Right now a lot of people want true wireless headphones and it makes sense. They’re super easy to transport, do a good enough job on the go, have a multitude of functionality and there are all kinds of clever elements to them. HELM Audio impressed us with their surprisingly affordable True Wireless 5 headphones, so naturally, we were excited to look at the HELM Sportsband HD triple driver wireless headphones. Targeting a different niche, the sport band has insane battery life and potential, but is it worth the asking price?
From a design standpoint, the packaging is similar to what we saw from HELM Audio in the past. The black box with white text and images stands out and offers a good idea of what can be expected from HELM Sportband HD. Certain key selling points are highlighted, like Bluetooth 5, IPX5 water resistance, impressive 25-hour battery life, along with Qualcomm low latency aptX HD, and AAC functionality. Inside is a case that includes the headphones and all the accessories.
The hardshell case is a really nice addition. It’s thin enough to fit in most bags, with enough durability to take a hit or three. Getting HELM Sportsband HD in place is a breeze, though it’s disappointing the piece that holds the earpieces in place is made of paper. But the rest of the case is meant to hold them firmly in place and protect your investment. There is also a soft carrying case, it’s the same one included with DB12 AAAMP, for anyone looking for an easier way to transport them.
Pairing and set up was a breeze. The right earpiece has a place to increase, decrease, and play/pause music, with the play/pause button being used to turn them on. Within moments I was able to sync them with my phone, remove, resync, and continue to enjoy them. They also, as previously mentioned, support Bluetooth 5, meaning they do automatically pair with a connected device.
With a lightweight design and cool silicon feel, they feel comfortable to wear for a decent bit. They also stay in place even during intense movement, making it easy to see why the HELM Sportsband HD is great for working out or enjoying music in a more active lifestyle. When not in use, unfortunately, the earpieces remain out. HELM Audio approaches this issue by making the two ends magnetic, holding them in place, but far from the most elegant solution we’ve seen on similar products.
All of this would be pointless if HELM Sportsband HD fell short in regards to audio, but they do a pretty good job. For most songs they featured heavy lows, bringing the bass to life without overpowering other sounds. This makes them perfect for rocking out or being one of the often joked about people working out to heavy metal.
Given these are triple driver headphones, you can expect a bit more from HELM Sportsband HD. Lyrics are easy to hear, with a good amount of range bringing the mids and highs out. At times they can be a little bright but otherwise a good balance. That said, don’t expect the world from them either.
Often times, due to the design, the soundstage is fairly narrow. It can make the sounds feel cluttered and make some of the finer points hard to hear. Still, for basic listening or just using on the go, they do a good job with a surprisingly high amount of battery life. Even after falling asleep with them on I found I still had 80 or so percent left and there should be more than enough to get through most days, even if you forget to charge them once or twice.
HELM Sportsband HD Triple Driver Wireless Headphones Review – Verdict
Compared to other sportbands, HELM Audio did a fantastic job with the HELM Sportsband HD. Not only do you get a good sound in a small package, but the IPX5 and 24 hours of use for just $130 also make them an easy choice. Even if other options look a little nicer or offer sleeker features, it’s hard to beat the functionality found here. Add in the cases, multiple ear tip sizes, good mic for talking to people on the go, and it’s legitimately find something better for even twice its price.
[Editor’s Note: HELM Sportsband HD Triple Driver Wireless headphones were provided to us for review purposes.]