A couple of days ago, I was given an amazing opportunity to review the new NB639 Fitness Evolved Headphones from iHome and New Balance.
*Disclaimer: I was provided with a set of the headphones in exchange for a full, honest review of the product. As always, all ideas and opinions expressed are strictly my own, which I’m sure you will be able to tell below.
To start, here is what the NB639 headphones offer:
- Chronograph workout timer
- Tracks total number of steps and distance traveled
- Heart rate monitor
- Measures heart rate beats per minute and calories burned
- Real-time voiceover feedback
- Announces heart rate, caloric burn, steps taken and distance stats without pausing your music or your workout
- HeartPal™ Graphing software sorts your information by days/weeks/months, summarizes performance data, allows you to customize your results and set goals, and manages and graphs your exercise data
- Detachable ear cushions fit a variety of ear sizes to reduce background noise
My first attempt at trying out these new headphones was yesterday during my 20 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill.
(I had wanted to try them out the day before, during my lower body workout, but I realized upon opening it that they need to be charged at least 4 hours before using. Bummer.)
So yesterday morning, I got all of the gear charged and ready to go. The headphones get connected right into my iPod just like my usual headphones do, so there was nothing crazy about that.
But in the middle is where the “meat” of the product lies.
The heart rate monitor and pedometer.
Before starting my workout, I took my resting heart rate, which you do by simply pushing the button on the front of the display and placing your thumb on top.
I also made sure to change the ear cushions to the smallest size so they would actually stay put in my ears (the ones that came on it in the package were too large, and the ear hooks were too large for my ears so I just did without them.)
Then I went ahead with my 20 minutes of HIIT. What’s really about this device is that there is a voice of a woman who talks to you. So within the first five minutes, I had an update from her telling me my mileage, steps taken, minutes worked, and calories burned. She gave me three other updates during my 20 minute routine, which I realized were happening because I was hitting the front screen (this prompts the voice command).
When I finished my workout, I hit the stop button, took my heart rate again, and recorded my final results:
20 Minutes HIIT Stats
- Resting heart rate: 84 beats per minute (bpm)
- Final heart rate: 116 bpm
- 2.2 miles
- 3,117 steps
- 23 minutes (I started it a little early)
- 261 calories burned
The mileage tracked on the device was basically dead-on with my treadmill, but the calories were slightly lower. However, seeing as though treadmills tend to be more than generous with the calories burned, I’d be willing to bet that the device was more accurate.
This morning, I attempted to use the device again during my kickboxing workout to see how it would measure stats if I wasn’t physically running.
40 Minute Kickboxing Workout Stats
- Resting heart rate: 76 bpm
- Final heart rate: 110 bpm
- 2.6 miles
- 4,126 steps
- 44 minutes
- 265 calories burned
After seeing my stats from today, I’m pretty sure that I won’t bother using it if I’m not running. Since the main tracker is a pedometer, I don’t think its taking into account all of the calories being burned in the upper body (265 calories for 40 minutes of intense kickboxing seems low?). Many of the movements involve little or no movement in the lower body in kickboxing, so I’m not sure how they were being registered.
When I finished today’s workout, I plugged the device into my computer and used the HeartPal software to get a better read on my workouts.
The software was extremely easy to install, and within about three minutes of registering my name and info, I was presented with a summary of the two workouts that I’ve done so far.
There’s also other options with the software where you can set goals for distance, time, or calories burned. Since my new challenge doesn’t really adhere to these kinds of goals, I don’t think I’ll really be to concerned about that part; but for anyone who is running and/or training for a race, this seems like it would be a great tool.
Once I got what I needed, I packed it all up into the convenient storage bag where it will be ready to go until the next time I hit up the treadmill.
So, final thoughts on the NB639 Fitness Evolved Headphones:
- I’ve never had a heart rate monitor, so it was nice to be able to track
- Great for tracking distance and calories while running/walking/performing standard, forward movements
- Accurate pedometer; would also be good for everyday tracking of steps taken
- Clips easily to top or waistband of pants
- Easy-to-use software provided, offering helpful tools
- Comfortable ear cushions
- Heart rate is not continuously read – you have to do this manually
- Sound from headphones was not as clear as my normal set
- The left headphone cord is twice as long as the right (not necessarily a con, but sort of weird, and was flapping around a bit)
- Not as helpful for tracking calories when performing exercises other than running/walking
The NB639 Fitness Evolved Headphones currently retail for $99.
So now after reading about them, what do you think…
Do you think that this would be a product you would be interested in purchasing? Why or why not?