- Category: Audio
04 Dec 2011
- Written by Stephen Fenech
Summer’s here and there’s a lot of people hitting the gym and getting out for a run or a walk to get into shape.
And most of them prefer to exercise while listening to their favourite music on a pair of earphones that are up to the task.
We decided to take a look at sports earphones which are designed to stay in place, handle the demands of your training but still provide high audio performance.
The headphones we’ve included in this round-up are all iPhone compatible so they have a remote to control your music and a microphone to make and receive calls.
They are also water and sweat proof, unlike off other off-the-shelf earphones and the earphones which are included with your smartphone or audio device.
Sennheiser CX 680i
Four and a half stars (out of five)
Sennheiser partnered with sportswear brand adidas to produce range of sports headsets which include the CX 680i.
The CX 680i looks like a regular pair of earphones but with one major difference – an EarFin which adds even more stability while your running and exercising.
We found regular in-ear headphones tended to fall out while we were running or in the gym.
It has noise-isolating ear canals with silicone tips in three different sizes so you can find the right fit for yourself.
The integrated remote/mic is centrally located and forms the junction of the Kevlar reinforced cables from your ears and connect to your audio device.
The earphones and remote are both water and sweat resistant.
Audio performance was excellent with fine detail and satisfying bass that is all helped long with the acoustically closed design that blocks outside noise.
Philips Sports earhook headset SHQ3017
Three and a half stars (out of five)
The Philips SHQ3017 feature an over the ear hook design which means the headset is not going to budge while you’re training.
These hooks are even adjustable so they can fit virtually anyone no matter what size their ears happen to be.
Additional stability is provided with the design of the ear bud itself which is angled to fit snugly into your ear canal and provide a noise-cancelling seal.
The Philips SHQ3017 are made from water proof materials and can even be rinsed under a tap to clean off the sweat after a workout.
They come with a customisable cable length – short for connecting to a device you may be wearing in an armband – or long to connect to a device in your pocket or bag.
Remote and mic are easily accessible on the left cable and offer complete control over your music and calls.
Audio performance was above average with decent bass and a good value choice to provide music for your workout.
Yurbuds Inspire Ironman Pro
Four and a half stars
Yurbuds started out as a company which made silicone eartips that fit over iPod earphones to make them rest in place when you're exercising.
Their twist-lock buds became so popular they decided to go all the way and make their own earphones.
There’s also a spare pair of the buds along with a zip-up carry case.
The result is the Inspire Ironman Pro and, of course, features twist lock buds that fit tightly and comfortably in place.
At the junction of the cables is the waterproof dry mic and three button controller which will stand up to even the most intense workouts.
And not only is the Yurbuds Inspire Ironman Pro practical on the outside it’s also impressive on the inside with neodymium drivers supplying excellent sound that crisp and clear with authoritative bass output as well.
The Yurbuds can only be ordered from the US via the Yurbuds website.
Philips Sports neckband headset SHQ4017
Four stars (out of five)
The neckband of the Philips SHQ4017 puts the cables out of the users way on the left side rather than the middle of their body.
Made from lightweight and flexible material, the neckband goes around the back of your head and hooks around each ear to offer a solid fit that won't move even during the most active workout.
We found the neckband to be both comfortable to wear and practical because we were able to run the cable down the back of our arm to our device so there’s nothing in your way. A handy feature especially using weight machine in the gym.
The headset and remote/microphone on the left cord are water and sweat proof and also washable.
Like the Philips earhooks, the Philips neckband has a adjustable cord so it connect to a device on an armband or, with the extension cord, link with a device you might be holding or carrying on your pocket
On the audio side the specs are identical to the Philips SHQ3017 and provided impressive output and above average bass.