Under Armour is betting on technology in 2019, with a suite of new digitally connected products being introduced through partners this week during CES, the big consumer electronics show in Las Vegas.
The Baltimore-based athletic apparel brand and one of its technology partners, headphones maker JBL, are showcasing a wireless headphone for runners, designed to connect with smartphones and smartwatches, withstand outdoor elements and give runners in-ear coaching from Under Armour’s MapMyRun, while still letting in some sound for safety.
The UA True Wireless Flash headphones, which feature JBL’s “Charged Sound,” went on sale on both companies’ websites Tuesday, the kickoff for the trade show.
“These waterproof headphones were designed by runners, for runners and athletes looking to push their limits without distraction,” Under Armour said in an announcement of the headphone launch. While music can pump up a workout, “tangled cords or lack of waterproofing can waste time and prevent athletes from reaching their personal best.”
The Bluetooth-enabled headphones, which sell for $169, promise five hours of battery life and two levels of sound — one in which music can be lowered and speech amplified by a microphone with the touch of a button, and another that can amplify background noises such as cars. A complimentary 12-month MapMyRun premium membership comes with the headphones. The Under Armour “Flash” is one of four new wireless headphones JBL is introducing during this week’s show.
Samsung is another Under Armour partner with a presence at CES. Under Armour has updated its MapMyRun app for Samsung’s Galaxy smartwatch, a product that is being pushed along with the JBL headphones and the MapMyRun app as a package to go with the brand’s HOVR running shoes.
“We've developed products that are easy to use together and also provide a premium run experience that naturally integrate sound and data,” said Jim Mollica, Under Armour’s senior vice president of global consumer engagement and digital, in an announcement Wednesday.
Five new versions of the sneakers, which have built in pods that connect the shoes to the running app, will be available in February. Consumers have been able to choose connected or non-connected HOVR footwear, but starting this year all shoes in the line will come with digital capabilities.