HomeHome : News : Aug 24, 2010

Headphones Headcase

August 24, 2010 — by Per Christensson

While I don't consider myself a "runner," I have been running quite a bit recently, since I am training for a fall marathon. When running long distances, it's great to have music to accompany the run. What's not so great is when your headphones constantly fall out or need to be adjusted. In the past few months, I have gone through half a dozen pairs of headphones, trying to find some that are maintenance-free when I run. It has been a long and arduous journey, but I finally found a great solution. First, let me provide a brief review of the many headphones I have tried.

  1. Nike Skylon ($50) - These headphones are a bit heavy, but have decent sound quality. They are rather low maintenance, but they twist out of your ear as you run. If they didn't spin, I think these would be great. However, my most recent pair of Nike Skylons only produced sound out of the right headphone, which has made me question their quality.
  2. Nike Flow ($35) - These headphones are light and comfortable, but the sound quality is horrible. I think I could have produced better speakers with some scrap metal and a few old wires. They also don't sit very close to the ear, which makes them feel like they are about to fall out.
  3. Sennheiser OMX80 ($60) - These had the best sound quality of all the headphones I tried – when they stayed in my ears. However, they kept slipping out. The headphones have bendable earhooks and an asymmetric cord, which are creative ideas, but they don't help the headphones stay in place.
  4. Philips SHH8006 ($50) - These were promising, since they were lightweight and felt good in my ears. However, they would slide out every time I started to sweat. This model also uses an in-ear design, which muffles the outside sound too much. When one headphone slides out more than the other, the sound difference is pretty annoying. They include a nice iPod remote feature, but it stopped working after two runs.
  5. V-MODA Remix ($100) - After my bad luck with lower-priced headphones, I thought I would try a high-end pair. These headphones have crystal clear sound, but they also have an in-ear design, which muffles the noise around you. Once again, these headphones slipped out after a few miles and would not stay put once they came out. This model also includes an iPod remote on the cord, but like the Philips model, the remote stopped working after a few runs.
So for several months, I did not have great luck finding "sport headphones" that actually work for running. Then I did some thinking... I actually like the white headphones that come with the iPod, so maybe I should look for a similar type of model that includes earhooks. What I ended up finding to be the perfect solution were not headphones at all. Instead, they are simply earhooks for the standard iPod headphones.

The product is called "BudFits" and is developed by Innovelis. BudFits ($9) are simple rubber earhooks that attach to the iPod earphones and wrap around your ears. When I tried them the first time, I ran several miles without needing to adjust them once! Since then, I have run dozens of miles with the BudFits/iPod headphones combination and have no complaints.

I don't usually promote products on Sharpened.net, but I am happy to recommend BudFits as a great solution for running with headphones. If you have gone through the same frustrations as me with earphones constantly falling out of your ears, I'd say for $9.00, it's definitely worth giving BudFits a try.