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Gibson's Trainer headphones look to keep runners safe after dark

Billy Steele
01.07.15
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It might sound odd that a guitar maker is getting into fitness headphones, however Gibson falls under the same corporate umbrella as Philips, Onkyo and other personal audio brands. That being said, it's still a bit strange to see the iconic guitar brand stamped on a pair of on-ears. I was curious enough to give them a shot, and in the process, discovered there was much more to the Usain Bolt-endorsed Trainer headphones than the initial announcement let on. Those are indeed onboard controls on the right earpad, and they sort not only play/pause and skip functions, but also toggle on/off a feature that dampens the sound so you can hear what's going on around you. You can use it to converse with a workout pal, and it's also sure to come in handy when you're coming up on a busy intersection.

Gallery: Gibson Trainer headphones hands-on | 11 Photos

To further cater to those who like to get exercise on their feet, an LED blinks from the back of the headband so folks on the road (or trail) can see you at night. It's an interesting feature, but you'll likely still want a way to alert oncoming traffic, too. The band that folds down to help the headset fit snug has a reflective strip as well, but it's situated near the top of the head while in use -- not easily visible from the front. Earpads are sure to get nasty from sweat and grime, but not to worry: They're magnetic. Both pads pop off easily for washing, yet still seal the headphones' components from moisture.

Let's get back to the secondary headband. While it certainly looks a bit strange, it actually does a nice job of helping the Trainer stay in place, and doesn't make the fit any less comfortable. Of course, if you like the idea of the device, but aren't into employing the so-called Aeroflex design, you can keep it tucked under the main headband. When it comes time to use it though, a button on the inside moves it into place. Do they sound good? For on-ear Bluetooth headphones that can endure workouts, they perform quite well. They're not the best-sounding pair we've heard, but the full list of features makes the Trainer a compelling package. Sure, you could go for more affordable earbuds, but some prefer a set of cans, even while trying to trim the fat. And at $239, they're priced competitively for similar devices, and are set to arrive with the warm weather in the spring.

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