The Jabra Sport Coach is retailing in Singapore for S$248 and is available in three colors, Blue, Red and Yellow. It is sort of the younger sibling of the Jabra Sport Pulse (S$298) which I reviewed back in May 2015.
Coach vs Pulse
The Jabra Sport Coach is S$50 cheaper because it doesn’t come with the in-ear heart rate monitor of the Jabra Sport Pulse. Surprisingly, the dimensions and weight of both the Coach and Pulse are the same, measuring about 18mm x 21mm x 32mm (H x W x D) and weighing 16g. I guess the weight of the Pulse’s in-ear heart rate monitor is being replaced by the Coach’s TrackFit Motion Sensor. The TrackFit Motion Sensor measures your distance, pace, steps, cadence and calories burned more accurately for cross-training and running.
Speaking of cross-training, that is the main difference between the Coach and the Pulse. The Coach is designed for cross-training while the Pulse is designed for running.
The coach has something called the Intelligent Audio Coaching which gives you in-the-moment, personalized in-ear audio coaching as you work out. I find it pretty useful especially for time-based exercises because it will voice the countdown timer to you. For repetition-based exercises, it is pretty much useless because the Coach doesn’t track the count of your crunches, pushups, etc. Instead you still have to mentally count it. And when you are done, you are supposed to press the Sports button which is located on the left earbud to proceed on to the next exercise of the workout.
As far as I can tell, the design of Pulse and Coach is almost identical besides the colors. The Coach is also rated IP55 which means it is dust and water resistant (not water proof). The default packaging comes with four different set of eartips (Large, Medium, Small and Extra Small) and three different earwings.
In terms of comfortability, my view is still the same as the Pulse. Because it is an in-ear earphones, it blocks out noises pretty well. But the downside to that is after long usage, your ears will be warm due to the earwings and eartips also blocking the airflow around the area. Again, this will probably not be an issue for most people because you will be too tired after exercising to feel it.
I did mentioned in my review of the Pulse that the weight of the earbuds is uncomfortable as well but for some reasons, I don’t feel the same way on the Coach despite both of them having the same weight. Maybe I got used to the weight after using the Pulse for my daily commute.
The remote control is a little weird, normally when pressing the middle button twice, it suppose to skip to the next music track, for Jabra’s case, it redials the last number in your call history. This is irritating for me because I use the double press way to skip tracks very often.
Charging is done by connecting the included Micro USB cable to the Micro USB port on the right earbud. The LED indicator is also located on the right. Green means it is being switched on, blue means it is ready for pairing and red means it is being switched off or charging. A full charge will last you about 5 hours.
Both the Coach and Pulse are powered by Dolby Sound Enhancement to bring out the depth and clarity of your music. Personally, I find the audio slightly muffled and the mid-bass lacking. I prefer my earphones to have strong bass as I listen to a lot of trance and techno music.
Jabra Sport Life App
When I first used the Jabra Sport Life app (iOS | Android), I was confused with the terminology activities, workouts and exercises. Let me break it down in case you are confused as well.
Activities are like Cross-training, Cycling, Hiking, Running, Running on treadmill, Skating, Skiing, Walking and Walking on treadmill. And for each activity, there are workouts related to the activity.
For example for cross-training activity, you will have workouts like CardiCore, TakeOff, BellyBurn, PushPerfection, MadCore. And for running activity, you will have workouts like target goal, target pace, interval training and cross-training.
Cross-training activity is a little special because you can create and name your own workout. And for each workout there are exercises and rest. Exercises are like High Knees Running, Squats, Push Ups, Plank, etc.
Previously, I mentioned that the Coach can’t track the count of repetition-based exercises. So what I did to make full use of the Intelligent Audio Coaching was to create a workout solely based on time-based exercises. I think it is a pretty good workaround to the limitation of the Coach.
Personally, I felt the Jabra Sport Life App is pretty good. I like the app as it is pretty detailed especially if you are into fitness. Best of all it is free and you can use it with any earphones, not just Jabra’s ones.
I only have two problems with the app. The first problem is that it crashes in the midst of my workout and that happens a few times which makes it very irritating. Apparently, this happens when the screen timeouts and goes back to the lock screen. Upon unlocking the screen, the app loads back and crashes after that. Just to be clear, I did a fresh install of the app from the App Store.
Second problem is that it is not iPhone 6/6 Plus optimized. I can’t stand it when iOS apps are not optimized for iPhone 6/6 Plus. The two phones have been out in the market for almost a year, there is no excuse in not updating it.
The trend right now is geared towards indoor exercises (even my wife is on that bandwagon right now), I think the Jabra Sport Coach’s Intelligent Audio Coaching paired with the Jabra Sport Life App is a pretty good combination. Despite the limitation of not being able to count repetition-based exercises, there are workarounds for it.
The only thing that might make people think twice is the price. Priced at S$248, it isn’t exactly cheap for a a pair of exercise earphones.
Since I don’t really exercise that much these days, I am using the Coach as my normal day-to-day earphones because it is rugged enough to stay in my khaki shorts pockets with my keys and I like the freedom of wireless earphones.
- Intelligent Audio Coaching
- Jabra Sport Life App contains detailed exercises
- Doesn’t track repetition-based exercises
- Jabra Sport Life iOS App Keep Crashing