Welcome to our Wearable Wednesdays series, a weekly look at the world of wearables.
As someone who runs a bit, I don’t think it’s unusual to admit that I sometimes hear a little voice in my ear suggesting I take a shortcut; to not push quite as hard. Occasionally it even tells me to turn the alarm off, pull the doona back up and leave the whole run for another day!
With the Jabra Pulse however, I now have a voice in my ear that is 100 per cent on my side.
Operated through the Jabra Sport Life app (running on any iOS or Android device!), the Pulse headset chats away to me mid-run, giving me updates at set distances or times to ensure I keep on track with my speed, heart rate, distance, target pace and intensity.
In addition to tracking and regular updates, I’m also able to create customised interval workouts, meaning I can start off at a certain pace, before introducing shorter, harder bursts. All this with the encouragement of Jabra in my ear, reminding me to lift my pace or catch my breath – before telling me to do it all again!
When I wasn’t being encouraged to lift my game, the Jabra connected beautifully to my music and podcast collection, matching certain segments of my workout with the song’s beat per minute (BPM) and reflecting my heart rate. You can ensure that the heart rate is accurate with the unique in-ear heart rate monitor, said to be a highly accurate recording point and eliminates the need for any other device or chest strap!
The headset itself is simple to use and fully customisable, ensuring a perfect fit for your ear. I’ve never been a fan of running with headphones, constantly adjusting and fiddling to get the buds to stay in my ears, but with four different sized ear plug sets (Eargels) and a similar four sizes of ear wrap attachments (Earwings), it’s a case of simply experimenting to find the size that suits your ear.
I tested the headset on both iOS and Android and found the installation, set-up and connection as simple as tying my shoelaces. It connects via Bluetooth on both devices, although there is a NFC option built in, unfortunately not suitable for smartphones in Australia yet.
The headset charges via USB and holds enough battery to run a full marathon with an estimated five hour battery life. The bigger challenge will be ensuring you have enough smartphone battery given the device relies on an active GPS and Bluetooth connection, plus the option of playing music.
In terms of recording and analysing your data, the Jabra app is comprehensive but the Pulse also connects to many common running platforms, including Strava, RunKeeper and Endomondo – meaning that you can share your run with your friends, compare to your rivals and reminisce post-run to track your improvement.
I used the Pulse primarily while running, however the Jabra Sport Life App allows you to track a variety of exercises including cycling, skating, skiing and hiking as well as running or walking on a treadmill. With the innovative heart rate measurement, Dolby sound quality and wireless connectivity in a small package, the Jabra Pulse is a great device to get your heart racing and help maintain those fitness resolutions!