There are thousands of earbuds on the market, and they are available in a variety a sizes, styles, and functions. While some earbuds are designed solely for music listening, others have additional features like fitness tracking.
Chest and wrist wearable devices are some of the most common types of fitness tracking devices. Chest strap devices can be accurate but often uncomfortable and bulky. Wrist devices are convenient but often spotty accuracy.
If you are looking for a tracking device that’s comfortable and accurate, fitness tracking earbuds can help you achieve your fitness goals when walking the dog or working out at the gym.
Samsung Gear IconX is a pair of earbuds that act as a music player and a fitness tracker. You no longer need to bring your phone to the gym to pull up a playlist or strap on a bulky and uncomfortable fitness tracker.
The Samsung Gear IconX earbuds store up to 1,000 tracks for the ultimate gym workout playlist, and if you need your phone, you can always connect through the earbuds’ Bluetooth capabilities.
Where other fitness trackers rely on you to press “start” to begin tracking your movement, you can set your earbuds to Auto Track mode, which begins logging your distance, time, and calories burned. Need a little motivation while running? The built-in Running Coach Feature can help you reach your goals and push yourself a little further.
These fitness tracking, music playing earbuds also track your heart rate so you always know when you can push yourself a little more or when it’s time to slow down.
Gear IconX earbuds are cordless and come in a convenient charging case. The wing tipped ear gels, and ear tips are entirely customizable and come in three sizes (S, M, L), so your earbuds will fit each time comfortably.
The ergonomic design fits perfectly in your ear, so you forget that you’re wearing the earbuds and the buds can track your heart rate accurately, even when you’re not working out; as soon as you put them in your ear, they monitor your heartbeat.
Charging the earbuds takes about ten minutes, and the battery lasts up to seven hours in standalone mode and up to five hours in streaming mode.
Gear IconX work best with Android phones, particularly if you have a device that runs Android 4.4 KitKat and above. If you have an iPhone, you should opt for a comparable earbud that is compatible with iPhones and other Apple products because while you can use Gear IconX buds with some iPhones, you cannot track or store your fitness activity.
- Setting up and connecting your earbuds to your Android phone is quick and easy. Simply download the Samsung Gear App. When you download the Samsung S Health app, you can track your fitness activity.
- Play music, control volume, and answer phone calls with a simple and easy to remember gestures on your primary earbud.
- Earbuds are sweat and splash resistant and fit snug so you can work up a good sweat without worrying about adjusting or losing your earbuds.
- Earbuds are very sensitive so they may take awhile to get used to, and you need to be careful about your gestures (swipes and taps).
- Frequent exercise may require charging your earbuds (and the case) more often, such as a few times a week.
- Full functionality and use of all features like the Health app is only compatible with Android devices.
Easy To Control Features
Many music players and fitness trackers are often cumbersome, and sometimes you end up needing more than one device when you work out. Even when you listen to music and track your workout on your smartphone, it often requires interrupting the rhythm of your workout to control the volume, skip a track, or answer a phone call.
Samsung Gear IconX buds make controlling your music and fitness tracking an easy process without forcing you to lose focus, take your eyes off of the trail, stop mid-run or slow down during a spin class.
During the initial setup, you select a primary or master bud; this earbud ends up acting as your control station. The primary bud is sensitive to touch so while it may take a little time to get used to using it as a control, it doesn’t take long for it to feel natural.
The control motions are easy to remember, and even if you don’t know all of them right away, you will get the hang of it quickly.
A single tap to the primary earbud plays or pauses a track, a double tap to play the next track or answer/end a phone call, and a triple tap will play the previous track. Tapping and holding will call up the menu or reject a phone call while a double tap and hold to play your other playlist.
Controlling the volume is a simple swiping up and down motion on the outside of the earbud. If you want a little added safety when exercising outside, simply hold your finger to the earbud until you hear the external microphone turn on. Once the microphone is on, you can hear the traffic and other surrounding noises easier but still enjoy your music.
Although earbuds are typically only thought of as a device for listening to music, the Samsung Gear IconX buds are just as reliable of a fitness tracker as they are a music player.
Not only do the easy-to-control features on the earbuds help you have a workout free from interruptions, but when you use the Health app, you can track all of your activity whether you’re bowling with friends, doing circuit training, or even intensive training for a half marathon.
There’s no need to use a separate device or app to track your activity. If you do choose to use other apps, such as Map My Run, all activity is tracked and stored in your Samsung Health app. You can look at your activity as you work out or check your fitness stats later in the day; all the information you need is stored on the app.
As long as you choose the right size of wing and ear tip for a snug fit, the earbuds monitor and track your heart rate (in your ear) accurately. Some people are skeptical about how well the earbud tracks the heartbeat, but it tends to track more accurately than other fitness trackers that slide around and become loose during a workout.
The Health app records your heart rate in real-time while you work out and you are updated every five minutes (via a voice assistant) with the duration and your heart rate. If you use the built-in Running Coach feature, you can receive exercise updates and prompts for increasing speed or if you need to push yourself a little less. The Running Coach feature is perfect for beginners and helpful to runners who are training for long distance marathons.
After your workout and you view the activity that’s stored on your Health app, you have all the information you need to customize your next workout or setting your next fitness goal. The fitness tracking capabilities of IconX earbuds takes the guesswork out of exercising.
Top Features and Specs
- Compact and Lightweight: Each earbud measures 5.9 x 19.5 x 17.9 mm and weighs 6 grams. The small size is key to a snug and comfortable fit when exercising at various levels of intensity. The charging/carrying case weighs 52 grams and measures 30.3 x 92 x 35.3mm, which makes it the perfect size for stowing away in your purse or gym bag.
- Durability: Gear IconX buds are small but durable. While you should always store them in the charging/carrying case when not using, they aren’t likely to break if drop them on a carpeted gym floor. Since they are “tuned” into simple taps and swipes, they are highly sensitive but can withstand intense workouts.
- Accessories Included: One of the major benefits of the IconX earbuds is that they are completely cable-free, which makes them a relatively uncomplicated design. The buds come with the charging case, other sized tips for a customized fit, and micro USB charging cable. Each earbud contains a 47mAh battery, and the case has a 315mAh battery.
- Fast-Charging Battery: When fully-charged, the wireless earbuds can last for at least a few hours before you need to put them on the charging station. While the battery life varies with each user, your earbuds can be fully-charged in as little as ten minutes.
- Internal Storage: IconX earbuds contain 4GB of internal storage and can hold up to 1,000 tracks. You can create multiple playlists which are perfect for various workout sessions from your morning run to your evening bike ride.
- Clear Audio: Once you turn on the music and start moving, the audio quality remains clear and stable while providing excellent balance and just the right amount of bass. If you need to adjust the volume, remember that all it takes is a quick swipe on the primary bud.
What Customers are Saying
Not sure if a cordless earbud is the right choice for your music listening and fitness tracking needs? We understand the initial hesitation, but after giving these earbuds a thorough test run ourselves and talking with other IconX users, there’s an abundance of positive feedback and many fitness enthusiasts who can’t wait to use them again.
Users of the IconX earbuds are overwhelmingly in favor of how well they fit, how comfortable they are when working out, and how they are barely noticeable and stay in place during any type of workout from running to hardcore mountain biking.
While the Gear IconX reviews are mostly positive on Amazon, the biggest complaint from some users was the need to charge the battery frequently. Some users note that after just one and a half to two hours of use, they needed to charge their earbuds in the charging case again.
Due to this charging issue, workouts are interrupted and the earbuds can’t be used for the remainder of the workout session. Frequent charging left many users opting out of wearing the earbuds altogether.
While the need to charge up a device sooner than expected can be inconvenient and put a damper on a good workout, the charge of a battery may vary for every user. Factors such as frequency of workouts and whether or not the software is updated can affect how often the earbuds need to be recharged.
Samsung’s Gear IconX music playing and fitness tracking earbuds are good alternative for anyone who doesn’t want to carry around a smartphone or wear a fitness tracking device.
As some of the more comfortable and better fitting earbuds on the market, you may be hard-pressed to find ones that fit as well when you go on a morning run or work up a sweat at when CrossFit training.
When synced up with your Bluetooth and the Samsung Health app, you don’t have to worry about carrying (or losing) your smartphone. You can also keep track of your fitness activity, look at your stats later on, and get heart rate and speed updates as you move.
Samsung Gear IconX 2016 Cordfree Fitness Earbuds with Activity Tracker - Black - Discontinued by Manufacturer
- Truly cable-free design with comfortable, stabilizing ear gels to keep the headset where it belongs and a charging carrying case, for storage and charging when not in use
- Built-in 4GB music player for phone-free listening and Built-in Fitness Tracker and Heart Rate Monitor that allow you to share your data with your device