Samsung‘s newest addition to its Gear line has begun hitting the shelves: the IconX wireless earbuds. We were impressed when we got our hands (ears?) on them back in early June, with high-quality audio maintained even over a Bluetooth connection. But the IconX, which Samsung bills as “truly cord-free earbuds,” do much more than just audio output; they’re also a fully functional fitness tracker and heart rate monitor.
The earbuds can track the typical activity data you’d expect, including distance, speed, duration, and calories burned. The heart rate sensor obviously keeps track of a user’s heart rate while exercising, but is also used to automatically turn the device by detecting when they’re placed in the ear. All of the data tracked by the IconX is then synced and displayed with Samsung’s S Health app.
The IconX offers some unique features when used for audio as well. The earbuds offer a complete stereo experience, meaning each unit receives its own audio signal when streaming from a paired smartphone. Only want to listen with one ear (such as during a phone call)? Go right ahead, as each earpiece can function independently, with the un-used piece free to continue charging.
In cases where a user doesn’t want to be bothered with carrying their phone while working out — like going for a run — the IconX also has internal storage for up to 1,000 MP3s. Controlling music playback, meanwhile, is done with simple taps and swipes on the earbuds’ touch-sensitive sides.
Priced at $199, the IconX comes with its own charging case, capable of storing two additional charges. The earbuds are available in black, blue, and while, and come with different sizes of eartips and wingtips, allowing them to fit a variety of ear shapes.