Sony Smart B-Trainer biometric headphones offer phone-free running

Heart rate sensor, GPS and smart coaching make for a powerful run tracker
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Sony has got into the biometric headphones game with its running-focused Sony Smart B-Trainer sports earbuds.

The Smart B-Trainer (SSE-BTR1 as they're more affectionately known at Sony) calls on the design of previous Walkman products by offering built-in storage for music and in-ear design, but builds in six sensors and Bluetooth pairing. They're also fully waterproof.

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The sensors – including heart rate sensing, GPS and an accelerometer – are capable of running watch class biometrics all from the ear, and there's no need to carry your phone with you when you run.

It's a unique line-up of sensors in a headphone product, and what's really refreshing is that it's capable of storing up this data until you get home, so there's no need to keep your phone close by. That makes it one of the only wearable devices to offer full GPS tracking, heart rate biometrics and portable music without a smartphone.

Sony Smart B-Trainer biometric headphones offer phone-free running

There's 16GB of memory for storing MP3s, or you can pair to a smartphone for streamed music, if you don't mind carrying your handset along for the ride. If you do choose MP3s, it will cleverly match your desired pace to your tunes' bpm to give you a helping hand.

When you head out for a run, you fire up the Smart B-Trainer app, which is available for iOS and Android. There you can choose from a range of running workout styles – from fat burning to endurance training – and set yourself goals and targets. At that point you can leave your phone at home, and head out with your headphones on.

While you run, the headphones will track heart rate, burned calories, distance, time, speed, pace, cadence, steps, stride, running route and elevation which can be synced back to the app when you return.

There is also coaching insight, as the name suggests, and your virtual trainer will tell you if you're going too fast or slow. However, it will remain to be seen how effective the coaching is compared to Moov, which features a host of plans from running form, efficiency, speed and more.

Sony Smart B-Trainer biometric headphones offer phone-free running

The headphones are being full endorsed by British ex-sprinter Colin Jackson, who was keen to talk up the benefits of using tech to beat your own PBs:

'Its ability to assist with your running goals, from the planning stage through to reviewing your progress, make it a helpful companion for a runner," he said. "The automatic music selection fits the tempo of your run, which I think is a great feature and I'm excited to incorporate it into my training'.

The B-Trainer headphones are fully focused on running right now, and even through they're fit for the pool, there are no specific workouts or plans.

The Smart B-Trainer will be available in blue, black, white, pink and yellow this month. We're waiting on pricing info, and will update shortly.


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James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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