Announcing the Jabra Sport PulseTM Wireless – world’s first stereo earbuds with integrated heart rate monitor and Sport Life App; 2015 CES Innovations Award Honouree
KUALA LUMPUR: November 11, 2014 – Take your training to the next level and get the ultimate wireless workout with Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless earbuds and Sport Life Application.
Award winning Freestyle footballer, Nam the Man proved this point with his energetic performance during the launch of the Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless recently held at the True Fitness Gym, Jaya 33, Petaling Jaya. Nam also wowed crowds when he demoed the Jabra Sport Wireless – performing some thrilling freestyle moves at Radioshack, Mid Valley Megamall.
This all-in-one training solution is a world first, combining an in-ear biometric heart rate monitor, immersive Dolby® sound and real-time voice coaching, to inspire you to achieve the impossible. Cut the clutter and experience true freedom of movement without compromise.
Training the Smart Way
Jabra’s intelligent Sport Life App ensures you get the most out of your Sport Pulse Wireless earbuds with integrated heart rate monitor, helping you to plan, track and evaluate your workout. Test your fitness level and aerobic capacity; adjust your heart rate zone to optimise your training and set goals based on distance, time or calories burnt.
“Jabra has a strong legacy of innovation in hearable technology and Sport Pulse Wireless is no exception. These are world’s first earbuds to have an integrated heart rate monitor, heralding the next generation of intelligent audio solutions for fitness fanatics that allows our customers to maximise & precisely control their fitness programs based on their desired training zone,” said Ann Goh, Sales Director for Central Asia, Consumer Solutions, Jabra.
Free Your Workout with Premium Wireless Sound
Get motivated by listening to your favourite songs the way you want to hear them with a customisable and powerful Dolby® enhanced sound experience that delivers world-class wireless music performance. Personalised audio coaching provides feedback on your workout every step of the way, letting you control your music and your training within a single app.
As Tough As You Are
Focus on your workout without distraction – Sport Pulse Wireless earbuds are built to take a pounding. Tested to the extreme, they are sweat and storm-proof, so there’s no excuse for missing a training session. Ergonomic Audio Response ScienceTM technology ensures a secure, comfortable fit that’s lightweight in a compact design to keep you focused on your training, bringing you one step closer to exceeding your goal.
Track Your Workouts with Medical Accuracy
Jabra commissioned Campbell University in North Carolina, USA to independently verify the performance of the heart rate monitor technology for fitness and active usage. The comprehensive trial included runners on a treadmill and simultaneously tested Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless against a medical electrocardiogram (ECG) machine. The results clearly showed an extraordinary accuracy, proving the advanced nature of the Jabra in-ear heart rate technology.
Part of the Jabra Wireless Sporting Family
Sport Pulse Wireless earbuds continue Jabra’s tradition of world-firsts, building on our solid heritage of superior sound engineering. They enhance our family of wireless audio solutions for people who’re serious about sport, complementing the award-winning Jabra Sport Rox Wireless and Sport Wireless+ earbuds.
Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless will be on sale in stores from November onwards at a price of RM799. The product will be available at all Machines, Connect Store, Radio Shack and Harvey Norman around the country.
Jabra is the brand name of GN Netcom, a subsidiary of GN Store Nord A/S (GN), listed on NASDAQ OMX. Jabra employs approximately 925 people worldwide and, in 2013, produced an annual revenue which amounted to DKK 2,612 million. Jabra is a world leader in the development, manufacturing and marketing of a broad range of communications and audio solutions. With a reputation for innovation, reliability, and ease of use that goes back more than two decades, Jabra’s consumer and business divisions produce corded and wireless headsets, plus mobile and in-office speakerphones that empower individuals and businesses through increased freedom of movement, comfort, and functionality.
Until recently, little did I know that we have a Malaysian company which is in the business of supplying such tags. Calling itself Malaysia Military Tag (MMT), the company specializes in making customized identification tags. Other than the macho military style tags, there are also ultra durable paracord bracelets, emergency bracelets, keychains and personalized windscreen stickers. Because these folks are local, the prices are all lower making it very accessible to everyone.
Ordering is as simple as heading on to their website, select your material, size and color preferences, enter the texts you want embossed (MMT say this makes it more durable than engraving) and upload your personalized image.
MMT is not a new company. In fact, they’ve supplied large quantities to corporations and individuals, and from the reviews, providing good and responsive service shouldn’t be an issue.
For more about the Single Standard Military Tag, head on to the product page [link] Street price: Rm25.00
For more about the Single Logo Identification Tag, head on to the product page [link] Street price: RM29.00
The good people in Malaysia Military Tag have sponsored 3 Single Standard Military tags and 2 Single Logo Identification tags for this blog’s giveaway. The raffle opens Nov 13th 2014 12am (Malaysian time) and ends Nov 16th 12am (Malaysian time). As always, the draw will be randomly determined via Rafflecopter. Here’s how the it works:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: Malaysia Military Tag is an advertiser on this blog. However, I receive no payment nor commission for the running of this giveaway
Like a bolt (ooops!) out of the sky, the soon-to-be-in-stores Skechers GOrun Ride 3 Bolt (GRR3 Bolt/Bolt) landed on my laps quite suddenly last Friday. Because it was so totally unexpected, I braved the Friday+Downpour+5pm-KL-Traffic phenomenon to fight my way to the Skechers office after work.
Let’s get on with some of the nuts and bolts (ooops again!) of, ummm, the Bolt.
You wouldn’t be wrong if you dismiss the Bolt, just by looking at the photos, that this is another example of a wolf in a sheep’s clothing. After all everything other than the eye-catching upper’s the same as the GRR3 [my review of the GRR3 here].
But then, there’s the knitted fabric upper. As it is, the upper found on the GRR3 is already well made, as with most of the Performance series’. FitKnit isn’t unlike other knitted upper that’s marketed by other sports companies and I’ve worn several of those (and liked them a lot too). It’s basically iterations of stitching technology that see a tighter weave around the stress-zones, for example, the toebox, heel counter and flex areas. The result is a single piece seamless upper that has good breathability.
In terms of weight, the GRR3 (with sockliner) sits between the Bolt with and without the sockliner. Even at its heaviest 8.9oz for US10, the Bolt is featherweight compared to Zoom Elite 7, Pegasus 31 and even lighter than the Boston Boost 5 (review coming up).
If you’ve not worn any shoes with a knitted upper before, you’d be interested to know that there are subtle differences to the wear experience. Due to the absence of overlays, you’ll discover a little bit more real estate in the toebox. Indeed, my US10 felt roomier than usual. My first run in the Bolt was a hilly 12.5K. I didn’t lace up as tightly as I normally do when I race. While my feet didn’t slide to and fro even when I hit the downhills, there was a slight sideway movement in the forefoot region. There wasn’t any blisters though, and there was room to lock down the lacing further. No real issues but I just thought it’s something worth mentioning to guide you when trying the Bolt out.
Interestingly, as opposed to other brands’ knitted uppers, Skechers FitKnit retains the stretch properties used in the mesh models like the GRR3. There’s not a stitch on the Bolt that adds to a stiff wear experience, even where the knit are most dense.
Coming into the scene late in the adoption of knitted uppers, Skechers GOrun Ride 3 Bolt expands the brand’s tradition of great uppers with FitKnit. The result is an all-round improved package for the runner in the tradition of the GRR3. Those looking for a lightweight cushioned trainer suitable for up to the marathon distance should check them out. They’ve the looks to go with jeans and will make an excellent and versatile shoe. Wherever I travel to, I’ve always packed an extra pair of running shoes for my exploratory runs. With the Bolt, it will serve as a 2-in-1, suitable for sightseeing and putting in the mileage while traveling.
The Bolt will hit the local stores from this weekend and will retail for RM419 (men) and RM399 (women).
Disclosure: The Skechers GOrun Ride 3 Bolt is a media sample provided by Skechers Malaysia. I’ve only put in approximately 20K in them but the ride is similar to the GRR3.
This is the final part of my take on the Samsung duo of Galaxy S5 and Gear Fit. If you’re interested to find out more about my usage of the devices, follow the links below:
First impressions| HRM, Distance Tracking and Coaching Functions
So after more than 2 weeks, what’s my take on the S5+GF combo? As mentioned in my earlier posts, I don’t bring along my phone when I go out running, so my time was mostly spent with the GF. Since I’m not an Android user, I stay away from delving too much into the interface. Where menus and UI are covered, it was done from the angle of usability rather than technical aspect. With that out of the way, let’s get things going.
What I like:
Could be better:
There you have it, a runner’s take on the GF. It’s Samsung’s first real dip into the lifestyle tracking segment and a decent entry at that. It’s the glaring misses, no doubt, include the lack of integration with online communities or for that matter with other exercise apps on the phone such as Endomondo, Runkeeper or MapMyRun. Having said that, there are a many fitness enthusiasts out there who run with their smartphones and who aren’t anal about tracking their exact mileage nor need perfection in their measurements. These group may find the GF a logical accessory to their Samsung smartphones. The competition in this segment is stiff, both in pricing and features. The S5 is currently going for RM1,999 (16GB LTE model) and Gear Fit RM599. Unfortunately there are no bundled pricing.
Disclaimer: The Galaxy S5 and Gear Fit were media review units courtesy of Samsung Malaysia Electronics (SME) Sdn. Bhd. No payments nor complimentary devices were given in exchange for this series of postings.
Note: I posted my first impression of the Samsung Gear Fit and Galaxy S5 here, so that could be your starting point.
I’ve since spent a week with the duo and gotten more at home using either gadget. The GF pretty much stayed on my wrist throughout the day, silently recording my steps, exercises and sleep. The function I use most often is the Heart Rate (HR) sensor as well as the Pedometer. The rest, not so much other than poking around. Prior to this head-to-head test, I wasn’t too impressed by the HR readings of the GF. The readings ranged from low to mid-50s (waking up), 70s (middle of the day), stressful meeting with the boss (70s) and while working at the desk (60s). Since the only time I ever monitor my HR is when I run, I found these readings strangely low. There’s only one way to find out – a throw down! In the mix, the Garmin 620.
I strapped on the Garmin HRM chest strap, stood in place and started the watch and GF. The following photos show the recording. Photo was taken by a bemused colleague.
Being a geek, it’s an anomaly that until last weekend, I’ve not owned nor had the opportunity to use any Android devices. So it was an opportunity not to pass up when a chance to get to know two of the latest offerings from Samsung came along. Although I’ve worn the Nike Sportband some years ago (review page), living and sleeping with not only one but two devices. Talk about two-timing!
The two in question are of course the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Gear Fit. I need to preempt the reader that I’m not setting out to review the S5 in the manner of the experts at GSM Arena, Techradar and Trusted Reviews. If you’re curious as to what lies under the hood of the phone, you’d best click on each of the link I provided. Instead my goal is to give a fair take on what amounts to the tech giant’s first take on wearable fitness devices. You may ask why first when the smartwatch the first version of the Gear has been around for more than a year. That’s a valid question which has a simple answer. The Gear is quite simply an extension of the phone whereas the Gear Fit goes beyond the functionality of complementing the phone by incorporating much more features devoted to keeping an active lifestyle.
With that let’s get some of the (very) basic features out of the way:
The way geeks work when confronted with an entirely new gear, is to do away with any reading material or online reference. Very gung-ho, I might add! Just figure things out on our own because, you know, reading is such a waste of time! Better dig into the gear, right? After all, not reading the manuals beforehand would be akin to put the gear through a usability test. Unless, of course, we run into a wall. Common sense dictates that both devices need charging before the test drive. So both were plugged into the USB adaptor and left to charge overnight. To charge the S5, one has to peel away the weather-sealed flap of the port before plugging it into a power source while the Gear Fit (GF) snaps onto a clip. It’s a little tricky in getting a secure hold between the GF and the clip. I found that I had to press on a little firmer to achieve a good latch. Otherwise you’d find that the device wasn’t charged a single bit the next morning, as I’d found out to my detriment!
Once the devices were charged, the first thing I saw on the GF when I powered it up was the message to update its firmware, so I promptly got that done. The updates were installed speedily enough on the S5 and eventually transferred to the GF via Bluetooth. There were enough screen prompts to move me along the way. If you’re a Mac user like I am, there’s an added component you should be downloading – Android File Transfer (AFT). While not having any implication to the usage of the GF, the AFT app will facilitate the transfer of files such as photos, videos and documents between the S5 and Mac. You can download the AFT app from this link.
By this stage I was really, and I mean really, eager to start using the gear. But before that there were just a bit more to do. The GF allows for a wide range of customization when it comes to the interface from the wallpaper, vertical/horizontal orientation, page order, types of alerts to flash and more. The following screen shots give you a teaser of what you could do.
With the setup and some major poking around done, I was ready to give the gear a run out – or rather a sleep-in – because it was already late into the night! To engage the Sleep tracker function, just scroll along and hit the Sleep option and off you journey into Dreamland. Below was how I fared, when I checked the stats. Not too bad.
By the time I checked the S5, the stats were already transferred to the phone in a seamless fashion. I also wore the GF during the Larian Hijau but I bungled the tracking – instead of selecting Exercise>Running, I accidentally triggered the Pedometer function, which resulted in some pretty darn impressive numbers! The GF has no ambient light sensor (hence the screen brightness control isn’t automatic), you can manually toggle the brightness settings on the device.
On weekdays, with the GF on my wrist, I was more conscious of taking walk breaks away from the desk. I’ve observed that on several occasions there were lag times of several seconds (even if I’ve started moving) from the moment the pedometer function was started till the counting of the steps actually commenced. Otherwise the counter worked in tune with each step I took.
There are several ways to view the logs, hourly (if you’re one who micro-manages your life), daily or monthly. It would be better served if the “Hour” option be replaced with “Week”. IMHO, hourly tracking is only useful if the device is able to provide hourly alerts to, well, get off the seat and take a walk.
That’s it for now, my first experience with the S5 and Gear Fit. In my next post, I shall try to compare the accuracy of the HR recording and distance tracking of the S5-GF combo against the Garmin FR620 besides exploring the guided coaching features.
I was on the lookout for possible footwear in the weeks leading to Starlight (race report here). because, believe it or not, I didn’t have a pair that met my criteria for a road ultra: lightweight (under 10oz), breathable, not over-engineered, perfect blend of responsiveness and cushioning (meaning, not ultra soft), medium-stacked, with just a hint of structure/support to carry me as I straggle like a zombie towards the finish. Oh boy, was I in for a surprise. Little did I realize that I am that hard to please when it comes to shoes!
The original plan for Starlight was to go with 2 pairs – the GRU Nite Owl for the first half before swapping it for the Kinvara 5 Runshield for the second leg – but I finally decided to keep things simple by going with a single-pair approach. The GRU wasn’t an option as in the lead up towards the race, it caused some blistering on the top of my 4th toe. I even contemplated cutting out a hole where that problematic overlay ran over. The last time this happened was when I wore a overly small GR3. I was puzzled that this cropped up in a correctly sized GRU. The crucial question was then, “Which pair should I go with?”. The Strada and the regular version of the Kinvara 5 weren’t available as well.
With a few days to D-Day and in desperation, I’d tried on the asics Excel 33, Electro 33, adidas Revenergy Boost (photo). I found the silky smooth Revenergy too heavy (felt like over 10oz for my size 10) to be carrying over 84K, while the 2 asics just didn’t feel quite right and a little too thin on the forefoot midsole. I also checked out the several Nikes but they also felt off.
Just when I was this close *holding up my thumb and index finger* to giving up, I chanced upon the adiZero Ace 6 (aZA6). The aZA6 weighs under 9oz for my US10, which makes it lighter than the GRU, DS Trainer 19, Revenergy Boost, Zoom Fly, Zoom Elite 7, Pegasus 31 and Launch. More importantly it felt just right in the store – not too snug in the midfoot, sports a roomy forefoot (a shocker since adidas typically runs narrow) and has a little toe spring. It also didn’t feel like one with a high offset, more like between 6-8mm.
The upper of the aZA6 shares the same design philosophy as GR3 and GRR3 – simple, minimal overlays over just the necessary areas. Interestingly, there’s an area just behind the forefoot flexpoint that is a little stretchy allowing the foot to splay further. This small area is reminiscent of the Biomorphic Fit found on the DS Trainer 9. The entire upper of the aZA6 down to the laces, tongue, padding, heel counter, is likewise kept simple. In all the miles that I’ve covered in the shoe, I’ve found the ventilation to be excellent.
Midsole is typical adidas with the firmer adiPRENE®+ employed in the forefoot and regular adiPRENE in the heel for cushioning duties. Where the Boost midsole accords a smooth and cushy ride, the adiPRENE setup creates a more responsive ride. It has that snappy feel to it, though not to the extent of the GOspeed.
adiWEAR material can be found in the high-wear areas while the lighter Quickstrike in the other areas of the outsole. Sticky rubber is well deployed on sections of the outsole and I’ve found the forefoot grip to be astonishingly good. I certainly felt very assured wherever I ran, even on wet surfaces. Exposed midsole foam are evident throughout the outsole too. There’s a tiny strip of TPU which I don’t think serves any purpose due to its size. If I had a say in the design, the strip wouldn’t have found its way into the shoe. Flexibility is, however, just average.
The ride? The aZA6 is somewhat similar to the Wave Rider 17 but definitely firmer than the Kinvara 5 and Boston Boost. While I wore them over 84K, alternating between running and walking, it’s definitely a shoe that’s more suited to faster-paced running. I’ve also found that I needed to lace up tighter in order for the shoe to lock down better. Although there were no blisters post-Starlight, my feet slid back and forth a fair bit especially on the descents.Lacing up tightly wasn’t an option at that time due to foot swelling encountered over the course of an ultra. The aZA6 would definitely be more comfortable tackling quicker-paced runs and marathons than slow burns.
All things considered, the Ace 6 would find itself in the company of traditional performance trainers such as the Kinvara 5, DS Trainer 19, Zoom Elite 9, Zoom Fly, 890 v4, Launch, Wave Rider 17, Wave Sayonara 2. At 9oz for the US10, the aZA6 is the lightest of those I mentioned above. However, if you prefer an even lighter, softer and way more flexible option, you won’t go wrong with the GOrun Ride 3 (8.7oz).
It needs to be mentioned here that I’ve never taken to adidas shoes, even as a shoe geek for 15 years. I’ve found their training shoes to be too narrow, too clunky and heavy while their racing shoes too hardcore (read: ultra minimalist, firm). Lately the company seemed to have made some good moves addressing the middle ground. I’m impressed with the Boost midsole material. Its durability (my Energy Boost has logged over 300K with the outsole showing hardly any wear and tear) and that of the adiWEAR outsole is excellent. Of course, durability without a ride that fits the wearer is pointless. The Ace 6 thankfully has that. It won’t make waves in the running circle because it’s an understated shoe. Added to that, it’s not easily available.
I’ve logged over 110K in the adiZero Ace 6 and the shoe is available from the adidas boutiques in 1Utama and Sunway Pyramid for RM360. Information is scant on the Ace 6 unfortunately, but head on to the brand’s UK site and you’ll be able to see it there.
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