Update: 4/5/17 After these earbuds for a few months the Bluetooth connection started getting a little finicky and they didn't always charge correctly. I ended up accidentally washing them after forgetting to take them out of my gym shorts pocket. I have to say that I wasn't exactly disappointed when I had to let them go.
Music is an integral part of my workout. The right tunes can get me amped for an intense lifting session even on a day when I previously had zero motivation.
But I was getting incredibly tired of headphone wires that turned into a tangled mess no matter how neatly I put them away.
I was frustrated with the earbuds getting yanked from my ear every time I bent down for a deadlift. And then there was the sweat factor.
I would typically run my wired headphones under my shirt to keep them from snagging, but this just created a superhighway for sweat to travel along and cause a wet spot on the front of my shorts.
Fed up with these annoyances, I hit the internet in search of the perfect pair of wireless earbuds.
“Wireless” vs Truly Wireless Earbuds
Most of the “wireless” options available seemed to offer decent performance, but they were still tethered to each other by a wire with an aesthetic that makes the wearer resemble a cyborg – not exactly my style.
Then I came across truly wireless earbuds!
If these things work as advertised, my headphone woes would be a thing of the past.
As I dove in to the market, I discovered that most of the truly wireless earbuds had mixed reviews (around 2 out of 5 stars!).
But I weeded through them all and decided to put my money on the highest rated in the bunch, the Rowkin Bit Charge.
Rowkin Bit Charge Review
The Rowkin Bit Charge kit includes earbuds, portable charging case, cable, and 3 sizes of rubber tips.
I've been using my Rowkin Bit Charge (my first truly wireless earbuds) for about a month now and have to say that while they're great at home or on the train, I think they truly shine as a gym headphone.
Rowkin Bit Charge Features
From the outside, the design is simple with only a single button and tiny flashing light per earbud, but they're packed with features.
In addition to the earbuds themselves, you also get a carrying case that doubles as a portable charger.
Rowkin Bit Charge Earbud Features
- Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity
- 3-hour battery life
- Works as a hands-free headset
- IPX5 waterproof (can easily handle water, as long as it isn't high pressure)
- Compact design, about the size of an earplug
Rowkin Bit Charge Carrying Case Features
Earbuds are held in place magnetically while charging in their carrying case.
- Charges earbuds during storage
- Recharges earbuds up to 15 times without plugging into a power source
- Doubles as a backup cell phone charger
- Magnetically holds earbuds in place
- Charging plate retracts to protect earbuds within the case for travel
The internal charger slides in to protect the earbuds.
When you consider all of these features, you end up with a pair of truly wireless earbuds that come in a protective carrying case that charges your earbuds and only needs to be plugged in every couple of weeks.
This means that they stay right there in your coat pocket or gym bag when you need them, fully charged and ready to go.
The Rowkin Bit Charge acts as a backup charger for your other mobil devices.
Rowkin Bit Charge Performance
Wireless earbuds are generally regarded as a neat idea that doesn't work very well in real life.
But today, while cooking tacos and listening to my new headphones, I decided that I needed to get out some of my thoughts about their performance.
I walked into my living room, popped open my laptop, and began to write.
What I didn't consider was the fact that I was more than 20 feet from my iPhone (the music source) and separated by a wall.
Yet there I was, with the Rowkin Bit Charge is still playing music exactly as when I was standing right next to my phone.
At the gym, they work within about a 40-foot range meaning I can leave my iPhone safely at the front desk and enjoy my music throughout most of the gym. Actually…
The Rowkin Bit Charge May Be The Perfect Gym Headphones
- No wires to untangle, clean, or run under your clothing
- Sweat-proof design
- You don't have to wear or carry your music device
- Compact design
- Secure fit
I did have some trouble with them outside. I tried wearing them while raking leaves with the music source sitting on the front porch, but they were cutting in and out when I got more than 10 feet away.
They worked fine with the phone in my pocket however, so they should be fine on a run or bike ride outdoors.
As far as fit goes, I haven't had any issues with them falling out even during body jarring power cleans.
They also come with three sets of rubber tips to ensure a proper fit for your ear.
Rowkin Bit Charge Sound Quality
DO NOT BUY THESE EARBUDS FOR SOUND QUALITY ALONE.
You won't feel the bass in your chest and the treble won't dazzle you, but the sound in between is clear as a bell.
I listen mostly to Hip-Hop while working out, so the lack of bass is a negative for me, but you can coax a little thump from them as long as you crank the volume.
For other types of music and Podcasts, they're just fine.
The noise cancelation is even good enough that I can hear them in most environments on the lowest volume setting my iPhone has, making them a good fit for the office.
Rowkin Bit Charge Overall Thoughts
If you can accept the fact that you aren't paying for the sound quality as you would with a pair of large over ear headphones, but rather convenience, functionality, and style, then these are the earbuds for you.
Also, I suspect that the bass issue can be improved, so I'm currently searching for an iPhone EQ app that I can use with streaming music but everything I can find only seems to work with the music library.
If you have any suggestions, please let me know.
If you're seeking freedom from tangled headphone wires and are tired of having your earbuds ripped from your ears when the cord inevitably snags on something, I really recommend you check out the Rowkin Bit Charge.
All the best,