X-1 Momentum Ultra Light Headphones

Manufacturer Description

All ears are different, and even the biggest, toughest guy can have trouble finding comfortable, durable headphones that fit. Finally, Weatherproof and Sweatproof headphones with an ultra-small, lightweight design for uninterrupted, premium sound that survives all your workouts in any terrain.

Features

  • Sweatproof + Rinsable
  • Designed to withstand heavy perspiration, these headphones can be used in all types of weather and be rinsed after use for a fresh, clean fit.
  • IPX Rating – IP4
  • Secure Fit for Athletes
  • Includes 4 ear tip sizes to provide a customizable fit that keeps headphones in place during even the most rigorous of activities.
  • Reflective for Safety
  • Retro-reflective, tangle free cord illuminates with light for extra visibility and safety while working out or running in low light.
  • Remote + Mic
  • In-line remote is iPod and iPhone compatible, allowing control of volume and playback, as well as placing or receiving calls and activating SIRI.
  • Retail – $50

YMMV Review

At the OR Show this winter, among all the different vendors I visited I was able to talk with X-1 Audio. I have not had much experience with their headphone but am always willing to try something new for my workouts. The Momentum Ultra Light are made for running so I figured it would be a good fit for my spring plans.

Front View - Click to See Larger

Front View – Click to See Larger

X-1 Audio is powered by H2O Audio, a company that began from a graduate student’s project in Southern California. It quickly became a leader in waterproof and sweatproof headphones. The technology has evolved over the last decade with audio solutions for athletes across a wide range of disciplines. The brand was inspired by the Bell X-1, the first aircraft to break the sound barrier. X-1 Audio has solutions for triathletes, swimmers, runners, kayakers, snowboarders, climbers, weightlifters, and gym goers. They will not be held back by the activity or Mother Nature.

Testing

Since I have been training for Ironman Coeur d’Alene, I have had ample opportunity to test these headphones. I have been using them in the gym, on the bike, and on plenty of runs. I do not have an iPhone 5, so I have not been able to test the Siri functionality, but I have been testing it with my iPhone 4 and iPod.

Side View - Click to See Larger

Side View – Click to See Larger

Design ★★★½☆

Appearance (10%) ★★★½☆

Construction (35%) ★★★★☆

Materials (25%) ★★★★☆

Sustainability (10%) ☆☆☆☆☆

Weight (20%) ★★★☆☆

X-1 is known for their water resistance technology. They have been designed to be sweatproof and weather resistant. They even can be rinsed off after particularly sweaty uses. By overall appearance, these look like normal headphones but there is much more going on. The cord is not rubber/plastic like most others but is actually made of a fabric that is both tangle free and reflective. On the right ear cord, there is a microphone and remote control if you are using the headphones with a Smartphone or iPod. The remote is a typical three button remote that allows you to start/stop, change volume, and skip forward and backward.

Ear Buds - Click to See Larger

Ear Buds – Click to See Larger

The headphones have small ear buds that come with four different attachments to work for whatever ears you have. X-1 has put a moveable clip on the cords that supports the weight of the cords and takes some of it off of the ears. The four ear tips are distinctly different. There are two standard type rubber tips, one being large and one being small. There is another rubber tip that has ridges and a cone shape. The last of the tips is a foam cone shaped tip. These options are different enough that they can work for nearly any ear shape.

The headphones are nice and light as you would expect. You can tell that they are well-made and feel solid. The only drawback is that I was not able to find much information about the materials used in the making of these. This would lead me to believe that the materials are not sustainable or green. Most companies will call that out if they use those types of materials.

Remote & Mic - Click to See Larger

Remote & Mic – Click to See Larger

Fit ★★★★☆

Adjustability (40%) ★★★★½

Comfort (60%) ★★★★☆

I really liked how X-1 gives you plenty of options that can be used to fit your ears. Not only are they different shapes, but they are also different materials. I have tried all four and actually found that three of them worked well with one working better than the rest. For me that was the ridged rubber ear tip. Changing these ear tips is super easy as well, just pull them off and push the new one on. It only takes a second. One thing that I also appreciated about these is they do not stick out too far from my ears. Not only does this keep them from looking funny but more importantly allows them to be used comfortably with a beanie. Something that I often have to do here in Colorado.

Clip - Click to See Larger

Clip – Click to See Larger

One thing I was a bit worried about was having a fabric cord. It has a bit of roughness to it when compared to a smooth plastic/rubber cord you normally have. Even though it felt rough to the touch, I noticed no negative when actually in use. Actually, when sweaty the cord did not stick to the skin like others have. This does make the cord a bit wet feeling, but I will take that over grabbing on my neck.

Performance ★★★½☆

Durability (20%) ★★★★☆

Ease of Use (30%) ★★★☆☆

Sound Quality (30%) ★★★☆☆

Weather Resistance (20%) ★★★★½

Since I got these, they have been my go to headphones for nearly everything. I have mentioned how much I like their comfort, but they also have functioned well. It is hard to tell the audio quality when working out. The quality seems good; I have no complaints so that speaks well. So far, one of the things I have liked about these is the excellent durability. Maybe it is the fabric cord, but it feels much more durable than a typical plastic/rubber cord. The only thing that worries me is the length of the jack. Since it is straight, it sticks out a bit and in tighter locations this can mean the cord having to make a sharper bend. I have had others fail because of this, of course this by no means says the X-1’s will fail there.

The Jack - Click to See Larger

The Jack – Click to See Larger

One of the best things about these is the sweat and water resistance of the headphones. I never really soaked them on any runs, but they have held up well to plenty of sweaty activities. I have rinses them off without occasion, and I think that is more than they would ever have to hold up to on any rainy day. I like having the microphone and remote. It is handy when you have your device tucked away. The only drawback I have with the remote is that the buttons are pretty small. That makes it tough to find quickly when on the move. In the winter with gloves on it becomes even more of an issue, this is no different than any others. The other thing that is worth noting is how easy it is to change out the ear tips. They can be pulled off and pushed on with ease. Fortunately, they have not popped off unless I pulled on them, so there are no worries about them coming off on their own.

4 Ear Tips - Click to See Larger

4 Ear Tips – Click to See Larger

Overall ★★★½☆

Overall, the X-1 headphones are one of my favorites I have tested. There is not much ground breaking that can be done to a standard pair of headphones. The X-1 does everything well, but the sweat and weather protection is what sets them apart. I was also really impressed by the ear tip options that came with these. Most anyone should be able to find something that works for them. If you need a durable pair of headphones for hard workouts, these are a great option. They even are reflective for low light runs and rides. The X-1 Momentum Ultra light Headphones retail for $50 and worth it, in my opinion. They definitely feel more durable than most I have used. Great for running, cycling, and general workouts. Hopefully down the road I can try out their full technology in the model made for swimming. As always, Your Mileage May Vary.

Pros [field name=iFrame]

  • Sweat and Water resistance
  • Durable fabric cord
  • Small ear bud
  • 4 separate ear tips
  • Reflective cord

Cons

  • Straight jack sticks out further
  • Small buttons on remote tougher to find on the move

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About the author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

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