- Comes in Pink!
- Great Sound Quality
- True Wireless Earbuds
- Fits nice and snug
- In Built Memory for Music
- Rechargeable Case
- Takes a while to Plug into the ear
- Prolonged Use could be Painful
- Stuttered Audio when Battery Low
- Bigger Battery in Case would be nice
Listening music is something we all love to do. It applies to everywhere we go, the situation we are in. What made the listening experience better in 2017, is companies opting in for true wireless earbuds. Samsung jumped the bandwagon last year with their IconX last year. This year, they announced their updated second generation, Icon X (2018). As an avid listener, I was using the Icon X as my primary pair of headphones. Also, my phone didn’t have a headphone jack. So, I thought of putting up for a test to see the Icon X is what we all have been waiting for.
Design & Build
In terms of design, it looks exactly the same as last year’s model. It still has the pill shaped case that pops open when you press the “Push to eject” button on the front. The earbuds with it’s dedicated slot sits just nice in the case with no problems. It has a more curvy and rounded of feel than a usual industrial design. This makes the the whole product stand out from the rest. As the bottom part of the case is flat, it makes the case stand on a flat surface really well.
Talking about the build quality, the first thing I noticed was the soft touch finish around the case. I had a constant fear whether it might get dirty or collect stains over time when I was using it. The thing is it did. But after using a wet wipe to clean, it was totally alright. Other than that, the top part that opens and closes, has a plastic feeling and the hinge feels sensitive. But the rest of the body is totally alright. The earbuds had the same shade of pink and also had a fine matte finish as well. There wasn’t any scuff or scratch marks when placing in the case by those POGO pin, which is a good thing.
Comfort & Fit
First of all, these Icon X is constructed in a way to give the best fit for people who takes their athletic game seriously. It’s also for those who just want a precise fit that actually stays in the ear throughout their day. It took me few seconds to plug into my ears but the moment it was in, it sat in so well. Possibly the best fit I’ve come across with a earbud. The extended tip which is also known as the wing tip helps in securing the fit inside the ear. No matter how you move your head, there’s a very slim chance of falling off the ears.
It wasn’t comfortable when I initially started using it. So, I had to use a tip and the wingtip of my ear size, which was included in the box. It was then comfortable. The eartip sat in a way that it creates a noise isolation, which is interesting. The sensor on the earpiece detects whether it’s inside the ear. Once it recognizes it, the earphones turn on. It was comfortable for an hour and half, after that it gave me a slight discomfort. After an hour not using it, I used it back, it felt okay. This is basically okay to use when you’re in a commute, going for a jog and so on. Doing anything else and using it for longer hours doesn’t really feel comfortable.
The IconX works both ways, either as a pair or just use one to listen/talk to. Usually, when a fitness targeted product, especially an audio product comes with heaps of compromises. It lacks bass, sound quality is mediocre and more. Of all the sports bluetooth earphones I’ve used, the Icon X sounds surprisingly good. One of the reasons why I actually enjoyed using it every single day. The bass response was pretty good and the vocals were clear enough. There were times the earphones plays only fragments of the songs, because of the connectivity. But none the less, it was alright.
On top of the listening experience, the Gear App allows Ambient Mode. This gives the option to hear the outside noise. But it felt more like a superpower where my hearing capability was enhanced. There’s slight delay in catching the sounds but other than that, it works fine. The call quality was sharp and the person on the other end was able to listen to the audio really well.
The Gear Icon X comes with Bluetooth v4.2 that’s easy to pair. The pairing button is located at the back of the case. Pressing and holding to the button, enables to pair to your smartphone. Simple and fast.
Charging & Battery
The IconX earbuds carry 82mAh battery each and the case has a 340 mAh battery. During my time using the IconX, I was able to use the buds connected to my phone for about 3 and half hours straight. After that, I had to charge it, to make sure that I have enough juice for my next music session. The case lets me charge one extra time, which is good enough.
When the buds have less than 10% of battery, it notifies you by saying it which is a lot helpful than a bunch of beeps.
One of the main highlight of these Gear IconX is it’s fitness capability. The earbuds has the capability to keep your pace in tract with the help of Accelerometer. When I take a sprint, it tends to read my pace and logs it into the Samsung Health app. Other than that, the Gear App on my smartphone shows information like the time, distance and calories I’ve burnt.
The built in Coach can be programmed to work with certain activities, like mine I set it to Light jogging Coach. Throughout the workout, it guides throughout my workout with the help of audio coaching. The earbuds have the capability to detect workout, which is good. There are times it tends to go into workout mode when when I am using it while sitting, for instance like now. It’s not that often, but alright.
The case on its own can be bulky to some because of its pill shape. But knowing the fact that it carries extra juice for the IconX was the only reason I carried with me at all times. It’d be nice if the case had an option to attach a lanyard strap, which would have been convenient.
Even when my phone was out of juice, I was still able to listen to some of my favorite music, thanks to the built in storage which let’s you carry your favorites without even needing your phone, especially when you’re lifting weights and sorts. My personal favorite is definitely interacting with the Gear IconX via the touch pad that’s located at both the ears. Which means you can choose which ever side to control your music.
Taking my music on the move is very essential to me and it became hard in 2017, thanks to the removal of headphone jacks from a lot of manufacturers. I, personally made the jump to bluetooth a while back and I carry two pairs. One for Sports and the other for casual listening. After using the Icon X, the need for me to carry two different Bluetooth headphones became really slim. Because it gave a really good sound quality and gave me the opportunity to focus more on things than worrying about the cord dangling from ear to ear or earpiece falling of my ear.
Despite it’s RM 899 premium price tag, I can strongly recommend the Samsung Gear IconX because you’re paying for a true wireless earbuds that let’s you turn off the world and immerse in your favorite tunes while you do something you love. Also, it comes in friggin pink! There’s not a lot of company that makes pink colored earbuds for the love of god.