Product Review: Headphones That Actually Work(out)
When I say I’ve tried every headphone shape, size and brand, I am not exaggerating. I have wasted hundreds of dollars in search for headphones that don’t fall out of my ears while I’m running or working out at the gym. Here is what I’ve discovered on my headphone journey – the bad, the ugly, the frustrating – and, finally, the winner.
The Evolution of Headphones that Work(out)
The Ear Bud
I have no idea why anyone thought this would be a good idea. Unless you are sitting on a plane, crammed between 2 people so you can’t move at all, these things fall out as fast as I can eat their tiny bag of nuts. For me, iphone style headphones are made for sitting still …very, very still. Unless I want to blow a gasket, these things should never travel to the gym with me.
The Ear Plugs
Since the hard plastic headphones would easily slip out of my ear, you can imagine how enticing the headphones that claim to have this cool expanding memory foam that molds your headphones to your ear, like ear plugs. Honestly, I have to believe these things work for some people because surely brands can’t continue to put out millions of these little guys a year if they don’t work. However, they sure as heck didn’t work for me. After I put them in my ears, the foam expanded them right back out. I tried the little foam attachements, the BIG FOAM attachments and even tried no foam at all. That should have taught me a lesson, but it didn’t. I bought another half a dozen pair, all claiming to be “better” and, although I now own a variety of really cool looking colorful headphones, not one of them actually works in my ears.
I’ve tried every ear-wrapping headphone imaginable, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the plastic piece that wraps around the top of the ear is there just to catch the headphones when they pop out of your ears. Half the time the top of the plastic ear “hanger” doesn’t even touch the top of my ear while the headphones are actually in my ear, no matter how small it is – of course, unless they fall out, which they are guaranteed to do. I even tried the adjustable plastic-coated medal wraparound kind that supposedly mold around you ear. Another big fat disappointment. The loop was either too big or stuck out too far – and if I finally got the loop right, then the earbud didn’t line up in my ear right. Either way, the Ear Hanger was a big fat FAIL!
For several years, this was the only kind of headphone that wouldn’t fall off my ears while running. As you swivel each headphone on your ear, turning it like a dial, they basically make an earlobe sandwich. One piece slides behind your ear and another piece slides over the front. Were they ideal? No. The foam wrapping had little to be desired after sweating your butt off in them day after day. In addition, since the headphones sat on the outside of your ear, the sound was always distant from your ear canal. I would crank the volume all the way up and it still wouldn’t be loud enough to drown out other noise. And if I ran by landscaping crew, which basically happens every day, I couldn’t hear my music at all until I passed all the weed-eaters, lawnmowers and blowers. Unfortunately, at that time, they were my only option for me and the only thing that kinda worked.
After my last pair of dial-on headphones finally bit the dust, I went to Radio Shack to see if I could find a replacement. That’s when I discovered the neckband headphones. I was out of town on vacation and didn’t want to spend a load of money on another set of headphones that would likely not work, so I tried their Auvio headphones. To my surprise, they actually stayed in my ears and they were usable. So, these became my new headphones for almost a year. Were they ideal? Once again, no. They stay on because they basically pinch your head like a big clamp. It’s not like they were tight, but that little bit of pressure sometimes made my ears ache. The other issue was, although they stay put, they weren’t ever really “in” the ear. So, outside noise and wind would drown out my music, which is frustrating for a girl who lives in a gusty beach town where wind and waves make a lot of noise.
The Miracle Ear
As a FitFluential Ambassador, I get to try out a lot of fun, new fitness products. A couple weeks ago, I received a shipment of sports headphones called Yurbuds. I have to admit, my frist thought was “great, another set of earphones that won’t work”. As I opened the fancy packaging (they had a really awesome gift pack put together for me), admittedly, I started to get my hopes up. The headphones looked cool and were a pretty color (gets me every time). I proceeded to pull them out and immediately saw the unique shape of the earbud piece. Of course, they claimed to have a new technology of a custom fit, but I wasn’t buying it quite yet. Then I opened them up and put one of the earbuds in my ear – and O.M.G!
Not only did they fit, they FIT – like a GLOVE. I mean, it was like someone custom made them for MY ear canal. Honestly, I imagine this is what a custom fit hearing aid or CIA ear bud feels like. It completely filled in my ear opening, funneling the sound of my music into my ears for incredible sound. After blowing out my eardrums (from having my ipod always turned all the way up), I turned my volume down to half what I normally set it on. It’s not that these headphone were louder, they were just clearer because they were all the way in my ear. Not only did they sound great, but they stayed put. I flung my head around like a Metallica-loving headbanger and those suckers weren’t going anywhere.
I made every single person I know try them on. I stuck them in Steve’s ear first, the my mom’s ear the next morning on our walk, and then made my BFF try them too when she met me for our workout. I took them to work with me and showed them to members. I felt it was my duty to let the world know there is actually a set of sports headphones that do what they say they will do. Finally, my search for headphones has come to an end. Finally, I have SUCCESS!
Here is a photo of me at the top of Barber Bridge overlooking the Indian River in Vero Beach during this weekend while Hurricane Sandy was blowing by us. The wind was ripping so hard it almost blew my hat off, yet my earphones stayed put for my 4-mile windy run. Thank you Yurbuds! You Rock! However, I do have one suggestion. Yurbuds fit me so well I think they should be called MYbuds. 🙂
Yurbuds action-packed video demonstrating how awesome these bad boys are!
Posted on October 30, 2012, in Brands, Fitness Products & Trends, PFIT PFINDS and tagged earbuds, fitfluential, fitness products, headphones, headphones for athletes, headphones for runners, headphones for working out, headphones reviews, headphones that don't work, inspire, inspire for women, products review, sports earbuds, sports headphones, sports headphones review, yurbuds, yurbuds inspire. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.