Sam­sung Gear IconX

HWM (Singapore) - - Contents -

Sam­sung’s Gear IconX is a stylish, mod­ern look­ing set of wire­less ear­buds that also func­tion as a fit­ness tracker. Like the Jabra Elite Sport, it comes with an ac­celerom­e­ter and a heart rate sen­sor for track­ing your ac­tiv­i­ties, how­ever th­ese fea­tures only work on An­droid, so iOS users will only be able to use th­ese for listening to mu­sic.

One thing the Gear IconX of­fers that none of the oth­ers do is 4GB of on­board stor­age (listed as less than 3.5GB us­able) that you can use to store mu­sic tracks in MP3, M4A,AAC, WAV and WMA v9. This means that you can use the ear­phones with­out your phone, al­beit with­out app support, it gets tricky as the head­phones use only touch con­trols. Go­ing through a playlist with some 40 songs in it with­out vis­ual support? Not easy.

Still, that would be the rec­om­mended way to go for au­dio, as stream­ing au­dio from your phone gives you a mere 1.6 hours of play­time! That’s hardly enough to get you to the gym and back, much less through a full work­out. The fact that the ear­phones ac­ti­vate au­to­mat­i­cally once the case is opened also means that you could quite eas­ily ar­rive at the gym only to find out that the bat­ter­ies of your ear­phones are flat.

When it comes to au­dio qual­ity, it’s re­ally a tale of two modes. Stream­ing au­dio from your phone gives you tinny au­dio with per­for­mance tilted to­wards the high tre­bles. For ex­am­ple, listening to Heaven by John Leg­end via stream­ing leaves you with only the vo­cals; the pi­ano ac­com­pa­ni­ment is muted at best and you can barely hear the other back­ing in­stru­ments.

Take the time to trans­fer the file to the in­ter­nal stor­age twice (the same song has to be on both ear­buds to play), and the mids and lows are some­what re­stored, only the mids are un­nec­es­sar­ily boosted on play­back. For ex­am­ple, on Adele’s Melt my Heart to

Stone, her vo­cals are pre­sented so for­ward that it com­pletely over­whelms the back­ing in­stru­ments. The head­phones do per­form rea­son­ably well on faster mov­ing dance tracks, but over­all the ex­ces­sively bright sound sig­na­ture means we’d stay away from pieces that have high mids and tre­bles.

The cas­ing for the Gear IconX is most com­pact, mak­ing it easy to trans­port.

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