According to Philips, nearly two thirds of active sports enthusiasts (and over 90 percent of 16-24 year-olds) are using headphones while exercising, and in a bid to take the lion’s share of that market, the firm is releasing a new dedicated sports series focusing on sports-worthy fit, durability, great sound plus new safety and hygiene features.
The Philips Sports Headphones range will start with four products, which should hit shelves in April. All of them feature USB-C fast-charging, Bluetooth 5.0 and dust, sweat and waterproofing – but the firm promises there are 10 headphone models in the pipeline for the first half of 2021.
Ready for a quick breakdown of the incoming models in the Philips Sports Series lineup? The range rollout will comprise the A7306 flagship true wireless in-ears, A6606 wireless neckband bone conduction headphones, A4216 sports on-ear wireless headphones and a neckband in-ear proposition called the A3206.
The new flagship Philips A7306 true wireless headphones (above) combine heart rate monitoring and UV cleaning technologies, meaning they can apparently be cleansed with ultra-violet rays in just 20 seconds, simply by popping them back in their case.
You get three different coloured wing-tips and three detachable ear-hooks for a run-worthy fit, 9mm drivers, two mics per earpiece for clear audio, an IP57 rating (meaning that as well as dustproofing, the buds can survive submersion in water up to a metre deep, for 30 minutes), tap-controls for playback and call-handling plus up to six hours of battery life on a full charge, with an extra 18 hours on hand from the charging case. Thanks to fast charge, you can get a claimed hour of playback in just 15 minutes too.
Sports enthusiasts can also track their performance with the A7036’s built-in heart rate monitor, which Philips says is compatible with most popular fitness apps currently available.
In addition, Philips promises users can stay safe out there thanks to a special one-tap awareness mode feature giving instant access to external sounds.
In terms of voice assistance, the A7306 supports Google Assistant and Apple Siri, and they’re compatible with Philips dedicated headphones app – which, says Philips, works with the most popular sports tracker apps.
The Philips A6606 sports bone conduction headphones (above) offer a different way of listening. Unlike traditional headphones, the A6606 wireless model transmits sound vibrations to the ear via the user’s cheekbones, thus allowing you to enjoy music while leaving your ears free to hear background sounds, especially in busy environments or while running alongside traffic, say. It’s the first time Philips has produced such a design – and the company proud to present it.
The A6606 is designed to fit perfectly under a cycle helmet, and as an additional safety feature the headphones include a high visibility LED light that can be controlled via the Philips Headphones App.
Expect nine hours of playtime from a single charge, 15 minutes of charging to get one-hour playback, and a full charge in two hours.
The lightweight (but Titanium reinforced) neckband design completes a sleek aesthetic, which also boasts IP67 water, sweat and dustproofing.
You also get a carry pouch for easy storage and two built-in mics for calls on the move.
The Philips A4216 (above) is a sports on-ear wireless option, boasting good passive noise cancellation and large 40mm drivers.
The model has been ergonomically designed for extra comfort, featuring memory foam inserts with a special cooling gel for those high intensity sessions, all covered in removable and washable fabric sleeves for extra hygiene protection. They also fold inwards for easy, compact storage in your gym bag.
A huge 35-hour playtime and quick charge feature (which boasts two hours after 15 minutes of charging) should ensure the A4216 are always ready to use, even for the most extended of workouts.
The IP55 rating means they can’t be fully submerged in water but they’ll survive a sweaty (or rainy) run, and there’s also a built-in microphone with echo cancellation for clear audio.
Last but by no means least, for now, the Philips A3206 offers a wireless neckband design, ie. with a cable tying the two buds together so it’s nigh-on impossible to lose one when cycling or running.
A choice of three interchangeable comfortable wing-tips and three ear-hooks should ensure an unshakable fit, while a Kevlar reinforced, light reflective cable promises extra safety in low light.
Also on the spec-sheet is a 13.6mm neodymium acoustic driver in each earpiece, an IP57 sweat, dust and waterproof rating, three user friendly buttons on the remote control and shirt clip, and a push button to trigger voice control – with either Google Assistant or Siri at the helm.
All models will be available in black, from April 2021. At the time of going to press, prices are still to be confirmed, but as and when we know. so shall you…
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