Saturday, November 7, 2015

Best sweat proof Bluetooth headphones for running

If anyone needs a runner to put headphones through their paces, then I am your guy. I used to get through them at a pace of one pair every month or so, until I happened on some that were more resistant: they were the Senheiser PMX80, which lasted for several years, but when it finally came to the time to replace them, I found the more recent models to have awful sound quality and not be as durable.
I invested in some Jaybird Freedom Sprints, which came with a sweat proof guarantee. Although you can't tell from the photo above, they come with little ear hooks which I found absolutely necessary if I wanted these things to stay in my ear while running. In fact, this requirement whittled down the candidates for a pair of Bluetooth running headphones to a very select few. After 3 months, though, I had to send them back, but they were replaced with no quibbles. They lasted for over two years before I lost them, bought some more, had to send these back a couple of months after and now the replacement buds have conked out as well. So, not counting the ones I lost which lasted for a miraculously long period of time, that's three pairs that have all failed within months. Even with a no questions asked full replacement service, it is annoying to have to send them back. Actually, the last time I had a problem with them, it was enough just to send a photo with the cord cut to prove that I wasn't cheating, but I still had to wait for the new ones to arrive. Now I just can't be bothered to send them back again because I know they will fail, again. Maybe I will sometime, and instead give the replacement ones as a present to a less sweaty friend.
I decided to go back to wired phones and bought some Yurbuds Inspire 100, albeit a little skeptically. They also claimed to be sweat proof and, having no in-built Bluetooth electronics, I thought they were more likely to be so. I was more skeptical about the way they affixed themselves to the ear, using the patented "twist lock" technology. I've noticed that the Ironman brand is fairly selective about which products they put their name to, so I thought I would give them a try. I'm very glad I did, because they are very comfortable, have very good sound quality and have never so much as slipped in my ears, no matter how sweaty they have got. They were also reasonably priced in my opinion. My only gripe is that when I store them they always tend to get into a tangle, if I am not looking, but that is something quite easy to resolve.

I don't mind running with wired phones when I am running outside to music. In fact, my ideal solution is to plug them into my Underwater Audio waterproof iPod Shuffle. Being waterproof doesn't necessarily mean that it is sweat proof, as acidic sweat vapour can be much more pernicious. It is too soon to tell whether this iPod will outlast the one I "killed" over the summer, but you'll be the first to know if it does.

Running on the treadmill is another matter, however. I like to watch films and TV series, and having a wire running from my ears to my tablet makes me nervous because I sometimes catch it inadvertently with my hands and it tends to make me lean forward at the waist, compromising my running technique. What I really want are some truly sweat proof Bluetooth headphones that stay in my ear. While Yurbuds offers a wireless solution that may well be perfect, I am not of the mind to lay out that amount of cash to test it. I think that the best approach is to keep any electronics as far away from my sweaty ears as possible. So the solution I have come up with is to buy a relatively cheap Bluetooth receiver into which I can plug my headphones. The only issue was how to attach said Bluetooth receiver to my clothing without it getting too exposed to sweat. One option is to put it inside an armband, but I don't like running with armbands; another was attaching it to my heart rate monitor but that required running shirtless, which is only an option in the privacy of my own home treadmill. Instead, I have made a kind of makeshift clip out of a rubber band (from a defunct cycling computer) and a safety pin like so:

I then clip this to the outside of my shorts as if it were an iPod Shuffle. It may well die a death in the next few months, but costing a tenth of the price of the supposedly sweat proof Bluetooth headphones, I'm not too worried.


  1. If anyone needs a runner to put headphones through their paces, then I am your guy. I used to get through them at a pace of one pair every ...

  2. Hi guy, thanks for your recommendations, how about Jaybird BlueBuds X2, these earbuds are also great for running. Dung Lee from Wearable In Ear

  3. Finding a good pair of cheap earbuds has almost become a lost art form. Not everyone has the money or the incentive to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on something that they are only going to use for casual listening or a commute to work.When it comes to convenience nothing beats being able to throw your headphones in your pocket until you need them again. Even the best over-the-ear headphones lack that level of portability. With earbuds, you used to have to sacrifice a great deal of quality if you wanted a pair of earbuds, but that isn’t necessarily the case anymore. So let’s get into it, here are some of our top picks for the best ‘buds fifty bucks can buy

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