There are many styles of headphones out there, covering multiple purposes. Solutions for AR, VR, active noise canceling, mixing and more. However, when you consider what you use while working out, it is typically something simple that can withstand a bit of sweat and deliver your tunes. What if you traded in “simple” for something more involved that can assist you in your work out?
The new Vi React wireless earbuds from 1MORE are designed for that exact task. When paired up with the Vi Trainer app, they help to coach you through your workout and motivate you as you go. Really, the app is doing most of the work as the headphone act as a controller for the app.
Similar to a lot of the wireless in-ear solutions out there, the headphones are typical in design with two buds and a line running between them. The wireless feature is the fact that they don’t have to plug into your device. The design features mostly plastic and silicone and they come with your various sizes of tips and hooks to get a solid fit in your ear with.
The inline controller is similar to almost any inline controller, only it has an additional button labeled with “Vi”. This button controls your interaction with the Vi app as you go, and also functions as the power button for powering them on and off with (holding it down). When not using the Vi app, it will trigger your digital assistant instead (ie, Google Assistant).
The other buttons offer volume/track control as well as play and pause (middle button), and there is a small flap on the side for where the USB cable plugs in to charge them.
They are IPX6 certified for protection against sweat and light rain, which is important since you’d be sweating all over these. They do indeed perform well at this, as we were able to splash water on them and take them for a handful of runs without every worrying about them getting damaged.
This is the second pair of headphones on the market that we have seen compatible with Vi, including Vi’s own solution (which was/is heavily overpriced). These thankfully are not over-priced and they contain 1MORE’s name on this, which kind of helps raise the bar when it comes to expectations for quality.
The highs in these headphones are super crisp. The reveal a decent level of quality in what you are listening to, allowing for vocals and brighter sounding instruments to really shine through. However, they can also be slightly exhausting after awhile depending on what you are listening too (ie, high pitched vocals in acoustic sessions). Because of this, you might find yourself not over doing it on the volume (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing for your hearing).
Each bud contains a single 10 mm dynamic driver with a dual layer titanium composite diaphragm to cover all of your ranges with. The mids and lows are around average, and you do have to go with larger tips to get the most out of the low-end. This is common for many earbuds if you like to capture those lows. We felt the lows could be a little more present but it is just a single driver doing all of the work after all.
These aren’t audiophile by any means, but that’s not what they are there for. They are there for music to get you through a workout and their ability to link to Vi so that it can guide you through it. They do carry a decent amount of range to them for their price range, making for a decent pair of buds for working out. You just won’t use them for reference listening or anything like that. For that, stick to their triple or quad driver solutions.
We had mixed feelings about the app. Although it has a lot of qualities to it, we feel as though it has a lot of needed improvement. That being said, if you are a runner, you will find yourself getting a lot of use out of them and enjoying them just fine.
Where it gets you is all of the hype about workouts in the product description. What it really boils down to is running/walking/jogging. If cardio is your “workout”, then these headphones are going to be great. If your workout is anything else, then hold off and wait to see where the app goes in the future when it comes to adding new features and support for other activities. There seems to be some develop plans to add more.
For running, the trainer does seem to add a lot of fun to your step, music and all. It offers a lot of features like general motivation or giving you a beat to step/run to, which can really cause you to step up your game as it engages your focus so that you aren’t distracted by your environment as much or find yourself getting bored (which can easily happen once you get deep enough into your run).
There is no heart rate monitor where the other Vi solution I kind of hinted to had one. However the feedback on that heart rate monitor wasn’t always preferable, so that might be why they left it out. That and possibly battery life since these buds are much lighter and smaller in design. Maybe it was best that they left it out of this pair.
It takes a bit to get used to having Vi in your ear, but you are able to interact with the app by asking “Vi” how you are doing, and it can respond with some of your stats, like current distance, speed and more. Vi tries to motivate you to go faster or slow down where needed in order to not burn you out, and has a lot of neat features to help keep your mind in the game with.
It isn’t always a 100% when it comes to accuracy, but enough to make a difference. It provides you with a lot of useful information like some other apps, with the added ability to interact and have a voice in your ears. However, where they need to improve on (if possible) is obstacles and changes within your course, like changes in grade that can affect your performance (ie, speed).
So the app isn’t perfect and has a lot to work on in the future to make it better. However, for runners it is still a great asset to have in your pocket (and ear).
Where it didn’t completely win us over is the price. The headphones are a great price for their sound quality and added ability to work with Vi. However, the app itself requires a monthly subscription. Not only that, but the price is $9.99 a month, which seems a bit steep for now. When they add more to the app and hopefully add to the types of workouts it supports, it will begin to be more worth paying a continued price for. Even better, if AI is improved on and Vi became more of a truly interactive AI that can become more aware of you are a person and carry a normal conversation (themed around fitness of course), I can definitely see the price being worth it. For now, We’d like to see a more reasonable price tag that would be more attractive to the user, so that they will want to remain dedicated to the subscription.
As mentioned earlier, the earbuds come with your typical tip sizes as well as some hooks to get a good grip with. You will want to go with a decently tight (but not uncomfortable) fit to make sure they remain in your ears during a run, as well as get some more of the bass (lows) with. You will also find, however, that you might drop down a size if you hear too much of your step as well–as when moving around (especially running), a lot of noise can be captured within your canal if you have too tight of a plug to your ears.
There is a short USB to micro USB cable for charging and some documentation to get you started with both the app and the earbuds themselves. There is also a 1MORE sticker you can slap onto something and let everyone know you like them.
Side Note (12/20/2018): They are currently on sale for the price of just $39.99, making them a great deal and a solid buy for yourself or other friends who enjoy running this holiday season!
These headphones deliver a unique experience for your cardio workouts, with full support for the Vi app. Vi provides a fun interaction throughout your workout and access to music to always keep you engaged with. The headphones themselves come with an average performance when it comes to sound, but they don’t seem to be priced as though they are supposed to do anything other than that. The price tag of subscribing to the app is quite a bit high in our opinion and the app needs to be much more before reaches that level of spending for the user, but they are on the right track. Over-all, they seem to be a fascinating change to your workout that can provide you with a lot of motivation and guidance that really works. These buds do a good job of bridging two good companies together.
|Buy from Amazon | Buy from 1MORE
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
- Model: E1018 Plus
- Charging Time: 2 hours
- Talk Time: 5 hours
- Music Play Time: 5 hours
- Impedance: 32 ohms
- Wireless Range: 10 m
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth v4.2
- Bluetooth Protocol: HFP / HSP / A2DP / AVRCP
- Weight: 16 g
- Input: 5V 1A
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.
Don’t forget to subscribe for a chance to win cool prizes!