Fitbit Flyer hands-on: A sweatproof wireless headset designed for the Fitbit Ionic
Fitbit Flyer retail package
The Fitbit Ionic has integrated storage for about 300 songs, but you need a Bluetooth headset to enjoy that music. In addition to its first official smartwatch, Fitbit also launched a Bluetooth headset with the Fitbit Flyer.
Over the past five days I have gone on two runs with the Fitbit Flyer and also used them while working on articles for ZDNet. The Fitbit Flyer is a Bluetooth headset with the right and left earbud connected by a wire and inline controller. They are sweatproof, IP67 rating, which is key to functioning as a headset for exercise.
The Fitbit Flyer is an attractive Bluetooth headset available in either lunar gray or nightfall blue. The outside has a textured metal piece with the snap on wing or fin to secure the earbud into your ear. I tested the blue ones out and thought the design was attractive while the fit and finish were excellent.
Ear tips, wings, and fins help you find the optimal fit
There are large and small wings and fins that are used to secure the earbud into your outer ear. You choose one or the other as best for you. I started out with the wings, but then the headset fell out of my ear when running so I switched to the large wings for a much more secure fit.
There are also small, medium, and large silicone ear tips. Again, the medium ones were installed by default, but the large fit my ear better so try out different sizes to get the perfect fit. I found the headset to be very secure when running, but the cable did tend to hang up on the back of my neck at times if I turned my head to look at something while running.
The Fitbit Flyer charges via microUSB, which is a bit of a disappointment as most all of my devices now use USB Type-C. A small USB to microUSB cable is included in the retail package.
Button on the right earbud
An inline controller has three buttons on one side with separation and raised features to make pressing each button easy to do when it is hanging down on the right side away from your ear. There is also a single button on the right headset that is used to power on the headset.
Music was loud and clear on the headset with PowerBoost provided by WavesMaxx Audio technology amplifying the bass and fidelity. You can enable PowerBoost by pressing both volume buttons at once while an audio prompt will confirm this mode is enabled.
So far I only made a couple of calls with the headset so I cannot comment on its performance yet. There are 2 MEMS microphones to support calling and hands-free voice assistant directions. To use Siri, Google Assistant, or other assistants press and hold the center button for one second.
Attractive design and solid fit and finish
The wing and fin clip onto the end of the earbud and line up with the metal piece.
Earbuds with wings and silicon ear tips
Wide flat cables are used that keep things from getting tangled up. There is a slider on the cables so you can take up the slack behind your head to keep the cables from bouncing around and shifting on you.
Battery life is rated at six hours. You can also charge it for 15 minutes to gain one hour of battery life. I used it for about an hour and a half of running and another 30-45 minutes of desk listening so far with just one charge under my belt. I'll have to continue testing it for battery life confirmation. The battery takes about 1-2 hours to charge to a full state.
The inline controller and three buttons
Bluetooth 4.2 is used on the device with support for up to two simultaneous connections and eight paired devices. Of course, connecting to the Fitbit Ionic is quick and easy too. The cord length is 19.7 inches and the headset weighs in at just over 20 grams so it is light and does not pull down on your ears or cause any discomfort with extended usage.
A carrying case is provided with a self-closing top to keep them inside. The one I am testing is a dark blue color that matches the headset.
The Fitbit Flyer costs $129.95, which is less than half the price of most of the new cable-free Bluetooth headsets. The Fitbit Flyer is priced the same as the Jaybird X3 that has a similar form factor. Jaybird has been making headsets for a longer period and offers customization with its smartphone application.
Fitbit branding under the inline controller
The Fitbit brand is found on the back side of the inline controller.