Pioneer is known more for its home theater equipment and car speakers than it is for headphones. That’s why we were a bit curious when we heard about the company’s SE-CL5BT wireless earbuds, part of the new ClipWear Active series of exercise-targeted earphones (of which the CL5BT is currently the only member).
The market is more than flush with leash-based “wireless” options these days, so we can’t blame you for wondering what makes Pioneer’s newest buds stand out. Well, for starters, the earbuds feature an integrated clothing clip (hence the name), located at the halfway point on the leash, that’s intended to clip to the neckline of your shirt or sports bra (in the rear; see below).
The clip itself is multipurpose, also serving as a housing for the earbuds’ battery, helping reduce the weight of the buds themselves to a minuscule .74 ounces. As you might expect, there’s also a three-button inline control panel that’s home to an integrated microphone, making phone calls a simple task.
The SE-CL5BT feature 9.2mm drivers, and the battery lasts a purported eight hours total (two hours charge time). In case you use an iPod or some other non-smartphone gadget to store your tunes, the earbuds also support multipoint Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity, allowing for pairing with two devices simultaneously. You can move up to 32 feet away without breaking the signal, so storing your valuables in a locker at the gym isn’t necessarily out of the question.
The earbuds are IPX4 rated for water and sweat resistance, so you should be fine running in the rain and engaging particularly strenuous exercise. They’re not waterproof, so try and avoid wearing them in the shower or — even worse — the pool. Like most earbuds these days, they come complete with several sizes of silicone eartips to help you find the perfect fit.
The SE-CL5BT (really rolls of the tongue, doesn’t it?) are available now, priced at $40 in five different colors: Black, blue, red, mint, and white. Pioneer is advertising them as a potential holiday gift; perhaps they’d make a good stocking stuffer for an active individual in your life?