The iLive Truly Wire-free Earbuds are exactly what their title says… earbuds that don’t have a wire, for realz yo! But seriously, these are wireless bluetooth earbuds that have sporty features so you can use them in a variety of scenarios. Running, hiking, cleaning, napping… Let’s go through the features and the cons, alrighty?
Sizes and Earhooks
The earbuds come with several sizes of eartips so you can customize the fit for each person. In addition to the eartip sizes, there are different earhook types and colors. They come with lime green earhooks attached that are designed to go up and over the ear. There is also a pair of black earhooks that are exactly the same, just more a subdued color. Then there are smaller black ear hooks that are meant to hook into the nooks and crannies of your ear as opposed to going over the ear. I found the default hooks felt a little large and I changed to the smaller ones after a little bit. That provided a bit more of a secure fit for me personally.
Waterproof (aka Sweatproof)
These headphones are IPX7 waterproof rated. What this means is if they are submerged in about a meter of water for under 30 minutes, they should be fine. This means you could wear them on a sweaty run, you could wear them in the rain, you could wear them while running through sprinklers (as adults do… usually in the midst of a hot summer run) and you should be fine. I wouldn’t say go for a swim in them though!
Wire-free and Hands-free
As the name says… these are wire-free. Truly. They connect to other devices via bluetooth. I found they connected to my cell phone pretty easily. And you can take calls with them through the built-in microphone, so it acts as a “hands-free speakerphone”… but I guess that is a bit of a misnomer, you have to use your hands to push buttons on them to get them to respond. But after that, talk away without holding a phone to your head – see, hands-free.
- The biggest con I experienced with these was I had trouble getting them to connect to my treadmill. I have a Nordictrack that uses iFit, so it has awesome workouts with coaches. And I had this brilliant idea that I could connect these to my treadmill and then they’d become my treadmill headphones. But I just couldn’t seem to get my treadmill to see these. Whether that is a problem with the ‘mill or these headphones, I’m not sure. However I have successfully connected a bluetooth heartrate monitor to my treadmill without issue.
- The case does recharge the earbuds, which is nice. But the case also feels pretty flimsy, like a cheap makeup compact. I would worry that it will crack if you throw it into a backpack or gym bag frequently. The case is also kind of big. It’s probably about the size of 3 Airpods cases, so you’re probably not slipping it into a pocket comfortably either.
- The battery life on these is supposed to last 4-5 hours at 50% volume. Which is a pretty good run, but when you know a lot of people who compete in ultra endurance sports, that starts to sound like a pretty short time. True… you can recharge with the case. But going back to the previous point, the case is big and it feels flimsy. So there are probably better options for super long endurance efforts.
Despite a few points there, I think they are easy to overcome for most people. Plus, the price point on these is pretty darn good. If you look at the iLive website they are listed for $79.99… which is alright. But I found them on Amazon for $41.88. That’s about 50% cheaper!