A tech-lover’s guide to fitness: Why you need to go wireless

After moving to Amsterdam and becoming a tech editor at TNW, it was more than my wallet and quality of life that began expanding.

I thought biking to work would be a great way to stay fit, but with all the tram-dodging my host-city brings, there’s also the glorious side effects of having a job that pays me to sit on my ass all day.

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If staying fit is hard, losing weight feels damn near impossible.

From freelance writer to backend developer, the tech world can keep you fat. It’s easy to get sucked into the zone, spending hours on end in front of the computer without moving.

Thankfully, it’s the 21st century and not only can technology make your life easier, there are plenty of cool products and apps to counteract the coffee and pizza lifestyle.

I know I’m not the only one struggling with maintaining some semblance of a healthy lifestyle. Which is why I’m doing this ultimate guide to fitness – a column of how to incorporate the tech you love into the workouts you may be leery of.

These won’t be paid reviews – I purchase these products myself and use them for at least a month to bring you a real-world perspective. Because the only thing worse than feeling bad about not working out is buying some shitty product or app that doesn’t actually work.

See, I run
Red face and covered in sweat proves that I run

I’d hoped to start off with a review of my first wearable, but with all the talk of whether or not the iPhone 7 will have a headphone jack, I decided to tell you why I don’t give a shit if it doesn’t.

See, there are these neat little contraptions called wireless headphones. More specifically, the Plantronics BackBeat Fit

You can keep your headphone jack

After using everything from Apple earbuds to those crappy running ones with the wire in the back, going wireless has never felt so good.

True, these don’t have the same sound quality as popular Bose headphones or Bang and Olufsen earbuds, they also don’t have the price – or the wires, or weight, or anything else that makes it impossible to work out. I struggle enough trying to look normal as a jogger… I don’t need chords tripping me up.

backbeat fit
While touted as a sports device – the best workout companion to both runners and gym-rats – I use them all day, every day.

After switching between prettier, over-the-ear styles, I realized that even though the sound quality in the former was a bit better, getting wrapped up in wires just wasn’t worth it.

I will admit that once or twice a week I do lose connection, it takes a whole 15 seconds to reconnect. So for the two-plus hours a day I use these beauties, I can spare the few seconds. 

Not all ear canals are created equal

Besides the benefit of not having to detangle chords, working out with them is a breeze.

Although many Bluetooth sports headphones proclaim themselves as being workout-friendly, finding a model that is universally appealing is difficult. 

The Fit eartips aren’t designed to be jammed into your ears – these aren’t noise cancelling and it helps to hear oncoming traffic.

And even though I’m usually anti anything in my ears (thanks, mom, for my oddly shaped canals…), I only had some slight pain in the first few days. Now they’re like second skin. And at a whopping 24 grams, these sweat-proof and flexible headphones are one of the lighter Plantronic sports models.

Accidental merchandising
Accidental merchandising

These bluetooth headphones connect with up to eight devices, and double as a wireless headset thanks to a built-in microphone.

And with eight hours of listening and multitasking buttons, the Fit may be your hardest working headphones yet.

The play/pause button and volume controls sit on the left earpiece, while the power and phone buttons are located on the right side. Additional controls, such as the ability to skip songs or go back, can be accessed with a long press or double tap of the play button.

For a Bluetooth device, the Fit has a good sound quality and even delivers a decent amount of bass.

TL; DR

Bottomline, if you’re looking for a nice pair of wireless headphones, whether to combat Apple’s possible dropping of a jack or because you’re looking for a handy workout buddy, Plantronic BackBeat Fit’s comfort, design, and sound makes them some of the best available.

If you have any thoughts and suggestions, drop me a line or comment.

Next month, can a wearable really get you off your ass?

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