Thursday, April 18, 2024

REVIEWED: Trainer by Gibson Ti100 Bluetooth in-ear headphones

Weighing just 14g, with excellent sound quality and plenty of choice on how to wear them, these water-resistant in-ears are a slightly longer battery away from travel bliss

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Are these the best Bluetooth earphones around? After a decade of badly designed wireless earphones boasting short battery life and as much inconvenience as wired earphones, Gibson’s Ti100 have changed everything. Versatile and sounding great, they’re nevertheless only capable of about six hours battery life, which we rate as just too short for convenient travel. However, so comfortable are they to wear, and easy to use, that for short trips we’re giving the Ti100 a ticket to ride.

Designed for exercise

Usain Bolt likes them, you know. Although Gibson could probably have designed these with the help of your average jogger rather than The Fastest Man In The World, the Ti100 are perfect for exercising. Unusually, the in-ears can be placed either in upright or hook-style thanks to teardrop-shaped coverings that rotate through 360 degrees (there are a total of four styles of ear tips in the box). Worn normally, in our test the Ti100 did move about just enough for us to lose audio now and again, but hooked around our ears they were secure and comfortable. There’s also a tiny magnetic clip to latch the Ti100 to clothes (a good idea when on the move).

Great extras

The box also contains a few extras that might hellion your travels; a lime green, waterproof gym bag (which is totally waterproof and rustproof – perfect for travelling with wet gear, or when you’re anywhere near a desert and want to protect your electronics), an armband for carrying your phone during exercise (probably leave that one at home!), an almost weightless water bottle (nice!) and even a small towel. Athletes travel light – and so should we all. The Ti100 comes in a low-profile circular case, which is easy enough to slip into a pocket.

Battery life

Charged-up via microUSB slot hidden behind a hard-to-prise-open flap on the in-line remote control, the Ti100 lasted for about six hours in our test. Linking to an iPhone took seconds – and the phone always remembered to link again. Considering how small the on-board battery is, six hours is no bad at all, though we’re concerned it may not be enough for very long journeys (though you could just pack a portable battery). That in-line remote is nicely positioned for easy fiddling; it’s low enough to reach but high enough to stay off your collar. An LED light at the back even flashes during darkness (it’s called NightNav), though that part of the product does get cold in chilly weather. Best put it on while indoors during winter.

Bolt out of the blue

A lightweight design and a flat cable that resists getting tangled, the Ti100 are very well designed. They stay in the ear if hooked, they’re easy to control – either pause, or a volume change – and the set-up with a smartphone is child’s play. Best of all is the sound quality, which has plenty of mid-range as well as treble detail, though it’s that 14-gram weight that makes the Ti100 (sold in black or white) perfect for travelling without a mess of cables.

Price as reviewed: £149.95

Buy the Gibson Ti100 Bluetooth in-ear headphones