Soul Electronics recently launches the world’s first A.I. Earphones with gait analysis technology to monitor running form and provide real-time voice coaching. Thanks once again to Singapore distributor, McBay, for providing a review unit weeks before it’s available for retail sales.
The Soul Run Free Pro Bio is a long name, but let’s break it down. Run Free Pro is their existing wireless earbuds for runners. The new “Bio” suffix refers to the biomechanical sensors to track the running and deliver real-time voice coaching.
Behind the technology is Beflex BiomechEngine which collects the running data like altitude, flight time, consistency, head angle, vertical oscillations, cadence, step width, symmetry, shock, maximum force, stance time.
While the earbud construct is similar to the non-Bio series, there are new features. The cable is reflective and there is an additional LED light on the right side of the cable. These features help you run safer at night.
To get the gait analysis working, you need to connect the Soul Run Free Pro Bio to the smartphone app, Soul Fit. Once you go through the initial set up, account creation, and device pairing process, you are ready to start. There is only one running mode, so the app is obviously very focused on what it does. If you are running outdoors, then enable GPS, if you are running indoors, then disable GPS. If you needed voice coaching, you can enable it.
Once you are done, tap start button and get running.
With voice coaching enabled, the voice prompts will tell you the status of your runs, whether your head angle is too high, if you land too hard, whether your steps are symmetrical. Throughout the run, I received just a few prompts, which meant my running form is generally good. I did purposely varied my usual running style just to see if the Biomech Engine can pick up and prompt, which it did. What I did not quite like is the voice prompts sound too synthetic, unfeeling, and lacks motivation.
The interesting part comes after the run is completed. The Soul Fit app captures dozens of data and shows the stats together with explanation of the information. From the detailed data, you can decide which aspects of your running you would want to work on, for instance, consistency, reducing landing shock.
Like all running earphones, the Soul Run Free Pro Bio earphones offer some moisture protection. They are rated IPX5.
When you don’t run, you can listen to music with your favourite music player. Supporting aptX wireless audio codec, the audio quality is not as outstanding, but that’s because the treble is not excessively bright, the bass is not too heavy. In short, they deliver well-balanced neutral sound suitable for all types of music, enjoyable for listening over long periods. The earbuds battery can last up to 11 hours with music, or 5 hours with Biomech Engine running.
If you prefer heavier bass, get the Soul X-Shock true wireless earbuds, which also deliver better sound staging and rounder treble.
The Soul Run Free Pro Bio is a fantastic wireless earphones for serious runners with specific training objectives, as it captures detailed biometrics on your running behaviour which is quite interesting for new users. The audio quality is well balanced for comfortable listening.
If you are into more wholesome training regime rather than just pure running, then you should get other voice coaching earphones like Jabra Elite Sport or Samsung IconX (2018) where they offer other training programs with live coaching to capture the more common training stats like steps, heartrate, calorie burn, cadence, altitude, etc.
The wireless earphones retailat S$249.90 and distributed in Singapore by McBay.