The wireless sport in-ears FWD-01 from Adidas have a sweat-resistant design with a tangle-free fabric cable and are characterised by a special, highly comfortable earbud, which is designed to increase your perception of the outside world. In addition to a long battery life and a 3-button remote for device control, the universally compatible Bluetooth handsets also offer a configurable action button and further user-defined adjustments via app.
The solid and robust, rather than delicate looking, headphones are equipped with silicone wings that provide support within the auricle. At the same time, the fit itself seems “loose”, as the ergonomically shaped earpieces are designed not to sit in the ear canal but, like earbuds, in front of it. In this respect, the wearing comfort is very pleasant and these sports headphones are also suitable for pressure-sensitive people. In addition, the shielding is low, so that your environment is perceivable, which increases safety outdoors and is therefore particularly useful for urban outdoor activities. However, this means limited stability, which reaches its limits with strong vibrations. It is also noticeable that cable noise occurs as soon as the fabric sheathing comes into contact with the body or clothing. Nevertheless, the integrated magnetic closure is practical, so that the headphones can be worn around the neck like a chain when not in use meaning stowage is not necessary.
On the energy side, the FWD-01s provide a running time of a good 16 hours operating at a higher volume, which makes them extremely durable. It is also noteworthy that the headphones are fully recharged via the USB-C port in less than an hour. Even so, the headphones LED gives a “green light” after just a few minutes, and it signals that the battery is charged too early. Because of this, the lack of a user manual is also worthy of criticism. Only incomplete information about the range of functions can be found in the how-to guides on the support page, and in an extremely minimalist quick start guide that comes with the headphones.
These sports headphones support Bluetooth standard 5.0 and, in combination with various iOS and Android devices, offer stable ranges of ten metres within an urban environment. Pairing takes place by holding down the central remote button, which switches the system on and puts it directly into pairing mode. While the left and right buttons are used for volume control, the middle multifunction button controls both the play/stop function and the acceptance and termination of telephone calls, which can be made with good speech intelligibility. Track selection is also possible by double-clicking to jump forward and pressing three times to jump back. In addition to the remote, which has clear pressure points and reacts without delay, there is also an action button that can be assigned up to three functions via the app. This includes calling up the language assistant and, in the case of a Spotify link, playing back albums, artists or playlists, which is a great addition to the range of control options.
The bass output of the headphones seems narrow and does not reach very far down into the low frequencies, but it is well defined and reproduces with a direct bass response. Vocals and lead instruments are staged in a here dimensional manner, while the trebles show a pronounced presence and do not drop noticeably. However, the upper-frequency range has a certain imbalance – it exaggerates hissing sounds and tends towards harshness. The overall sound is extremely clear and has a bright character, but cannot meet higher demands, especially since the support of high-quality audio codecs has been dispensed with. One positive is that the output offers reserves, as these can be used with a noisy background atmosphere due to the low shielding. A design disadvantage is that the headphones are not particularly suitable for pushing yourself during sports, as the external noise seems too high for this. In this respect, I see the primary area of application for these headphones as being less for strength-sapping exercises in the gym, and more for endurance training outdoors.
With the free Adidas Headphones App, the headphones can be updated and personalised. In addition to the configuration of the action button and an optional link to Spotify, a player with EQ function is available so that individual sound adjustments can be made. It comes with presets for “Pop”, “Rock”, “Electronic” or “Hip-Hop” as well as allowing you to use your own settings, which makes these sports headphones flexible for everyday use.
Adidas offers an innovative concept for outside sound awareness with the FWD-01 sports in-ears, which increases safety during outdoor activities. In addition, pressure-sensitive people would benefit from the comfortable fit of these Bluetooth headphones. The stability of the system is also limited and wouldn’t be as good in a tough workout in the gym as it might be on a run. However, a long battery life, individual sound adjustments via the app and the extended remote options via the action button are very useful in everyday use.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Weight with cable26 g
- Cable length47,5 cm
What's in the box
- Silicone wings and caps in four different sizes
- USB-C to USB-A charging cable
- Carrying pouch
- BT version: 5.0
- BT codec: SBC
- Action button
- App connection