As much as we like high-end headphones, the question we get asked most often is: “what’s a good pair of cheap bluetooth headphones for the gym?” There’s nothing wrong with affordability — in our opinion, it’s one of the things that makes a good workout headphone. At under $50, 808’s Ear Canz Sport Bluetooth headphone might be priced at the upper end of “cheap”, but has the features you need for music at the gym.
The Ear Canz Sport comes with the most basic set of accessories – three sizes of silicone ear tips, a charging cable, and a mesh pouch are all you’ll find in the box. It’s available in black or neon green; for our review unit, we probably would have preferred the subtler black option, but we certainly didn’t have any problem seeing the loud green color at the bottom of our gym bag.
Using the Ear Canz Sport is easy enough. It powers on and off by holding the center button, playing some oddly low-fidelity sound effects in the process. It paired with our iPhone quickly, and we were happy to find that its volume level was linked to that of the phone. Its three-button control pod functions slightly different from that of MFi devices: tracks are changed by long-pressing the volume up / down buttons rather than double or triple-tapping the center button, which can be slightly confusing at first. We found battery life was on par with the advertised nine hours, but call quality was disappointing — sound quality on both ends was muffled and distant.
The build of the Ear Canz Sport seems durable enough for workouts. A flexible flat cable connects the two buds; at just over 12 inches, we think it’s close to the perfect length, but an inline cable shortener is included. We exposed the Ear Canz Sport to plenty of sweat during our morning workouts, and our review unit survived without a problem. Our only concern about the build is the battery cover — it’s flimsy and loose, which might prove to be a point of ingress for sweat in the future.
We also found the Ear Canz Sport to be very comfortable. They’re light enough to stay in place, but also feature integrated over-ear guides. Unlike those of the Advanced Evo X we reviewed in April, the Ear Canz Sport’s ear guides are completely flexible and reshape-able, making it easy to adjust to fit the shape of your ear. The fit is secure without being restrictive, exactly like a workout headphone should be.
There is, of course, a tradeoff — these are not audiophile headphones. Although there is nothing particularly wrong with the sound of the Ear Canz Sport, we did not find them to be extremely detailed or balanced. As expected with a sport headphone, there’s a substantial bass boost. At its best, the Ear Cans Sport accentuates the beat in EDM and hip-hop, but we wouldn’t say that these should be your daily drivers. This is fine for the intended use — not every headphone needs to be an audiophile jewel. Workout headphones should be affordable, since they’re probably the most likely to be damaged during normal use. The Ear Canz Sport fits that bill and performs respectably for its price range, though we think they’d be more compelling for a few bucks less.
Company and Price
Company: 808 Audio
Model: Ear Canz Sport