running and gadgets

If you (like me) love to waste money on gadgets and like to engage in some kind of sports activity, the amount of money you can spend is virtually unlimited.

You start with basic things like a music player (ipod classic/nano/shuffle), or maybe a smartphone. Then you’ll need an accessory to hold it in place. And how about something to check your heart rate, like a Bluetooth heart rate monitor? And I didn’t even mention smart cups (which I’m really anticipating, and just mentioned).

But I’d love to talk about something basic and important: your headphones.

I love music, and I love most when it sounds good. I own various kinds: the over-ear Beats Studio, Sennheiser HD 650, House of Marley TTR, and the JBL In-ear J33. For obvious reasons, I started running using only my J33s, since the others are too big for running. The sound was ok, but they kept falling out of my ear. After two weeks, I decided to buy a new pair for running. Since I’m in startup mode and every cent is important, I wanted something low-cost. Another requirement was to have something to fix the headphones behind my ears (i.e., earhooks) to prevent the phones from falling out.

In the past, I used Powerbeats by Dre, and really enjoyed them. I also had Philips’ Earhooks, which sat comfortably in the ear but didn’t sound so great. This time I went to an Apple reseller to find a pair of low-cost earhook-style headphones for running. And then I saw them – yourbuds IRONMAN series. The headphones for ironman.

Little did I know! (I guess if you’re not an Ironman, you can’t use them.)

Not that matters sound-wise, but these babies have bad packaging. I mean, even for cheap headphones they raise the bar for un-friendly unboxing. It was like a solving a puzzle for five minutes to actually access the headphones. During my struggle, the hooks fell off. I guess it’s part of the design, but it still felt kind of strange.

I know, I know. The headphones cost $19, so I shouldn’t have expected much. So I guess it was okay that the cable was really cheap and thin. “How cheap and thin?” you ask? Let’s say it was cheaper and thinner than an Apple headphone cable after five months on a five-bite diet. There was also a little, red (and, needless to say) cheap, pouch for your headset.

The sound was okay, not horrible, maybe even surprisingly okay. There was some bass present, so if you like FloRida pumping up your run, these buds will be fine. The middle and high pitch quality is bearable, too.

But there’s one other problem. You’d have to be Ironman to endure the pain those little bastards cause. I’ve been sitting here writing and wearing these buds for about 50 minutes and I’ve had to take them out of my ear every 10-15 minutes because the tears are preventing me from hitting the right keys as I type :).

Just to be fair, the yurbuds company will provide you with different rubber caps to fit different ear-hole sizes if you email them (photos@yourbuds.com) a photo of you wearing your current yurbuds. I’ll see how that works out and update you – but for now, I’ll recommend the Phillips earhooks if you’re on low budget. Choose Powerbeats if you like branded stuff. (Yeah, I know, there’s probably some kind of Sennheiser, Bose or Audio Technica earhooks available, but I don’t care. My blog, my experience.)

BTW, here’s the red-ear photo I’m sending to yurbuds.

WP_20150123_15_59_35_Pro

“Holy Moly” update

I’ve got a response from yourbuds and it goes like this:

Thank you for contacting us. Unfortunately, there is no smaller size for the current model you have. The size 5 which comes standard on all Ironman Series models. Because you have the Focus model, the ear loop can prove to be quite uncomfortable for some because it is a very “ear-specific” model. We recommend returning them to the store where you purchased them. If returning them to the store is no longer an option, you can exchange them through yurbuds exclusively. In order to do that, please fill out the form (on our website) and send in your current pair. No original packaging necessary, a padded envelope will suffice. Please make sure to state on the comment section of the form, “in need of Inspire model” Once we receive your yurbuds, we will process your warranty request and ship you out a brand new pair of yurbuds in which you should expect within 7 business days. We apologize for any inconvenience, thank you!

Yurbuds

First of all – WOW! I really respect this kind of service approach, especially for the “If returning them to the store is no longer an option”  option. I will definitely send them my current buds and hopefully the next pair will be better. Anyhow I think that’s a pretty great service for a low cost entry level buds. And while initially my post was pretty negative I have to admit I changed my mind about yourbuds – and we’ll wait for the next review of “Inspire model”.

What are your favourite sports headphones? Share in the comments.

 

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