I don’t think I’m alone in hating exercise, so anything that can make the process even a little less awful is a welcome addition to my routine. When Rokit Boost offered to have me review their Swage Sport Bluetooth headset I jumped at the chance, and I’m glad I did.
The Swage Sport were similarly easy to pair with my phone as the Swage 2 headphones I reviewed earlier. (Check here for the full writeup of the Swage 2.) So after giving it an initial charge as per the included instructions, the Swage Sport was ready to go.
As you can probably see in the image above, the Swage Sport has an over-the-ear design with a flexible band that wraps behind your head and connects both speakers. When you’re not wearing it, the unit folds into a pretty convenient and portable shape.
The speakers press gently up against your head and the band goes over your ears sort of like the stems of eyeglasses. One of my biggest complaints with the Swage 2 was that the speakers pressed a little too hard against my head, and it became uncomfortable after a while. The Sport doesn’t have this problem, and after wearing them for a while it’s easy to forget they’re there.
One complication I did have was that since I already wear glasses, having something else going behind my ear felt a little crowded. It’s not uncomfortable, but when I try to take the Sport off while wearing glasses, they usually come off too–and vice versa. It’s a minor sticking point, but when I’m exercising I usually take my glasses off anyway.
The right-ear speaker has four control buttons; pause/play, fast forward, rewind, and the power/phone button. They’re a great feature since you can pause or skip a track on your playlist without fumbling for your phone. It’s also nice to have tactile buttons to control a workout playlist if you’re someone who needs glasses, but takes them off when exercising.
My biggest issue with the design is the blinking LED on the right speaker. It might count as a safety feature if you’re jogging at night, but it’s a little too flashy (literally) for my taste.
The Swage Sport put out a good amount of sound. They don’t do as good a job of blocking out all other sounds as soft earbuds do, but if you’re jogging on the street that might be a feature and not a bug. They are loud enough to mostly drown out the terrible playlist at my gym, though, so they get a passing grade on volume for sure.
Volume aside, the Sport sounds great. There are occasional staticky breaks in the Bluetooth connection, but those tend to come when you’re doing something where your phone is being shaken pretty thoroughly. Running with your phone in a pocket is a surefire way to produce this interruption. I found running with my phone in my hand did an excellent job of eliminating the interference, and I’d imagine one of those armband phone holders would solve the problem as well.
Running on a treadmill worked best since I could place my phone on the little shelf. This was also a benefit because more than a few times in the past I’ve accidentally pulled my phone off the treadmill because it was tethered to my head with a wire.
The Swage Sport boasts a talk time of 10-12 hours. With fairly regular use, I only had to charge it about once a week.
As with the other Rokit Boost products I’ve reviewed, the microphone is functional and works well enough, but there’s a significant difference in quality in using it rather than your phone’s built-in microphone. I’m willing to give the Swage Sport a pass on this though, since I’m more likely to want to use the microphone on the headset if I have to answer a call while jogging or something.
We’ve tested a few Rokit Boost products in the past, and so far this is my favorite. The Sport is a much more comfortable option than earbuds, and the Bluetooth connection is more than just a convenience. A number of times when I’ve been exercising the wire from my headphones have legitimately been a problem. It’s gotten caught of some piece of equipment, or pulls my phone off the treadmill when I don’t want it to.
If you exercise a lot, these are well worth the $49.99 asking price. Even if you don’t, the Swage Sport is a very comfortable set of headphones, and it’s always nice to have one less wire to worry about. I’ve found myself using them more often than most of my other headphones just out of comfort and convenience.
- The Swage 2 trade wires for convenience
- The Rokit Boost Rectangle portable speaker is like a TARDIS of sound
- We also tested the Rokit Boost Excess 2400 battery case for the iPhone 5/5s