Cases And Accessories

Adidas RPD-01 evaluate: good sound, over-fulfilled capabilities

“The RPD-01 fits and sounds good, but is superior in the feature department.”

  • Workout-friendly design

  • Function control

  • Good sound quality

  • Missing functions compared to the competition

  • No storage case / bag

When I tested the Adidas RPT-01 a few months ago, I welcomed them as functional fitness-focused headphones in an on-ear class that frankly doesn’t offer many other solid options.

With the RPD-01 – the wired in-ear version of the RPT-01 – Adidas succeeded in developing another powerful pair of workout wearables. However, unlike the relatively uncompetitive on-ear headphone genre, the $ 100 RPD-01 faces far tougher competitors, most of which are from the function-oriented JLab Audio brand.

In other words, the RPD-01 is facing an uphill battle.

What’s in the box?

From the point of view of sustainability, Adidas is the packaging of the RPD-01. Almost everything is made of cardboard and has a fairly compact footprint. There are three additional pairs of earbuds and ear fins, a very short USB-C charging cable and your standard literature. But beyond that, this box is nothing more than cute, sustainable cardboard.

Nick Woodard / Digital Trends

The setup is standard on the RPD-01. If you’ve paired at least one Bluetooth enabled product with your mobile device in the past, you’ll know everything you need to know. Connecting up to these wired buds is as easy as it should be, and you can be up and running with these buds in no time.

The RPD-01 has built-in Bluetooth 5 technology, and Adidas rates the buds with a range of 10 meters. While these workout earbuds are rarely that far from your mobile device, extensive testing has shown this area to be accurate. This is the term I use liberally to place my phone in a far corner of my house and travel to the most opposite point of my belongings possible. The earphones had no noticeable dropouts.

design

I have not been silent about the general style of a pair of earbuds like the RPD-01 in the past. True wireless is just the far more popular design aesthetic than a setup where the buds are connected by a wire. Even if it’s old news by now, I won’t be shy about repeating it.

Nick Woodard / Digital Trends

Aside from the disclaimer, I’m a huge fan of the design of the RPD-01. At 23 grams, the RPD-01 is significantly heavier than the JLab Audio Epic Sport2, which weighs only 14.8 grams. But they don’t feel like a heavy burden as the buds sit comfortably in my ears and the flexible neck band rests around my neck. I swapped a bit with the various earbuds and ear fins that were available to me but ended up on the setup the buds came with to achieve my preferred balance of safety and comfort.

As evidence of this combination, I got on my bike over the weekend to see how the RPD-01 would handle a bumpy ride on some easy trails and gravel roads. To cut a long story short, an alleged weekend cruise resulted in a three hour hike of 27 miles that somehow spat me into the nearest town. Many things went wrong that afternoon, but the RPD-01 was one of the things that went right. I never had to adjust them and my ears were one of the few tireless parts of the body left after the gracious end of the ride. So I have to go home: The Adidas RPD-01 were both comfortable and safe for the duration of an extremely long, bumpy bike ride.

The RPD-01 is available in three colors including night gray, light gray and tint of green. It has a three-button control system for processing music, adjusting volume and answering or rejecting calls. On the other side of the neckband there is an action button that can be used to call up a voice assistant or a Spotify playlist via the Adidas headphones app. It’s pretty simple, but it works well, which is more than I can say for some frustrating touch controls I’ve been looking at lately.

The Adidas RPD-01 were both comfortable and safe for the duration of an extremely long, bumpy bike ride.

One disadvantage of the RPD-01 is the significant lack of a suitcase, bag or even a pocket to keep them in. The JLab Audio Epic ANC has an included carrying case and the JLab Audio Epic2 has a sturdy case. I know Adidas has kept things to a minimum and there are probably people out there who would enjoy that approach, but the idea of ​​protecting these headphones when not in use appeals to me more.

characteristics

Of the many wired neckband earphones I tested this year, the RPD-01 had the worst characteristics. That doesn’t mean the lack of these features is inherently bad since the RPD-01’s are still quite useful training buds in my book, but it does mean that there are similarly designed options across the board that have better features in the same Own price range.

Nick Woodard / Digital Trends

The JLab Audio Epic Sport2 are the obvious comparison here, as they too are mostly intended as training buds. While the RPD-01 has 12 hours of playtime and an IPX4 weather resistance, the Epic Sport2 shatters those stats with 20 hours of playtime and an IP66 rating.

The JLab Audio Epic ANC is not designed for movement, but has a weatherproof protection class IP54 and a battery of 20 hours when active noise cancellation is switched off and 15 hours in total when the function is activated. Even the 1More Dual Driver ANC has better weather resistance with an IPX5 rating while reflecting the battery stats of the JLab Audio Epic ANC.

Of the many wired neckband earphones I tested this year, the RPD-01 had the worst characteristics.

If the RPD-01 were the cheapest buds at the party, I could understand this feature mismatch, but both JLab products cost less than the $ 100 RPD-01, which is a significant blow to the overall value of those buds. To be clear, 12 hours of battery life is still decent for cable buds, and an IPX4 rating should get you through the gym. But when real wireless options like the JLab Epic Air Sport ANC (15 hour lifespan, IP66 rating) beat the RPD-01 for the exact same price, I wonder who exactly these headphones could make sense for.

Audio quality

The only clear advantage that Adidas has over JLab Audio with the RPD-01 is the sound quality. While the audio quality of the Epic ANC is average and the call quality of the Epic Sport2 is mediocre, the RPD-01 does a particularly commendable and sometimes truly extraordinary job in both areas.

Nick Woodard / Digital Trends

They do not match the audio quality of the 1More Dual Driver ANC, which remains the benchmark for sound in this form factor. However, the 6 mm neodymium drivers built into the RPD-01 effectively process the pair’s frequency range from 20 to 20,000 kHz. When auditioning my playlist for these reviews, the RPD-01 moved through a number of tracks with no problem. On Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road, the now legendary bass hook was intact just before Ed Sheeran’s acoustic cover of Candle in The Wind shot into my ears with impressive clarity.

When it came to phone calls, several family members checked in during this brutal weekend bike ride, and while those earbuds didn’t have enough passive noise cancellation to block out the noise on my end, I was pleased to report that the microphone picked up my voice was clear to hear large rigs fly by on my journey along a major highway.

The takeaway here is the RPD-01, which offers quality sound for $ 100. Is the sound so much better than both JLab products that I would give up objectively better functions for it? Probably not. However, if you’re hoping to get close to 1More sound levels without paying the full $ 150, you are sure to be closer than JLab’s alternatives.

Our opinion

The RPD-01 fits and sounds great, but unfortunately every pair of neckband earbuds we tested this year outperforms them in terms of total number of features for the price. Especially if two of these pairs are cheaper, Adidas won’t be put in a favorable light despite the functionality of those buds.

Are there any better alternatives?

Both the $ 80 JLab Epic ANC and the $ 50 JLab Epic Sport2 offer better features across the board, although they have a noticeable difference in sound quality. The 1More Dual Driver ANC is closer to a full package of audio and features, but at $ 150, it is the more expensive option.

How long will they last?

The RPD-01 are a flexible bud pair with a decent weather resistance. However, they don’t include a storage case or pouch to expose those buds to the elements or even bite-sized pets. If my phone charger and Xbox controller were current readings, nothing is certain when a puppy is teething.

Should you buy it?

No, unless you really care about good sound quality rather than better features. If not, then both the JLab Epic ANC and the Epic Sport2 are better buys.

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