- Rests very securely, and fits comfortably in the ear
- Sweat- and water-resistant
- Good battery life
- Sound can distort at higher volumes
- Not completely waterproof
- Not for audiophiles
Introducing Monster Adidas Sport Adistar Earbuds
Sports headphones are unique in the fact that sound quality alone is rarely the primary selling factor. Of course, the tunes need to sound good for the headphones to be worth the money, but there is almost nothing more frustrating than having your earbuds getting constantly snagged and pulled out of your ears during your workout routine.
Where the Adistars ultimately shine through is how well they hold on to the user’s ear canal. Not only are they a remarkably secure fit, but are exceptionally comfortable as well.
Monster and Adidas announced a partnership to produce a series of lifestyle headphones in 2014, and since then have expanded their relationship to make a new line of fitness-focused headphone products—the Adistar is the flagship in-ear version of this newer line.
Plenty of Features in A Plain-Looking Package
As far as aesthetics go, there is nothing visually striking that set these earbuds apart from the competition. They are only available in standard black with a few small silver trimmings. The Adidas logo is featured on the outside of the earbuds, and due to the asymmetrical shape of the buds themselves, there are no markings to label the left and right buds.
The earbuds are connected to each other by a short rubber-coated wire—since these are Bluetooth-only headphones, there is no physical jack to plug them directly into non-Bluetooth devices. About halfway along the wire is a small in-line remote, with buttons to control volume as well as use the featured microphone when you need to take a phone call. The Adistar’s battery is housed within this little remote and can be charged via a micro-USB port located on the side—a nice feature considering some wireless earbuds have the charger located on the buds themselves, making them unnecessarily bulky in some cases.
Noise Isolation: Weighing in On Comfort and Safety
These are noise-isolating earbuds, so in order to get the best audio quality, you’ll have to have to push them directly into your ear canals to get a proper seal. This shouldn’t be much of an issue given how comfortable the fit is (described further below). Since these are sports earbuds, however, it is important to note that wearing them makes it much harder to hear surrounding noise. While this might just be a matter of preference for some, these type of buds may not be for you if not being able to hear background noise creates a safety hazard in your typical workout setting.
Decent Quality for Bluetooth-Only Headphones
Adistar earbuds can produce punchy bass tones that don’t quite drown out accompanying mid and high frequencies, but only up to three-quarters volume. The sound will start to distort once you begin cranking the tunes higher, with instruments seeming to blend into each other at times. Treble is also a little intense on the Adistar compared to other earbuds, which may become more noticeable depending on the recording quality of the audio tracks being played.
The headphones utilize the aptX® Bluetooth codec which streamlines the communication process between the earbuds and your device. Since Bluetooth bandwidth is limited and is not always ideal for large, high-quality audio files, aptX® compresses the audio information being transferred without a loss in quality, allowing for a more seamless listening experience with no stuttering and minimized distortion. It’s a handy piece of firmware found on many Bluetooth audio devices, but still doesn’t quite put the Adistars on the same playing field as some of the most premium earbuds out there.
The Fit: Custom, Comfortable, and Secure
What is likely the most sellable aspect of the Adistars is the fact that they are as comfortable to wear as they are secure in your ears. As mentioned previously, the last thing anyone wants to be doing during their workout is constantly having to put your headphones back into your ear, just because you snagged that one passing branch on your run or turned too quickly to avoid it. The Adistar features several different-sized rubber ear-tips for the buds to fit your ear canal, and also a variety of “ear fins” that effectively pin the buds up against the small inner ridge of your ear, securing them in place.
Tug and pull all you like—these buds aren’t coming out unless you twist them the right way. From running to weight lifting, to aerobics, there’s hardly any need to worry about getting abruptly pulled out of the zone again.
Finding The Right Balance Between Quality and Comfort
Just as everyone’s workout routine is different, there is a different set of earbuds that are right for each individual athlete. The sound quality on the Adistars is definitely above average when it comes to Bluetooth-connected earbuds, making them worth looking at for those that don’t want a connecting wire running down their torso to their device. If having a physical connection isn’t an issue, however, there are better-sounding non-Bluetooth options available for similar prices.
One thing the Adistar is hard to outplay on is its balance between both a secure and comfortable fit. Many designs for sports earbuds have come out over the years trying to innovate ways to keep them from being pulled out of listener’s ears, but often at the expense of having the fit feel less natural. These buds are comfortable to sit in your ears for several hours at a time, long enough to get through most running routines.
Should You Buy the Adidas Sport Adistar?
The Monster Adidas Sport Adistar in-ear wireless headphones are currently selling for $99. At this price range, the Adistars should be seen as simply a cut above similar headphones going for $50 or below. It’s a good buy if you’re looking for a decent pair of Bluetooth headphones on a $100 budget. There are better-sounding options out there if you have a bit more money to spend, and that’s what you’re looking for, but in terms of other wireless earbuds, you may have a tough time finding anything better for a similar price. When it comes to comfort, however, some of the more expensive pairs have an even harder time competing.
Surprisingly versatile and great-sounding, Monster Adidas Sport Adistar In-Ear Wireless Headphones are a great deal for the price.