4 bits of running technology we tested

Denon AH-C160W wireless sports earphones

Japanese electronics giant Denon may not be one of the big names in sports audio tech, but these wireless headphones do not disappoint. With Bluetooth Class 1 connectivity and an easy set-up, they boast powerful sound quality and a decent battery life. The comply foam earbud tips are excellent for noise-cancelling, providing a truly immersive sound experience (though be extra aware of traffic if you’re running roadside). The earhooks are an acquired taste and not comfortable for every runner, but for those who get along with them they keep the earphones incredibly secure while you’re on the run, while moisture protection aims to give long-term defence against inevitable sweat exposure.

www.denon.co.uk

 

Physical Company NFC Performance Roller

‘But a foam roller isn’t tech!’ we hear you cry – and you’re right. But this roller from Physical Company is equipped with NFC (Near Field Communication), so when you hover your unlocked smartphone by the ‘Hold Phone HERE’ tag you’ll be taken to a website with foam rolling how-to videos along with hints and tips. While NFC isn’t available on older smartphone models, this is a pretty handy way to get the most out of your foam rolling sessions. The roller itself is very firm – best suited to experienced roller users or those with a high pain threshold – while its raised edges help prevent juddering during use.

www.physicalcompany.co.uk/

 

Fitbit Alta-HR

While this activity tracker may not be ideal for die-hard running data nerds, for everyone else it provides a brilliant insight into your sleep and daily movement patterns. Its optical wrist-based heart rate monitor displays your real-time heart rate on screen, and feeds back to the Fitbit smartphone app detailing the time you’ve spent in certain heart rate zones (peak, cardio and fat burn) – handy if you’re looking to gauge your effort while working out. The sleep stages feature is our favourite – when you wear your Alta-HR through the night, it tracks your time spent in light, deep and REM stages of sleep, as well as indicating brief moments of wakefulness. A very strong option for anyone seeking an activity tracker, plus its sleek design also makes it great for day-to-day wear.

www.fitbit.com

 

Beatsx

A recent addition to the beats by dre line up and though positioned more as a workout-specific headphone according to the marketing, the Beatsx are equally at home as a running headphone. The main reason, or reasons for this are the two pods that sit either side of the neck strap, essentially fixing the cable loop around the nape of the neck. This means when running there’s limited slipping of the cable out of place, a major bug bear with other cable joined Bluetooth headphones. With interchangeable ear buds and removable wingtips, you can pretty much achieve the ideal fit for comfort and sound, plus the new W1 chip that they use with Apple iOS means no drop out in connection and some impressive battery life even on a quick charge. The in-cable controls are easy to use on the move and if you want to take a call when on the run, the microphone works well even as you huff and puff along. A solid contender if you like to run with music

www.beatsbydre.com