Are neckband earbuds still relevant in 2020?
Over the last 12 to 18 months there has been a huge shift away from corded earbuds to true wireless ones. Getting rid of that strap just makes sense. So, why did Adidas buck the trend and release a corded set? Let’s have a glance.
The main culprit and argument for these types of earphones to exist is their price point. They tend to be far cheaper than their wireless counterparts. Also there’s a market for them by people that want a reasonable pair of earbuds without having to spend a couple hundred dollars for them. These people are usually the “sport” types and don’t want to ruin their prized set of earbuds at the gym, running, cycling or whatever.
We understand that Adidas is going after the cool crowd with their FWD-1. But we don’t agree with the use of the knitted cord covering which looks like they used left over material from their knitted trainers. Here’s why: these headphones are touted as being “sport” earbuds. And, what do you do when you’re engaged in some sport activity? YOU SWEAT! So why make the strap out of an absorbent material that is going to absorb all the sweat around your head and neck. This lends to the cord becoming smelly and turning yellow, becoming stiff from salt and a whole mess of over things that come with it. Think of using the same cotton shirt over and over and over again each time you’re active and sweating. Not a good picture. Sure, you can run the cord under a faucet or something – but come on. Why should we be doing that in 2020?
Props go to the Adidas FWD-01 for being IPX4 water resistant which means you don’t have to worry about rain destroying them. They also feel really durable to the touch and the build quality is good. They feel more expensive than they are. Control buttons are located on the canvas type cord and not on the earbuds themselves.
The Adidas FWD-01 have an average sound. Or the pair we got just has an inconsistent sound as ours didn’t have very good bass response at all. But feedback from other owners have said their bass was heavy to too heavy. We’re not sure if this is a quality issue from one set of earbuds to the next or what. They have passive hear-through meaning that they don’t plug your ears. You can hear noises and sounds around you. Magnets in them allow you to clasp them together around your next to prevent them from dangling.
They can be had from around $90USD.
Our review of the Adidas FWD-01 Sport EarbudsAdidas FWD-01 Sport Earbuds
- Appearance5/10 NeutralColor scheme is good but they're clunky and heavy.
- Sound6/10 AverageMids and highs came through but bass was low and muddled.
- Function & Fit6/10 AverageThey did their job and fit fine, but finding the controls on the cord can be problematic during activity.
- Price vs Value7/10 GoodYou're getting a pretty good value for you buck with these.
- Magnetic earbuds snap together
- Interchangeable ear tips and wings
- Three button remote and action buttons
- Decent Equalization via App
- Good build quality
- Canvas cotton knitted cord
- Inconsistent sound
- Chunky and heavy
- Buttons not launching Siri