Headphones – review. The quest to find the perfect pair to suit all my needs.

Background story

I have always loved listening to music while working, biking, hiking and now running. Finding the right pair to fit my needs is always going to be a hard thing. I have about 7 pairs of headphones. I shall now let you in on my thoughts about some of the ones I own.

AFTERSHOKZ M3

M3s

I recently came across these while visiting a running blog, were they discussed the technology behind the headphones. You see unlike regular headphones these headphones use bone conduction to transfer the music to your ears. This is the same technology used in the army, etc. Sounds cool doesn’t it, lol. Well basically what it means is the headphones rest on your cheek bones next to your ear. They don’t sit on or in your ears. This is great because it allows you to hear everything around you. So you can be safe while running, riding your bike or walking ( yes I still don’t wear them on busy roads as I like to be aware of everything 100% just incase). Listening to them is strange at first as you can hear everything in the room you are in. You can even hold a conversation with someone while listening to your music. It is also a strange feeling not having them on your ear or in them. It almost felt like they were falling out or off. This feeling went after the first run. The M3s are the wired sports model which I decided to attack first because I use headphones with my Apple Ipod nano 6th gen and that doesn’t have Bluetooth, so I need the wire. They fit over the head like some of the other headphones I own so I didn’t have to get used to that. They look new and trendy. They are light and comfortable, but there are a few issues I have with the design. Firstly there is a power/ control block that hangs about 12inches from the headset, while this has a clip I feel it is not on a long enough cable for me to place securely while running. I had to have my nano in my arm pocket and then try to fit all the redundant cable in with it, then clip the block to the arm pocket. This was not a good option at all as I don’t always wear long sleeves. The other place to clip it was to the neck line of my running top but that proved to be annoying. Can’t just leave it flapping around while running as this would severely do my head in. Also worth noting that the block is almost as big and heavy as than the thing playing the actual music. GRRRR. I think this could have been incorporated into the actual headset or placed lower down the cable. Also the location of where the wire goes into the headset annoyed me a little as it rubbed my outer ear. I did get used to this, but could have been sorted in the design stage imho  The M3s have controls for the phone and volume on the block so you can use your phone etc hands free. ( mic included on the block). BUT apart from that I love the sound, love the look and love the safety aspect of them. Hearing cars, people and well basically everything while listening to my music was a wonderful experience. Also not having them in my ear I now get none of that wind tunnel, listening to the sea from the inside of a shell when it is windy, because there is nothing to capture the wind to make the turbulence in my ear. So I can actually hear the music on a windy day lol. And it now feels bad when I switch to a regular pair of headphones.  Sound quality is very good imho, considering how they work.They are sweat proof too. Another bonus is there is nothing in my ear to rub when sweaty so on long runs I have no soreness in my ears. They are not cheap, but they are worth it for the safety aspect alone.

Yurbuds -Ironman Inspire. 

yurbuds

When ever I see a post about what headphones to wear while running I always see the same old “Yurbuds”. Seems like everyone wears these while running. So it kinda made sense for me to bite the bullet and look into them. In ear headphones THAT DON’T FALL OUT, shut up and take my money. I watched youtube videos of them being pulled and head shaking in every direction and they just don’t fall out. I opted for the Ironman series and the red cloth cable because it said it is tangle free and I hate standing there getting my cables untangled before I can go for a run. GRRRR. When they arrived I had to select the correct sized rubber outers for the buds. Then remembering the videos I placed them in and twisted then pulled, they were now locked, loaded and ready to go. The sound quality is very nice but they are powered by JBL which I love. Another reason I bought them. Well they didn’t fall out and I was happy. After about a week of using them I noticed I was having to untangle the cables, but this couldn’t be the case as I bought the cloth version. I also noticed that the rubber outers would twist around the bud making it hard to twist the entire thing in order to LOCK THEM IN MY EAR. They would now fall out more than not falling out. Also when taking the headphones off I am always having to check my ear or the floor for the rubber outers as they tend to fall away from the earbud. This isn’t good at all. I still wear them, they still sound good but the main reason for buying them was the fact they don’t fall out and they do. GRRRR. Worth noting also that these are not cheap either. Also watching a review on youtube ( the ginger runner) he stated that the sound of the cable clanging in the earbuds gets annoying at times, well that was the first thing I noticed. They could really do with a rubber grommet to stop them moving around the ends of the buds. Not a happy purchase at all. Oh they are sweat proof though and I have wore them in the rain with no issues 🙂

Sennheiser/ Adidas PMX 680

adidas

These are the around the head styled headphones I am used to wearing. They have an extension cable with the volume control on it. This is a good idea, but I think the cable could have been a little longer either side of the block, this would avoid the heavy block dangling around and annoying you while running. The sound quality is good and I have ran in the rain with them on lots of occasions. The cables are made from Kevlar so are really built to last. Infact the headphones are very rugged and sporty I can’t see them being destroyed any time soon. Good quality sporty headphones. I know I can throw these in my bag and drag them about and they will still be good to go. Kinda my goto no fuss headphone. Had these for almost 2years and not had any issues with them apart from the control block and cable length mentioned above.

I shall write more about the other pairs I have tried, tested and abused later.

Again I am not a professional reviewer, sound guy or sports person I am just sharing my thoughts and feelings over products I own.

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