Things We Love: An Ode to Fitness Tech


As B&H’s resident Guy Who Works Out a Lot to Compensate for His Glaring Personality Defects, fitness is a big part of my everyday life. Whether it’s lifting weights at the gym, running in the park, or just playing basketball after work—few days go by that don’t involve some kind of physical activity. And because exercise is such a crucial part of my daily routine, there are a handful of fitness gadgets that I simply could not live (or lift) without. In the spirit of this week's holiday, I’d like to present those items to you now and sing some of their many praises. Take note, Hallmark, this is what true love sounds like.

JayBird X3 Headphones

My dad has a saying: “There’s no better way to say ‘I love you’ than through a song.” Now, while I don’t necessarily recommend subscribing to the romantic notions of a man who’s had more wives than hairstyles, I do agree with him about the power of song. For me, music is the lifeblood of any workout. Whether it’s one more rep, one more minute, or one more mile, the right song can be the difference between hitting your PR* or a plateau. Now, personally, I don’t have a preferred media player for listening to music (I typically use my phone), but I do have a preferred headset: my beloved JayBird X3 Headphones.

JayBird X3 Wireless In-Ear Headphones (Blackout)

Without question, JayBirds are the most comfortable and most secured earbuds I’ve ever worn. Regardless of my activity, these things do not budge and they always feel great. In addition to being fall-out proof, Jays are also sweat proof and quite nearly dead-battery proof (you get up to eight hours on a full charge). What makes them even better is that they’re wireless and Bluetooth enabled, so my days of being near-garroted by a tangled headphone cable are long gone. Now I know most people buy headphones based on sound performance and, to be clear, the JayBirds sound great regardless of genre or volume level, but the reason I love them so dearly is that they never let me down no matter what I’m doing. They’re basically the headphones equivalent of a marriage vow: in good times and bad, for better or worse, crushing box jumps or burpees, JayBirds stay with you.

Garmin Forerunner 630

The bad news for all we singles out here is that, despite numerous petitions and heartfelt requests, Garmin has yet to release a wearable device that adequately addresses social awkwardness or romantic ineptitude. However, the good news is the company has pretty much created a gadget for everything else. Chief among those is my all-time favorite fitness accessory and what I would argue is the greatest running watch ever created: the Forerunner 630.

Garmin Forerunner 630 GPS Running Watch with HRM-Run Bundle

The Forerunner 630 is the watch runners would’ve clamored for if they thought such a thing were possible. In addition to the now standard prerequisites of any truly high-end running watch (GPS-based distance calculation, time and pace metrics, etc.), the Forerunner 630 offers a personalized stress score, rates your performance condition, and can even determine your VO2 Max and lactate threshold—basically giving you all the data you need to become a flat-out better, faster, and more efficient runner.

On top of all that, the Forerunner is very easy on the eyes. Its circular design and 1.2" color touchscreen display look almost as good as the 630 performs. Plus, it’s got a ton of other built-in features, like music control, activity tracking functions, and a whole lot more.

Garmin Forerunner 630 GPS Running Watch 

I don’t know if there is such a thing as a gadget soulmate, but if there is, the Forerunner 630 is mine. And unlike other so-called soul mates, the Forerunner won’t ever make you throw out your old Vinny Testaverde jersey, scold you for eating cereal for dinner, or tell you your REO Speedwagon cover band “won’t make it” because you’re “not good.”

Trainer Armband

“I just want something that works like it’s supposed to, is flexible, and doesn’t sweat so much.” Those were three of the reasons my last girlfriend gave for breaking up with me, but she just as easily could have been talking about the final item on my love-list: the Trainer Armband from Griffin Technology.

Trainer Armband from Griffin

I talked about how important music is to me, especially when I’m working out. Well, this handy little device allows me to listen to my favorite tunes without having to hold my phone in hand or keep it in my pocket—both of which are super annoying and, depending on the activity, incredibly prohibitive. With the Trainer Armband, I just pop my iPhone into the sleeve, fasten it around my arm, and I’m good to go. I can access my music library and apps through the touchscreen window, navigate through songs, and adjust playback. Plus, it’s made of sweat-wicking material, so on hot days and long runs it doesn’t get wet and slide down my arm. The Trainer Armband isn’t flashy, it isn’t complicated. In fact, most of the time, I forget I’m even wearing it and that’s the biggest compliment I can give it.

So, there you have it: the three fitness gadgets I couldn’t live without. If you enjoy working out as much as I do, I’d recommend giving any one of them a try. If working out isn’t your thing and you’re only here for romantic advice, well then just find you someone who looks at you the way I look at my Forerunner 630, and you’ll be just fine.

The “Things We Love” series articles are written by B&H Photo Video Pro Audio staff to talk about products and items that we love. Opinions expressed in the articles are those of the writers and do not represent product endorsements from B&H Photo Video Pro Audio.

*That’s meathead-speak for “Personal Record”


"more wives than hairstyles"


is there a cheaper alternative to the jay birds you'd recommend? I want something Bluetooth but probably don't want to drop that much cash


If you're looking for a price-friendlier alternative, definitely check out the Owlee Raven Sport Wireless Earbuds. They use a similar design, sound great, and fit nearly as well as my Jaybirds.    

isnt the Forerunner 735 better than the 630?

The Forerunner 735XT is a great device. It's more capable than the 630 in that it tracks more than just running metrics. I'd recommend it for triathletes or runners who also want to track their cycling and/or swimming stats.