Adidas RPT-01 Sports On-Ear Headphones Review Rating
If you hate wearing in-ear earbuds for the gym or any fitness, then the Adidas RPT-01 are about the best alternative solution. Sound quality is great (for the target demographic), and pricing is reasonably attractive too when compared to similarly performing in-ear options.
Overall - 85%
- Washable earcups and headbands make these a more viable solution for fitness than most headphones
- Great bass-forward sound profile, ideal for the gym
- Superb battery
- They will require a lot more maintenance with washing vs earbuds
- Can become uncomfortable for extended sessions
Adidas are not a brand you would typically associate with headphones, but as a sports brand, they have started to venture into sports focussed headphones.
The Adidas RPT-01 are a unique looking pair of over-the-head headphones, which is not particularly a style I would associate with sports. However, I have enjoyed using them and found them particularily good for weightlifting, but I am still not convinced about using them for my Zwift sessions as they need washing each session.
- Up to 40 hours playtime with superfast USB-C...
- IPX4 rated sweat & Water resistance
- Removable, washable knitted ear cushions and inner...
- Control Knob and action button with optional...
- Dimensions: 19 cm x 14 cm x 7 cm
- Weight: 209 grams
- Knitted sport material
- Washable ear cushions and inner headband
- Sweatproof and splashproof (IPX4-rated)
- Ergonomic fit with 360-degree swivel
- 40-plus hours playtime
- Control knob and action button
- USB-C connectivity; Bluetooth 5.0
- Product colour: Black / Grey
- App-controlled with EQ options
Design & Fit
Due to the amount I sweat, these are not a style I would ever personally choose. As a keen Zwifter, a lot of my indoor bike rides end up with literal puddles of sweat on the floor, making on-ear or over-ear headphones impractical. However, Adidas has mitigated some of the sweat issues by uses a washable knitted sports material and removable earcups.
It took me longer than it should to work out how to wash these earphones. The written instructions make no mention of it, you need the app then go into the manual from there before you find out what to do. I had assumed the material was a sort of sock that sits over the headphones, which you can then remove. However, the whole earcup is removable with the plastic enclosure and foam padding. In hindsight, this makes more sense, allowing you to wash everything, including the foam.
You can even wash the headband by unclipping the plastic inner headband then sliding the knitted section off (with the earcup removed).
I am not entirely convinced this is ideal for my level of cardio intensity vs in-ear, but I think it should be adequate for most users, and it is a significantly better option than the uPVC earcups on most headphones.
The knitted material gives these quite a unique look which I think most people would find attractive. They are quite small for headphones, and at 209g, they don’t weigh your head down too much.
The earcups sit on top of your ears, this helps avoid your ears overheating a bit, but I find for prolonged sessions, my ears can get a little achy. Extending the headband for a slightly looser fit can relieve some ear pressure for extended sessions.
Short term comfort is good, and I am sure most people will find this preferable to the intrusive nature of in-ear earbuds.
I found these work well for weightlifting; this tends to be a little shorter and less sweaty than my cardio sessions. No matter how good the fit is for my in-ear earbuds, they always find a way to fall out mid-set when lifting, with deadlifts being a particularly bad culprit for this problem. It can be quite distracting, which is not what you want mid pull. With these, there are no issues.
The headphones seem to be very durable, the headband can be twisted and manipulated as much as you want, and they still bounce back into shape.
Unlike many headphones, these lack a 3.5mm headphone jack, so it is Bluetooth only.
The Adidas RPT-01 have a very much sport focussed sound profile with a moderately large bass emphasis. You can tweak the sound to your liking via the Adidas headphones app, the EQ has various pre-sets, but I find the overall effect of the EQ to be quite mild. You are not going to turn these into highly accurate natural headphones magically.
While they are bass-heavy, it is not a ridiculous amount of bass like you may find with some in-ear options (Jabra Elite 75T), which are reliant on the seal from the eartips to achieve deep lows.
With the on-ear design, these accommodate much larger drivers than the in-ear counterpart, so you don’ have to worry about getting a perfect seal with the fit. I, therefore, find that these produce a superior sound quality compared to many other sports focussed earbuds.
Mids are generally excellent with a warmer low mid but tapering off for the high mids. The highs are perhaps a weak spot, losing a little detail, however, they don’t suffer from any harshness, so I have found them pleasant to listen to for longer sessions.
Personally, I really like the sound quality of these, they target the sports focussed demographic well.
One massive benefit to on-ear headphones vs earbuds is the battery life. These are rated at 40-plus hours of playtime, which is more than you will find for most TWS earbuds when looking at playtime plus battery case.
Price and Alternative Options
|adidas Sport RPT-01 Bluetooth Headphone - Night Grey||£117.85||Buy on Amazon|
|Plantronics BackBeat Fit 6100 Bluetooth Sports Headset,...||£79.95||Buy on Amazon|
Just to be confusing, the Adidas RPT-01 are priced at £119.99 from adidasheadphones.com but £150 from Adidas, however, you can get 20% off if you sign up to their newsletter, taking them down to £120. Amazon normally has these for £120 but currently £139.99.
The Poly BackBeat FIT 6100, priced at around £90, are about the closest competitor I can find with an on-ear design and IPX5. However, like most headphones, these have uPVC coated fixed earcups, so Poly advertise these as wipe-clean ear cushions. Not quite the same as fully washable.
There are, of course, many alternative in-ear options, but if you are specifically trying to avoid in-ear, then these are your best bet.
I had low expectations of the Adidas RPT-01 headphones. Adidas is not well known for audio and on-ear headphones sounds like a bad idea for sports to me.
However, I have come away pleasantly surprised. They sound good, with a very gym-focussed sound profile, and the washable earcups and headband make these far more appealing than any other headphone I am aware of. Of course, your mileage will vary. Not everyone is disgustingly sweaty or as active as me, you see many people using regular none IP rated headphones for the gym without an issue.
The Adidas RPT-01 end up being quite unique. They are the only viable on or over-ear headphone I can find that I can recommend for intensive fitness and sports.
Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API