The problem with a lot of wireless earphones is they are far too bulky, especially those designed for the exercise market.
JBL’s Under Armour True Wireless Streak earphones have nailed this size aspect, with a small and snug fit that doesn’t look ridiculous jutting out of your ears, and won’t jolt out of place the minute you hit the treadmill.
Soundwise, these are bass heavy, and need to be fitted securely, otherwise the higher-end frequencies will come across a tad tinny. The sound signature is rather muddied, but that’s to be expected in this price range ($229), and only real audiophiles will be rankled by this.
Design wise, as the Under Armour logo suggests, these look closer to sportswear than audio gear, which is good news if you like to power dress and colour match for your workouts. There are four colour variations – white, black, blue and orange – and they come with three different sized earbuds and earfins to get them fitting perfectly.
The earbuds are waterproof, and can be dunked in water (up to a metre) for half an hour, which is perfect for giving them a thorough clean. The only major downside is the on-ear controllers are rather touchy, and you’ll find yourself inadvertently stopping and skipping songs during your first few runs (especially if you are the type to reflexively pull your hair back behind your ears). There are also too many control variations that you’ll accidentally activate, and probably never fully master: single tap the left to dramatically lower the volume, and activate the microphones; double tap the right and you’ll be talking to Siri. Most of the time, this won’t be your desired outcome.
Batteries take twice as long to charge in the case as you get out of them, with a twelve-hour full charge giving only six hours of power – not ideal given the average working day will require a charge mid-way through.
You also get a free year of MapMyRun if you really wanna dive all into the exercise life. Just don’t run too far from home, or you’ll find yourself with dwindling battery life, accidentally chatting to Siri.