I’ve struggled to find good headphones for working out ever since I got my first-generation iPod Shuffle way back in 2005.
At that time, Apple’s in-ear headphones that came with every iPod were spherical buds covered in squishy felt caps that immediately got lost. Unsurprisingly, these headphones didn’t really work for me.
Since then, I’ve wavered between ill-fitting earbuds, heavy over-ear headphones, and jogging in silence, too frustrated to bother with any music at all — until now.
This past weekend, I was heading out for a Saturday morning run when my boyfriend kindly offered to lend me his new BeatsX, the Bluetooth earbuds made by Apple subsidiary Beats. For $US150, BeatsX come in at $US10 cheaper than Apple’s own wireless competitor, AirPods, though they do have a wire to connect them that rests around your neck.
I knew instantly that these headphones were going to solve my headphones woes.
Using other in-ear headphones has followed a similar pattern in the past: Things start off OK, but after I get going, the buds start to slip out. I spend the next few miles jamming each bud back in my ear one at a time until they start to slip again.
But with the BeatsX, that didn’t really happen.
That’s thanks in part to the numerous rubber tips Beats provides. There are four sizes, plus plastic “wings” that attach to the buds for running (I didn’t use those my first time out, and I don’t think I’ll need them). My ears needed two different sized tips, since I have an inner-ear piercing in my right ear, but it wasn’t a problem — I easily found the right tips for my ears.
While some people may be bothered by the wire that sits around your neck to connect the buds, I didn’t mind it. I felt more secure having it there, since fully wireless buds tend to pop out of my ears while running and land on the ground. The connecting wire added an extra layer of security for me, and it’s so lightweight that I could barely feel it.
And, most importantly, the headphones sounded great. The quality was higher than Apple’s standard EarPods and approached the quality of my over-ear Sony headphones. While they’re not fully noise-cancelling, they tend to drown out most outside noise except loud car horns and sirens. And when you’re running outdoors, it’s best to hear those particular sounds anyway.
After about 2.5 miles running with the BeatsX, I was sold. They’re a great value, they sound fantastic, and, most importantly, they actually stayed in my ears. I didn’t put the headphones through all their paces (for a full review of the BeatsX, check out my colleague Jeff Dunn’s thorough review) but with running headphones, you know right off the bat whether they’re going to work for you or not.
For me, the BeatsX totally delivered.