I, like many of you, absolutely need music with my workout and there can be no compromises. Over the last couple months, I've tested a variety of true wireless buds, some better than others but the big thing that was missing with all of them was in ear stability.
Most of the time I was working out with true wireless buds I either was nervous they would fall out, or they actually did fall out. Having to worry about potentially losing one of these expensive little buds is not great when you are trying to get a good workout done. I need music, not distractions.
Rowkin's new Surge model has handled the problem for people that want to workout hard with true wireless buds. They have added some nice ear hooks to keep your buds in place and have beefed them up to give you roughly 5 hours of battery life, which is over twice that of most competitors.
I took the Surge out for three separate workouts including a run, gym session, and bike ride to round it out.
Design / Build Quality
The buds themselves are a little bulky overall, but once they are in and the ear clip is in place they feel secure, and the bulk is hardly noticeable. The buds are also super light considering their size, and the extra battery life is fantastic if you are out for a longer ride on your bike or even a long run if you go that hard.
Another big plus is that the controls are straightforward to access with volume and a single button control positioned on both buds. The little rubber buttons are easy to feel and press, which is quite handy when you are working out in any capacity.
The buds themselves are plastic but feel well built and able to take a beating. They are of course sweat proof and water resistant, so there is no reason to worry about light rain or heavy sweating, you are good.
Comfort / Sound / Features
Again the slight bulk of the buds might bother some people, but for me, they were comfortable for long periods of time. I managed to wear them straight through a three-hour mountain bike ride, and I barely noticed them, most of the time anyway.
The sound is decent for buds at this price point, but if you are looking for deep bass and audiophile sound, you might look elsewhere. These headphones are great for a workout; you are getting good even sound across most genres, only really slipping in complex songs and bass-heavy jams.
I tested the buds with ALAC and MP3 files along with streaming on Spotify, and it was pretty much all the same with a slightly better response on the ALAC files.
When I'm working out, I'm not particularly anal about sound, but these just might not cut it for bass freaks. The question you have to ask your self is sacrificing sound worth the freedom of true wireless.
The buds sound the best when you get an excellent seal, but no matter how hard you try that seal eventually gets broken when you are working out. It's always a good thing to have some ambient noise when you are working out in public anyway, so I never pushed them into my ears too tight.
The Surge buds also work with Siri, and you can take calls as well if you need to, which is nice if you have to take that important call in a pinch.
If you are looking for a reasonably priced pair of true wireless headphones that sound decent, are incredibly comfortable and perfect for working out, then the Surge is a good bet. If you want workout headphones that also sound fantastic, then you should keep on looking and maybe consider a pair of attached wireless or wired buds.
Pros: Great battery life, VERY stable in your ears during intense workouts and quite comfortable.
Cons: Sound lacks bass and can struggle with certain tracks, and there's no case to store them in.