Workout sessions are always intense and require lots of focus. At times, you need to be detached from your immediate surroundings to give your full concentration. One of the ways to maintain this focus is using earbuds.
While there are different headphone designs, this article focuses on the smaller and more compact ones only.
Whether you’re listening to a podcast, playing some music or listening to an audiobook, earbuds help you to take your mind off other stuff and focus on your workout.
This article is essentially an eye-opening buying guide to help you choose the right earbuds for your specific needs.
Here are the factors you should consider when choosing earbuds for workouts.
Wired or wireless
Wired earbuds have been around since forever and they have gotten better over the years. However, wireless earbuds have been impressive lately. There are two kinds of wireless earbuds. Regular wireless earbuds and truly wireless earbuds.
Regular wireless earbuds have a connecting wire from one earbud to the other, whereas truly wireless earbuds have no wires on them at all. For maximum convenience during workouts truly wireless earbuds are the better option.
This is because they give an added level of freedom to the wearer. Turning your head and moving your body will be much easier, especially if the earbuds have a good fit.
Wired earbuds also have their benefits. With wired earbuds, you pay less for higher quality sound. Also, you’re never constrained by battery life because wired earbuds generally don’t use batteries.
Obviously, wired earbuds cannot give you the same level of freedom as truly wireless earbuds. If you need maximum freedom without any cables in your way, then truly wireless earbuds are the way to go.
While truly wireless earbuds are pretty awesome, they have their weak points too; most of them have a battery life of about 6 hours. Stopping to charge the earphones mid-way through your workout session can be a real bummer.
Also, truly wireless earbuds with active noise canceling technology tend to have shorter battery life than the ones with just passive noise isolation.
Bone conduction or in-ear earbuds
Here’s another thing you need to consider while buying workout earbuds. In-ear earbuds are your regular headphones with tips you push into the ear canals. They could be wired or wireless.
Bone conduction earbuds work when the earbuds rest on your cheekbones. The sound passes through the bones in that region and goes straight to your inner ear without passing through the outer ear route.
The major benefit of this style is that it keeps your ears open to your immediate environment. This is useful if you’re doing outdoor workouts and you need to hear everything around you for safety.
The downside of bone conduction earphones is that the sound quality is not premium, especially in bass production. This is because air remains the best conductor of sound. Also, even if bone conduction earphones were bassy, the vibration may not be comfortable for most people.
If you decide to use bone conduction earbuds, you still need to choose between wired and wireless types.
During your workouts, the last thing you want to think about is how your earbuds are making you feel uncomfortable. If your earbuds give you discomfort or make you feel irritated after some time, you won’t enjoy exercising as you should.
Earbuds’ comfort can be determined with two aspects.
One is the fit of the earbuds, which refers to how firm the eartips stay in your ears when you put them in. Some earbuds come with multiple size tips.
This helps to make sure that you get a pair that fits regardless of your ear size.
This is another useful feature for intense workouts. Nothing can be more annoying than your earbuds falling off midway through a routine.
The other aspect of comfort comes up when you’re using the earbuds for a few hours. Some earbuds tend to become warm in the areas covered by their tips.
This can be quite irritating because the affected ear area begins to feel warm and wet. Be sure to go for earbuds that are comfortable even after long hours of use.
There are a good number of earbuds that are waterproof, but that doesn’t make them appropriate for swimming or diving. Most waterproof earbuds can only withstand splashes and rainfall, not a full-on underwater submersion.
For workouts, you can use a pair of earbuds that are not waterproof, but they should be sweatproof at least.
Sweatproof earbuds will serve you well because sweat is the main exposure to water that your workout earbuds will face. If they are not sweatproof, they surely won’t last long. Some earbuds are made with materials that prevent sweat from getting into important parts.
If your workout involves swimming and other water exercises, there are earbuds and bone conduction headphones that are specifically made for swimmers. They won’t get damaged regardless of how long you spend underwater.
How much of your immediate environment do you wish to hear while working out?
Your answer to this question will determine the kind of earbuds you’ll buy. Some earbuds have active noise cancellation.
Active noise cancellation is a technology that switches off the external sound and stops it from entering the earphones. This method eliminates outside noise completely. This can be a good way to maintain focus, but may not be very safe for outdoor workouts.
Noise isolation engages the design of the earbuds to keep out ambient sound. This means that different earbuds have varying levels of noise isolation. A firm fit goes a long way in increasing noise isolation.
Remember that if you’re working out outdoors, you need earbuds that don’t block out all the ambient noise. This is because if you’re outdoors, you should hear the traffic and other things that may need your attention.
Earbuds can help you to have the concentration needed to complete your daily workout routines, but you need to know what kind of headphones to buy and what to look for. This article has listed the important factors you should consider.
Of all the factors listed, comfort and fit remain the most important. If your earbuds are uncomfortable, your workout sessions become something you’ll endure rather than enjoy.
Keep exercising and stay healthy