Creative WP250 Bluetooth Sport Earbud…things.

1 year ago I didn’t use bluetooth on my phone. All well and good.

Yesterday I was wondering if bluetooth causes cancer. I’ve got about 7 devices attached to my phone including a keyboard. Yeah, a keyboard for a phone. I can’t, justify or understand why I did it.

Fortunately the rest are headphones including the WP350 that I reviewed recently. When I bought those I also got a pair of the WP250s, Creative’s bluetooth headphones for sports, represented in the way only marketing can,  with an amazing stock photo of a glamour model wearing them while…’running’. Way too much blur, guys…

Click here to view the rather generic product marketing

Earphones for the gym were the reason I went bluetooth – I am the type who gets tangled in cables. It ain’t pretty. I also carry most of my crap around the gym in an awesome bro style bum bag (fanny pack). I’m not bro enough to actually wear the damn thing (I just carry it around with my towel).

I used to. I also used to wear a a bandana at the gym. I’m still not sure if I should be embarrassed at that, or admitting it, really. I loved wearing the bandana – soaked up sweat and no brim to get in the way.

Aaaanyway. I digress.

After trying and hating Motorola’s S305 Rokr I used a set of Jabra Sport Wireless+. They were pretty good but not particularly comfy or good sounding. When you have to constantly adjust the earbuds and cable to sit more comfortably, then it starts to fail as a useful set.

So now it’s the Creative WP250s. Note my reviews love of Creative’s fast delivery (from Singapore to Sydney in under a week, including a public holiday weekend). Good on them!

Like the WP350, these pair easily and re-pair smoothly. And sound wise they’re pretty good. They’re loud and crisp enough to be heard over the terrible TV programming at the gym.

I haven’t tested it on a broad range of music, because I have set playlists for the gym – 1 rap, 1 rock. The lists are filled with a good enough range for the genre, from Beyonce to Ice Cube, NWA (yeah yeah, it’s more of an R&B/Rap playlist than full rap if you want to be pedantic) and from Chisel to Rammstein in my Rock playlist, and the earphones performed well all the way through the list.

Similarly to the WP350s they lack a bit of middle range out of the box, and so the equalizer adjustments I did for the WP350 carry on here – I changed the equalizer to Acoustic, and they sound much better. The bass is quite solid especially on more contemporary bass-heavy R&B lines without being ALL bass, and good treble range. Overall the sound is pretty good for small sport wireless earbud – a bit better than Jabra, way better than the Motorolas, but not up to the level of normal earbuds. I find the emphasis on durability and bluetooth probably sacrifices quality. And considering that these WP250s were on sale for AU$60, that’s to be expected. Good sports wireless headphones are rare…if they exist.

THE WEIRD

Fitting them is extremely weird. They are quite bulky and the ear plug itself is angled in such a way that it doesn’t just slot straight in. I found I had to push them in at an odd angle and twist 90 degrees to make them sit upright in my ear. It’s a very odd experience that feels a bit like using a massive q-tip, or even worse, a wet willy (one of the weirder WikiHows).

And even then they actually poke out from the ear pretty precariously. But they end up being quite secure, don’t fall out too easily.

The cable that connects the two earpieces is pliable but not soft – it’s shaped so tends to pull in a certain direction, that doesn’t really suit the way it’s meant to sit in the ear. This can require a bit of shifting to get a good position when I move between lying on a bench to sitting up. And if not handled properly this can loosen the earbuds. And it’s back to the twisting game to get them back in my ear. It’s a touch frustrating…but more just WEIRD.

I can see why the cable is needed – due to the bluetooth nature, power needs etc. It’s something to live with. Oddly enough I pefer it to the Jabra solution, which was a flat, soft cable between the two earpieces – this just got caught against my neck all the time, and pulled the earpieces out continuously.

All up, I’d probably give these a 6 out of 10 as far as earphones in general go. Good, with some oddities driven more by the weirdness of the design than sound. But as far as the very limited market of bluetooth sport-centric earphones? Probably 8 out of 10.

Recommended. I’d probably buy these at full price, if only because nothing better exists that I have seen.

– C.L.S.

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