I was sent a pair of SOL REPUBLIC’s Relays headphones to review, headphones that are meant to be used for an “active life”. Meaning it has the benefits of a sports headphone but also a day-to-day set as well.
They are made to just pop right into the ear without need for lots of adjustments, but then they stay there throughout use: from “streets to the trails, train to the slopes” they aren’t supposed to fall out. And they do stay in. I even tried headbanging with them in and they didn’t move at all. My head hurt after that, but the headphones were still in my ears!
They are water and sweat resistant and include a clip so you can position the cable to stay out of your way. They include a mic with phone controls built in, which allows you to take calls and change the volume/tracks easily. The audio quality is very good. Very good! I was really impressed with how sharp everything sounded with these.
The two things I didn’t like about running in them:
1) I’ve gotten used to running with Far End Gear Short Buds, as the name implies… they have a very short cord that runs from the phone in an armband to my ear.
2) My Far End Gear earbud is also just that, an EAR BUD… no plural. It keeps one ear open to hear the surrounding world at all times. Something I feel is essential for safety.
So for testing these, I wore both earbuds inside the gates of my neighborhood, but when I left I removed one, just to be safer.
They come with four different sizes of ear tips, so you can choose the size that works best for you. I found that the smallest size worked best for me, and it was smaller than most headphones I’ve seen with the changeable tips. The smaller size is also what made this the first pair of that type of headphones that feel like they fit me properly. And what’s really cool about that, they have an “Ear Tips for Life” program. So if you lose the tips, SOL REPUBLIC will replace them. They’re the only manufacturer with that promise.
They retail for $79.99 at Verizon Wireless and will be available nationwide in Black & White, Horizon Blue and Lemon Lime at leading nationwide retailers in February 2014.
Jabra Sport Bluetooth Stereo Headset is a really long title for a product… but it’s also a pretty nice little gadget. Short and simple explanation: it is sport headphones that connect to your bluetooth enabled phone so you can listen to tunes without cords dangling around and take calls while you’re on the go.
(Not that I’m really into taking a lot of calls on the run. I was immediately struck by one of the Siri ads when it was first released that had a guy running and scheduling meetings via Siri. That didn’t look productive to me… that looked stupid to me! The run should be an escape from that nonsense!)
Good sound quality
Quick easy pairing with my iPhone 3gs (Yes, I’m still on the 3gs… I’m so out of date!)
Easy to use buttons
Voice feedback letting you know the device is on, paired, turning off, etc.
Comes with different ear gels to get a more customized in-ear fit
I felt the over-the-ear part was kind of bulky
Having to charge my headphones. I’ve had a few times when I went to use these and found the battery was drained.
Wearing a bud in each ear while running outside… I just really feel that isn’t safe, makes it harder to hear the cars or weirdos approaching.
Apparently these are “military-grade” rain, dust and shock protection. Not exactly sure what kind of testing that entails, but it makes them sound pretty tough. These are actually pretty useful for house-cleaning too. I actually find that I catch headphone cords on lots of things when wearing them around the house to clean. It’s no fun having your headphones violently yanked from your head by a cabinet as you reach for some cleaning chemical!
MSRP for this is $99.99, you can find it for various priceson Amazon (I found it for $79.99 in limited stock to $90.)
FCC Legalese: These were provided to me free of charge from the folks at Jabra. They didn’t give me any instructions on what to write, this post contains my own random thoughts.
I’ve written about headphones/earbuds on here many times. It seems like so many of us are looking for the ideal pair of headphones. And I have some definite ideas about what I feel would be the ideal set-up for me. Recently I’ve found two things that seem pretty cool and just wanted to share them with you.
These looked like the good solution to keeping headphones in my purse. Usually when I keep a pair in my purse, when I take them out to use them they are a tangled mess. On Zipbuds the cord has a “zipper” on them, so you just pull the zipper up to keep the cord together. They include a sport clip that is detachable so you can choose whether you want or need that during use. They come in cute colors (like pink! and blue!) with black or white accents. The downside of this pair is that when I keep headphones in my purse, I usually want them to have a microphone integrated for use with my iPhone, and these don’t have that as an option. Also, they’re kind of pricey at $39.99, for headphones that don’t have a microphone feature.
One Good Earbud
When I run by myself outdoors, I usually like to have something playing on my iPhone but I never NEVER wear two headphones in at the same time. It’s just not safe, I like to be aware of my surroundings. So when I saw these I was really excited… this is something that I have envisioned as part of my dream headphone set-up for running. It’s just a single earbud… but it still delivers good quality sound (so they say). And they have several different options, from a single bud to a wraparound style to one with a built-in microphone. (People always seem to call me when I’m running, so yeah… I’d take the microphone version! I do choose to ignore some of those calls, but sometimes I feel compelled to answer.) These range in price from $19.99 to $27.99 and are not cute colors (the microphone one is a goldish color… I hate yellow gold, even on my headphones!).
What do you think about these, do they look like features you’d be interested in? Leave a comment and let me know. (Bonus points if you’ve actually used these before and can give me some feedback!)