Review of BlueAnt Pump Bluetooth wireless HD sportbuds w/lots of pics!!!


Last Updated: 2014-07-08 22:32:26
  1. twister6

    twister6 Guides Guide

    This is a review of BlueAnt Pump Bluetooth wireless HD sportbuds. BlueAnt PUMP

    Lately, there has been a number of new releases in wireless sport headphones. I found it to be very interesting how each pair brings something new and original to stand out from competition. The latest one I had a chance to review is from BlueAnt, a well known company with a number of wireless products. They just entered a market with their own set of Sportbuds. All I can say is they made one impressive "splash" with this entry, releasing one of the toughest built waterproof headphones I have seen to date. Let's take a closer look at what I found.

    It's clear that BlueAnt done their homework really well by studying the competition to come up with a spec, a fitment, and accessories to make everybody happy. Arrived in a very impressive packaging, their presentation showed almost realistic-like 3D water droplets on top of the tray where these sportbuds were sitting. I was honestly expecting to see yet another variation of two earbuds connected by a cable with in-line remote. To my surprise Pump HD has a behind the ear design, but it looked very slick and modern, not like some other headsets I've seen in the past that resemble a hearing aid. I also noticed how lightweight Pumps felt in my hand and hardly even noticeable once placed around my ears. One common problem with earbuds is finding proper eartips for the best fitment to seal your ear canal and also to make sure they won't fall out of your ears during extreme activities. Here, though Blueant included a very generous selection of a total of 7 pairs of eartips (doubles of each S/M/L pairs and a pair of Comply premium awareness tips), and 2 pairs of stabilizers, and a separate cable zip - all this was to enhance the sound isolation and customize cable length. The fitment itself was taken care of by behind the ear design.

    The headset itself has IP67 rating which guarantees to withstand heavy exposure to wet condition. With a Teflon coating and Kevlar shielding, it blocks water, salt, dust and sweat from entering the headphone set. Also, the micro-usb recharging port (with a high quality cable included in accessories) has a durable seal cap. All the Bluetooth button controls are sealed as well. The included blue eartips seems to be made out of durable silicone material and with a right size selection provide a decent noise isolation. But if you need to be aware of your surrounding, Blueant also included a pair of premium Comply Awareness tips that allow background noise. To compliment it's durable built, Pump also includes a durable lasting battery for up to 8hr of play - a very impressive performance!

    Wireless pair up was very easy, and it got connected to my phone and media audio without any problem. It supports all the common Bluetooth profiles, such as A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, and HSP. Using multifunction Play button, easily distinguished by raised profile on a side of right earpiece behind your ear, you can play/pause and pick up a call with ease. Volume up/down buttons, shaped as plus and minus, are used to change the volume and also to skip tracks next/prev. The wireless range was very impressive as well, I was about 50+ feet away from my phone across 2 rooms and it was playing without a problem. Blueant claims 100ft wireless distance which I still have to test, but in my opinion it's probably in the open area and with hair out of the way without covering headphones. I also run a number of calling tests, and it sounded very clear on both ends.

    Now, let's see how this sound translates into steaming audio. Here, things got a little more interesting. Though using Bluetooth 3.0, Pump actually supports AptX and AAC codecs to provide high quality audio without a typical wireless compression. As a matter of fact, this is a first time ever I have seen a non-audiophile company to disclose frequency response of their headphones

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    They are definitely very proud of their 12.5mm customized dynamic driver, and v-shaped sound tuning. But for me it was a mix bag of impressions. It's not fair to judge sport headphones comparing them to audiophile in-ears, but sound is as important as the durability and design appeal. These headphones has a very high emphasis on deep punchy bass. When you exercising - beat is driving your motion, and Pump will really pump you up with a strong beat! Mids were recessed, typical for v-shape sound, but then toward the upper mids and treble instead of going back up, it rolled off down killing the clarity and the sparkle of high frequencies. As a result, overall sound has a nice driving rhythm but it's veiled with overpowering bass and not enough clarity and details in vocals. So what does it mean? By default with your smartphone audio player without any EQ setting the sound might not be your cup of tea (it wasn't mine). The good news - it can be easily corrected with EQ by boosting upper mids and highs around 5k region. Don't take this as a negative comment. In my recent review of ROX I also suggested that it needed some EQ to brighten the sound, to make it more enjoyable, in my personal opinion. I guess this is just a general comment for a lot of sport headphones where I would prefer to have a more balanced sound with some default bass enhancement and let me tweak EQ further to fine tune it, rather than tweaking EQ setting for different headphones in order to enjoy it from get go.

    Overall, I don't want to leave this review on a negative note because these headphones are really fantastic for exercising or any extreme sport activities. Nothing I have tested (BlueBuds X, BackBeat Go2, ROX, HBS-730/800) comes close in durability and secure fitment of Pump. For everyday casual active use, I think a more traditional in-ear sport headphones would be more appropriate where I still prefer ROX. If you spend a lot of time making calls or listening to music in the office, HBS-800 would be great for casual use. But if you are into pushing yourself to the limit while exercising, if you find that you have to go through a new pair of headphones every few months because they break under your sweat, if you have to constantly adjust the fitment of your current headphones because they don't stay in place, and if you are not getting enough of daily "bass" to drive you to your next workout goal - Pump HD is calling your name!

    Here are the pictures.

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  2. jorgeleo

    jorgeleo New Member

    Hi

    I would like to know if these are android compatible, since I have a Moto X, I would like to control play, volume and skip songs from my headset. Another option I
  3. twister6

    twister6 Guides Guide

    Any BT headset will be fully compatible with a smartphone regardless if its android or iOS. BT is a protocol layer both of these OS implement equally with an exception of iOS showing you a battery level of BT device in it's notification area. So you will get all the volume, playback, and track skip controls.

    I reviewed ROX as well, take a look at the sticky with all my reviews at the top of the forum or in my signature link. ROX is not as waterproof durable as PUMP, but ROX has a better sound quality. These have a different style, and PUMP will be appropriate for a more extreme sports ;)

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