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(The Gear Loop) - Adidas has added to its line of sports-focussed headphones with a new range of true wireless buds that have been designed in collaboration with renowned audio specialists Zound Industries - the company responsible for much of Marshall and Urbanear’s headphone output.

The new line is true wireless for the first time, meaning runners and fitness fans don't have to contend with dangling cables, with the Adidas Z.N.E. 01 ANC, Adidas Z.N.E. 01 and Adidas FWD-02 Sport all offering slightly different features and offering an array of price points. Sitting at the top of the range is the Z.N.E. 01 ANC version, which features Active Noise Cancellation.

AdidasAdidas unveils new line of true wireless headphones designed for running enthusiasts photo 3

With the overall look and design deliberately conceived to match Adidas sportswear, the black or grey buds cleverly feature the marque’s iconic three stripes on the mesh that covers the drivers and built-in microphones.

Designed to fit snugly in the ear and stay in place during any activity, they can be set to seal off the outside world or flicked to “Awareness mode” for those times when noticing your surroundings is important for safety reasons. The IPX5 water resistance rating means they are sweat-proof and fairly water-resistant, although users only get 4.5 hours of playtime per charge, which could fall short for those really keen runners, cyclists and hikers.

There is also a cheaper, entry-level version in the Adidas Z.N.E. 01, which have have a slightly lower water resistance rating and lack the noise cancellation tech, but you will get an extra hour of playback per charge.

Finally, and likely most important to those taking their running and more explosive fitness seriously, is the Adidas FWD-02 Sport, a more ergonomic design with extra tips and wings to fit snugly inside the ear and ensure a secure fit.

Sweat-proof and glove-friendly controls make it possible to adjust volume and skip tracks on the fly, while a similar “Awareness mode” lets in more ambient noise to let the user stay on top of the action around them.

The FWD-02 Sport can also be personalised in a bespoke app to allow the user to set custom actions to control playback, while running time in these models is extended to six hours of playback per charge.

All models come with a compact charging case and it’s possible to plug them in and get an hour of playback from just 15 minutes of charging. The Z.N.E. 01 ANC earphones cost $189 / £169, while the The Z.N.E. 01 pair come in at $99 / £89. They are both available now. 

The most run-friendly Adidas FWD-02 Sport cost $169 / £139 and will be available later in 2021. 

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Writing by Leon Poultney. Originally published on 9 November 2021.