Headphones are supposed to do one thing, first and foremost: sound great. But as they’ve become a must-have during workouts, we started expecting more from them. We want earphones that are sweat-proof also, that have long-lasting battery, pair easily and work with our third-party apps. We even want earphones that can measure our heart rates. TCL’s latest earphones happen to check all these boxes in a stylish, sporty packaging.
For us, the ACTV200BT earphones stood out from similar neckband audio devices thanks to a feature only chest and wrist gadgets usually have: heart rate monitoring. In fact, the main reason I got a fitness band was for the heart rate monitoring so imagine my surprise when TCL showed us a pair of earphones that can do the same thing and more.
How are these earphones capable of measuring your heart rate? Due to a non-contact ActivHearts™ technology comprised of a multi-sensor system (infrared LEDs and other sensors). This tech lies in the acoustic tube of the right earpiece and works continuously, without interrupting other activities, like listening to your tunes.
The best part is that you don’t have to slow down to check your smartwatch and see how you hold up against your targeted heart rate zone. The earphones just transmit audio feedback, letting you know where you stand.
I can’t say it replaces the need for a smartwatch or fitness band, since many of you still need it for at-a-glance fitness notifications (calories, pace, etc), calls and texts. However, it does make taking your watch on every run less of a necessity.
More importantly, it shows the potential of headphones beyond audio. Thinking outside the box to advance current tech while striving to offer a better user experience is one of the things we value most here, at TechTheLead.
Besides, the ACTV200BT do not disappoint as audio devices. The pair has an 8.6mm speaker driver and passive noise isolation and IPX4 rating so nothing will spoil your sound experience.
The battery should last around 14 hours or 6 hours with the heart rate monitoring enabled at all times.
The design offers maximum comfort; the oval shape really helps keeping them stable as you move. The ear hook is more than welcome during runs or interval training. Overall, they’re pretty light (despite the neck cable) and yet more secure than your run-of-the-mill earbuds.
The ACTV200BT earphones come in two color schemes, black and white, with the price yet to be announced. Based on previous models, though, it should retail for under $50.
This is one of several products that have won a TechTheLead Award, after being carefully selected by our editorial staff from all registered entries. Special Awards have been given to products and companies that the editorial staff hand-picked for their outstanding features. The TechTheLead Awards go to products/companies that embody at least one of the following criteria: most innovative features, most compelling use cases, best price versus quality ratio, best user experience, most positive impact for user and society.