Last month I signed up for a campaign through a word of mouth network called The Insiders (http://www.theinsidersnet.com). At first I was skeptical, as they require a deposit to test a product and expect you to post reviews around the internet. The deposit is only half the price of the product and you have 5 weeks to either keep them for that price or return them for a refund. Once you fill out the survey, pay the deposit, they then select who they want and send the product. One product I signed up for were the Samsung Gear Icon X wireless headphones.

The headphones showed up, brand new, with a warranty document to act as a receipt for Samsung warranty purposes and a document for the campaign.

Samsung Gear Icon X

I then opened them and discovered everything inside. I was a little disappointed that they did not come with a charger plug, but they assume you have that covered already, as you need a phone to use them.

Samsung Gear Icon X

I have used them for over a week now and this is the official review that I have been posting.

Using Samsung Gear Icon X

The Review

I absolutely love the concept of being fully wireless with the Samsung Gear Icon X. I feel like I am starting to become a cyborg with these in, listening to music, hearing the sound around me and reading vital signs. However, it is short lived as battery life is less than 2 hours if streaming music.

They fit snug and I haven’t worried about them falling out yet. However, you have to really get them into your ear to get the best sound of them and it can be a little uncomfortable. Otherwise there isn’t much bass and sound is high pitched sounding. It may take some variations of the different sized rubber pieces to get the perfect fit.

Touch controls are simple and voice prompts are soft with 15 different language options. However, they can be touchy, like starting and ending exercise events when you are simply trying to make an adjustment. I have found myself ending calls when all I was trying to do is adjust the ear bud or increase volume.

The charging case is a great place to keep each individual ear bud safe and clean. However, the case is not very rugged and can be easily bumped open in a pocket, preventing charge or causing damage. They charge to full in 30-45 minutes. However, as mentioned above they are not meant to be headphone replacements for extended time as they died in 1 hour 45 minutes just streaming music. However, if you store music on the 4GB internal storage, they can last up to 3 hours. I have extended the play time with them by using one ear bud at a time, though you have to switch the primary over to R or L before the battery dies, which timed out on me several times. An interesting thing though, as a straight MP3 player you can use either ear bud, so long as you stored music on them, simply by putting one in and tapping play. However, if you did not set them to shuffle with the Gear App, your playlist will start over, sorted by filename.

Sound quality is good enough to listen to music, but on the low end, especially when in a call. This is due to the Bluetooth codec used and not the more current Apt-X. They can get loud enough to drown out noise around you, but if you can’t get the perfect fit you won’t hear any bass. Also, if you are only using one, it can be really hard to hear a phone call. I found myself cupping my ear with one in, to hear better, only to end the call by accident.

Overall, I like the Samsung Gear Icon X but don’t think they are at their full potential yet. They are not headphone replacements, but decent short term, multi-function, fully wireless ear buds. Maybe the next generation will be better with battery life and clarity.

I do like them, and truly wish they were just a little bit better. But, for $199 I really expected more. Don’t get me wrong, the features are packed in there, just not quite there yet.

Charging Case
Charging Case

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