Hands-on review: Kuaifit K Sport wireless earbuds
Cable-free earbuds tailored for sports, with access to more than 100 audio training plans.
Everyone’s different when it comes to what motivates them to get the most out of their exercise sessions. Some enjoy having a personal trainer on hand to put them through their paces and push them beyond the point where they’d usually take a breather. Others enjoy being part of a group, whether it’s an intense spin class or a more relaxed half hour of pilates.
Then there are those for whom that whole experience is too reminiscent of school PE lessons and who prefer to plug in a pair of headphones and hit the treadmill, accompanied only by the sound of their own choice of music.
Kuaifit’s K Sport earbuds aim to hit what the company is hoping is an unexploited sweet spot between the two. Reasonably spec’ed, unobtrusive listening, good value for money, but with the USP of providing a personal workout geared to suit the user’s fitness targets.
Regardless of the digital add-ons, most potential customers are going to be most interested in how these perform as straight wireless headphones. Packaging is low-key and out of the box you get a pair of earbuds, three different sizes of ear tip and a charging cable. Unlike more expensive options there’s no case, so you’ll need to sort your own storage. The split USB cable does at least allow you to charge both earbuds at the same time.
Pairing with an Android phone was refreshingly straightforward, which is something we shouldn’t be as surprised about as we often are. If you don’t want to be completely cocooned in a world of your own, you can ‘pair’ but use just one earbud, which gives the added advantage of doubling your listening time from the three hours claimed – long enough for a workout, but not a whole day’s use – to six.
The deal breaker with buds, at least for this reviewer, has been the fit. Nothing spoils a timed run like having to track back to retrieve a little black lump of plastic, wipe it down, before reinserting and re-pairing. The snug security of these was unusually impressive, with a secure and comfortable position established after a minimum of trial and error with the supplied tips. Claimed rainproof qualities didn’t get tested, but even after a long run they lived up to their assertion of being sweatproof, staying firmly in place.
You’re not going to test the claimed Bluetooth range of 10m on the road with a phone strapped securely to your arm. Going wire-free is liberating when you’re on a treadmill or rowing machine, though, and the connection was sound, although it did break up a little as we moved around at distances of several metres.
Our tester’s usual listening at the gym or on the road is spoken-word podcasts. Sound for that was crystal clear, so we gave the 8mm speakers a go with various types of music and found the results, while not audiophile, perfectly adequate while pounding the streets.
For the record, the 3mW speakers are run of the mill spec: 32ohm impedance, 96dB sensitivity, 20kHz upper-limit frequency, distortion under 5 per cent. Once paired to your phone there’s noise cancellation and an HD microphone if you’ve got enough breath to make or take calls (which probably means you’re not working hard enough).
Sport headphones are a rapidly growing market, with a lot of competition, so a product needs to offer something different in order to stand out. Herewith the selling point of the Kuaifit K Sport, in the shape of apps for Android and iOS devices that channel audio workouts lasting between 10 minutes and an hour, straight from a phone to your ears and your ears only.
The initial purchase comes with access to these training packages for a limited time, after which there’s a subscription. Each programme has been put together by a professional who can be contacted via the app for further advice, so you’re not just paying for a straight audio commentary.
We’ve been a bit tardy with putting these through their paces, but there’s still time to sign up for a Kickstarter campaign that’s already reached its target. If the concept of a virtual personal trainer appeals, there are a couple of days left to pledge for a £22 Early Bird package that gets you a pair of headphones with eartips in three sizes, a charging cable and unlimited access to training packages for six months. A Duo Package doubles that up to two of everything for £38 and with Christmas in mind there’s a Stocking Filler offer at £76 with four sets.