Rowkin Surge hands-on
Already boasting an extensive lineup of wireless Bluetooth headphones, the Surge is one of the latest true wireless headphones being offered by headphones maker Rowkin. Aimed specifically for the fitness conscious user, the Rowkin Surge features an assortment of features that make them ideal for exercising, sweaty workouts, and other physical activities.
Design-wise, they don't necessarily follow the same discrete, more compact designs we've been seeing in the segment. But rather, they very much remind us of your standard Bluetooth headset piece, as they come accompanied with bendable hooks that sit snuggly around the ear. You can say that they look somewhat dated, but given their size, they at least can’t be as easily lost – plus the hooks help to keep them in place if you're moving around vigorously. Featuring WaterSafe nanocoating technology, it's going to be able to withstand the sweatiest workouts because they're IPX5 compliant.
Some of the standouts from our quick hands-on include its on-board physical controls, instant Google Assistant/Siri Activation, and their snug fit in the ear. However, it puzzles us that it doesn't come with any sort of case, much like its competitors, that also double as chargers as well. Instead, you'll have to charge each earbud individually using their microUSB connections. For an additional $10, you can pick up the optional case, which doesn't seem to offer any sort of charging options – so it's just a simple case.
Audio-wise, it sounds a little flat to our liking, lacking the power and intensity to make music pop. Additionally, we notice that the connection between the earbuds and our smartphone would drop if we move around a lot. If we're stationary, it doesn't seem to happen as frequently. And lastly, if you're planning to watch video, just know that the latency issue causes a delay with the audio versus what you see on-screen.
Tagged with an MSRP of $129.99, it's a savings over the premium offering in the space right now – like the Apple Airpods, Samsung Gear IconX, and Jaybird Run to name a few. Despite the price advantage of the Rowkin Surge over those aforementioned solutions, we've seen others priced lower that seem to offer a bit more – especially given how this one lacks a charging case.