Wearables come in all shapes and sizes, from wrist-mounted fitness trackers, sleep-tracking smart rings, and more. But the folks over at LifeBeam have a different idea of what form-factor a smartphone-connected device should take. With its Vi Personal Trainer Headphones, the company is betting that earbuds are the optimal way to bring AI-based advice, heart rate tracking, and more to your workouts.
Following a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2016, Vi is one of the noteworthy tales of a proposed product actually hitting the big time and arriving on store shelves at scale. And now that the headphones are available for purchase, LifeBeam has expanded its original feature set with added workout-focused functionality.
At first glance, it’s hard to tell the intelligent earbuds apart from just about any other pair of Bluetooth headphones. The two earbuds are supported by a neckband that holds the battery and other tech. Harman Kardon has backed Vi here and lends its top-notch drivers to the earbuds, meaning sound quality should be on the better side compared to other Bluetooth headphones.
But it’s the sensors and technology inside the headphones that really set them apart from other fitness-oriented earbuds. Alongside its Bluetooth connection for audio, Vi’s headphones also transfer a variety of fitness data collected from its ‘aerospace-grade’ heart rate, motion, elevation, and proximity biosensors. All of this data is then synced with a companion iOS (and Android) app that also offers compatibility with Apple Health and more.
This is all rounded out by a cloud-based AI coach which offers guidance on everything from tailored workout goals and mid-workout motivations. These suggestions range from alerts on your smartphone to spoken-word guidance.
One downside with Vi is that they are said to only sport around 5 hours of active use on a single charge. That’s fine for daily workouts, but periodic listening throughout the day is not the strong suit for these headphones. LifeBeam’s earbuds also sport sweat and water-resistance for more intensive workouts.
The Vi Personal Trainer earbuds are currently available for purchase at $159 shipped, down from the regular price of $249 thanks to holiday pricing.
Included alongside the headphones are a micro USB charging cable, a variety of earbud sizes, and a carrying case. For those who love the Apple Watch’s fitness notifications, these earbuds seem to be the next step up and look to offer great assistance while working out.