I picked up a set of Bluetooth earbuds last year when I realized what a pain it is to use wired earphone while exercising. The model I use sells for about $24 and offers pretty good battery life and decent, but hardly spectacular audio.
But Samsung is hoping you’ll spend $200 on its Gear IconX earbuds when they ship later this year. What makes them worth 8 times as much as my earbuds? For one thing, they’re totally wireless: there’s not even a cord running from the left earbud to the right one.
For another, the Samsung Gear IconX isn’t just a set of wireless earbuds. It’s also a fitness tracker.
The Gear IconX includes sensors for tracking your heart rate, distance, and speed. Pair the earbuds with the S Health app and you can view your stats on your phone or use the IconX voice guide to get verbal support while you work out.
Samsung’s earbuds have 4GB of built-in storage which you can use to play music even when your phone isn’t nearby. You can tap or swipe the earbuds to pause, play, switch tracks, or adjust the volume.
The earbuds come with a carrying case that also functions as a charger… and a portable battery. A fully charged case can recharge the earbuds up to twice before you have to plug the case in again.
Samsung says each earbud weighs about 6.3 grams, or about one fifth of an ounce, while the case is 52 grams (1.8 ounces). Each earbud has a 47 mAh battery, while the charging case has a 315 mAh battery.
Like the new Samsung Gear Fit 2, the Gear IconX earbuds are compatible with phones running Android 4.4 or later.