Workout music fuels me when I’m crushing it in the gym and there’s no denying it. Sure, I can strength train to the sounds of a clanking iron and idol chatting, but I much prefer pump-up music blasting bass as I eke out that final rep.
I used an MP3 player for several years until I discovered iHeart radio (and my fantastic Armin Van Buuren station). After that, enjoying workout tunes involved stuffing my iPhone down my shorts and trying to manage a mess of wires winding down my shirt.
So when I met Melissa one evening at Fitbloggin and she mentioned she was with JayBird, a company that makes wireless headphones, my ears pricked and my pulse quickened. I had never even considered such a world.
When I got home, Melissa offered to send me a complimentary pair of BlueBuds X Bluetooth ear buds, and I couldn’t wait to try them out. BlueBuds are a sweat-proof, wireless audio system that uses voice prompts and manual controls discreetly located on the cord. The cord lies behind your neck, so it likely won’t get too roughed up from sports, running, or slinging weights around. And the sound is marketed as having a “level of purity and sound that rivals and challenges the very best in wired headphones.” Definitely worth a try!
I’m rather technically challenged but I only spent about 15 minutes unpacking the slick little carrying case and deciphering the instructions and accompanying pieces. Just to be clear about the JayBird terminology:
- Ear buds are the product itself.
- Ear tips are the soft tips that go in your ear and come in three sizes.
- Ear cushions are moth wing shaped hooks that help keep the ear tips from slipping, thus sealing the sound around the bowl of your ear (also in three sizes). These may not be needed if you’re just sitting around listening to music.
Choosing the right size ear tip is essential to the best sound, but they’ll always slip out a little (in my experience). That’s where the ear cushions come in. If you can figure out how to orient them in your ear (and it takes some practice) we’re talking about some serious bass here.
It was easy to pair the BlueBuds to my phone, and a voice prompt guides you in this task and other operations. Once you’re all set up with ear tips, ear cushions, and pairing (one-time steps), a small cord wraps behind your head for both under-ear and over-ear fit options. The over-ear position is best for listening to music during sports (as opposed to calls), according to JayBird, because it lifts the cord off the neck and shifts the mic behind the ear. I’ll give the under-ear position a whirl first.
Getting used to the cord controls is pretty straightforward. I haven’t used the controls for calls yet, but you can answer or reject calls, switch between calls, or voice dial.
The Wireless Experience
My first thought upon hearing the sound was oh shit! The way I train is about to change forever. Can you say freedom?
The sound is amazing. If you can get the little moth wing-shaped ear cushions figured out and placed in your ear correctly, the stereo sound is purified. I started typing this while listening to them (my phone in the other room – nice!) and I couldn’t hear any outside sounds, not even the keyboard clicks (incidentally, it’s weird how much I depend on that sound to type).
The next day I hit the gym, new wireless headphones in tow. Not sure what size to use, I put a small ear tip in one side and a medium in the other. Whichever fell out the most would be the loser. As it turns out pretty much any ear bud slips out of my right ear, but the ear cushions help.
I felt so liberated not having to deal with wires or my phone down my shorts! My phone didn’t inch its way out during inch worms; in fact, my phone sat a few feet away as I listened to my tunes.
It’s probably a good idea to wear your hair up while using BlueBuds, as the cord behind your neck can become tangled and pull your ear buds out. Practice using the controls on the cord before your workout too.
I love this Daft Punk for getting pumped (betting you do too??). How do you manage your music? Or do you avoid music altogether while working out?