Running is not, in case you hadn’t noticed, just about getting fit. It’s also good ‘me’ time, and a chance to catch up on some music your partner, parents or flatmate might not be too keen on you sharing at home. And if that music happens to share a beat with your running pace, well that’s even better! To make the most of the moment, you need to find the right running headphones for you and the right ones to go with your player. Here’s a guide to some of the best on the market at the moment
Sennheiser PMX 685i
All the basics work just as they should – they’re nice and light (just 13g), they’re comfortable enough that you can easily forget they’re there, they stay in place when you’re running and whoever designed them understood that whoever’s using them is going to sweat. Probably a lot. As you’d expect from Sennheiser, they also provide outstanding sound quality thanks to the 9mm driver with 100dB/mW of power. Hook them up to your iphone, though, and they suddenly become a whole lot better, because then you’re able to access all kinds of remote control, as well as answering calls without breaking your stride.
Jaybird Freedom Sprint
If money’s no object (these sell for around £130), then why not go for the Bluetooth option and do away with all those irritating and snaggable wires most headphones inevitably come with? They can be used with any A2DP Bluetooth stereo device, including the iPhone (of course), Blackberry, Android and so on. All the controls you need to make and answer calls or control your sound levels are built into the earpiece, but are easily accessible and manageable without too much fumbling about. They weigh in at just 10 grammes which, combined with vibrant and warm sounds with the emphasis on sub-bass, make them phones designed to keep you going.
Many manufacturers claim that their phones will stay in the ear when others don’t, but these come nearer to that goal than most, thanks to the patented and frankly very clever ‘twist lock’ technology – yes, you insert them into your ears and then twist them to lock them into place; and no, it doesn’t hurt! A 15mm speaker and dynamic driver deliver great sound, and they’ve even taken safety into consideration, with what they call ‘ambient noise awareness’ technology. Basically, some phones do everything they can to block the outside world entirely, but these recognise that if you’re out roadrunning, having some awareness of what’s going on around you isn’t such a bad idea! They’re also compatible with all players with a 3.5mm jack, making these one of my favourite options on offer at the moment!
Philips SHS4800/10 Headphones Active Fit Ear Hook
With an RRP of just over £20, but currently selling for about £12.50, these are by far the cheapest in this selection, but still deliver in all the right areas. They stay in place better than some selling for twice the price and, although the sound quality may not be up to the standard of the Sennheiser, 50mW of power input and a 13.5mm neodymium driver make it more than acceptable for most uses – certainly for running, although you’re more likely to notice the difference if you also use them while crashed out on the sofa afterwards.
When you receive your headphones, you can start enjoying your music wherever and whenever you want to! But make sure you are taking care of them properly, this includes putting them away nicely and storing them somewhere they are not going to get damaged. You can even think about investing in some silica gel to prevent from condensation or other packaging to make sure they are put away carefully when you are not using them (You can find these items at packaging companies, such as Davpack). There is no point in spending money on something you are not going to take care of.