According to Philips, nearly two-thirds of active sports enthusiasts (and over 90 percent of 16-24 year-olds) are using headphones while exercising, and in a bid to take the lion's share of that market, the firm is releasing a new dedicated range of sports headphones. The focus, says Philips, is on a sporty fit, durability, great sound and new safety and hygiene features.
The Philips Sports Headphones range will start with four products, which should hit shelves in April. All of them feature USB-C fast-charging, Bluetooth 5.0 and dust, sweat and waterproofing – but the firm promises there are no fewer than 10 headphone models in the pipeline for the first half of 2021!
Ready for a quick breakdown of the incoming models in the Philips Go Sports series? The rollout will comprise the A7306 flagship true wireless earbuds, A6606 wireless neckband bone conduction headphones, A4216 on-ear wireless headphones and a more traditional wireless in-ear proposition called the A3206.
The new flagship Philips A7306 true wireless earbuds (above) combine heart rate monitoring and UV cleaning technologies, meaning they can apparently be cleansed with ultra-violet rays in just 20 seconds, once you drop them back in their case.
You get three different coloured wing-tips and three detachable ear-hooks to help with fit, 9mm drivers, two mics per earpiece for clear hands-free calls, an IP57 rating (meaning that as well as dustproofing, the buds can survive submersion in water up to a metre deep, for 30 minutes), tap-controls for playback and call-handling plus up to six hours of battery life. You get an extra 18 hours from the charging case. Thanks to fast charge, you can get a claimed hour of playback in 15 minutes.
Sports enthusiasts can also track their performance with the A7036’s built-in heart rate monitor, which Philips says is compatible with most popular fitness apps.
In addition, Philips promises users can stay safe out there thanks to a special one-tap awareness mode feature giving instant access to external sounds.
In terms of voice assistance, the A7306 supports Google Assistant and Apple Siri, and they're compatible with Philips dedicated headphones app.
The Philips A6606 sports bone conduction headphones (above) offer a different way of listening. Unlike traditional headphones, the A6606 wireless model transmits sound vibrations to the ear via the user’s cheekbones, thus allowing you to enjoy music while leaving your ears free to hear background sounds, especially in busy environments or while running alongside traffic, say. It's not a new technology, but it is the first time Philips has produced such a model.
The A6606 are designed to fit perfectly under a cycle helmet, and as an additional safety feature, the headphones include a high visibility LED light that can also be controlled via the Philips Headphones App.
Expect nine hours of playtime from a single charge, 15 minutes of charging to get one-hour playback, and a full charge in two hours.
The lightweight (but Titanium reinforced) umbilical cord completes a sleek aesthetic, which also boasts IP67 water, sweat and dustproofing.
You also get a carry pouch for easy storage and two built-in mics for taking calls.
The Philips A4216 (above) is a wireless on-ear option, with passive noise cancellation and large 40mm drivers.
The model has been ergonomically designed for extra comfort, featuring memory foam inserts with a special cooling gel for those high intensity sessions, all covered in removable and washable fabric sleeves for extra hygiene protection. They also fold inwards for easy storage in your gym bag.
A huge 35-hour playtime and quick charge feature (which boasts two hours after 15 minutes of charging) should ensure the A4216 are always ready to use, even for the most extended of workouts.
The IP55 rating means they can't be fully submerged in water but they'll survive a sweaty (or rainy) run, and there's also a built-in microphone with echo cancellation for clear calls.
Last but by no means least, for now, the Philips A3206 offer a traditional wireless earbuds design, with a cable connecting both left and right earbuds.
A choice of three interchangeable comfortable wing-tips and three ear-hooks should ensure an unshakable fit, while a Kevlar-reinforced, reflective cable promises extra safety in low light.
Also on the spec-sheet is a 13.6mm neodymium acoustic driver in each earpiece, an IP57 sweat, dust and waterproof rating, three buttons on the remote control and shirt clip, and either Google Assistant or Siri support.
All models will be available in black, from April 2021. At the time of going to press, prices are still to be confirmed, but as and when we know, so shall you...
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