Samsung Gear IconX (2018) Review: Comfortable, Long Lasting Wireless Earbuds That Are Perfect For Running And The Gym

One of the best products I bought in 2017 was the Apple Airpods and not so much for the quality of the audio or the fit, but for the convenience of connectivity and charging. The Apple Airpods were not the first truly wireless headset, but the ease-of-use made them one of the best.

As a runner, the AirPods are not an option due to the loose fit and lack of any water resistant rating. For the last couple of weeks, I have been running with the new generation Samsung Gear IconX (2018) headset that adds water resistance, stand alone music support, and more control options on the headset when compared to the Apple AirPods. The Gear IconX is a better wireless headset for runners and improves in a couple of key areas over the previous IconX model.

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  • Storage capacity: 3.4GB for up to 1,000 songs

  • Sensors: Accelerometer and proximity

  • Mics: Two mics per earbud with ambient sound option

  • Water resistance: IP67 rating

  • Battery life: 82 mAh for each earbud for up to 7 hours of stand alone music playback or up to 5 hours of Bluetooth streaming from your watch or phone. Battery case has a 340 mAh battery.

  • Wireless connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2

  • Earbud dimensions: 21.8 x 18.9 x 22.8 mm and 8 grams

Improvements in this years IxonX, compared to the previous model, include the vastly improved battery life (partly due to the removal of an in-ear heart rate monitor), use of USB Type-C instead of microUSB for charging, and the ability to update the headset firmware and transfer music via your mobile phone instead of just through a computer. Overall, this new model is a vast improvement over the last model that I would never recommend.


The Samsung Gear IconX retail package includes the left and right wireless earbuds, a charging case with integrated battery and USB Type-C port, a USB Type-C cable, a USB Type-C to USB Type-A dongle, small/medium/large silicone earbud tips and wings (medium is installed on the earbuds by default). You can choose to purchase a black, pink, or gray set of headphones with the black one arriving for testing.

The two earbuds rest securely in the case with a clear label for the right and left earbud. Four small gold pins make the charging connection from the case battery to the earbuds with the earbud tips resting down in the case. The touch sensitive outside of each earbud fits into the lid when closed.

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Once closed, there are indicator lights on the front of the case to inform you if the headset is charging or not. Between these two indicator lights is the lid release button and when you press it the lid should spring load and pop up for easy access to the earbuds.

Swinging around the back you will find a USB Type-C port centered in the case for charging. To the right of this port is the Bluetooth pairing button that you will need to setup connections with various Android and iOS devices.

The outside of the earbuds are touch sensitive and there are a variety of taps, swipes, and other actions to carry out various functions. For example, a single tap plays or pauses a track, a double tap plays the next track or answers/ends an active call, a triple tap action plays the previous track, a touch and hold will launch the menu readout where you can choose to start a workout right from the headset, and swipes up or down control the volume. You can also launch a voice assistant and even choose Google Assistant instead of Bixby if you like.

With music loaded on the headset, you may see up to seven hours of battery life. If you are streaming that music from your phone or watch, then you may see up to five hours of battery life.

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