Adidas FWD-01 Review
Solid running headphones with lengthy battery life
The Adidas FWD-01 are a solid set of running headphones featuring above-average audio quality and a lengthy battery life. But their bulky design may cause some fit issues, particularly during heated workouts.
- Great battery life
- Solid audio
- Rugged design
- Bulky casing can cause fit issues
- UKRRP: £130
- USARRP: $150
- EuropeRRP: €149
- CanadaRRP: CA$220
- AustraliaRRP: AU$240
- 4 silicon wing tip options
- IPX4 sweat resistance
The Adidas FWD-01 are the iconic sports brand’s latest in-ear wireless headphones.
They aim to offer fitness fanatics the ultimate set of collar earphones featuring a rugged sweat-proof design, more wing tip options than can easily be counted, and a marathon-length battery life.
While they aren’t the prettiest gym headphones around, when it comes to functionality they easily match competing sets from the likes of Jaybird.
The only downside is that their chunky design can make them a little clunky to wear during specific workouts, such as boxing or climbing.
- Chunky, robust design
- During some intense activities the earbuds didn’t fit securely
- Strong battery life, boosted by USB-C fast-charging
The Adidas FWD-01 aren’t a subtle bit of kit. Chunky left and right buds with a spidery mesh pattern, they look like they’ve been through a Tough Mudder or three straight out of the box.
The black and flecked-grey knitted material connecting the two earbuds also has a rugged, utilitarian feel that some will love. Personally, I prefer the less ostentatious, thinner design seen on the Jaybird X4.
The heft of the buds also makes getting a decent fit during heated workouts a little tricky. Although fine when worn running, their bulk meant the seal would occasionally break while working a bag (boxing training) or wall climbing. This was after I’d selected the correct silicon and wing tip size from the four on offer.
Thankfully, the earphones make up for this for the most part by ticking the right boxes when it comes to functionality. Unlike competing Jaybird sets, the Adidas FWD-01 charge using a USB-C connection, which is a welcome change from the sea of proprietary cables that accompany most running headphones.
The connection also features fast-charge support, which makes it quick and easy to get 5km run’s worth of juice from 10-15 minutes on the mains. Fully charged they have a solid quoted 16-hour battery life, which proved accurate through testing.
- Bluetooth connection was very stable except for extremely busy signal areas
- Good sound quality for running headphones
Bluetooth 5.0 support means these Adidas headphones have a suitably stable connection. Running around London, I didn’t experience any serious dropouts. The only time I had any issues was when going through very busy signal areas, such as Waterloo station, which knocks out 99% of the sets I’ve tested.
Audio quality isn’t industry leading, but by running headphone standards the Adidas FWD-01 offer decent sound quality.
Tonal balance is solid, with no one part of the sound intruding upon the other. Listening to post-rock mid-run, high guitar sections felt suitably separated from the rumbling bass. Mids also managed to sound powerful without sibilance rearing its ugly head. The low-end could be a little tighter and the bass extension deeper, but the sound is still fine for workouts.
Dynamism is also good enough to keep you motivated through a workout. The swooping crescendos during classical music have a suitable impact and breakdowns during intense punk tracks felt sufficiently powerful to keep my blood and adrenaline pumping.
Stereo image is limited, but on a pair of running headphones that’s hardly surprising. All-in-all, you’ll struggle to find a better-sounding pair of band design running/gym headphones.
Should you buy it?
Battery life is a priority These headphones offer a 16 hour battery life, and boast fast-charging via USB-C You’re looking for good audio quality
You are into more physically demanding workouts These headphones should be able to cope fine with running, but they might slip out if you’re climbing or boxing
If you’re in the market for a solid pair of running or gym headphones with a marathon battery life then the Adidas FWD-01 are a solid choice. They offer decent audio quality by gym-headphone standards and come with a lengthy 16-hour battery life and fast-charge support.
The only issue is that their bulky design can make getting a solid seal during heated workouts a little tricky, which will prove an annoyance for boxers and climbers.
You might like…
How we test
The Adidas FWD-01 features IPX4 sweat resistance, but are not water resistant and so can’t withstand a dip in the pool.
No, they do not support active noise cancellation.
The Adidas FWD-01 features a quoted 16-hour battery life.