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Tech & Wearables

Unboxed: JBL + Under Armour Flash X Headphones

JBL + Under Armour's Flash X headphones last forever and are effectively waterproof—they also have two big features meant to keep you safe.

As solitary training becomes more of the norm, triathletes are increasingly turning to different ways to occupy their minds while they work out. Though not everyone might feel safe (and some people really shouldn’t) wearing headphones while they’re out riding or running, sports Bluetooth headphones are getting smaller, sound better, and have way more ride/run-specific features than they did even a few years ago. A perfect example of the “featured-out” Bluetooth headphone is the new collaboration between JBL and Under Armour, the Flash Xs. Though they’re not quite suitable for swimming (Bluetooth works notoriously terrible underwater anyway), these sweat- and element-resistant buds’ claim to fame is that they last 10 hours on a charge and a staggering 40 hours when stored in the carrying case that houses a built-in battery. Also, these tiny headphones have two big tri-features: a “Talk-Thru” mode that reduces sound and uses external mics to amplify people’s speech and “Bionic Hearing” that allows you to hear your surroundings better while listening to music.

Check out our video above for the full unboxing, or scroll down for some quick takeaways.

First Impressions

JBL + Under Armour Flash X Headphones: $170; underarmour.com

What I Like About The JBL + Under Armour Flash X Headphones

  1. “Talk-Thru” and “Bionic Hearing” are two big features that would make headphones safer while outside.
  2. Ten hours is a lot of listening time, 40 hours is crazy.
  3. Three included tips mean you’ll be able to find good fit.

What Makes Me Worried About JBL + Under Armour’s Flash X Headphones

  1. The manual didn’t say anything about on-ear volume control.
  2. $170 ain’t cheap.

Final Thoughts

  1. For me, I wouldn’t train outsdoors with headphones unless they were open-ear or had the functions that the Flash X’s have, so this is a step in the safer direction.
  2. The two technologies mentioned above shouldn’t replace common sense when training with music.
  3. The fact that JBL is involved makes me excited to hear these in action, as so many sport buds are not made by audio brands.