User Review( votes)
IMPORTANT UPDATE (6/30/2021): Due to recent product failure for our version 1 and version 2 units, constantly failing upload attempts to support the product’s new OS, and general user feedback, we’ve removed our “buy” suggestion for the Timebirds timer, adjusted our own rating after our units failed, and can no longer recommend the product.
Note from the editor: We’ve left this review in place because there are aspects of the timers that we love, and we strongly hope future versions offer better product support.
Timebirds launched a successful Kickstarter campaign for its easy-to-transport and operate “purpose-built” workout timer. When I saw the campaign I knew it was something I needed for my garage gym. I focus many of my workouts on HiiT, Crossfit, and other interval training routines. I have never felt the need to purchase an interval timer for $300+ dollars and that’s what has always been offered by the major fitness companies. For $99.00 the Timebirds timer is not only cheap, but it also offers a new type of agility in the space.
Let’s start with the most obvious and appreciated part of this timer, it features a very strong magnetic back that easily grips to my Rogue RM-4 Power Rack, my Titan Fitness Functional Trainer, and my Powertec Lat Machine.
The moment I place the Timebirds timer on steel it grips with a solid hold, never sliding down the posts. In the photo above you will notice that it also features a slim depth that will fit in our pocket while gripping to even small bars that don’t offer a lot of surface space.
I chose to purchase the additional silicon case for an additional $20 and while it looks amazing, it doesn’t hold as well to steel.
I believe the main purpose of the case is to protect the Timebirds unit when using it outdoors or while traveling. I leave it off during home gym workouts because the chances of falling off my gym equipment are much higher when the case is in place.
My garage gym needs some additional new lighting, I just finished refinishing the garage and haven’t had time to add some final touches. As you can see, in a bright lit area the timer with its scratch-resistant and anti-glare cover still stands out, providing highly visible reading even when I’m standing 30 feet away from the timer performing rope work.
I tested the timer in low light and the LED really pops in those conditions.
Now let’s jump into the operational parts of the Timebirds timers.
First, the instruction booklet that comes with the unit is comically small. I’m all for a smaller instruction booklet which helps the environment. Plus, a lot of electronics these days make you go online to find instructions and that can be annoying mid-workout.
If you were to take all the pages and place them on a regular size booklet it would just be a couple of pages. In this case, there are 18 pages.
Admittedly, it took me a few days to become accustomed to setting up my various timers for different uses. The Timerbirds timer features 5 buttons, one of which is a power button that needs to be pressed for 2-3 seconds to turn the unit on.
The remaining buttons allow for cycling between the number of rounds, count up and countdown timers, and actual timing options for your chosen workout modes. At first, it can seem a bit confusing but once you’ve mastered the available options you can set new workout routines very quickly.
Timebirds also allows you to choose the volume of beeps that are used during workouts. Looking at the front of your display and you’ll notice that the speaker is forward-facing, embedded into the display. This forward-facing option creates a nice experience when it comes to hearing notifications when you’re looking down at the ground while yelling at your conditioning equipment.
Sadly, there are only four volume options and if you blast music while working out, you’re likely going to have a very hard time hearing the timer. A Reddit user said they talked to Timebirds and were told that a software update would be released that addresses the volume issue. For me, this isn’t a big deal, but for others, it might be a big enough reason to look elsewhere. My nearly one-star deduction was almost completely based on the volume of the unit. Update: Versions 2 and 3 of the Timebirds timer now support louder volume levels following on OS update which failed numerous times during our attempts to upgrade.
The silicon case we purchased not only has a problem with holding a solid magnetic grip, but it also doesn’t have a slot built-in for the very nice USB-C charging port on the back of the unit. Every time I need to charge my Timebirds timer I need to remove the case which may lead to some stretching over time.
We let our Timebird recharge battery charge for 6 hours before first use and after a week it’s holding strong without needing to be charged again. The company says a single charge will work for 16 hours of use or 45 days of idle time. We’ll check back in after we’ve finished 16 hours of workout time with the product. Update: both of our devices became buggy after several months of use and would often not charge properly.
Overall, the Timebirds product shows a lot of promise but until numerous kinks are worked out, I would recommend staying away from this Kickstarter-backed gym equipment.
Agreed on all counts
I live in the upper Midwest, and when left in the cold garage the timer goes into hibernation mode. The timer lets me know that it’s too cold by emitting two short little beeps intermittently, and if left cold the timer will lock. To unlock, you need to press the up, down, and bird button simultaneously. A small quirk, but not a big deal once you know about it.
Not worth the wait
I waited an extremely long time to receive the timer. That’s strike one. It finally arrived a few weeks ago and I wish I would have saved my money. I powered the device down completely and it beeps nonstop. That’s strike two. Yes, I’ve read the instructions front to back more than once. Who knows what strike three will be, but I’ll be sure to report back.
I have also experienced the non-stop double beep sound. I want to just turn the Timebrids off completely, but no matter what I try, the unit continues to ‘beep beep’ every minute or so.
I like the form factor and that everything you need to operate this unit is on the unit itself (no app means quicker startup and fewer distractions for me).
But can someone at Timebirds tell me how to stop the double beeps?
As an original kickstarter backer, i’ve basically backed a product that screwed all its original backers… you see, they decided to update the operating system to put in some basic functionality that should have been there before it ever launched, like adjusting the (very quiet) sound and the ability to remember the last workout so you don’t have to reprogram it every…single…time.
But if you were an original kickstarter backer (and there were a lot of us), then you have the original operating system, OS1. And if you have that, you are SOL. You aren’t able to upgrade to OS2 or 3 or whatever is next, so all the new functionality that’s coming out are things we will never be able to enjoy, because of some absolutely ridiculously poor planning. Or maybe it was their intention to do this all along, who knows. Either way, it’s bad business.
As a timer, it really is ‘meh’. For 100 bucks, it’s just a basic gym timer, with some limited settings, with big numbers and a magnet. I certainly won’t spend another 99 bucks plus whatever shipping is coming from Austrailia for another Timebirds, i’m better off taking a chance on a knockoff at half the price.
Save your 'time' & money; pun intended!
If you are considering purchasing this product I strongly suggest reading this and all the complaints in comments from the links listed below (including those comments in YouTube video reviews) beforehand.
Issues I’ve had with the items are as follows:
1) Volume set at the max level is so low that it is nearly impossible to hear. This is an alarm/alert timer!
2) Display flickers like a strobe light.
3) Battery doesn’t hold a charge for long and the unit dies.
4) The magnet within the unit doesn’t securely magnetize to metal objects.
5) Interval timer doesn’t keep scheduled data saved.
6) Interval timer does two quick beeps (less than 1 second for both), so you don’t know when an interval has started or stopped.
7) Overall the product doesn’t perform as Timebirds claims in their advertisement and videos.
When customers bring up issues with the product Timebirds uses excuses such as that because the unit is too small it can’t do this or can’t do that; however, everything that this doesn’t do can be found in a decent sports watch from well over a decade ago. That or a smartphone is a much better option.
Timebirds claims that items purchased through Kickstarter can’t be returned even if there are issues. This is not true, as I have done this before without issue. A refund can be offered by a creator (manufacturer); please see info from the following web link… https://help.kickstarter.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005135874-How-do-I-issue-a-refund-to-one-of-my-backers-. Unfortunately Timebirds will not honor this though as customer service and integrity are not high as far as their principles.
If you purchase a unit through the Kickstarter page and decide that you want to return it Timebirds will claim that they don’t accept returns through the Kickstarter page; however, when someone clicks on “Pre-order now” from the following page https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/timebirds/timebirds they are automatically re-directed to https://timebirds.com/ for purchase. This is contradictory to what the manufacturer is claiming. The return process is featured on the website under https://timebirds.com/pages/shipping-returns. Timebirds further claims that, “The return policy that is on our website applies for pre-orders placed on Timebirds.com at full price.” Nowhere on https://timebirds.com/pages/shipping-returns does it state that.
Below you’ll find more website links that show complaints about the product from other customers who have recently (March to present) received their orders. The YouTube videos have further complaints within the comments sections. The product didn’t become physically available to customers until late February/early March, as it was still in the production phase prior, so any reviews prior to that were purely based on advertisement claims.
I shared the first YouTube review on the Timebirds Instagram page, as well as advised potential customers to read the comments here and the other sites above. Needless to say Timebirds blocked me from accessing their Instagram page.
Timebirds ships the product from Erlanger, KY 41018 for $14.00 ; however, requests that all returned merchandise be shipped to Australia. I went to https://www.usps.com/, moved the cursor over “International”, clicked on “Calculate International Prices”, entered “Australia” as the destination country, clicked on “Calculate price based on Shape and Size”, entered 1 in the “Pounds” section, entered 8.9 (for two units & two protective cases) in the “Ounces” section, clicked on “Package” and for a Priority Mail International Small Flat Rate Box was provided with a total of $41.20 (per 4/2/21; pricing changes daily). I went into the nearest United States Postal Service office and per the manager was advised that the return of the product should be going back to the original address which the item was shipped from.
Overall the product is and you’ll end up purchasing a really expensive paperweight that isn’t that heavy. Do yourself a favor and save your money.
We actually removed our initial review rating and issued a warning regarding the product at the top of this post. Our first product worked flawlessly minus the low volume which we noted in our reviews. After several months it stopped holding a charge. Our V2 of the unit refuses to upgrade to the new OS for better volume control and other improvements.