Samsung Gear IconX 2018 is the second complete performance wireless headset from Samsung. This new model is positioned as sports, but despite the similarity with the previous version, its characteristics have been refined. Let’s see what’s new in IconX 2018 and whether all the changes have gone to the benefit.
Headphones are supplied with a special case, in which they are transported, and also charged, with ear pads, cartilaginous locks, and USB Type-C cable for charging and synchronization.
Design and usability
Gear IconX 2018 is a fully wireless in-ear headphone that is very similar to last year’s IconX. They have almost the same shape and design.
However, there are essential differences between them. The size of the headphones became slightly larger and to hide their body made more oval. Also, they got rid of the heart rate monitor and also used new colors: black, gray and pink. The last two look stylish. The headphone case is made of plastic and is entirely painted in one color, including ear pads. On it, you can find the contacts for the connection of the charging case, the proximity sensor, the LED, and also the touch panel on the outside.
Despite the fact that the size of the IconX 2018 has become larger, the weight of one earpiece is only 8 grams. The shape of the body provides a comfortable fit in the auricle, and if you choose the right ear pads and cartilaginous locks, then the headphones will sit like pouches.
To control the playback, as well as adjust the volume, you can use a small touchpad that is on the outside of both headphones IconX 2018.
Unfortunately, it’s not very convenient to do this, the touch panel is really small and does not always react correctly to the touch. The case for IconX 2018, compared with the previous model, became less elongated, as well as larger and more substantial.
The latter is not very critical, especially considering that along with the overall dimensions and weight, the capacitance of the built-in battery case has also increased.
Gear IconX 2018 can connect to smartphones, laptops and other compatible devices via Bluetooth 4.2. Headphones connect seamlessly to the iPhone, but all of their functions are only available on Android with the Gear Manager application, which allows you to change the settings, choose which notifications will be announced, and transfer music from your smartphone. The Gear IconX 2018 has 4 GB of internal memory, which can be filled with tracks that listen to music directly from the headphones.
It is worth noting that during the test, the IconX 2018 was perfectly connected with all connected devices, but a couple of times they caught interference that interfered with the connection of the headphones to each other. The housing IconX 2018 has microphones so that headphones can be used as a wireless headset.
From sports headphones, you do not expect a particularly high-quality sound, but compared to the previous version, Gear IconX 2018 was able to surprise. The model provides a fairly broad scene, worked out medium and high, but fails in the bottoms. Thus, the headphones will not suit the bass lovers; it’s almost non-existent here. But overall the sound quality is good, and the volume of the volume is enough to listen to music even in noisy surroundings.
As a result, the Gear IconX 2018 is not only suitable for listening to music while playing sports; they can be used as everyday headphones.
In the previous version of the headphones there was a built-in heart rate monitor, but from IconX 2018 it was removed for the sake of autonomy. Nevertheless, the device has an accelerometer, which allows you to count the steps. Thus, the headphones can automatically start recording a walk, as well as running. During the latter, they also provide voice prompts, for example, that you need to speed up to achieve your goal. In practice, this does not allow to abandon sports watches or smartphones, since headphones will take distance and the speed is rather arbitrary.
Also, the Gear IconX 2018 does not have moisture protection, which is logical for a device that is used during running and is positioned as a sports accessory.
The data collected by the headphones during the run, and this distance, duration, speed and burned calories, can be synchronized with the service Samsung Health.
In the settings of IconX 2018, you can activate external microphones to hear ambient sounds while listening to music. This is useful during the run when the jogging route passes through the roads.
Each earphone has a built-in battery capacity of 82 mAh (vs. 47 mAh in the first IconX), also, the case has a built-in battery for 340 mAh. The manufacturer claims that when connected via Bluetooth Gear IconX 2018 works up to 5 hours, if you listen to music from the memory of the headphones themselves, then up to 7 hours. In general, it’s true, but it’s worth noting that the earpiece, which is selected as the main one and through which the control is performed, will be discharged a little faster. This is not critical, but in fact, one of the headphones will discharge faster than the second one.
The Gear IconX 2018 is charged via a complete case; this can be done from the network via the USB Type-C port, or via the built-in battery. The latter allows almost two times to charge the headphones, discharged to 0%.
Pros of Gear IconX 2018:
design, materials, comfortable fit, good sound, works as a headset, autonomy, charging the case with extra battery, charging via USB Type-C
Cons of Gear IconX 2018:
- no water protection
- touch control
Verdict: Samsung Gear IconX 2018 is a completely wireless headphone designed for sports. However, sporting functions can be called purely nominal; they do not replace sports watches. But what’s really exciting about the IconX 2018 is the sound, it was good enough. Thus, the new Samsung headphones are suitable not only for training in the gym or for running on the street; they are quite comfortable to use every day in order to just listen to music.