of how much charge is left, however, so with forward planning you shouldn't get caught short.

At £200, the Jabra Sport Pulse sounds expensive but they’re both cheaper and more convenient than buying a pair of sport headphones and separate heart rate monitor. Compared to a pair of sport headphones, such as the Blue Ant Pump HD Sportbuds, the Pulse is more comfortable and obviously has the edge with its heart rate monitoring. It’s just a shame that battery life means the Sport Pulse stumbles at the finish line.