Review: Adidas FWD-01 Wireless In-Ear Sports Headphones

Co-created by athletes, the in-ear headphones has been designed specifically for runners and is now available in Singapore (S$249).

“Wired wireless” in-ear sports earphones from adidas: FWD-01.

“Wired wireless” in-ear sports earphones from adidas: FWD-01.

Launched jointly by adidas and Stockholm-based Zound Industries – the earphones combines the latter’s audio technology with the former’s knowhow in sports ergonomics.

My Take

A little bit pricey, the adidas FWD-01 is a pair of solid wireless in-ear headphones for runners, boasting decent audio quality, a long 16-hour battery life and the ability to quick-charge. What I liked a lot was its IPX4 rated sweat resistance.

On first looks, I like the ergonomic and minimalist design of the sweat-proof FWD-01, which weighs 26g and has a tangle-free cable that’s 47.5cm long.

The knitted fabric gives the earphones a nice shoelace appearance consistent with the fabric on some of adidas’ sports shoes.

The control buttons on the cord is easy-to-find and enables full control of all the basic functionalities of the earphones viz. play/pause, volume up/down, answer/end phone calls, power on/off or pair.

 

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Three control buttons on the right and an Action button on the left of the adidas FWD-01 wireless in-ear headphones.

An Action button is programmable (using the companion app) as a shortcut for up to three different actions, triggered by either 1, 2, or 3 clicks.

Actions include activating the language assistant and, and playing back albums, artists or playlists on Spotify.

A range of sizes for the interchangeable ear tips and wings are included to ensure a good fit.

Once I’d chosen the right sizes, the earphones fitted nicely and didn’t drop once during my jogs regardless of how hard I deliberately shook my head.

For round-the-neck storage when not listening, the magnetic buds are joined together so the earphones doesn’t slide off the shoulders and get lost.

 

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The adidas FWD-01 ships with four size options each for ear tips and wings to help you find a fit that feels comfortable in your ears.

Connection is easy and simple, and once connected, I didn’t experience any dropped connections or interference.

The FWD-01 plays up to 16-hours on a full charge with auto-pause and passive transparency – for safety, so you can still hear your surroundings while jogging on the road.

 

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I actually like the chunky design of the ear buds. The rough plastic texture makes it look somewhat rugged. The buds are magnetic for stowage.

The long battery life means you can even bring it on a long flight without worrying about running out of juice.

And if it does run out of battery, a 15-minute charge will get you 3 h 45 min of playtime, with full charge taking around 1 h 40 min.

“We’re thrilled to launch the collection in Singapore for adidas loyalists and sport-enthusiasts alike. The collection is borne from the adidas DNA, rooted in sport and the #NeverOnPause ethos. Athletes from all walks of life can now enjoy the rich sounding headphones that bring together the best in technology, design and experience,” said Christian Honegger, Chief Executive Officer of TC Acoustic, the official distributor of adidas Sport headphones in Singapore.

So the 15 minutes fast USB-C charging is good enough for most days when I forget to put it to charge the previous night.

The bass output of the headphones is well defined and reproduces with a direct bass response.

For vocals and lead instruments, the trebles show a pronounced presence and do not drop much.

Overall, the sound is very clear and has a bright character.

The output has enough reserves so that the FWD-01 can be used against a noisy background.

When connected to a smartphone, an adidas Headphones app (iOS/Android) provides a dashboard overview of the status of the FWD-01.

The app also allows for control and customisation of the adidas Sport headphones, letting users focus on their run or workout.

With the app, you can customise the five-band equaliser and action button behaviour; connect to your Spotify account to instantly start playlists, artists or albums; as well as access the voice assistant on your phone.

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