This weekend I was happy to see that the good folks at Sbode sent us their new Sport Bluetooth headphones to evaluate. Bluetooth headphones are becoming ubiquitous and some of the companies are really turning out great products. The Sbode Sport headphones are a perfect example of “doing it right”. They are sharp looking, water resistant, and more importantly: they sound great whether one is listening to music, or making and receiving phone calls. My wife, who “borrows” most of my headphones, would’t be getting this pair. Let’s take a deeper look.
What’s in the box?
Sbode Sport out of the box included the sharp looking, black with red trim headphones. Also included is a nice sized carrying case with a black “carbon graphite look” and red “Sbode” logo, which holds the headphones, a 6-inch USB charging cable, the cable “wire tie”, and the extra silicon ear tips. The charging cable does not include a power block, but that’s becoming the trend lately. Who doesn’t have a pile of USB charging blocks sitting around these days? Of course Sbode includes the ear tips in small, medium, and large, with the medium set installed on the device out of the box. Then there’s a handy instruction manual, and that’s my only complaint. The print on the instructions is so tiny I had to use a magnifying glass to read them. The headphones are lightweight, have a silicon ear hook to keep them in place, and with an easy push, slipped right into my ears.
The Sbode Sport has a few features I find very useful. When Connected to an iPad, or iPhone, a tap on the multi-function button activates Siri as well as all the features included with that digital assistant. Sbode claims a usual 33 ft of Bluetooth range. I found there was no problem listening anywhere in my 2 story house where I tested it out, no matter where I left the playback device. You can also monitor the battery life of the Sport headphones on your iPad home screen. I used the Sport headphones all day yesterday answering and making phone calls, listening to music, then left it powered on all night, and today, at noon, I still show 60% battery life–nice. Let’s talk about the rest of the features: Like the best Sport headphones on the market today, the Sbode model has an IPX-7 Waterproof rating. That means it can hold up to random splashes, raindrops, etc. It also ensures that the device will still operate after being completely immersed in water up to a meter in depth, and up to 30 minutes. Some might want to take these swimming, but I am always cautious when it comes to electronics and water. There is a USB port to power the unit. A large multi function button on the Right earpiece is there to power up/down, set up pair mode, answer or end calls, reject calls as well as redial the last number. It also works to pause/play audio files, or video files on every device tested. There are two small buttons on top of the right earpiece. They are primarily the volume controls, The “front” button turns volume down and “back” button turns volume back up. These Sbode Headphones get loud, so be careful. By holding those buttons for 2 seconds, they will skip tracks forward, or back. The Sbode Sport headphones have very simple, but very useful controls.
Listen here buddy
Being old school, my first move was to plug the Sbode Sport Headphones into a random USB power block. The red LED lit, indicating they didn’t have a full charge, as expected. It took 34 minutes to bring them to a full charge, and the Blue LED lit to indicate the full charge. I then started to pair them with various devices, to listen to music, make phone calls, and generally get a feel to what this new set can do. The Headphones are very ear friendly: I wore them for several hours, with no noticeable discomfort, or listening fatigue. After I ensured they were paired with my Samsung Galaxy, various Apple iPad models, Android tablets, and my Kindle Fire, I started my listening tests. Note: Once again, the headphones can get very loud so be careful. Extended periods spent with high volumes can do permanent damage to your hearing. I listened to a variety of music and spoken word on several different platforms including MP3 files, WMA files, iHeart Radio App, NPR ONE. The Sbode Sport headphones have an amazing audio range. I listened to pop, rock, country, R&B, and classical with no complaints. I can hear the high highs and the bass response is very good for such a small driver. These are Noise cancelling headphones and that seems to be working just fine, I’m sitting here listening to music while my 3 year old is yammering for my attention and I can barely hear him. I did connect to two devices, just to prove that feature works: While I was talking on the phone, my son started playing Cartoons on the iPad downstairs–I guess that’s not a feature for me.
Do I love them?
I’m not going to marry the Sbode Sport Headphones, if that’s what you are asking, but these will be in my ears for the next couple of weeks, at least. Great sound, easy to operate, pairs with every device I have, and very reasonably priced at Amazon. 8 hours of play time, quick charge times, and Siri? My one and only complaint is the unreasonably small typeface on the Instruction manual. 9.5 out of 10, and I never give a ten.
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*Average price is based on the time this article was published
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