Samsung Gear IconX 2018 (SM-R140) Review: Pair Skating

Samsung Gear IconX 2018 (SM-R140) Review: Pair Skating

Over the past couple of years, not only Apple has been actively promoting the idea of ​​​​ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack and switching to Bluetooth headphones. On the one hand, phone makers are phasing out this retiring nest. On the other hand, they are developing interesting models of completely wireless paired headphones. No matter how conservative music lovers advocate (billions of already purchased headphones on hand around the world, the “impossibility” of transmitting “real” quality via Bluetooth), the quality of sound transmission via a Bluetooth connection is constantly growing, and the rejection of the headphone jack allows you to free even more space inside the smartphone case, where, as you know, every cubic millimeter counts for a long time. The Samsung Gear IconX 2018 is the second generation of paired Bluetooth earbuds that will be unveiled at IFA 2017 this fall along with the Gear Sport smartwatch and Gear Fit2 Pro advanced fitness bracelet. And these are not just miniature headphones, but a smart device (with its own application, of course), which can play the role of an independent player and fitness trainer.

What’s in the box with the Samsung Gear IconX (2018)

In the box with the headphones there is a charging case with a built-in battery (its capacity is enough to fully charge both headphones), a standard USB cable with a USB-C plug, two USB adapters with USB-C and microUSB connectors (why I understand that not immediately) and three sets of rubber ear cups and earcups. The ear pads are the same size, of course, round and interchangeable, but the letters R or L are written on the temples, and they fit only one earpiece – left or right.

Although there is a separate smartphone app for the Gear IconX, there are four LEDs on the body of the case that indicate different charging and connection states. The instructions have a summary table that deciphers all this color music. In 2017, it would be logical to reduce the entire user interaction interface to an application. But since IconX can be used as a standalone player with 4 gigabytes of internal memory, perhaps it makes sense for such an alternative signaling system. In general, it would be time to get used to total miniaturization, but all these numerous contacts, sensors, microphones and LEDs do not cease to amaze me in such small devices.

What the Gear IconX headphones look like live

The first thing that catches your eye is the ergonomic shape of the headphones. Taking into account the touch panel for control and the great desire not to lose them during use, they need to be inserted into the ear only in a strictly defined way. We are all used to interchangeable ear pads (although they are being replaced by Comply foam eartips, which are even more interesting), but I must admit that I encountered separate interchangeable temples for the first time. Usually they, if any, are combined with ear pads.

What the IconX earpiece is made of

As I said, the IconX earpiece is a pretty high-tech device. In general, Samsung knowingly brought IconX into a separate trademark. This includes various advanced pieces (such a project X, with an unambiguously visible desire to give it the status of an icon of style and technology). Each headphone has 4 GB of built-in memory, an 82 mAh battery, two microphones (the second one is used to filter out noise during a call and is needed in order to transmit background sounds to the headphone – as, for example, Here One does) , a tactile sensor (it detects whether the headset is currently on or not) and a touchpad to control volume, calls and switch songs.

How to connect IconX to your phone

If you have a Samsung smartphone, and not the cheapest one, and bought this year, there should be no difficulties. It is enough to insert the headphones into the case, charge them and connect them to the smartphone with a cable. To do this, one of the adapters is used, which turns the USB plug into microUSB or USB-C. After that (I had a 2017 Galaxy A5 at my disposal), the Samsung Gear application is launched, which will allow you to connect, configure and control IconX. If the application does not start (or you do not have a Samsung smartphone), then you should start by installing this application and immediately install the Gear IconX 2018 plugin for it. In general, such an abundance of installations has always annoyed Samsung smart accessories (why not make one, universal application), but it’s worth saying that this year the degree of hell has noticeably dropped. You see, after a couple of years of such trial and error, everything will work perfectly.



There is a third, old-school way to pair IconX with a smartphone. You need to put the headphones in the case and press the button with the Bluetooth icon to the right of the charging socket. The LED will flash and the headphones will go into the old pairing mode familiar to everyone. After that, my headphones appeared in the list of devices under the name Gear IconX (9D52). In this mode, they can play the role of a regular wireless headset, but for other smart functions and using them in player mode, you will need to install the application. If you have a Samsung smartphone, everything is fine (for this reason, by the way, such an accessory can be given to the owner of a Samsung smartphone – it will be a good gift), if not, some functions will be unavailable. On the one hand, this is unfair to buyers of smartphones from other manufacturers, on the other hand, Samsung is unlikely to be able to test the performance of all functions with all possible models in the world. In general, the ideology here is simple (nothing personal): if you want trouble-free work, buy a Samsung smartphone. Given the market share, one can hardly blame the company for this.

What can the IconX app do?

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