BRONX, NY – If you are a music lover like me, then you know how important it is to have the perfect pair of headphones for your preferred listening experience. Music is a great motivator at the gym, but headphones and earbuds would fall off my ears once enough sweat accumulated. This interrupted my workout routine and at times felt frustrating. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson also had the same problem and created the perfect audio solution: Project Rock Over-Ear Training Headphones.
Dwayne Johnson had tried almost every headphone and earbud brand available for his workouts, but none of them could meet his expectations. He wanted a product designed with gym junkies and athletes in mind while considering the general audience. Johnson teamed up with Under Armour and JBL and in two years, the Project Rock headphones became a reality.
What's In The Box?
The marketing team at Under Armour did a fantastic job with the packaging. I slid the box open and lifted the flap to find a hard-shell case with the Brahma Bull logo on the surface and vents on the side. The vents help in airing out the headphones after a good sweat session. A triangle-shaped carabiner is attached for clipping the case onto a backpack or duffle bag. There is also a slim cardboard pocket that contains the user manual and a sticker.
Folded within the case are the headphones themselves. I went with the onyx white and metallic gold color. A mesh pocket holds the USB-C charging cable and an aux cord. Seeing the aux cord made me happy because it means I’m able to use the headphones with my laptop and Mp3 player without worrying about using up the battery life.
A two-hour charge powers up the headphones for 45 hours. The first thing I noticed was the soft and breathable ear cups. They are machine washable and have a rating of IPX4, which means it’s sweatproof. On the left cup are large playback/ volume control buttons and the jack to connect the aux cable. One cool feature I love is the bull logo is actually a button to switch between modes. The modes can also be controlled via the JBL app. The power switch and charging port are located on the right ear cup along with the “talk back” button for voice commands. Google Assistant and Alexa can be synced with this feature.
Pairing Project Rock with my phone was easy. The JBL app allows the user to experience audio in three different modes:
- ANC (Adaptive Noise Cancelling): this blocks out surrounding noise so the focus is only on the audio coming from your device. I didn’t hear anything else but my playlists with this feature on.
- Ambient Awareness: Maintains the audio you are listening to while filtering in sounds from the environment around you.
- Standard Mode: Both ANC and Ambient Awareness is off.
*Note: You cannot change modes while using Project Rock with the aux cord. It will stay in standard mode. There is also a special mode for video playback.
The EQ is customizable for anyone to enjoy their music vibes however they like. My EQ sweet spot is a strong bass with crisp vocals. I also love when I can hear every instrument clearly in soundtracks and orchestral pieces. The Rock also provides his own EQ settings in the app. I tested out a few songs in various genres and I was impressed with his settings. The bass packs a punch but is not overpowering.
Break A Sweat
I put Project Rock to the test with my workout routine. My routine is nowhere near where Dwayne Johnson’s is and I am cool with that for now. HIIT circuits, kickboxing, and cardio are my thing. I recently started jump roping and decided to try out the product with that exercise first. The headphones are comfortably snug on my small head and don’t feel heavy at all. They stayed in place while I bounced a few reps. Ambient awareness mode was ideal for me to pay attention to my surroundings while working out in the park. I had the same results practicing some kickboxing combinations at home. The headphones didn’t budge. There was some sliding during the HIIT circuits, especially with exercises like burpees and walking push-ups, but it was minimal.
One of the biggest issues I had with using headphones or earbuds while working out was sweating. I admit that I sweat waterfalls during my sessions. Project Rock is true to its IP rating and making the cups machine washable was genius. I also didn’t consider how important large buttons are on Bluetooth headphones until I tried out Project Rock. The playback/ volume controls are easily accessible.
My only complaint about this product is the built-in microphone. I found the audio to sound distant when answering phone calls. It’s not a deal-breaker for me since I only intend to use Project Rock for my fitness journey, including roller skating. The voice command can be a useful feature for other people, but I know I will rarely use it.
So here is my overall verdict: Project Rock Over-Ear Training Headphones are designed for gym junkies and athletes, but I believe anyone will love the overall sound quality of this product. The price ranges from $250 – $300. I only managed to get them because I took advantage of a Memorial Day sale. Project Rock also has true wireless earbuds for those of you who prefer it. This has become my new favorite pair of headphones so if it piques your interest, I suggest you add it to your duffle bag.
Photos and Videos: Rosa Elena Burgos
Last Updated: June 23, 2022