As a big fan of wireless headphones, it can often be draining on your device especially when running multiple applications. For example, I like to keep my Bluetooth connection off on my first generation Pebble smartwatch because tracking my daily steps is more important to me than reminders which are battery killers. When I heard about the SMS Biosport Earbuds, which could monitor your heartbeart without the need for another battery to charge, I was intrigued. I’m happy to say that it met my expectations but with minor limitations.
The Biosport has an angular design with a black and yellow colorway that resembles athletic wear. Although the earbuds are made to fit snug into your inner ear, it takes a little time for the ear gels to break in. Make sure that you choose the right size gel as your ears can get sore if they are the wrong size.
A closer look at the wires reveal the heart monitor switch which activates the optical sensor that sits inside of the right ear bud. Unlike other heart monitors, this one doesn’t require any additional charging as the power is fed from your smartphone jack. While the heart symbol on the Biosport wire signifies that’s it on, what’s missing is a microphone symbol on the other side when it’s in the off position. I figured that out when I made a phone call to a friend and he couldn’t hear me until I turned the heart monitor switch off. A minor inconvenience that could have been solved with a simple image of a microphone. Another caveat is that it’s missing a volume rocker and track buttons which is simply a must have feature when exercising. The less distractions the better, and having to look at my phone to change the volume is a bummer.
Nothing can ruin a good workout more than a pair of sport earbuds that can’t keep up with your daily activity. Thankfully, the Biosport can hold it’s own wether it’s on the treadmill or on the track. These things stay put inside of your ear and are both water and sweat resistant. The cord has a flat design making them tangle resistant and the length is just enough to stay put on a treadmill tray without getting pulled out of it’s jack from a sudden move.
The heart rate monitor is a nice feature that’s a nice companion to the step counter on my smartwatch. I typically like to put in about 5,000 steps before I go about my day and being able to measure my heart rate gives me a better idea on how to modulate my workouts during those days when I can’t commit more than 35 minutes. As of now, the Biosport only works with the RunKeeper app so the heart rate monitor is pretty much non-existent without it.
Overall, the heart rate monitor performed very accurately. While I don’t have other monitors to compare it to, the Biosport gave me consistent stats that matched up with my treadmill inputs. For example, my fast walking rate would measure around 100bpm, jogging about 130bpm and running about 140-150bpm. Curiously, the heart monitor would occasionally drop out for a few seconds and restart. I assumed that it’s from the vibrations during a run but it’s happened during a slow walk as well. Also, the RunKeeper app does voiceover updates which create a minor pause in your music. If your music helps you keep pace, this feature can be jarring.
The SMS Biosport are not bass heavy earbuds, nor were they meant to be. The sound is full but not particularly detailed when compared to other models in the SMS product line. Music is fine but don’t expect to be blown away if you’re using them to watch a movie or to enjoy your favorite albums. However, because of their design, I’m able to enjoy music more while working out because they block out every other noise in the vicinity.
Once you go wireless, it’s hard to back, yet the SMS Biosport Earbuds gave me a reason to enjoy wired earbuds again. Sure the sound quality isn’t rich but it’s the self powered optical heart monitor that’s the big draw. While the Biosport has room for improvement (simultaneous microphone and heart rate monitor ability, more compatible apps, and more dynamic sound), it’s definitely worth considering if you’re looking to improve your daily activity.