Thursday, January 17, 2013
Yurbuds Ironman Inspire Headphones Review
OK, so for years now...years and years...I've been buying headphones to listen to music while I hit the treadmill. Not always when I run outside, but always when I'm on the treadmill. Just too boring otherwise.
And these cheap Sony models have been my go-to headphones for a long, long time.
Are they cheap? Yes, but that's the point. They'll set you back ten bucks at most. Are they flimsy? Yes, and it's a problem. You have to baby them because the wires like to come loose from the headphones (not hanging loose, but loose inside somewhere that you can't see it but only one side plays music). This has caused me to buy approximately 800 pairs of these headphones over the last ten years. Seriously.
Now I know what you're thinking - "The R's is not too smart" - but no, listen for a second.
First, these cheap headphones actually have OK sound. Better than almost every other pair of "running" type headphones I've ever used. And second, and this is important, they STAY IN YOUR EARS.
I know, you're still thinking, "But there are eight million other kinds of headphones out there..." Believe me, I know. I've tried most of them. Up until two weeks ago, all the types I'd tried fell under three broad categories:
a) fall out of ears when running
b) horrible sound
If you're looking for a poster child for "c" please look no further than the Phillips blah blah blah 3000.
Wow, what utterly worthless pieces of crap those headphones were... Literally, two soup cans and a cotton string would have provided better sound clarity.
Anyway, we were talking about the Yurbuds, yes? Well, not yet, but I'm getting there. So I head to Target, one of the few places you can find the cheap Sony headphones, and they don't have them. They don't even have a hook for them. Looks like they're gone and never to return. Sigh...
So I check out my other options. Well, there are about a thousand little earbuds that I know won't work. Then quite a few huge, Jay-Z Beats types that weigh more than my head. Those won't work either.
Then there's the Yurbuds. Now obviously I had heard of Yurbuds before. I had even considered buying them before. But they're expensive. And I'm cheap. Long story short: after wondering why the hell the women's sized Yurbuds were half the cost of the Ironman Yurbuds, I bit the bullet and laid down $50 for headphones. I know, it isn't really that much, but, as I've mentioned, I'm cheap.
So I ended up with the Yurbuds Ironman Inspire Performance. It's quite a mouthful...sounds like it's worth $50.
It's also apparently a Exclusive Product Found Only at Your Friendly Neighborhood Target Store! The only thing on the Yurbuds website close to what I bought would be the Inspire Pro at $59.99. It's got a fancy volume/mic thing deal for using with a phone. Mine has no such fancy gadget - use with a phone at your own discretion, I guess.
What I do have is a pair of headphones, two sets/sizes of silicone earphone covers, super-long four foot Kevlar cloth wires, a clip and a little carry pouch. The Kevlar wires seem like overkill, although I must admit I like the feel of them. Not waxy and plastic like most headphone cords.
So after trying really hard to make the smaller-sized silicone ear pieces work, and knowing that the bigger ones would be WAY too big, I just couldn't keep them in my ears. Not again?!?
But then I finally tried the bigger size ear pieces. What do you know? They fit pretty good! OK, so maybe I have big ears, I don't know. I'm wondering how the silicone will age, but I have to admit, right out of the box, they're smooth/sticky and do grip your ear pretty well once you've got them in place. They say to "rotate" the special "twist-lock" ear pieces and I'm not really sure I've got that part right, but they're not falling out, so I guess close enough.
So far, so good - they stay in your ears.
Now what about the sound?
Well, it's not great. I'd say it's not quite as good as the $10 Sony headphones. But it's not bad either. Miles ahead of the Phillips headphones. Overall, I'd give the sound quality about a 7 out of 10. You're losing some of the highs and lows, but they don't sound small and tinny like some headphones do.
The guys at Engadget also did a little comparison between Yurbuds Ironman and Skullcandy Fix. Check it out here.
Here's Huffington Post with another review...well, sort of an ad almost, but informative.
I've only had these for a couple weeks, so it's early. Still, overall, I'd say these are winners. Not cheap, but they do what they promise: they stay in your ear and they play music.