We test plenty of true wireless earbuds designed for running and sports, and often the pricing for models that are sweat resistant and can withstand a workout is in the $150-and-up range. So the iFrogz Airtime Sport, while not unique in any way, can help fill a thin category of budget-friendly cable-free in-ear options at just $79.99. Alas, so-so audio quality, in-ear fit issues, and cumbersome on-ear controls will make you consider paying more for a better pair.
The earphones are available in black, blue, mint, or white models. A flexible ear hook design, which uses wings that fasten over the top of your ear to keep things secure, is less common in the true wireless realm than styles that use fins that rest against the ear itself. The earphones are sweat resistant, but an IPX5 rating means they aren’t as heavy-duty as we often see with sports-focused models. They can get wet, but it would be wise to avoid water pressure or dunking them in water.
You get three pairs of silicone ear tips in different sizes, as well as a pair of foam ear tips—these tend to seal off the ear canal more securely, block out ambient sound more effectively, and can increase bass response. All ears are different, but I found the overall fit here problematic. The hooks are flexible, but not moldable—they keep the same shape, and no matter what size of silicone tips I used, they popped out of my ear canal. The earphones stayed on my ears, but the in-canal seal was broken, and the cause was clearly the pull of the ear hooks. The only solution was to use the foam tips, which I don’t mind, but they’re not for everyone.
This fit issue may not impact you, but for the record, this is probably one of only a few pairs in the last year of (extensive) true wireless testing that I’ve encountered this issue with. There are some in-ears that advertise a semi-open fit so you can hear your surroundings, but iFrogz advertises a secure in-ear fit and says nothing about hearing your surroundings.
The charging case is a little on the bulky side (necessary due to the built-in ear hooks), with a rubberized oval shell, a flip-tip lid, and an uncovered USB-C port on the side for the included cable. An LED indicator on the front of the case displays how much charge is remaining.
The on-ear touch-sensitive controls are divided between the left and right earpieces. A single tap on either controls playback and call management, while a double tap on the left navigates backward a track, and a double tap on the right goes forward a track. Tapping and holding the button on the left ear lowers volume and raises it on the right ear. Three taps on either earpiece will summon your mobile device’s voice assistant. Unfortunately, the controls are very easy to activate when placing the earpieces in your ear—you need to press them into place in order to get a decent fit, and this tends to activate playback, raise volume levels, and skip tracks all while you are simply trying to get the earphones in place.
iFrogz estimates battery life to be roughly 6 hours, while the case can hold a total of 25 hours worth of charge. Your results will vary with your volume levels.
Internally, each earpiece houses a 6mm neodymium driver. On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the earphones are capable of delivering some serious low-frequency response. Unfortunately, so much of it is dependent on the in-ear fit. We never once got a consistent ear-to-ear fit, and could only achieve a sealing-off of the canal with the foam tips. Even with them, the fit was not ideal, and thus the earphones can sound wildly different if they are just nudged slightly. The drivers can deliver bass, but it might sound unbalanced, and depending on the fit you get with the tips, it can vary from too thin to too powerful.
Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” a track with far less deep bass in the mix, gives us a better sense of the general sound signature. When the earphones are pressed into your ears firmly and the seal stays in place, you get a solid bass depth that lends the drums some thunder and Callahan’s baritone vocals some added low-mid richness. But things can sound muddy. If they aren’t firmly in place, you have the opposite problem—bass depth disappears and the track sounds thin and brittle. We never found a comfortable middle ground.
On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild,” the kick drum loop receives plenty of high-mid presence, allowing its attack to retain its punchiness, while the sub-bass synth hits suffer from the same issues described above—it’s feast or famine, depending on the fit you achieve.
The mic offers below-average intelligibility. Using the Voice Memos app on an iPhone 8, we could understand every word we recorded, but the clarity wasn’t great, with plenty of Bluetooth distortion fuzzing things up. Beyond that, there were bizarre mic feedback issues—something we’ve never encountered. Even without this issue, the clarity is mediocre at best.
Maybe you won’t have the in-ear seal issues we had with the iFrogz Airtime Sport, but it’s not a problem we encounter with any regularity. That it affects the audio performance is a bit of a deal breaker, and any other advantages, such as price and a modest sweat-resistance rating, become less compelling. For a similar price, consider the $80 Anker Soundcore Liberty Air or the $109 EOZ Audio Air, both of which sound and fit much better. For more money, we like the exercise-focused $150 JBL UA True Wireless Flash, and for far less, consider the $50 EarFun Free.
iFrogz Airtime Sport Specs
|Active Noise Cancellation||No|