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Adidas joins the wireless headphone game with two models designed for athletes

Since everyone seems to be making wireless headphones aimed at active lifestyles these days, why should a powerhouse athletic brand like Adidas remain on the sidelines? The company’s new audio line announced to coincide with this year’s IFA show in Berlin looks to rectify that situation.

Adidas Headphones is a partnership between Adidas and Zound Industries, and its first products are two wireless headphones aimed squarely at athletes and everyone else who feels a connection to the world of sport. The $149 FWD-01 is a pair of around-the-neck wireless earbuds and the $169 RPT-01 is a classic set of wireless on-ear headphones. Both models can be ordered right now via and will ship on September 25.

Both headphones were co-designed by athletes according to Adidas, though none were mentioned by name. While the FWD-01 wireless earbuds look like many similar models on the market, save for a connecting cord that features a knitted material covering the wires, it’s the on-ear RPT-01 headphones that are especially noteworthy. Finding on-ear headphones that are built for workouts is something of a rarity. Plenty of people use their on-ears at the gym, but with the exception of a few models like the Poly BackBeat series, these aren’t generally sweatproof. The RPT-01 by contrast are IPX4-rated, so they’ll easily withstand the kind of moisture a heavy workout can create. Both their ear-cushions and headband liner are removable and washable, which means that when they start to smell like your Adidas footwear, you’ll be able to do something about it.

Beyond their ability to handle vigorous activity, the RPT-01 offer excellent battery life at a claimed 40 hours and can be fast-recharged via USB-C. The headband is highly flexible, which should help when shoving these cans in your gym bag.

The FWD-01 has a claimed 16 hours of playtime, which would be stellar if they were true-wireless earbuds, but as an around-the-neck design, it’s about average. They ship with a variety of eartips to help with getting a good fit, and they have the same waterproof rating as the RPT-01. Both models use Bluetooth 5.0, but Adidas hasn’t divulged which Bluetooth codecs are supported. A free companion app gives you some customization options, but again, there aren’t any details yet on what kind of customization is possible. Both models support phone functions like taking calls, but there’s been no mention of the ability to access voice assistants like Google Assistant, Siri, or Alexa, which is something an increasing number of workout-ready headphones and earbuds now offer.

We’ll be sure to let you know how these new Adidas wireless headphones perform in the real world when we get them in for testing.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
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