The Smart B-Trainer looks familiar to anyone who workes out with W-Series Walkman headphones before. There is still Bluetooth so you can listen wirelessly to pre-loaded music on your phone or stream from services such as Apple Music. It also means you can use it as a Bluetooth headset and even record voice memos. The built-in MP3 player means you can carry your music minus your phone.
Sony says a full charge will give you 10 hours of battery life, which is better than similarly priced Bluetooth sports headphones can offer, especially given that there is GPS on board as well. There is a nice little touch where it can show you what music you’re listening to at any point of the run to help you get a better idea of the kind of tempo that helps you pick up the pace. Unfortunately, this does not work with third-party music apps like Spotify or Apple Music, relying purely on the music saved to your headphones.
Tracking is not the only thing you can do here, though. Sony is also aiming to coach you into becoming a better runner. Offering preset and custom workouts, it will use those built-in sensors to detect your performance and prompt you to pick up the pace or even take a breather. The GPS data appeared accurate even though it will be more interesting to see if it holds up when it is not on a running track but what was more of a concern was that the heart-rate monitor’s signal dropped in and out or simply did not work at all.
That meant when it came to reviewing the data on the app, heart-rate data was notably absent. Consuming the remaining data is at least easy to do and presented in a way where you can instantly get an idea of how good or bad you have done.
Hopefully the heart rate monitoring issues are a one off, because on the whole there is a lot to like about the B-Trainer