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Verdict: 
Lightweight, sweat-proof in-ear headphones with a rich sound
Weight: 
10g

Kitsound's District earbuds are a good set of lightweight, sweat-resistant Bluetooth in-ear headphones that are well thought out and deliver a good, clear sound.

  • Pros: Easy to use, good sound
  • Cons: Run-time, easy to press the multifunction button when you're adjusting them, range

The District earbuds come in their own natty case that doubles as a charger. The earbuds themselves have a battery life of around three hours, but snap them back into their magnetic case and they'll charge back to full in an hour and a half. Kitsound claims that the case will give you up to 40 hours of run-time. The box is nicely designed with a rubber cover, and there's an external USB port to charge other devices from. Four LEDs inside the box tell you what the state of charge is, and you can top up the battery via the supplied Micro-USB cable.

Kitsound District earphones -5.jpg

The District earbuds are very light at only about 5g apiece, and that means there's not too much mass to jiggle them out of your ears. They still need repositioning from time to time, though, and as you're pressing them back into place it's a bit too easy to hit the multifunction button and turn them off, which is annoying. I got better at remembering, but in the end I resorted to the Sugru hack which allows you to custom mould the supplied earpieces, and after that they behaved much better. There are three different sizes of earbud supplied in the box.

Kitsound District earphones -7.jpg

The thing I like most about these earbuds is that they're so easy to use, and always ready when you need them. Because you're storing them in a box which also charges them, they're always fully charged when you come to pull them out, and provided you primarily pair them with one device (I just use them with my phone) they tend to turn themselves on and pair automatically. So really there's nothing much more to do than shove them in your lug holes and hit play. Obviously you'll need to keep the box charged up, but for the amount I'm using them (a few hours a week) the charger lasts for months. If you're a heavy user you could always keep the box plugged into a USB power source most of the time.

Kitsound District earphones -2.jpg

I've mostly been using the District earbuds indoors, to pipe invigorating drum and bass into my ear canals as I try to get fit enough to not get dropped when the winter racing starts in a week or two. The sound quality is good: there's plenty of richness and depth to the music, especially if you keep the earbuds well nestled in your ears. Once they start to work themselves loose, they lose the deep bass and start sounding a bit more tinny. I've not had problems with them falling out though.

District True Wireless Earbuds

As they're a snug fit they block out most of the other sound. That's good indoors, as the other sound is mostly the thrum of a massive fan and me panting and occasionally swearing. Out on the open road it's a mixed blessing in my opinion. On smaller lanes where I might want to let cars pass, you need to check over your shoulder a bit more to make sure there's no queue forming behind you. On bigger roads, cars are going to pass you anyway and hearing them coming isn't going to make any meaningful difference to your safety. I don't generally ride outdoors with headphones in but I did find it made the few main road sections I added in less stressful.

> Buyer's Guide: 16 of the best turbo trainers and rollers

The claimed range is 10 metres but in reality it's nothing like that most of the time. Leaving the turbo trainer to fill up my water bottle in the bathroom next door would cause breakups in the signal, and even out on the bike the signal sometimes cut out with the headphones in my ears and the phone in my back pocket. I found this was more likely to happen after a couple of hours of use, suggesting that it was most likely to do with the battery getting depleted. Of the three hours of claimed run-time, the first two were generally problem-free. If you need your ears to be full of music/podcasts/whatever for longer than that on a regular basis, these probably aren't the headphones for you.

If you're using them for indoor trainer sessions, or jogging, or hill reps, or something else that's spectacularly boring after about an hour, though, they might be just the ticket. They're IPX5 water resistant so you should have no issues with sweat or weather, and they stay in your ears well, delivering a rich and full sound. They're always charged when you need them, thanks to the clever box, and they're light enough that you barely notice them.

Verdict

Lightweight, sweat-proof in-ear headphones with a rich sound

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Kitsound District True Wireless Earbuds

Size tested: One

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Kitsound says, "Change the way you listen and dive into the latest True Wireless Stereo technology with the District True Wireless Earbuds from KitSound. Take advantage of completely wireless audio with immersive quality sound, auto-pairing, and on-the-go charging. Lightweight, comfortable, and featuring an all-new portable charging case, these are the perfect wireless earbuds for those that listen on the move."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Kitsound lists:

Effortless auto-pairing

You can enjoy smooth and even connectivity with the latest Bluetooth technology and effortless auto-pairing. You can listen and relax with comfort fit earbuds that deliver true stereo sound for the ultimate audio experience.

Lightweight design

We have crafted our latest earbuds with a lightweight and sleek design to make your journey a better experience. You can ease into your commute, exercise, and relax in comfort, whilst you enjoy our crystal clear audio.

Listen for longer

We have designed the Districts to feature a portable magnetic charging case, to boost your listening whilst on the go. You can now relax and listen for longer with the reserve battery delivering up to 40 hrs play time.

Come rain or shine

We have made sure the District True Wireless Earbuds also feature IPX5 water and sweat resistance. You can now listen to your favourite music whilst on the move, whatever the weather throws at you.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
10/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

They're good, especially for short turbo sessions and the like.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Good sound, comfy, light, charging box is clever.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Battery life is limited, easy to turn them off when you're adjusting them in your ears.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

You can get similar products for less online (these, for example); they're reasonably expensive but they are nicely made.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Maybe

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Probably

Use this box to explain your overall score

Good overall: not cheap but they work well and they're nicely made. Some niggles with design and function but nothing too major.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 45  Height: 189cm  Weight: 92kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Merida Scultura

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

21 comments

Avatar
jpj84 [18 posts] 5 months ago
3 likes

This is why I come to a cycling website - for reviews of stereo equipment.

 

I get all my bike reviews from What HiFi.

Avatar
bechdan [216 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

Fine perhaps on an indoor trainer, but surely not for outdoor use?

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don simon fbpe [2962 posts] 5 months ago
5 likes

Can you get a bit of string, or even cable, to tie them together to prevent loss?

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Oscarzero [27 posts] 5 months ago
4 likes

So firstly let’s start with the below quote from your review ...

"On smaller lanes where I might want to let cars pass, you need to check over your shoulder a bit more to make sure there's no queue forming behind you. On bigger roads, cars are going to pass you anyway and hearing them coming isn't going to make any meaningful difference to your safety. I don't generally ride outdoors with headphones in but I did find it made the few main road sections I added in less stressful."

So what about being able to hear the sound of the vehicle engine as a means of helping to inform you of what that vehicle is about to do? Are they slowing down to let me pull out to go past a parked car or to turn right into a side road after I've signalled? Is there an aggressive driver revving their engine that you need to be aware of? Is there an emergency vehicle approaching from behind? Is there another cyclist or group of cyclists about to pass you who have been courteous enough to warn you beforehand? As cyclists, looking AND listening are both absolutely critical to informing us what the traffic is doing or about to do. So why on earth you would think it appropriate to advocate the removal of one of your key senses when cycling is beyond me. Quite frankly it's incredibly  stupid, ignorant and utterly irresponsible.

As a Cycle Training officer who works in my local councils Road Safety department, we always teach children and adults to never use headphones whilst cycling under any circumstance. As a founding member of an influencial cycling website, I would have thought that you mght have done the same.

Having said all that, I'm now really looking forward to your future reviews of the latest OLED TV's to help make my winter Zwifting so much more immersive, along with their future inclusion on the road.cc Daily Deals posts.

Avatar
hawkinspeter [3476 posts] 5 months ago
7 likes
Oscarzero wrote:

So firstly let’s start with the below quote from your review ...

"On smaller lanes where I might want to let cars pass, you need to check over your shoulder a bit more to make sure there's no queue forming behind you. On bigger roads, cars are going to pass you anyway and hearing them coming isn't going to make any meaningful difference to your safety. I don't generally ride outdoors with headphones in but I did find it made the few main road sections I added in less stressful."

So what about being able to hear the sound of the vehicle engine as a means of helping to inform you of what that vehicle is about to do? Are they slowing down to let me pull out to go past a parked car or to turn right into a side road after I've signalled? Is there an aggressive driver revving their engine that you need to be aware of? Is there an emergency vehicle approaching from behind? Is there another cyclist or group of cyclists about to pass you who have been courteous enough to warn you beforehand? As cyclists, looking AND listening are both absolutely critical to informing us what the traffic is doing or about to do. So why on earth you would think it appropriate to advocate the removal of one of your key senses when cycling is beyond me. Quite frankly it's incredibly  stupid, ignorant and utterly irresponsible.

As a Cycle Training officer who works in my local councils Road Safety department, we always teach children and adults to never use headphones whilst cycling under any circumstance. As a founding member of an influencial cycling website, I would have thought that you mght have done the same.

Having said all that, I'm now really looking forward to your future reviews of the latest OLED TV's to help make my winter Zwifting so much more immersive, along with their future inclusion on the road.cc Daily Deals posts.

Yes, being able to hear traffic is helpful to cyclists.

However, it is in no way essential to be able to hear to safely walk/cycle/drive on the roads. In fact, you don't even need to inform DVLA if you're deaf and driving a car or motorbike (you do if you're driving a bus or coach however). As you are a Cycle Training officer, I would have thought you would know the law and not discriminate against people who have hearing problems (and certainly not call them stupid, ignorant or utterly irresponsible).

Just look around more often if you want to wear headphones on your bike or listen to music in your car.

Avatar
Oscarzero [27 posts] 5 months ago
3 likes
HawkinsPeter wrote:

Yes, being able to hear traffic is helpful to cyclists.

However, it is in no way essential to be able to hear to safely walk/cycle/drive on the roads. In fact, you don't even need to inform DVLA if you're deaf and driving a car or motorbike (you do if you're driving a bus or coach however). As you are a Cycle Training officer, I would have thought you would know the law and not discriminate against people who have hearing problems (and certainly not call them stupid, ignorant or utterly irresponsible).

I suggest you read my post again. 

My point, which I believe was made clearly, was that this was about road.cc advocating the removal of a key sense that someone has, on purpose when cycling....  "So why on earth you (ROAD.CC) would think it appropriate to advocate the removal of one of your key senses when cycling is beyond me."  I was quite obviously calling the writer of this review stupid, ignorant and irresponsible and I still hold that view. I made no reference whatsoever about anyone with hearing difficulties. So perhaps you can further enlighten me as to how that is that being disriminatory?

Avatar
ConcordeCX [1039 posts] 5 months ago
12 likes

I remove my hearing aids when I cycle any distance further than the shops, so I'm reducing my ability to hear traffic etc., while I'm on the bike. There are several reasons for this, including that I'm not entirely convinced of the sweat/rainproofness of the HAs, which are very, very expensive, and despite being able to control wind noise through an 'outdoors' program, it doesn't entirely go away. On many of the most useful settings for normal use, off the bike, the amount of incoming noise becomes so distracting that it overloads my poor simple brain.

But having been deaf for most of my adult life, I do have coping strategies, such as being in the unbreakable habit of frequently looking behind over both shoulders (not at the same time...) to see what's going on. My guess is that providing people get into this habit, and don't use noise-cancelling earphones, it's probably not that big a deal.

How many cycling accidents can be safely attributed to the cyclist wearing earphones, or a deaf person not wearing their HAs?

 

Avatar
hawkinspeter [3476 posts] 5 months ago
7 likes
Oscarzero wrote:
HawkinsPeter wrote:

Yes, being able to hear traffic is helpful to cyclists.

However, it is in no way essential to be able to hear to safely walk/cycle/drive on the roads. In fact, you don't even need to inform DVLA if you're deaf and driving a car or motorbike (you do if you're driving a bus or coach however). As you are a Cycle Training officer, I would have thought you would know the law and not discriminate against people who have hearing problems (and certainly not call them stupid, ignorant or utterly irresponsible).

I suggest you read my post again. 

My point, which I believe was made clearly, was that this was about road.cc advocating the removal of a key sense that someone has, on purpose when cycling....  "So why on earth you (ROAD.CC) would think it appropriate to advocate the removal of one of your key senses when cycling is beyond me."  I was quite obviously calling the writer of this review stupid, ignorant and irresponsible and I still hold that view. I made no reference whatsoever about anyone with hearing difficulties. So perhaps you can further enlighten me as to how that is that being disriminatory?

I would have thought it was obvious, but then your attitude suggests to me that you're not very flexible in your thinking.

You're criticising people who "choose" to not make maximum use of their hearing whilst using the roads (NB. this would presumably include people wearing ear-muffs in cold weather) which suggests that you think that deaf people shouldn't be allowed to use the roads as you state "As cyclists, looking AND listening are both absolutely critical".

It is simply not true and if you had an ounce of decency, you would revise your position and apologise to the people that you just insulted.

(Disclaimer: although I'm getting older, I don't personally have a hearing issue unless it's my wife talking. It just bugs me when idiots find yet another "safety" issue to beat up cyclists with.)

Avatar
dave atkinson [6496 posts] 5 months ago
8 likes

Like I say in the review, I don't generally ride with headphones outdoors; I used these for indoor training and they're useful for that, hence the review, which if you don't want to read on a cycling website you of course are under no obligation to. I know plenty of people who do ride outdoors with headphones though, none of whom I consider to be stupid, ignorant or irresponsible. It depends on the kind of riding you're doing to a certain extent. Around town it's more of a hindrance, in my experience. If you're out on a big ride booting along A- and B-roads, very much less so. Horses for courses.

I think we already did some tellys on deals one time, specifically for that reason, ironically.

Avatar
peted76 [1383 posts] 5 months ago
3 likes
Dave wrote:

....but in the end I resorted to the Sugru hack(link is external) which allows you to custom mould the supplied earpieces, and after that they behaved much better. 

 

...clicks link.. "mega" ....googles sugru.. "there's a whole community of bodgers".... orders sugru with some smug satisfaction that I'm about to start magically healing slightly broken things around the house, "thinks about changing name to Gandalf..."

 

Avatar
Mungecrundle [1417 posts] 5 months ago
2 likes

Constantly astounds me that people voluntarily choose to block off a primary sense, especially in what many would consider the hazardous environment of live traffic, howsoever and whomsoever is responsible for causing those hazards.

After sight, hearing has to be the most important sense for being aware of what is going on in the environment around you. Some environments are so noisy that hearing protection is required. In those circumstances ear protectors are appropriate, and even those can be purchased in formats which filter and reduce the decibels (I use these for motorcycling) allowing you to hear without risking damage to your hearing. Whereas earphones are used to replace ambient sound with music or whatever the wearer wishes to listen to, not only significantly reducing their ability to hear those ambient sounds but providing a distraction, often to the point of making the user oblivious of what is occuring outside their line of sight.

I'm not going to trawl for data and studies, even if they exist and even if the method and conclusions are beyond reasonable critiscism from the armchair experts. However I have personal instances of being stuck behind a headphone / earbud wearing pedestrian who is completely unresponsive to bicycle bell or shouted warning of presence, and having to hang back and wait for an appropriate overtake so as not to cause undue alarm. Most recently outside the local barracks where you would think that personnel would be super wary of being approached from behind.

Distraction opportunity aside, loud music and audio isolation from the outside world in cars is somewhat different in that cars are usually equiped with multiple rear view mirrors and are more likely to be maintaining relative position within the flow of traffic.

You should be perfectly safe cycling about listening to music, technically you should be able to pull your hoody tight and ride about only staring straight ahead, responsible only for making sure you don't actually collide with anything. You should be able to stagger about drunk in the road at 3am whilst wearing your favourite black ninja uniform and expect not to be run over, you should be safe from vehicles if you are 6 years old and run out from between parked cars. You should be, but the reality is you are not and your chances of becoming a victim of someone else's error are increased. Taking reasonable ownership of responsibility for your own safety is the first part of learning about your responsibility for the safety of others.

 

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Rapha Nadal [1053 posts] 5 months ago
2 likes

Excellent trolling, Dave.  Respect.

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John Stevenson [420 posts] 5 months ago
4 likes

All you folks worrying about not using a primary sense: I have visions of you touching, smelling and tasting the Tarmac as you ride along.

Must make for slow progress.

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ReadingTim [5 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
John Stevenson wrote:

All you folks worrying about not using a primary sense: I have visions of you touching, smelling and tasting the Tarmac as you ride along.

Must make for slow progress.

 

It does, so I place a lower priority on those ones, and concentrate on the two which do assist progress, namely looking and listening. 

Why one would then willfully disregard or cancel out 50% of those senses which might prevent you being killed seems madness, and certainly doesn't reduce my levels of stress when riding along... 

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Mungecrundle [1417 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

Smell is useful, fresh shit? Could be horses or muck spreading = tractors and mud round the next corner? Fresh grass? could be hedge cutting or mowing. Diesel? = trouble, especially at roundabouts.

Feel? Road surface, grip, puncture?

Taste? Ok, you can suck a tic tac if you insist.

Avatar
Joe Totale [144 posts] 5 months ago
5 likes

I cycle in London, I don't need my ears to tell me that there's always a car behind me. My ears have no control about what that car may do. 

It can certainly be argued that you may be distracted by listening to something whilst cycling, but that's no different to listening to your car stereo. Perhaps those should be banned as well? 

I personally don't use headphones when out cycling but that's my personal choice and I don't think banning them would prevent accidents. 

Avatar
keirik [175 posts] 5 months ago
3 likes

I dont use headphones when I cycle as then I can't chat with my fellow club members but I used to when I commuted in London.

But even without using headphones I don't hear traffic behind as the cars these days are too quiet and the wind noise too loud.
I can't see wearing headphones changing either if those two facts.

Avatar
bigbiker101 [52 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

I started wearing headphones when out cycling by myself, most of my cycling is on country lanes and I found that I relied more on my hearing than I realised and I certainly felt less aware of my surroundings, such as a barking dog about to attack me as I cycled through villages or being able to identify the size of the vehicle coming up from behind me.

However I did enjoy the music so I changed to Bone Conducting Headphones (AfterShokz), now I can hear the music but still be aware of the sounds around me.

 

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds [3056 posts] 5 months ago
4 likes
Oscarzero wrote:

So firstly let’s start with the below quote from your review ...

"On smaller lanes where I might want to let cars pass, you need to check over your shoulder a bit more to make sure there's no queue forming behind you. On bigger roads, cars are going to pass you anyway and hearing them coming isn't going to make any meaningful difference to your safety. I don't generally ride outdoors with headphones in but I did find it made the few main road sections I added in less stressful."

So what about being able to hear the sound of the vehicle engine as a means of helping to inform you of what that vehicle is about to do? Are they slowing down to let me pull out to go past a parked car or to turn right into a side road after I've signalled? Is there an aggressive driver revving their engine that you need to be aware of? Is there an emergency vehicle approaching from behind? Is there another cyclist or group of cyclists about to pass you who have been courteous enough to warn you beforehand? As cyclists, looking AND listening are both absolutely critical to informing us what the traffic is doing or about to do. So why on earth you would think it appropriate to advocate the removal of one of your key senses when cycling is beyond me. Quite frankly it's incredibly  stupid, ignorant and utterly irresponsible.

As a Cycle Training officer who works in my local councils Road Safety department, we always teach children and adults to never use headphones whilst cycling under any circumstance. As a founding member of an influencial cycling website, I would have thought that you mght have done the same.

Having said all that, I'm now really looking forward to your future reviews of the latest OLED TV's to help make my winter Zwifting so much more immersive, along with their future inclusion on the road.cc Daily Deals posts.

Not only are you an embaressment to yourself, you've proven to everyone here that you aren't fit/credible to be a safe cycle trainer. You fail to grasp rudimentary aspects of situational awareness in humans and how hearing is involved in that, you fail to produce a single scrap of evidence that non hearing/self induced hearing reduced people who ride bikes are in any greater danger to themselves or others.

I guess you're another hard of thinking who simply has the default well I think it is this so it's my way or the highway. You force kids to wear helmets for cycle training as well right, failing to understand that you're putting them at more risk of harm by doing so! But then hypocritically won't insist on your own or others kids, or yourself to wear a helmet for other (demonstrably) more dangerous activities. Another sign you can't assess risk correctly.

Who are your local authority because I think it's important that people lacking in the grasp of basics of human behaviour particularly on the road, and hell bent on forcing their way onto others despite it having no credibility/lacking in facts, should be checked out when involved with vulnerable persons.

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Team EPO [197 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

I like my Apple ear pods as they allow you hear things around you but scared of losing them so for running in my rural lanes I like the Aftershox things 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/AfterShokz-Conduction-Bluetooth-Headphones-Micr...

Avatar
kimmetje [2 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Just reading the thread and indeed I use wireless earbuds on my solo rides, I find that music helps me ride that bit faster and get more in the zone, and I find headphones also can help reduce wind noise from the cycling speeds. As was mentioned, I don't find that I am particularly reduced in my situational awareness, one should always use a combination of senses to retain that, keep looking over your shoulder, anticipate and ride defensively and most important of all be predictable in your movements - so always indicate with hands your intentions, etc... 

What I find important however, is to make sure if you do choose to use truly wireless earbuds that these have functions to allow traffic sound to cut through whatever music you're playing. I've found plenty on the market which do that, above and beyond Team EPO's suggestions, I personally am in love with my Jabra Elite Active 65T but prior to those I had HereOne's before the company went belly up.

Might be good to highlight that in some countries having earphones might be illegal so one might want to be aware of that before hitting the road with them... in some other countries having 1 in your ear, but the other free is also OK...

Anyway, just my two cents, road.cc might want to check the Jabra Elite's though, they really are incredible pieces of tech, affordable and really suited to the cyclist use-case!