Huawei Talkband N1 hands-on: the stereo headset that sets you free

The right choice of music can make the difference between a good workout and a great workout. However, not all of us would feel comfortable with their earbuds' wire dangling around while doing their jogging routine. Luckily, Huawei has just the thing and it is called the Talkband N1.

Despite the name, the Huawei Talkband N1 isn't a band at all. It is a wireless, water-resistant, Bluetooth-enabled stereo headset that doubles as an activity tracking device – it plays music, makes calls, and calculates the calories you've burned while exercising.. Think of it as a pair of earbuds connected by a foot-long cable that goes around the back of your neck, not into the 3.5-mil jack of your smartphone. No wires swinging around, distracting you from your workout. 

Since running in Huawei's packed demo room would have been tricky, we couldn't test the accessory as thoroughly as we wish we could. Still, the earphones felt okay in our ears thanks to their hook-like design and lightweight construction. And their built-in magnets are a cool idea – the earbuds snap firmly together when the Talkband N1 is not in use, allowing you to wear the device around your neck.

Another thing we were unable to try was the sound quality of the Talkband N1. But we're having high hopes as Huawei has equipped the gadget with high-grade speakers and AptX codec support – great to know since the headset's primary purpose is to play music. In addition, it is perfectly capable of handling a phone call thanks to its built-in microphone and noise cancellation. And with its 4GB of built-in storage, the Huawei Talkband N1 can be used as a stand-alone music player throughout your entire exercise program. Or until its battery runs out, that is – projected to happen after 7 hours of continuous music playback. 

All in all, the Huawei Talkband N1 is shaping up as a solid 2-in-1 device. Sure, it won't come cheap – when launched in May, the accessory will retail for about 120 euro ($134) – but when you think about it, buying a fitness tracker and a pair of nice wireless earphones could cost you north of that price point. Besides, how could would you feel knowing that your wireless stereo headset is also calculating the calories you've burned?


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