I’ve been interested in the ability to store my running music on a single pair of headphones for a while, so when I was offered the opportunity to test the Flextreme from Pyle, I jumped at the chance.
The reason I’ve been so interested about this mode of operation, is a renewed effort to develop a more minimalist fitness lifestyle – or attempting to unplug just a bit more so my runs are even more relaxing. With that, you might suggest that I just leave everything at home and just take a run, but alas, I like to run to music and I’m addicted to tracking my activities and improvements.
As most of you know, I’m still an avid Microsoft Band fan – even after comparing other fitness wearables on the market. Microsoft’s fitness device has been a pleasant surprise, supplying some of the most accurate readings and helping develop self-competitive awareness for helping improve overall health. But, unfortunately, the Microsoft Band doesn’t provide on-board MP3 services. To listen to music on my runs, I strap my Lumia 735 to my left arm with the Armpocket Ultra i-35 armband and connect to the Groove music player through my Plantronics Backbeat Fit Wireless Headphones (reviewed HERE). This has been an optimum setup for the longest time, and frankly, some might think I’m crazy for trying to meddle with perfection. Runners know that messing with something that works is a bit taboo. But, just like I’m always trying to find ways to improve my fit level by using the Microsoft Band data, I’m also open to developing better methods to enhance my runs.
The Pyle PSWP6BK Flextreme Waterproof MP3 Player Headphones has enabled me to do that, providing both headphone and MP3 playback in a single device.
Here a list of pros and a single con (which is more of an annoyance that a con) you should take into account if you’re considering this device or one similar.
4GB for MP3s – This is plenty of space for a long list of songs to take with you. The Flextreme hooks directly up to your computer, showing as just another flash drive, so it’s easy to modify your playlist quickly by removing tired songs and refreshing the list through drag-and-drop.
Sound Quality – I was totally surprised and impressed in this respect. The Flextreme provides near-perfect playback at the same quality level for which the MP3 was encoded. Bluetooth headsets are completely hit-and-miss. Some, like my Plantronics Backbeat Fit Wireless Headphones, do a great job with playback including strong Bass, but most rely too heavily on the smartphone’s own sound functions and provide a poor sound experience. Even the Bass provided by the Flextreme is top notch.
Volume Level – This was another surprise. I turned the volume up until it started to hurt my ears and it still hadn’t reached the top level. I don’t suggest playing music too loud when running in traffic so you can remain vigilant and safe, but the extra volume in reserve is nice, particularly if you want to drown out the cabin noises in an airplane.
Comfortable and Stable – The Flextreme is an in-ear headset and if you choose the right size earbuds, makes the music completely immersable (drowns out road noise). Once you have selected the right earbuds and have them in place you just wrap the stiff cord around the top of your ears (its bendable). This ensures the headset will not fly off during vigorous activity.
Waterproof – Another surprise is that the Flextreme is waterproof. I’ve not tried it myself, but, switching to the special waterproof earbuds, you can swim in this headset. That also means that you could shower in them, or wear them during a hot recovery bath to enhance the relaxation.
Unique Charging – I’ve not seen too many devices that supply connection and charging capability like the Flextreme does. It connects with a clip (as shown in the photo). You simply connect the clip to the end of the Flextreme. This provides both charging and connection to your PC. I really like this.
One Con: Only for Playlists – There is one minor annoyance, but it’s really not a show stopper. This set of headphones is strictly for playlists. It does not support moving between albums – only between songs. So even if you take special care to copy your albums in folders to the device, it won’t recognize your attempt at organization. No, this device is meant for you to create a long list of MP3s that will play in the order as stored on the device. You can modify the names of the MP3s to change the order in which they play. The on-device controls work well, though, so you can quickly move between songs, pause and play, and adjust the volume.
The Pyle PSWP6BK Flextreme Waterproof MP3 Player Headphones is the first in a series of reviews of this sort, I hope. I’ve been testing the Flextreme for about a week and have only found that single annoyance, but it’s nothing that would keep me from purchasing them again or stop me from giving a high recommendation. And, they have afforded me the opportunity to leave at least one piece of my normal running gear at home, and that is my smartphone. With these, when I hit the road, I simply strap on the headphones, connect the Microsoft Band to GPS and kick into gear. That’s it. It may not seem like much, but simplifying even this small amount feels totally liberating. The Flextreme is a perfect complement to the Microsoft Band. You can’t use a device like this with too many other fitness wearables considering only a small handful have GPS built in. Additionally, imagine not needing your smartphone to supply MP3 capability for other fitness activities like weight lifting, or the treadmill or elliptical at a hotel gym.
The Pyle PSWP6BK Flextreme Waterproof MP3 Player Headphones are available from Amazon.com for right around $40. That’s an amazing price for the sound quality and capability. I was so impressed with the Flextreme that I bought one for my wife for Mother’s Day. She loves it so far.
On Amazon.com: Pyle PSWP6BK Flextreme Waterproof MP3 Player Headphones
- Marine Grade Submergible Waterproof Construction - Made to Fit: Bendable, Adjustable, Flexible
- Built-in 4 GB Flash Memory - Quick Connect: Combination Charging & Data Transfer Cable
- Easy 'Drag & Drop' Audio Music File Management - Comfortable Non-Interfering Headphones
- Universal Size for All Head Shapes - Flexible Wrap-Around Style Perfect for Sports - USB Connection
- Designed for Swimming, Running, Fitness, Exercise - Includes Replacement Earbuds (for Land & Water)