Kit usually can be categorized into two buckets; stuff you wear (shoes, clothing etc) and stuff you use (water bottles, GPS etc). There are, however, some things that fall into the very thin gray area in between, headphones…to be more specific ear-buds are one of those items. Clearly it’s a thing you use but you need it to fit your body otherwise all end of problems can arise!
The folks at Yurbuds hit me up to see if I wanted to try out a pair of Inspire Pro in-the-ear headphones. Becca is a huge fan and has been using them since she picked up a pair at the Portland Marathon in 2011Ironman and they have certainly been round the block a few time which speaks to their robustness. The other nice things is that they come with a bag, I love products that come with something to keep them in. The Ironman branding is pretty standard as they are an Ironman event Sponsor, not to be confused with long course non-Ironman triathlons. Basically there are three main features;
- The newer versions are fitted with a built in mic which allows you to not only control the volume of the speakers but also allows you to use Siri or other voice control features. The inline mic is also water/sweat proof which is crucial if like me you tend to keep you cables inside your shirt.
- The other key feature to note is that the Yurbuds have is “TwistLock”, this is a feature that is designed to embed them speaker into your ear and not let them fall out when exercising, clearly this would be a pain.
- Finally the other feature is sound quality, it’s no good having all these bells and whistles when the sound quality is poor. I am obviously not equipped with a laboratory to measure decibels, overall sound quality and the like and so it’s subjective and really based on my, well, ears!
So in reverse order here are my thoughts;
- I have worn these for the last three months while running and cycling. My listening range varies from talking books to Podcasts to streaming Artic Monkeys from Spotify. The sound quality is great, bass is nice and deep, mid-tones clear and high notes are crisp.
- I have had to take an occasional phone call and no doubt that the inline control is easy to use. Using the Siri feature I have also been able to make a call or two when required just by asking. One thing I would say about the mic is that it’s a bit bulky, is significantly larger than your typical Apple product although some of this is due to the “ruggedizing” of it. The bulk also adds some weight so there is a little tug on your ears, more so on the run than when on the bike.
- Finally the fit. There is no doubting that they do not fall out, the TwistLock feature works and to be honest it works almost too well, these thing are in your ears and in there good and proper. They came with two sizes of silicon covers #5 and #7 I have really tried to make the 5s work but they are just too tight for me, finally this week I reached out to Yurbuds to get a smaller set but I am waiting to hear back (no pun intended). I don’t think I have teeny ears, quite the opposite in fact, but I just find them a bit uncomfortable. I am hoping that a smaller size will work, if not I know that Becca has her eyes on them for sure!
Here are some photos, the final one compares them to your standard Apple headphone and my other headphone of choice Sony’s now discontinued and hard to find MDRED12LP Headphones.