Workout Tunes without Wires: Freedom Found

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.

BlueBuds X for wireless workout musicSo 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!

The Goods

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.

BlueBuds X fit securely in your ear while you work outChoosing 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.

Set Up

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?

34 thoughts on “Workout Tunes without Wires: Freedom Found

  1. While I like listening to music while I work out, a couple years ago I noticed one troubling thing: my ears were ringing when I left the gym. A big sign that I had exposed myself to too high a DB range. With the general gym noise, and the front desk blasting music to the entire gym, the volume of my music was simply too loud.

    I feared for my aging hearing. And gave up the music.

    I got a pair of the JayBird earbuds at FitBloggin – though a different stye from you. I’ll wear them for walking in parks and for other activities. I might occasionally use them in the gym when I’m doing a workout I need but hate. But I limit my exposure to the noise quite a bit.


    • I too have ringing in my ears from when my daughter was three and screamed in the car (true story). Since then I’ve really been careful with the volume because it can definitely cause ringing if too loud (magnesium supplements help, btw). You are smart to limit exposure and we should all be careful with volume!


  2. I listen to music when I’m running and biking (and only one ear turned down really low for safety reasons). I just listen to the music at the gym when it plays, although, I am tired of the clanking, phone ringing, and stupid conversations. So, I have thought about bringing my own tunes. This is an interesting concept. I wouldn’t mind trying these out for running, but I would have to try these out first. I wonder if they will be at Fit Social.

    And it’s funny…when I heard that Daft Punk song the first time, I was like this sounds pretty cool. Then, he started singing and I didn’t remember him sounding like that before (saw video and saw Pherell?). I thought the song was cheesy, but I thought about it as only a running song. It really does work. I have a few songs like that where I hate it on the radio, but I like it during my runs. But I may have to go download it.


    • Good question about FitSocial, if you’re interested I can put you in touch with Melissa at JayBird. The words to that song are so ridic!! But I’m a sucker for a good beat and as you say, it really does work 😀


  3. Awesome design. When I first started reading I thought great, cant weight to go get a wipy and clean of my earbud that just fell on the gross gym floor. Or even worse, having to stop the treadmill to go retrieve a rouge bud. Soon as these are knocked off for cheaper I will be a buyer.


  4. For the gym, I need my headphones. I use my shuffle clipped to the hem of my shirt with the cord threaded under my shirt and out the neck hole. I use Yurbuds brand because they do not fall out and they have a long cord so I can switch to the TV when I am on the treadmill. I still snag the cord with my thumbs which can be annoying. However, I did not get the noise cancelling ones thinking about safety when outside for a run. BIG mistake because it sounds like a wind tunnel…. so, now I don’t use any music unless I am at the gym and this time of year it’s rare to find me there.
    I really like the design of these and may just have to look into getting a pair. Having cord freedom would be great!


    • That’s exactly what I’ve always done with my Nano! i will say that so far it’s been a bit challenging to get the BlueBuds to stay in. I’m experimenting with different combos of ear cushions/ear tips. I never thought about the running/wind tunnel issue, and I guess I didn’t know you were a runner! It’s tough for me to get in the gym this time of year too… that’s why I just maintain and try to get outside as much as possible.


      • Oh yeah… I run for fun and to relieve stress. I have no interest in signing up for races or anything like that. I don’t like crowds and would get board easily with a training schedule. I am just as happy lifting in my basement or hiking for hours in the middle of nowhere. I was actually wanting to try those hip lifts with the bar that you demonstrated a few months ago. I’ll have to post a picture when I do and tag you in it. Good luck getting the perfect fit on the ear buds!


  5. I have the Jabra Sport bluetooth headphones. I love not having to be connected to my phone with a cord. They do slip out now and then but because they fit over my ear they don’t fall completely out like a traditional earbud does.


    • Hmm, I have definitely found that the BlueBuds slip out. I’m going to try a different size. Plus they tell you to angle them inward. I can also experiment with the ear cushions, kind of nice!


  6. I also love listening to music during workouts. It’s one of my motivations and it drives me to work out even harder. I never tried using wireless headphones before. After reading this post, I have the urge to shop online. Thanks for sharing! 🙂


  7. These headphones look nice, but I have 2 questions:
    1. Will they stay in my ear while I’m running or cycling?
    2. Can they work under heavy HIIT (High intensity interval training) sweat “storm”?


  8. I have always found the wires a bit of a pain so haven’t listened to anything for a while. I hadn’t heard of these so I think will give them a try.


  9. What a great idea. Why don’t I think of great ideas and sell them? This is something I need as I hate the cord tapping against me. Kind of makes me itchy, strange I know!
    How do you charge these little things though?


  10. I have the same problem! I hate, hate, hate having the chord attached and have been looking for a good pair of chord less headphones. There is nothing more aggravating than having your earbuds ripped out of your ears mid set. I will definitely be looking into these headphones!


    • That’s for sure! The medium sized earbuds worked well for a long time. I’m on the small ones now and they fall out occasionally. But love these headphones!


  11. Could not agree more! Wireless headphones are such a game changer. That being said, having the right type of pockets can alleviate your issues with the headphone cord getting in your way. I have a pair of addidas track pant that have a zip pocket which holds my phone. I run the cord through my shirt and have had no issues! (Just a thought for those days that you don’t have your bluetooth on you 😉


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