These earphones make you feel like James Bond
Everything you need to know about Samsung’s truly wireless IconX earphones.Meryl D'Souza August 25, 2016
Let’s make one thing clear, whatever age group you fall under, you need Samsung’s IconX buds. Yes, you need them. Not because of its health benefits (which we’ll get to) or their snug fit. You need them because this is what you’ve dreamt of as a boy and what you never thought you’d see as a man.
It’s hard not to use Samsung’s Icon X earphones and not pretend like you’re on a covert mission to foil a loaded dictator’s world domination aspirations. We tried being mature, but when you have earphones that don’t even need a cable from one bud to the other, you can’t help yourself.
Samsung won’t get the prize for pioneering this piece of tech, that accolade goes to Bragi Dash. Having said that, Samsung’s version is inevitably more polished but is still marred by a few compromises that are down to the early nature of this category.
How do they work?
Bluetooth. With Apple planning to ditch the headphone jack and Samsung already leaving it behind in favour of a Type-C port with the Note 7, it’s evident that Bluetooth is the way to go. So you might as well invest in a decent pair of Bluetooth headphones. The buds automatically power up as soon as you pop them into your ears and take about two seconds tops to get connected and sync with your phone.
See those images? Notice the floating buds with no wires whatsoever? That’s no marketing gimmick. Samsung’s left no place for cord dangling shenanigans. Now, you – like us – are probably concerned about the buds popping out of your ear holes and losing them, but the IconX come with several eartips and wingtips to lock the buds over the cartilage in your ear. Be careful where you keep them after you’re done though. These things are easy to misplace.
The IconX buds come with a built in storage capacity of 4GB (effectively 3.5 for use) to house all your MP3s so that you don’t eat up your phone’s space. With no buttons, you just have to touch and swipe to get to your favourite track. You can transfer tracks to the earbuds by connecting the charging capsule to your laptop via USB.
Perhaps the only deal breaker is that the IconX buds only last for about 90 minutes. You could double that time by storing your music on the earbuds, but it’s still a relatively short span. To charge the buds, you place them in the charging cradle provided and connect that to a source. Don’t stress if you don’t have a source though, the cradle is equipped to wirelessly charge the buds to maximum of two times.
The IconX isn’t just there for your beat-thumping pleasure though. Samsung has made sure the buds can track, measure and record various activities and include a heart rate monitor and pedometer. With the absence of a display, the information is read to you through the earbuds. Though if you own a Samsung device, the information is transmitted to Samsung’s SHealth app.
If you’re wondering why should you care about those readings through your ear when you have a fitness band on your wrist, you should know that the ear offers an area where blood flows neatly in and out, providing a much stronger signal and less noise. Blood also flows to different parts of the ear at different rates, which can be used to measure different metrics. And because you don’t move your ears as much as your arms, it‘s easier to sort out intentional motions from unintentional ones.
Sorry Apple fans, the IconX only plays with Android devices running Android 4.4 or higher with 1.5 GB or more RAM.