NEW GADGETS | Headphones to improve your workout (or make it more enjoyable)

Beats Solo Pro headphones are a heavy-duty alternative to Powerbeats Pro earpods. They're bigger and not as discreet which is why I hesitated, at first, to don them at the gym.

Look, to be honest, I felt I'd look a bit like Mickey Mouse (at least mine were ivory, and not solid black - that would've done my head in). Or maybe Princess Leia.

It's a different matter wearing cans in the radio studio - we all look a bit Mickey Mouse there.

So, the Beats Solo Pro phones are not really for streetwear, but there's nothing to stop you.

Speaking of heavy-duty, they are. Heavy. Unlike the headphones I wear on the job, recording, taking calls, interviewing, which are extremely lightweight - but tethered to my screen. The completely wireless Solo Pro free me up to move around, grab papers from across the room, even go downstairs to make coffee, and still be working.

But the moment I put on the Beats Solo Pro I was surprised by their weight. You get used to it, but daunting at first.

The padding is not bulky but it is extremely comfortable. Big credit to the designers for that.

They also block everything out.

Now that's a problem if using as streetwear. I'd parked at the gym and got out of the car, wearing the headphones. I didn't see the driver coming at me from a blind spot hidden by trees. And I didn't hear her either. Not even when she squealed on her brakes. She had the very good grace to smile kindly at the idiot in noise-cancelling headphones. I tried apologetically to return the smile, but was a bit shaken.

Inside, sitting at the bench-press, the noise-cancelling really came into its own. For once, I could focus on the podcast without the regulation doof-doof while I worked and strained and sweated. And the noise-cancelling was really effective, better even than the in-ear Powerbeats Pro earpods.

But where the headphones got even better was their audio quality. Just superb. I'd had trouble with the lower register when using the earpods. But the phones rendered the bass on Yes's Your Move perfectly. I could hear sounds and delicate sequences on Rocket Man I'd never heard before. And Andrea Bocelli's Con te Patiro (Time to Say Goodbye) took me to Italy in a heartbeat and I was in heaven.

In fact, I've added 20 minutes of the rower back into my routine just to continue listening with the Beats Solo Pro. The doctor will be pleased.

The headphones have revolutionary physical design. They fold. And the folding/unfolding automatically turns them on/off. There's a nifty case to protect them while you travel and you can throw it into the gymbag.

A 10-minute charge will give you three hours. Full charge will push that to 22 hours with transparency or 40 hours without. There's total incorporation with Siri.

The range of colours lets you match your phone and watchband, if that's important to you. Or go with blue (dark or light) or red, or ivory, black or grey. They cost $429.95, at the Apple Store.

This story NEW GADGETS | Headphones to improve your workout (or make it more enjoyable) first appeared on Liverpool City Champion.

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