We at Wareable have pretty strict rules as to what, and what doesn't, constitute wearable tech. Our tag line 'Tech for your connected self' does a good job of explaining what should make it through the filter.
It's not enough for a device to be simply worn - it needs to connect, to do something more.
On that note... headphones. Bluetooth headphones are NOT connected tech. Not in our definition of the word, at least. And, despite us being pitched tens of different pairs of Bluetooth buds every week, it's just not an area we focus on (or care about).
As far as we're concerned, Bluetooth headphones - especially those labelled 'sport' headphones - are short changing people in the connected age. Especially ones with premium price-tags. Surely if you cough up for a decent pair of 'phones to go running with, you want something extra. You want them to connect with your fitness objectives.
With step counting, heart rate monitoring and quantified exercise now the norm for many thanks to the boom in popularity of wrist-based fitness trackers, we're surprised there aren't a tonne of tracker-headphones.
Sport headphones are getting serious...
WEAR - Bose SoundSport Pulse
Audio giant Bose's first optical heart rate headphones play nicely with RunKeeper and Endomondo as well as "other fitness apps".
Bose boasts that its soon-to-launch wireless headphones pack enough charge to complete a marathon, with five hours of heart rate tracking and music playing battery life promised.
Bose has also announced its own Bose Connect app, which will show heart rate data in real time. While we can't vouch for accuracy, sound quality is assured and it's great to see a big player like Bose getting into the game.
NEARLY THERE - Vi
Taking things a step or two further than simple bpm monitoring, the Vi fitness coaching headphones feature heart rate variability sensors and capture data on motion, elevation for serious sports stats. The idea is to deliver actionable insights on weight loss optimisation, injury prevention, running technique and provide adaptive training plans live to your ears.
The hearable adapts to each person who uses the device and features real-time coaching based on a user's own physiology.
It's already smashed its Kickstarter target but it won't start shipping until December at the earliest.
SQUARE - Anything 'dumb' with 'sport' in the name
Sure, some people will be looking for some basic buds for their runs and gym sessions but, as far as we're concerned, premium sports-focused headphones should, at the very least, come with a digital coach baked into an app.
Making your earphones sweatproof and splashing them with neon tints will no longer do.