It seems excessive to wear both a fitness tracker and earbuds when there are smart earbuds on the market that can monitor functions like heart rate. It is still debatable whether a wrist band heart rate monitor is more accurate than smart earbuds, but earbuds are much more convenient.
Based on its overall design and connectivity, integrated app and playtime of 4.5 hours, we recommend the Jabra Elite Sport True Wireless Earbuds as our top pick for smart earbuds.
Continue reading below to see a detailed review along with other quality smart earbuds you may want to consider.
Additionally, fitness bands like the Fitbit Charge HR have an advantage because they can be worn all day and track your heart rate any time. Even the most comfortable earbuds would feel awkward after wearing them for more than a few hours.
Best Heart Rate Monitor Earbuds
Jabra Elite Sport totally wireless earbuds with heart rate monitor
Style: Totally wireless earbuds | Play Time: 3 hours | Driver type: Dynamic | Bluetooth range: 30+ feet |NFC: No
Heart rate monitor earbuds are now totally cordless which gives you more freedom to move around and exercise. The Jabra Elite Sport earbuds are intended for active users so they are water-proof and come with earhooks to lock the buds into your ears.
Because these are Bluetooth headphones the sound is not perfect and the battery life is 4.5 hours. As the name indicates, these elite headphones have a high price. However, if you value an accurate, reliable heart rate monitor and cord-free experience, the Jabra Elite Sport headphones are worth the price.
These earbuds integrate with the Jabra Sport Life App for real-time heart rate monitoring. Registering your purchase through this app will also give you a 3-year warranty against sweat damage. (This is also true for the other earphones in the Jabra “sport” line).
Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Earbuds
Though the Jabra Sport Pulse Earbuds are slightly expensive, they serve many different functions and are a great value for the money.
Their sound quality is excellent and won’t break even if you increase the volume to the highest levels. The bass quality is pretty amazing too and allows you to feel every thumping beat. To enhance sound quality even further, Jabra headphones pair with an amazing app that delivers Dolby high-definition sound that you can control with an equalizer.
These earbuds even have a built-in heart rate monitor and long wires that are easy to maintain with the lanyard clip. The box comes with wire accessories that can be used to control the length of the wires.
The clip has a remote that controls important functions like volume, playback control, and Siri. Also, they come with three different sets of ear hooks to find the most custom, comfortable fit for your ears. The silicon tips of the earbud ensure that these water-resistant plugs stay set in your ear while you are working out, and do a great job of isolating noise.
The Jabra Sport Pulse can be used to measure many different metrics such as distance, time and calories burned. There is a built-in optomechanical sensor that sits comfortably inside the ear and accurately measures your heart rate and oxygen consumption. These sensors send this data directly to the Jabra app on your phone.
While these earbuds are quite precise when it comes to heart rate monitoring, they have shown some inefficiency when it comes to distance tracking. Another issue with this amazing gadget is the battery, as a fully charged battery won’t last more than 4 to 5 hours. While this is better than most devices, it disappoints when compared to other Jabra wireless headphones. It is a good idea to switch off the device between workouts in order to save battery life.
SMS Audio BioSport Earbuds
If you are looking for a pair of fancy earbuds with outstanding sound, you may feel disappointed with the SMS Audio BioSport Earbuds.
However, for a pair that is efficient with decent sound and multiple functions for fitness, you need to look no further.
These were the first heart rate monitor earbuds designed by Intel and come in three colors: yellow, blue, and grey.
The audio performance may seem a bit disappointing, but at such a low price they are a steal. The bass response is somewhat unsatisfactory and the beats come across as restrained. Also, the clarity isn’t impressive and sounds echoing. One positive is that the volume can go really loud. If you increase the volume to the highest level you will be able to block most of the surrounding noise.
These earbuds are quite comfortable and use wings to sit comfortably inside the ear. The cords are long and easily manageable. If you find them difficult to handle, use the wire clip that comes with these earbuds to manage the length of the cord. There are only two buttons on the remote that playback functions and turn the heart rate monitor off and on. All the other functions must be controlled through the device to which the earbud is connected.
These are wired earbuds, so the fitness features work without a battery, and you won’t have to worry about constantly recharging them. They also measure heart rate accurately with a single click of the button on the inline remote.
The right earbud has a built-in sensor that shines a light to track your heart rate. This information is sent to an app called RunKeeper and stored. Unfortunately, if you want to use these headphones for a phone call, you will have to switch off the heart rate monitor since the microphone doesn’t work while this function is turned on.
Bose SoundSport Pulse Wireless
Style: In-Ear | Play Time: 5 hours Bluetooth Mode | Driver type: Dynamic | Bluetooth range: 30+ feet |NFC: Yes | Fitness Feature: Yes
Not long after the release of Bose SoundSport Wireless, Bose announced their first smart sports earbuds with a heart rate monitor feature called the Bose SoundSport Pulse Wireless.
This pair works perfectly with familiar apps for sports like MapMyRun, RunKeeper, Endomondo, and Runtastic.
Given that this is a set for sports, the Pulse Wireless provides a solid and comfortable fit. The heart rate monitor measurements are reliable, but be sure you get a proper fit on the left earbud as this is where the heart rate monitor sensor is located.
Samsung Gear IconX (First Generation)
Samsung’s first truly wireless earbuds have a heart rate monitor to track your health. While this model has been discontinued by Samsung, there are still some on the market (click here to check availability and price of the Gear IconX on Amazon)
Their battery lasts 3 hours, less than most wireless earbuds like Airpods and Jabra Elite. If listening from internal storage, instead of paired with your phone, the battery is significantly longer. The 4GB internal storage allows users to store up to 1,000 songs.
The IconX 2 are also customized for Samsung Galaxy S8, S8 Plus, and Note 8 users, who can control playback or activate Samsung’s voice assistant by tapping the right earbud.
Unfortunately, the heart rate monitor feature has been removed from the new Gear IconX 2018 model.
Apparently, some users have complained about problems with the accuracy of the monitor on the first generation Gear IconX. If you are looking at these earbuds and are convinced they are for you, make sure to buy the first generation model and not the 2018 model which is lacking the heart rate monitor.
One to AVOID: JBL Under Armour Sports Wireless Headphone Review
Under Armour has made quite a great reputation for themselves. I’m a huge fan of the gear and love their breathable clothes and footwear for working out. So, when I hear that UA had partnered with JBL I was stoked. So, when it comes to sports accessories what about their entry into the outdoor/sports headphone category? Does it meet the quality and performance synonymous with the Under Armour brand?
Under Armour is known for their form-fitting sports clothes and it appears they applied that specializes in designing the JBL Under Armour Sports Wireless Headphones.
The headphones feel snug and secure when worn, which is a vital aspect when it comes to sports and outdoor gears. It features the TwistLock technology that basically helps them fit in your ears better. The earbuds also come in several sizes. The earbuds can be connected to MapMyRun™ to log your runs and track your performance.
However, I did find that the best option for the size is something slightly larger than what you are used to. While it made sure the headphone stayed secure in my ears, I also felt some discomfort after a while. This headphone has an IPX5 waterproof rating which helps prevent damages from sweat or from a little drizzle.
When it comes to audio quality, the JBL does an admirable job in this department. I do recommend that you switch to a dedicated wireless headset when it comes to answering incoming calls. While the sound was pretty clear on my end, the person I was speaking to did say my voice was rather unclear during our phone conversation.
Battery life is also a bit underwhelming at under 5 hours (depending on volume levels) which means it can only be used for less than half a day. Unless of course if you have a power bank, but there are dozens of wireless headphones that offer longer battery life than this.
I do believe that its main selling point is its heart rate feature and snug fit, other than that it is a pretty disappointing headphone. What makes it worse is that this wireless earbud is not cheap. You can find better quality wireless headphones in the market, but if you like the heart rate monitor feature then you might want to take a look at the JBL Under Armour Wireless Headphone.
- TwistLock technology for an optimized fit.
- Heart Rate Monitor.
- UA Record program to help you analyze and optimize your workout routine.
- Sound Quality: 8/10
- Bass: 6/10
- Build Quality/Design: 8/10
- Fit/Comfort: 8/10
- Battery Life: 3/10
- Connectivity (Bluetooth stability): 9/10
Who would this be good for?
Unfortunately, the downsides of the JBL Under Armour Wireless Headphone far outweigh its positives. While the heart rate monitor and snug fit design are certainly high points, it can be a bit uncomfortable to wear for long durations and sound quality is quite underwhelming. The price is also a bit steep for what it can offer.
- The heart rate monitor feature is a nice touch for working out.
- Has app support that lets you review your workout routines.
- Battery life is disappointingly short at 2 hours max (playing music).
- Comfort might be an issue.
- The price tag is a bit high for the level of quality it delivers.
LG Electronics FR74 Heart Rate Monitor Earphones
This model seems to have been discontinued. While it still showed on the LG site the last time we checked (July 2018) we were unable to find it for sale in any online sites or physical stores in our area.
LG has been successful with its LG tone series which features behind the neck headphones equipped with Bluetooth and great sound. Unfortunately, these headphones are limited by the fact that they are made only for music and calls. Their new in-ear set, LG Electronics FR74, is designed for sports and includes a bunch of features like a heart rate monitor.
If you are the kind of person who feels burdened by a device like a chest strap heart rate monitor, the LG FR74 is no bulkier than wearing Bluetooth earbuds. The data collected is synced with RunKeeper and some available iOS and Android fitness apps. With these earbuds, the next time you are running on the treadmill you will be able to keep an eye on your heart rate while listening to music.
They are designed for fitness, so they have soft hangers to wrap around your ear, ear tips and earhooks that work well together to keep the earbuds exceptionally secure in your ears. The ear tips are furnished with rubber tubing to make the earbuds fit comfortably in your ears. You may think that the asymmetrical design of the earbuds will cause discomfort, but they are actually quite comfortable. There is an extra flexible wing to provide support.
A lanyard clip holds the two wires together and prevents them from getting tangled. This clip doubles as a remote with buttons to control volume and playback. The Bluetooth module connects with the headphones through a micro-USB. Since these heart rate monitor earbuds use a micro-USB, they cannot be connected to a normal headphone socket.
To use the headphones, you must use the LG fitness app which tracks your daily activity including daily calorie intake, distance traveled, and steps taken. The built-in GPS can be used to track your route. Unfortunately, the app itself is slightly cluttered and messy.
One of the cons of this headphone is that the quality of the sound isn’t great. This is a let down given the high price of these headphones. The sound clarity is mediocre and the volume doesn’t reach as high as you would hope. Likewise, the bass response is missing so if you like your beats, you may not feel very happy with these heart rate monitoring earbuds. Another issue with the device is its battery. A fully charged battery will work up to 4 hours. While this is not exactly bad, LG could have created a more powerful battery.
Seven Things Heart Rate Monitor Earbuds Should Improve In The Future
- Sound quality
- Battery life
- Connection stability
- Durability: since these heart rate monitor earbuds are for fitness, so they should be built with shockproof and waterproof features
- Fit and comfort
- Sleep tracking
The Future Of Heart Rate Monitor Earbuds
- Smart earbuds are not for just listening to music, they can be a great wearable to track your health as well. One of the most wanted features is monitoring blood sugar levels, which companies like Apple are currently working on. In the near future, earbuds will be built with optical sensors to measure glucose levels in the blood.