If you’re a jogger or runner, you almost certainly know this story: you’re out for your morning jaunt around the neighborhood, or training for a half-marathon, or just ticking away the virtual miles on the treadmill. You’re trying your best to hit your stride, to pound your feet in time with your tunes. But your earphones just won’t cooperate. They’re either constantly nagging you with their uncomfortable fit or popping out of your ears on a regular basis. And if you somehow manage to make it through a workout with earphones intact, once you’re done and pull them out, they’re a salty, icky mess. Even with regular cleaning, they’re unlikely to make it another six months at this rate.
Been there? Done that? Got that T-shirt? Then what you really need is a great pair of earphones designed to enhance your workout, not detract from it. If that sounds like what you’re looking for, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Sweat-resistance is non-negotiable
Whether it’s freezing outside or tropically hot, one thing is for sure: if you run long enough, you’re going to work up a sweat. That means you need to make sure your earphones are designed to withstand a reasonable amount of briny water without corroding or shorting out.
The easiest way to ensure that your earphones can stand up to such abuse is to look for one little four-character code: IPX4. Headphones that earn this rating, like Phiaton’s BT 150 NC, BT 110 or BT 100 NC, now available in pink and grey, have proven themselves capable of standing up to ten minutes worth of water sprayed at them from every direction via a nozzle, so it’s safe to say they can handle however much sweat you throw at them.
Comfort and fit are key
Of course, it’s true that you want any good pair of earphones to be comfortable, but that’s especially true when you’re a runner. The thing is, everyone’s ears are different, so finding the earphones that work best for you might involve a little trial and error. If you find yourself constantly shaking your earphones out of your ears when running, something like Phiaton’s BT 120 might be exactly what you need. The BT 120’s RightFit+ technology provides you with not only four different sizes of silicone ear tips to help you find your perfect fit, but also three different soft ear wings that fit right into the folds of your outer ear, ensuring that your earphones stay snug no matter how vigorously you shake them.
If, on the other hand, you don’t struggle with the fit of most earphones, something like BT 150 NC might be a more ideal running partner. This neckband headphone features a comfortable and convenient Memory Flex neckband with a no-slip design and retractable earbuds that allow for the perfect individual cord length and ensure you won’t get tangled up in cables. And if for some reason an ear piece does happen to fall out, it won’t fall far. Perhaps best of all, the BT 150 NC’s design allows you to quickly remove and replace your earphones, which you’ll appreciate if you must cross a busy street or if you just happen to run into chatty neighbors when you’re out for a run.
Better batteries are a must
Granted, most of you probably don’t go for runs that last more than an hour or so, but that doesn’t mean you can discount battery life when shopping for good running earphones. Buying a model with longer playtime between charges means you’ll get more running days off a battery before needing to plug it in. It also means your earphones are less likely to run out of juice during a jog. The BT 110 will deliver 4.5 hours’ worth of music between charges and features 125 hours’ worth of standby time for those days when you just can’t find the motivation to hit the pavement.
The BT 100 NC, meanwhile, will crank out 7.5 hours’ worth of tunes (or 12 hours if you turn off noise cancellation, which you should if you run in the city), and can hold a charge for 220 hours when not in use. For those of you who slept in math class, that’s more than nine days. And if you go two weeks without needing your running earphones—well, let’s just say that it’s not their fault if you aren’t ready for that upcoming 5K.
By Dennis Burger