JBL continues its Under Armour collaboration with the new Sport Wireless Train on-ear gym-focused Bluetooth headphones. We don’t see nearly as many on-ears as we do in-ears in the wireless exercise realm, and the $200 UA
The supra-aural (on-ear) headphones have a rubberized contour and some heavily cushioned earpads that are lined with a black, jersey-like material. The earcups themselves have a rounded, almost octagonal shape, and the underside of the headband is also generously padded, which adds up to a comfortable fit. The gripping materials used, as well as the vented earpads and headband, are intended to keep you cool and dry during sweaty workouts, while still keeping the headphones securely in place. This, combined with the noticeable, yet comfortable pressure of the headband, makes for a very secure fit.
JBL says the headphones have an ingress protection rating of IPX4, which means they can handle splashing water, but can’t really take much water pressure (like from a nozzle or jet) and shouldn’t be submerged. Generally speaking, this is a fairly low IP rating for sports-focused audio gear, but on-ear headphones are a bit tougher to make completely waterproof. If a more watertight option is a priority, consider an in-ear pair.
On the right earcup’s side panel, there’s a power/pairing switch, as well as plus/minus buttons that control volume, and a central multifunction button that controls playback, call management, and voice assistance. JBL also opts to use the plus/minus buttons for track navigation—hold them in for a few seconds to skip forward or backward.
A built-in array of three mics allows for
There’s also a covered 3.5mm headphone cable jack—a cable with an inline remote and mic is included. Plugging in the cable automatically powers the headphones down for passive use. The included micro USB charging cable connects to a covered port on the left ear cup.
Along with the cables, JBL includes one of the nicer-looking travel cases we’ve seen. The hard-shell, zip-up case has a rubberized exterior and a carabiner attached. The headphones fold down into its interior, which also features a pocket for the cables.
Also included is a 12-month membership to Under Armour’s MapMyFitness app (it otherwise costs $29.99), which tracks your workouts. You don’t need the app in order to use the headphones, and in fact, there are no embedded MapMyFitness features on the headphones themselves—it’s simply a complimentary subscription.
JBL estimates battery life to be roughly 16 hours, but your results will vary with your volume levels.
On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the headphones deliver powerful low-frequency response that should appeal to those who get extra exercise motivation from
Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” a track with far less deep bass in the mix, gives us a better sense of the general sound signature. The drums on this track are delivered with some serious thunder—it’s not overwhelming, because the entire frequency range is quite sculpted, but the lows here are strong and lend some extra body and roundness to the drums. Callahan’s vocals are delivered with solid low-mid richness, and that richness is matched with a crisp high-mid presence that lends his voice some treble edge and keeps the acoustic guitar strums clear and well-defined.
On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild,” the kick drum loop is delivered with ideal high-mid
Orchestral tracks, like the opening scene from John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary, sound a tad beefed-up through the Under Armour Sport Wireless Train—the lower register instrumentation is pushed forward to an unnatural level. It’s at least balanced by the high-mids and highs also being quite sculpted, but anyone looking for a fairly accurate sound signature for classical, jazz, or orchestral tracks will probably be disappointed with the bass-forward approach here.
Sonically, JBL’s Under Armour