12/10/2012 Addendum

The headphones situation has been resolved. I guess that is how I think of it. I was running with JLAB headphones that had good sound quality, but were regular ear buds. When running, as I would have my iPod Nano in the back pouch of my running shorts, and the cord threaded up inside my clothes, if I looked down, then up again the clothes would part, the cord would get trapped and the ear buds would get yanked out of my ears. I borrowed a pair of Philips running headphones that hook over the ear next, and, although they stayed in place the sound quality was dreadful, it was really tinny and low, and, worst of all, they gave me swamp ear, where water/sweat would pool in my ears and not drain.

I researched the alternatives. I wanted:

  1. decent sound quality first
  2. ear phones that would not fall out
  3. would stay in place
  4. didn’t give me swamp ear

The Twitterati recommended Yurbuds. They are part of that whole designed by runners for runners movement, which can be hit and miss based on the blister plasters I bought that didn’t cut the muster. I checked online and spoke to them on Twitter and apparently it seemed the only place you could, or should, be able to to buy them in the UK is the SWEAT SHOP.

I ended up choosing the YURBUDS IRONMAN ENDURE PRO.

I checked the SWEAT SHOP site and no dice. I checked the Yurbuds online store and they were $60 and thought one of my US friends could ship them over, or I could come get them when I run or visit. I am impatient thought and bought a pair via eBay store WIRED FOR LESS for just $29.99.

They took a while to arrive, 11 days, when they arrived I gave them their inaugural outing at the Royal Parks Half marathon and…

THEY ARE AMAZING. They stayed in the entire race, the sound quality was amazing, and there is even a little outlet to allow ambient noise (runners/crowds) to be heard.

Okay, initially you need to get used to a few things:

  1. The ear buds themselves are a little large, I am okay with this, but fellow runners tried them and they were too big. They do not come with alternative bud sizes, so you need to get a pair that fits. Apparently the Inspire model is now for women and has smaller buds.
  2. The fitting take a little time. The arm that hooks over your ear is bendy, so you can shape it around the most unfortunate shaped ears. You hook it around and monkey with it until it is fine. I would recommend NOT doing then as you slowly moving toward the start line as I did.
  3. The angle jack that fits into the music device isn’t ideal. It elongates the length of the device so it may be more difficult to fit it in your ass pocket. 

Could I recommend them higher? Probably not. These are ideal. I would say that the jack is a pain but can get used to, so the only real problem for UK runners is actually getting them. SWEAT SHOP are supposed to stock them, but I couldn’t see them. Maybe they will appear in time. And maybe they will be £60, as it is the norm to swap the currency symbols around without working in the FX rate. If so, I would recommend checking out WIRED FOR LESS on eBAY and get them half price.

Arguably the best running headphone in the world.

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